When the idea of putting together a special Texas Monthly style issue was first laid on the table, it was greeted with consternation. Did we intend to dispatch Paul Burka to the fashion shows to analyze the spring lines or Skip Hollandsworth to the nearest perfumery to fill his untutored nostrils with the newest Parisian scents? Eyebrows were raised; heads were scratched. One sartorially lax staff member shrugged, “At least I’ll have the month off.”
Elsewhere, the worry might have been warranted. But in Texas, questions of style lead not to the study of hemlines, hair color, or bling; they focus on the subjects that we normally write about in Texas Monthly—race, culture, history, character, language, the environment. Unlike the passing fads that constitute what might be called California or New York style, the elements of Texas style have deep living roots. When we consider them we are considering not only the surface but the essence of who we are. Texas style is no trifling, trendy thing. It is that which you would remove from Texas in order to make it Oklahoma.
Consider the cowboy hat, that most iconic piece of Texan garmenture. There are forty cowboy hats in this issue (not including those in the advertisements), starting with the beautiful off-white 20X beaver-felt Resistol on the cover and ending with Kinky Friedman’s smoke-enclouded black Stetson. All of them are distant ancestors of the wide-brim affairs worn by the ferocious Mongol horsemen of Genghis