Vintage Blue Bell Wrangler Western jeans let folks in the 1950s get some rodeo style

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Vintage Blue Bell Wrangler Western jeans from the 50s

Blue Bell Wranglers no stranger to ranchers, cowboys

From The Coalgate Record-Register (Coalgate, Oklahoma) January 10, 1957

The fame of Wranglers is due in no small measure to the fact that they are the favorite working garb of this country’s last survival of the true Wild West — the rodeo cowboy.

When Blue Bell first introduced Wranglers about ten years ago, the fashion for the tight-fitting, long-wearing Western jean was just around the corner. Blue Bell wanted to be certain that its newly-introduced jean was as well cut and truly western as anything on the markets.

The rodeo cowboy was selected to perform wear and style tests. Arrangements were made with about six of the top cowboys then attending the Madison Square Garden Rodeo in New York to try out various patterns, test their wearing qualities in actual rodeo work, and report back. After some trial and error, the rodeo cowboys finally agreed upon a cut and mass production followed.

Wrangler Jeans and rodeo

Enthusiasm for Wranglers spread quickly. The hard riding, fast-moving cowhands immediately took to the way the Sanforized Wranglers fit immediately, and kept their fit through numerous launderings and lots of rough wear.

More and more top rodeo hands wore and endorsed Wranglers. Today, for example, eight of the last nine world’s all-around champion cowboys wear Wranglers. Almost every rodeo cowboy association event winner during the 1956 season was a Wrangler wearer.

Blue Bell has employed its cowboy friends promoting Wranglers. For example, in New York City every year, many cowboys make personal appearances at famous department stores boosting the rodeo at Madison Square Garden and also Wranglers.

Wranglers advertising has stressed rodeo and Wranglers as America’s most famous combination. The company feels this has helped the rodeo, as a sport and rodeo cowboys as individuals, and has also benefited Blue Bell by making Wranglers one of the largest selling brands of western jeans.

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A red hot brand (1954)

Wrangler Western Wear by Blue Bell

Jeans, jackets and shirts with that Wrangler brand are the choice of 5 out of the 6 World’s Champion All-Around Cowboys.

1954 Blue Bell Wrangler jeans


Demand for Western wear led to Blue Bell’s growth

Perhaps the most dramatic aspect of Blue Bell’s growth through products has been in the field of western wear. In 1947, Blue Bell introduced Wranglers, a new blue jean of traditional western cut. Although there were long-established western blue jeans on the market, Blue Bell felt that Sanforized jeans that would fit from the moment of purchase, would prove popular with the public.

To ensure western authenticity for Wranglers, Blue Bell engaged Rodeo Ben, the famous western tailor, for their designer. To ensure durability of Wranglers, Blue Bell sought the aid and advice of the rodeo cowboys, the men who impose the hardest wear on western clothes.

For today, 6 out of 7 world’s champion all-around rodeo cowboys wear and endorse Wranglers as the western jeans that gives them the longest wear and the best fit. Blue Bell then extended the jeans design to Wranglers for women, boys, girls, and children. Wranglers shirts and jackets were also introduced for men, boys, and children.

Today, Blue Bell Wranglers such as those to be made in Coalgate hold a substantial share of the market for western jeans, both in the West where they are essentially work clothes, and in the East and South where western clothes for casual wear has become a standard rather than a fad.

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Ride ’em Wrangler – Wrangler Western Wear (1952)

Blue Bell Wrangler denim jeans 1952


Wrangler brand: Big today, but it started with 12 sewing machines

In 1908, two men set up 12 sewing machines in Jellico, Tennessee, to make overalls. The present Blue Bell organization has grown from that small beginning through a series of expansions and mergers. But it has also grown through its products.

In 1908, there was only one garment — overalls. Today, Blue Bell makes 23 different garments, each in a complete range of sizes and fabrics. The Blue Bell line includes more than 350 different items.


Army wore Blue Bell khaki suits

Just before the outbreak of World War II, Blue Bell started the manufacture of matched sets of work pants and work shirts in a variety of fabrics. This pioneered the trend to color and style in men’s work clothes.

During the war, Blue Bell garments were worn by our armed forces all over the world. The Army and Air Force wore Blue Bell’s khaki uniforms, coveralls, work suits, jungle suits and flying suits. The Navy wore Blue Bell dungarees and white uniforms.

With the end of the war, Blue Bell continued to increase its production of work clothes for the expanding labor force. Today, its volume makes it the world’s largest producers of work clothes.


Blue Bell Wranglers… fit for champions! (1955)

Buck Rutherford of Lenapah, Oklahoma, the 1954 World Champion All-Around Cowboy, and other top rodeo cowboys wear and prefer Blue Bell Wrangler jeans. They approve Wrangler’s authentic Western cut, slim fit and trim, tapered legs. Like all Blue Bell garments, coarse-weave denim Wranglers are Sanforized, thrift-priced and come in proportioned sizes for all the family. 

1955 Blue Bell Wranglers fit for champions


A new Wrangler by Blue Bell (1955)

… with reinforced knees that outwear the jeans!

1955 Wrangler Blue Bell denim jeans

How to buy better Western clothes - Vintage Blue Bell Wrangler jeans ad


Blue Bell Wranglers are a family affair! (1955)

Authentic Western wear for men

Blue Bell Wrangler jeans, with slim tapered legs, zipper closure, no-scratch rivets, 4 roomy pockets. Sanforized, extra-heavy weight, coarse-weave denim, sizes 31-42, $3.69 Sturdy Wrangler jacket, with com-fort-cut action back, Sanforized. Men’s sizes 30-50, $4.29; boys’ sizes 2-12, $2.59; 14-16, $2.98

Trim ‘n slim for women and girls

Figure-flattering Wrangler jeans, true Western styling, Sanforized. Front or side zipper. Misses’ sizes 10-20, in tall, medium, short lengths, $2.98 ; girls’ sizes 7-14, $2.79
Pert sleeveless Jeanie blouse. Cheerful solids, stripes and plaids in fashion-right colors … Sanforized. Sizes 30-40, $1.98

Western comfort for growing boys

Wrangler jeans of tough, Sanforized, extra-heavy, coarse-weave denim, with zipper closure, in the brand champion cowboys choose. Sizes 1-6, $1.98; 4-12, $2.79; 13-16, $3.39 Wrangler shirts for Junior and Dad, too! Close-fitting, comfortable Western cut. Checks, plaids, stripes, solids, all Sanforized. Men’s sizes 14-17, $3.98 to $4.98; boys’ 2-16, $2.98 to $3.69. (Gals like them, too!)

Long-wearing for little buckaroos

Blue Bell’s brand-new Wranglers, with reinforced knees that will actually outwear the dungarees. In the heaviest denim made… Sanforized… and Western as the Rockies! Sizes 4-12, $2.98. Maverick shirts in two-tone combinations — red and black, navy and gold, maroon and grey. Novelty snaps, fast colors and Sanforized. Sizes 2-12, about $2.69
Long-wearing, low-priced Blue Bell casual clothes for everyone in your family at your favorite store…

1955 Wrangler blue jeans for the family


Families in Western-fit Blue Bell Wrangler Jeans (1955)

Families who are up and doing wear Blue Bell Wrangler Jeans.

1955 Wrangler vintage jeans


Right for school or after! Blue Bell Wrangler Western jeans (1956)

Blue Bell Jeans - Fashion clothing from 1956


Out of the west, a family tradition (1959)

Jim Shoulders, 1958 All-Around Cowboy Champion with his wife, Sharron; daughters, Jamie and Jana; son, Marvin Paul, of Henryetta, Oklahoma

Out of the West — a family tradition — BLUE BELL WRANGLERS Slim, trim, tapered as only authentic Western-cut jeans can be. Heavy Sanforized denim, jam-proof zippers and extra strength at all strain points mean long, tough wear for active families like the Shoulders. Proportioned sizes fit and flatter every figure.

1959 Wrangler clothes jeans cowboys fashion

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