7 ways to tap into the western-wear trend without looking like a dweeb

Howdy, y’all.

May 31, 2018

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In case you didn't know, country is cool now. From the runways of Raf Simons to the relatable and heartfelt songs of Kacey Musgraves and Sam Buck, everyone's longing for a little bit of country simplicity. It might be daunting to nail the look style-wise without feeling like a total poser, but just like every subculture that moves into the spotlight, incorporating a few key elements is all it takes to live out the western fantasy. Below, we've highlighted a few of our favorite ways to get in on cowboy cool without having to pack up your life to live on a ranch.

1. Ornate Americana

A bolo tie feels like Western-Wear 101, so it's obviously on our list. Janelle Monáe's velvety and sparkling version is the focal point of her outfit, which is saying a lot considering how she's wearing a flame-red, jeweled bolero jacket.


2. Customized cowboy

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In 1998, Paula Cole asked the world, "Where have all the cowboys gone?" and we finally have an answer — they went to Michael's to stock up on some rhinestones and crystals to customize their hats. Kelela wore a custom cowboy hat to her Coachella performance this year, and although it's obviously more labor intensive and finely designed than anything that would come out of a craft night, it's an example of where you can get with a cowboy hat and a little imagination.

3. Play with fringe

Fringe detailing is a show-stopping element, and when done right, it looks cute-as-hell. Take a cue from Rowan Blanchard, who wore her fringe-heavy suede getup in three frontier landscape shades.


4. Never enough texture

Kacey Musgraves is our country queen, and her M.O. is full glam at all times. Her megawatt cowboy boots and fluffy, baby blue coat are reminiscent of country music deity Dolly Parton and her glitzy charm — a reminder that western-wear doesn't need to always be functional.

4. Wild horses, wild silhouettes

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No one looks cooler while wearing unorthodox silhouettes than Kelsey Lu. Her hyper-feminine, billowing pants and shirt get brought down to earth when paired with some stark-white cowboy boots, and we're loving the visual contrast.


5. A Canadian tuxedo, but make it country

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What I know about ranch hands is what I've gleaned from watching the the Food Network cooking show Pioneer Woman, which is to say that I have a limited understanding at most. However, what I do know is this: denim is practical, and that a Calvin Klein dark wash set with its contrast stripes could definitely be worn while wrangling up some cattle, if you're not that particular about getting dirty.

6. Flared on the range

A twill flared pant — like Los Angeles brand Lykke Wullf's take above is the ideal outfit building-block. You can keep it casual with a crisp, white tee, or dress it up with a delicate blouse. Either way, it's just the right amount of country without trying too hard, which is pretty much what cowgirl style is about at its core.


7. Boot up

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What would a cowboy style piece be without a spotlight on cowboy boots? There's nothing more quintessentially western than stomping around in a pair, and it's footwear that always add a raw coolness to outfits. Model Ruby Aldridge wears her colorblock cowboy boots with a sharp suit — another trend that's having a moment — and the combination of the slickness of the suit and the ruggedness of the boot is unexpected and totally stunning.

Thumbnail via Kelela's Instagram.

7 ways to tap into the western-wear trend without looking like a dweeb