LAYTON - Western fashion has been around a long time, but those in the business are beginning to see more cross-over into regular fashion.
Jodi Jones, store manager at the Layton Ream's Boots & Jeans, was surprised to see so many girls looking for boots to go with homecoming dresses, and even brides searching for boots to match their wedding dress.
It hasn't always been like that, especially since Western wear has always been about a year-and-a-half behind the fashion world, according to Brian Hulce, regional manager for Ream's. It wasn't until the early 2000s that Western fashion seemed to catch up.
"There seems to be a lot more Western fashion influence in the industry now, though skinny jeans probably won't ever hit us," Hulce said.
Ream's has eight stores throughout Utah, and the Layton store at 1040 N. Main St. is the largest, with its wall of boots and jeans displaying more than 2,000 pairs of boots and thousands of jeans.
Hulce said the company is the largest Western boot dealer in Utah and was the 52nd-ranked seller of Wrangler apparel in the nation last year, beating out stores in Texas and Oklahoma.
Ream's philosophy is to buy its products in bulk and pass the savings to the customer. When Paul Ream opened his first boots and jeans store in Provo 70 years ago, he was already running a successful discount grocery business.
"He was one of the first discounters in Utah, long before Winco and Wal-mart," said Rod Allred, buying supervisor for Ream's.
Ream always loved the look of boots and figured he could use the same discount grocery method for selling Western clothes, so he opened the clothing business inside his grocery stores.
"It was a different concept when he started," Allred said. "Paul's philosophy has always been to try and sell a little cheaper, and get the product out there."
The theory has continued to work through the years. The stores aren't huge -- 5,000 to 6,000 square feet -- yet they sell more products than some competitors in other states that have stores twice that size.
The Layton Ream's Boots & Jeans was located inside the Ream's grocery store until recently.
The newly remodeled store remains in the same location, selling up to 500 pairs of boots every month.
"We probably do so well because of all the rural areas around here, and there aren't a lot of competitors," Allred said.