R.M. Williams: Nine Decades of Iconic Country Style Clothing

The coastlines, the greenery and the unique environment have won us second place on the list of the most “chilled out” countries in the world, so it’s clear why the laid-back effortless chic is somewhat second nature to us Aussies. Not so long ago, Vogue Australia asked our fashion week designers to describe what exactly is Australian style. As you’d expect, the fantastic piece was interlaced with terms such as “laid-back”, “casual”, “practical” “elegantly understated”, “comfortable” and even “rugged”. 

Interestingly enough, those are the words that you’d use to describe country wear as well. In the vast sea of country clothing brands that everyone loves, there’s a name that shines oh so brightly for over 9 decades. R.M Williams – the Australian pride and joy that ALWAYS understands the assignment. With an ever-growing range of country clothes that fall somewhere in the golden mean of practicality and aesthetics, R.M Williams stands at the forefront of authentic Aussie style to this very day. 

The Beginnings 

The story of RM Williams clothing goes way back to 1932 when Reginald Murray RM Williams decided to try his hand at making leather goods. Mind you, he didn’t learn his trade at school, in fact, school didn’t agree with him, so he left to live and work in South Australia. There, an Aboriginal stockman called “Dollar Mick” Smith taught him his leather-working skills. 

In 1932 RM Williams was in desperate need of money due to his son’s illness, so he started selling saddles to the wealthy pastoralist named Sir Sidney Kidman. Just two years later RM saved up enough money to open up his first workshop in his father’s shed at 5 Percy Street in Adelaide. It was not long until his high-quality leather goods rose to fame across South Australia and beyond. 

The Boom 

The growing reputation of RM Williams wasn’t sheer luck. It was the impeccable design techniques and fine craftsmanship that rose RMW to fame. One of the most popular RMW products at the time, the leather boots, were constructed using a single piece of high-quality leather which made them incredibly durable and elegant. Since great things don’t need changing, RMW uses this technique to this very day. 

Following the huge success of the leather riding boots, RM decides to listen to the Australian people give them what they want – practical and comfortable clothing designed with the working men in mind. In his own words, RM Williams went to say “we made simple things that people wanted and kept them simple.” Even after 90 years, that’s still the motto behind the RM Williams clothing you know and love today.

At first, it started as a small factory that produced hats inspired by the Australian outback, but by the 1960s the company had a rich and extensive line of clothes and boots to offer. Soon after, somewhere in the 1970s, it was time for expansion, so the once small workshop moved from Percy Street to Salisbury. As RM Williams himself once said, “If you make something good, people will make a track to your door.” And that’s exactly what happened. 

The huge success of RMW was followed by the opening of the first retail stores outside Adelaide covering Melbourne, Sidney, Brisbane and more. Then, in 1989 RMW opened its first shop in London.

The Now 

Is RM Williams a good brand you ask? Let the facts do the talking. To this day, RM Williams continues to expand in over 50 locations worldwide with an ever-growing range of products for men and women who want to look good and feel good. Thanks to the modern times we’re living in, you can also browse and shop RM Williams online and have your country threads delivered no matter where you are.

Nowadays, RMW clothing is equally popular with the common folk and celebrities. For instance, X-men star, Hugh Jackman, endorsed the brand and even appeared on a cheeky RM Williams ad wearing nothing but a pair of elegant boots. 

Now, if you don’t want to take Wolverine’s word, you can place your trust in show artisan Rose Anvil who cut the boots in half to check whether they’re worth the hype. After ripping the boots apart, his only remark was that it was a tough challenge. As far as the clothing is concerned, you can rest assured that those $180 jeans are worth every penny. 

RM Williams Essentials 

RMW latest collection will ensure that you never have to sacrifice fashion for comfort again. Whether you’re putting in the hard yards, taking the horse to the old town road or going to a country concert, RMW clothing will have you looking like a snack. 

If you want to achieve that classic western look without looking like young Clint Eastwood, keep the following items on top of your list when shopping for RMW clothing online or in-store.

Classic Dark Denim Jeans

No matter if you’re a guy or gal, a pair of classic dark denim by RMW is the country fellow’s staple. Pairable with dress shirts, tees and hoodies, these jeans are soon to become your go-to choice for both running errands and grabbing drinks with your mates. The ladies will love the latest Kiara jeans which hug the curves in all the right places without causing discomfort and the guys will appreciate the incredibly comfortable yet classy Ramco Jean.

A Stylish Button-Up Shirt 

A comfy yet chic button-up shirt is another country-style staple, and to find yours you shouldn’t look further than RMW. Dripping with elegance yet comfy enough for all-day wear, it’s nearly impossible not to fall in love with RMW button-ups. They come in a massive range of styles and colours, so you’ll literally be spoiled for choice. If we were to single out one shirt that’s perfect for any occasion, it’ll be the Collins Shirt in navy blue for the guys and the Nicole shirt in navy/white for the gals. 

A Classy Belt to Tie It All Together

Long gone are the days when country style belts were loud and tacky. Ok, they’re still to be found but not in the RM Williams collection. These belts are the epitome of timeless elegance bringing fit, form and function to perfection. One of the best things about RMW belts is that they’re crafted from a single piece of premium leather so they’ll look good as new for years down the road. What’s more, the belt buckles come in a plethora of finishes, so you’re bound to find something that suits your style.

Still here? Well, it’s time to switch the tab and update your wardrobe with some fresh RMW pieces. Happy shopping!

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