Western wear is always in style | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Western wear is always in style

Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Greg Hansen, Tammy Williamson and Gary Wyles are at Cowboys & Indians at the Heavenly Village, a store specializing in Western and Native American fashions.

Despite the dwindling number of “Urban Cowboy” types, the old West will never die as long as stores like Cowboys & Indians are still around – and as long as one can still say “howdy” and “sheeeeet” with confidence.

That’s according to Gary Wyles, who opened his Heavenly Village shop last week named after the popular children’s game. His goal is to restore the heritage and help others dress the part. There’s something for everyone in this store.

Wyles said his store has mostly been frequented by couples. The women can’t resist the jackets as they walk by. The men decide to go in at the sight of the vintage guns on the wall.

Louie Castellana of Folsom had just as much fun Sunday showing his 8-year-old son, Vincent, the guns as he does picking them up himself.

“We love cowboys and indians. He’s the one who pulled us in here,” said Castellana, a law enforcement officer looking bright eyed by the history on the shop’s wall. He reflected fondly on shooting a Winchester rifle in his criminal justice classes.

“It had a big kick to it,” he said, as store worker Greg Hansen gave the youth a rundown of the gun inventory.

Wyles owned a Western shop 15 years ago and wound up kicking back in the Carson Valley.

“I found I wasn’t ready for retirement,” he said. “This has been the best period of my life.”

He brought in the merchandise and plans to expand the inventory to help others find the beauty and fun of western wear.

“We all grew up playing cowboys and indians. And when people ask why wear Western clothes, one word comes to mind – comfort. The whole appearance is to make you feel comfortable,” he said. Wyles implied the comfort is just as much about the internal comfort of how our garments instill confidence as how they feel on our bodies.

The former private investigator from Burbank saw a lot of that after the big screen came out with “Urban Cowboy” in the 1980s.

“Everybody had to have a straw hat and knew who Mickey Gilley was,” he said of the Texas singer and nightclub owner featured in the movie.

Now Wyles strives to cater to a core group of people who will never outgrow the garments and accessories. Wyles’ store will carry an assortment of boots. The shop also carries jackets, belts, hats, purses, T-shirts and jewelry. He’ll also have 20 different styles of hats.

The merchandise ranges from $30 to $2,300. Wyles would be the first to say many of the mostly leather goods are luxury items. “Our store is a wants store, not a needs store,” he said.

Cowboys & Indians is located in the Village off Heavenly Village Way near the arcade and cinema. Call (530) 542-1018.

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