303 Style Profile is an ongoing series highlighting unique locals and their incredible style and stories. Go here to see past profiles.
We’ve all seen fringe details, felt hats and nods to cowboy-inspired boots infiltrate their way into mainstream fashion. As the transition of fall begins, Western-inspired pieces will be worth the space and splurge in your closet. Eastern Colorado native, Whitney Benton, of Western Couture, gives us all the western feelings with her trendy and unique style. Being a wife, mother, rancher and blogger, Whitney finds joy in sharing her everyday life with her followers while also setting trends of her own. Recently, Benton allowed 303 Magazine to chat with her on western attire, rural living, and her family-driven aspirations.
303 Magazine: Where are you originally from and how does Colorado impact your style?
Whitney Benton: I was born and raised in a small rural town on the plains of Eastern Colorado. The town of Cope is rooted in agriculture and all of its residents have a steady foot in either the farming or ranching industry. As a child growing up, I was either in the cab of a tractor or in the seat of a saddle. Having these experiences greatly influenced my style. It’s important to me that my platform is a reflection of the way I was raised and still live — with a little fashion thrown in the mix, of course. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have grown up in such a rural setting and am now happily raising my own family in the same community on our family farm and ranch.
303: What made you want to get into blogging and sharing your style with others?
WB: I’ve always had a love for fashion and the western lifestyle, and once I realized I could marry the two together, the rest is history. I started this blogging journey as nothing more than a creative outlet and an opportunity to share some great finds with my friends and family and it’s evolved into so much more than I ever expected. Providing opportunities to travel and take part in an incredible styled shoot, it’s been an absolute blast.
303: Tell us about your goals in your personal life and career-wise.
WB: Aside from blogging, I’m a wife — to my high school sweetheart, Nik — and a mother to two wonderful boys. My priorities are always family first and everything else comes second. One of my long term goals both personally and professionally is to continue evolving my blog into a substantial form of income for my family. Not only sharing fashion but also agricultural education. I’m a huge advocate for the ranching community and hope to continue educating my followers on not only the latest fashion trends but also the importance of agriculture.
303: In your day-to-day routine, what takes up most of your time?
WB: As I previously mentioned, I’m a mother to two wonderful, handsome and rowdy cowboys. Ledger (age 5) and Truett (age 2). As you can probably imagine, most of my day is consumed with feeding, cleaning, cooking and all of the other glamorous aspects that come hand-in-hand with being a mom. Aside from being a stay-at-home-momma, I am also in large part responsible for the care and well-being of our cattle herd. The boys and I spend a good part of every day checking cows/calves, water, salt and mineral. My life isn’t quite as glamorous as my blog might lead one to believe.
303: Who has been your biggest style inspiration?
WB: That’s a hard one. I think the beauty of social media is that it constantly allows for the discovery of new people and new fashion almost daily. I find myself looking to other women in the western world like Alix Gates. She’s a true grit cowgirl but still manages to pull out some of my all-time favorite looks. Some other favorites include fashion bloggers, Ania Boniecka and Nicole Zuelke.
303: What are your favorite pieces in your closet?
WB: In any outfit I choose, I’m rarely without a pair of boots or cowboy hat. My favorite go-to pieces are my knee-high Myra boots by Old Gringo. I also have a pretty substantial collection of custom cowboy hats from friend and hat-designer, Clint Herring, that I’m rarely seen without.
303: We love the animals you have incorporated into your shoots. What inspired you to do that?
WB: As a rancher, animals are a huge part of my life. In fact, a substantial part of our livelihood depends on our animals so incorporating some of our horses and cattle into my styled shoots just felt like a natural next step. I love having a platform that allows me to show my followers a glimpse into our everyday lives.
303: What is the biggest misconception about Western attire?
WB: I think one of the biggest misconceptions about the western fashion scene is that the ladies who are trading out their Wrangler jeans for a fringe skirt aren’t truly a representation of the western lifestyle. However, that’s simply not true. I can speak for myself and so many other women who occasionally swap their spurs for heels and pearl snap shirts for fringe jackets that many of us are just as good of a cowhand as any man standing next to us.
303: What advice would you have to give to those trying to incorporate western style into their everyday attire?
WB: It’s really fascinating to me to watch how western fashion has crossed over into mainstream. To incorporate a touch of western into your everyday wardrobe I always suggest investing in a custom felt hat or some wild rags. Both pieces are so versatile and can be styled with virtually anything. They’re the perfect piece you need to tie in a wink of western into any look.
All photography by Tyra Drager of River Sand Ranch.