The 100 Pound Jeans

Big Tex's wardrobe was the inspiration for “Lotta” dress

The Texas State Fair is a perennial marvel. Every October this massive celebration of rides, livestock and delicious food unfolds at the epic art deco fairgrounds in east Dallas. Its gigantic mascot, Big Tex, stands 55 feet tall wearing jeans that weigh 100 pounds with a 434 inch waist and 3.5 inch rivets. Tex has greeted all that enter through the front gates since 1952. The brutal Texas sun require that his clothes be refreshed every few years and it was always a treat to see his new cowboy shirt with its 14 foot collar.


I grew up seeing Big Tex almost every year and when I started designing clothes in the 1980s he stayed on my mind. For my Summer 1983 collection I made a shirt that was not quite as big as Tex's shirt, but it was close.


Inspired by the success of Tex's shirt, the following season I came up with a dress version that ended up looking very much like the dresses that the comic book heroine Little Lotta wore.

After we unpacked our fashion archive last year I was very happy to see we had saved the original “Big Tex” and “Little Lotta” dress patterns which allowed us to remake our new “Lotta” dress using a vintage bandanna printed cotton that Wamcraft made for us in the mid 1990s. Wamcraft was a fabric manufacturing specializing in southwestern and cowboy inspired bandanna designs. We asked them to make the classic bandana print as running yardage, before the bandannas were cut and they obliged.


The first reissue of our original “Lotta” pattern is very limited edition due to the extreme fabric consumption of the dress and the single roll of bandana fabric we had left.


A few years ago Big Tex burst into flames requiring not only a new outfit but a re-welding of his form.


Since the initial run of this dress sold out, we have created 2 new styles! One in a fab flannel red + black check and the other in a 90's palette plaid. This is a dress that looks good on everyone!

HINDI copy.jpg

Shop the story