There are thousands of books on making women's clothing. There are hundreds on pants alone but as far as I can tell there is only one about making men's shirts. That is Shirtmaking by David Page Coffin. This is a very interesting book with a lot of information. The only problem is that in the entire book he never mentions the Western Shirt. Isn't that like writing about the birds of the world and leaving out the peacock?
I was recently contacted by Mr. Coffin and while he didn't mention the Western Shirt in his book he did write a very interesting and informative article in Threads Magazine October/November 1996 #67. The title is Updating the Cowboy Shirt. It is very clear on the cowboy cuff and 'smile' pockets.
The absolute book on the style of the cowboy is '100 Years of Western Wear" by Tyler Beard. This book is out of print but can still be found. It is full of interesting pictures and history of the movie cowboy and the real ones. If you are looking for inspiration for a man's shirt this is the source.
Making men's shirts is not difficult. It does require total accuracy in cutting and stitching lines. It can be very time consuming.
One way to get around having to make a shirt to match the dress, is to work the other way. Buy a shirt for him in a color you like and then match fabric to the shirt. Usually there is a broadcloth that will match the shirt. Then, if you wish, pick out a coordinating print or solid to finish the ensemble. An overlay yoke can be made, for the shirt out of the coordinating color. Or a scarf can be used to pull it together.
There will be more topics under this heading as soon as I get the illustrations done.
These were my two favorite patterns for men's shirts they are now out of print but can still be purchased on the Simplicity web site.
This is McCall's 6044 It is the only pattern out there that I can find with a front band
This is Folkwear 212 Five Frontier Shirts. Available through their website and speciality shops. I have not had the opportunity to use this pattern.