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Western Style – Don’t Go Full Cowboy

I’m not one to go for trends generally (there have been exceptions though, I’m only human). But overall, I try to avoid them. There’s no point investing in a piece that will look dated a year later.

On the other hand there are styles that come and go over the years. And the frequency at which they come and go makes me wonder whether they should be categorised as trends, or rather as a “look” that you can bring back into your repertoire at any time you like.

Western style, of the likes that you see popping up on cat walks, the internet and in real life at the moment, is one such style that I’m toying with. Is it a perennial look?

The answer to that question lies in how you do it. You could go full cowboy, or you could “add some western-style flair” to your outfit. Let’s consider the two.

If I had to go full cowboy, embrace the western look with both arms and damn what people think, my outfit would consist of the following: cowboy boots (natch), chap-like jeans (possibly be-dazzled with rhinestones), tan belt with large turquoise encrusted buckle, western cowboy body shirt, a be-tassled leather vest, bandana tied around the neck, and the most obnoxious cowboy hat I could find.

Can you picture it?

Would I actually wear this around town in London, for example to brunch with friends, or to pick up my dry cleaning? Or is it more appropriate for Halloween or some weird Western cosplay? Granted there are some corners of London where such an outfit wouldn’t cause anyone to bat an eye. But overall, it’s not my bag to commit so fully to a look that makes me look like a character from Toy Story.

So obviously, the path I’ve gone down is the “western style flair” route. With just a hint of cowboy, which can be dialled up or down, depending on how much I want to push it, I can adopt a look and not be mistaken for a mental patient.

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My favourite way to do this of late is to base everything around the vintage cowboy boots I bought at the Rose Bowl Flea Market last year (post on this coming soon). I take my vintage boots, and combine them with another potential trend: prairie-core. Yes, I have adopted this one, and yes the prairie dress will probably date my outfit to circa 2018/2019, but like I said, I’m only human, and this dress is all levels of fabulous.

But if there is any look that compliments a pair of cowboy boots perfectly, its the prairie look. Just add tan accessories, and a love of the great outdoors.

Now I would argue with anyone that these boots are a classic, and can be worn for years to come, long after the pieces of the current western style incarnation are but a faded memory of 2019. Think about it. They’ll go with any jeans-tshirt-blazer combo, they’ll toughen up a conservative midi skirt, and add a little cowboy attitude to most casual dresses.

So all it takes to do western style – now and beyond the current trend – is to take one element and combine it with your everyday wardrobe. A handkerchief tied around the neck here, a tassled jacket there. A western belt with your cowboy boots. A tasteful nod to a particular theme is all it takes.

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