How to get the look…Wia thousand times the laugh.
Fall fashion is in full swing, which means a few key items are seeing the light for the first time in a season or two: tried-and-true blue jeans, heavy leather boots, flannel shirts and deep-hued florals. Maybe you’re even wearing a wide-brimmed fedora. Does this list of fall staples trigger images of some kind of character? Yeah, we just realize that the classic fall wardrobe almost mirrors cowboy attire, all that’s missing is a ten-gallon hat.
While the Western style dates back centuries – it originated from the vaquero traditions of northern Mexico – it has been trending on the high fashion catwalks for the past few years. Designers like Ralph Lauren and Saint Laurent have brought their high fashion flair to the rodeo, and it’s finally trickling down to everyone (remember this scene of The devil wears Prada?). Cowboycore, whether you like it or not, is mainstream now.
We’re not expecting you to head west in a head-to-toe cowboy outfit (unless you want to), but you can easily incorporate the look into your pre-existing style. without cosplay as Annie Oakley (Halloween is over, after all). From subtle western details to modernized versions of country classics, here are some understated and stylish ways to get in on the trend. Indulge yourself with our upcoming suggestions.
Western fashion trends
Let’s start with the most obvious cowboy signifier: the cowboy boot. You don’t have to put on real cowboy boots (you can – I personally own two pairs), but you can get the same feel if you incorporate small details. Think pointy toes, fringes or heavy garments, or if you prefer something more minimalist, opt for sleeker riding boots.
You can go in two different directions when choosing your cowboycore jeans: deep indigo straight jeans, reminiscent of those worn by rodeo riders, or, opt for the cowgirl look in distressed sand washes cut in a subtly flared silhouette. (Even Katie can’t resist some good bootcut jeans.)
J.Crew Classic 90s High Rise Straight Jeans in Rinse Wash
$138 at J.Crew
Think of a western shirt as the casual cousin of the button down shirt. Some have shoulder detailing, front and back yokes, mother of pearl snaps or maybe whipstitching. They look great tucked into pants (or even a skirt). These types of shirts are easy basics, so consider this the cheat code for getting in on the trend without having to buy a whole new wardrobe.
Western jackets come in a range of styles, so the options depend on your comfort level. A suede jacket is a fun way to go all out, but we’ve found a classic winter coat that just happens to be trimmed with fringe, giving it a slight cowboy vibe.
For a feminine touch on the border between high millennial and cowboycore trends, try the new crop of prairie dresses, reworked in cashmere and small flowers. They fit right into Western culture without taking it too literally and blend in perfectly with the rest of the trend aesthetic. Wear it with a leather belt and cowboy boots, and you’ll be ready for brunch (or to get in the saddle).
Western inspired accessories
There’s plenty of wiggle room when it comes to accessorizing your cowboycore look. Sure, you can take the aesthetic religiously and complete your outfit with a ten-gallon hat, but there are more subtle ways to accessorize. Try a felt hat in a minimalist silhouette, turquoise jewelry or a modern take on the saddle bag.