Clothing brands have no trouble embracing Western culture. Or Southern culture.
But Texas is its own state with its own identity that Drew and Christine Bagot just couldn’t find anywhere else.
The husband and wife duo saw a void in the market and took the leap to become entrepreneurs themselves by founding their own clothing startup called Texas Standard.
“We were looking for brands that represented me and my friends,” said Drew Bagot, a fifth generation Texan. “We saw a lot of things pop up but nothing for Texas.”
The Dallas-based company started with sports shirts in 2016 and has expanded to polos, T-shirts, hats and other accessories. From its barbed wire logo to its versatile tucked or untucked style, Texas Standard seeks to embody the Lone Star state.
“Our sport shirts are long enough that you can leave them untucked or you can tuck them in if you want to,” Christine Bagot said. “Right now, everyone is looking for something unique that represents them and speaks to them instead of just buying the same old thing that everyone has.”
The clothing line has launched across Texas with the help of nearly 20 retail partners. North Texas locations include Saint Bernard in Dallas and The Man’s Shop in Arlington.
This fall, Texas Standard will launch at the new Climate store in the Shops at Clearfork in southwest Fort Worth.
“It’s kind of the quintessential Texas town. It’s got these roots of ranching and the stockyards but it’s also very modern town, right, with the Kimbell and a vibrant downtown Fort Worth,” Bagot said. “It is in a lot of ways what we’re trying to capture with this brand and this company — it’s not forgetting about your history and what makes this place unique but it’s also doing more with modern society. We’re huge fans of Fort Worth so we’re happy to have a partner like Climate.”
Texas Standard has already tested the water in Fort Worth with a standalone shop in the West Bend shopping district on University Drive. It ran from May until Father’s Day.
“The West Bend pop-up shop was excellent from the standpoint of actually meeting your customers face-to-face,” Byron Bradshaw, vice president of Texas Standard.
The Bagots designed the shirts to be timeless, tough and evoke the style of a Texas gentleman. The fit isn’t West Coast slim or a boxy style and they aren’t custom fit either — though many customers say they feel like it, Drew Bagot said.
Texas Standard also sells a modern version of the Ranger belt that harkens back to the days of the Texas Rangers, who used a cinch strap so the belt could hold a heavier revolver. The modern one is scaled down to fit with jeans and slacks.
The barbed wire logo will fit Cowtown’s history.
“It’s something that started the ranching culture in Texas and it will be across the state for generations to come,” Christine Bagot said. “We felt like it captured the essence of our brand.”
Texas Standard strives to be made in Texas with manufacturing in El Paso and elsewhere but some products are still imported from outside the state.
“Our goal is to have 100 percent of our product made in the state of Texas,” Drew Bagots said. “That’s been a challenge.”
Jacqueline Dearden, a buyer for Climate, became a fan of Texas Standard when they first approached her last year. But the brand’s sport shirts didn’t fit in with Climate’s vacation lifestyle vibe so she turned them down twice. The Bagots’ persistence paid off, though.
Later, when the brand expanded to T-shirts and polos, Dearden was sold.
“I think the most important part is that they’re local,” she said. “There are a lot of brands that are Southern that are from Louisiana, Mississippi. This is the first true Texas brand I’ve seen. We like supporting local brands here. It’s something that our customers will gravitate toward that they can’t get anywhere else — local, comfortable, quality goods that tell a story.”
Texas Standard rents office space in the Cumberland Hill School Building on Akard Street in downtown Dallas. The building, once owned by Gov. Bill Clements, sits as a shrine to Texas with battle flags hanging on the wall and other memorabilia from the 19th century.
“What better place to have Texas Standard than this building,” Drew Bagot said.
The company donates 10 percent of its profits to Feed Texas, the umbrella organization for groups like the Tarrant Area Food Bank in Fort Worth and the North Texas Food Bank in Dallas.
“We’re not doing 10 to Texas as a marketing ploy. We just started doing it,” Drew Bagot said. “We said on Day 1 when we first started the company way back to the first version of our website that we’re going to give back in a very meaningful way. That’s 10 percent of the company.”