I spend a lot of time reading fashion history books and looking around vintage clothing stores, so I see a lot of crazy, super-dated clothes. But when Neal Medlyn told me that for his birthday he wanted a Wrangler Brushpopper shirt, I thought it was probably as reclaimable as the Spanish farthingale.
The Brushpopper shirt (a discontinued line) is made of cotton, but coated so that it repels water and wind. This makes it feel rather like a canvas tarp, and gives it a slight sheen. They come in really strange, bright colors.
According to Neal, back in the ’90s, both male and female teenagers in Texas would iron them to a crisp and tuck them into the tightest jeans they could find.
They seemed horrible to me. But he wanted one, so I found a couple on eBay—one for $11, the other for $14. And you know what? I think they look kind of great. Here’s a photo of Neal dressed in guys-who-used-to-beat-him-up-in-1990s-East-Texas-realness.
He is clearly fashion-forward, because this Facebook page has since appeared heralding the return of the Brushpopper to Western-wear stores this fall.