Product Review: Schaefer Outfitter

I don’t remember when we first got the little paper catalogue for Schaefer’s Ranchwear. Dad and I looked through it, and each of us ended up buying a vest. We liked them so much that I ended up with two heavy vests, two lighter ones, and a ranch coat.

That first purchase was several years ago, maybe ten or more. I’m still wearing those vests and that jacket. They are my go-to vest for around the house or very cold weather wear, and live on top of the woolens stack all year round. One has gone to Europe (the least Western-looking one).

Two of the vests and the ranch jacket are heavy Melton™ wool, a very dense weave that feels almost like it was boiled, or lightly felted. You know you’re wearing them. They have pockets in the proper places, and a satin-finish lining. One of the heavy vests has a zipper, the other has heavy buttons (like a real bluejeans button.) They are quite warm, water resistant, and a little scratchy. The one with the zipper can make a high collar, meant to be worn with a turtleneck or wild-rag* (unless you have tough skin or ignore itches, the way I seem to do.)

The ranch coat looks odd, because it is designed for riding. The sleeves are a bit longer than standard, so that when your arms are bent while holding the reins, or loop reins and a rope, your wrists will still be covered. It does not have the rib-knit cuffs and bottom hem like a lot of jackets. This is meant for wearing with gloves, chaps, and the like. The tail can be snapped closed or left open so you don’t sit on your coat tail. The wool is water resistant. This jacket isn’t lined, but is very roomy for freedom of movement and layering. Again, like the vests, it has good pockets.

The lighter weight waistcoats are herringbone tweed, one grey, one brown, with jeans-type buttons. They also have watch pockets, and are a little roomy. They have the same satin lining as the other vests. 

All of Schaefer’s clothes are made in the US from mostly US materials. This means that they’re a little on the spendy side. As much as I wear the vests and jacket, I think I’m getting my money’s worth out of them. They still look like new (aside from the cat fur) and the linings are not dropping or sagging.

DadRed likes his items as well. They are cut on the full side unless otherwise specified, on the assumption that you are working – riding, bending, reaching, and otherwise doing manual labor. I have not tried any of their dressier ladies’ items, so I can’t give you a report on those.

*Wild rag is the term for the silk neckerchief worn by the buckaroos of the Great Basin, or winter hands. They also serve as a sort of neck-tie or ascot when worn with a wild-rag slide or clip. Silk doesn’t rub, and is warm. Cowboys wear it for the same reason pilots did (and do). The brilliant colors are just because. I mean, these are the folks who wear pink shirts with pearl snaps** to ride bulls and saddle broncs. A brilliant teal jacquard wild rag is nothing compared to that!

**The snaps are a safety feature as well as trim. If a horn gets between shirt and cowboy, the snaps open and the cowboy won’t be dragged or tossed. This was/is from before the chest-protector became standard equipment.

FTC Notice: I purchased these items for my own use, and receive no discount or remuneration from the manufacturer for this review.


6 thoughts on “Product Review: Schaefer Outfitter

  1. Bookmarked, in the event that we might need something from them – and in the interests of supporting American-made items and American-based firms.

  2. Also bookmarked in case of need. Thank you.

    Layering helps, and the beauty of silk is it’s warm, lightweight, and a thin layer. I have a couple silk turtlenecks for the really cold winters, which use little space while stored. Head and neck motion not impeded by slk.

  3. Sigh… good stuff, but I made the mistake of looking at the tools… Now I’m having flashbacks about fencing pliers… LOL

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