There have been a few time periods coined as cultural reflections of the United States and its development. The era known as American frontier — which many people refer to as “The Wild West”— is particularly famous. Cowboy culture became a movement in American expression that has a lasting effect until today, prominently in the fashion industry. Whether it be bolo ties and flannel shirts, or western hats and sturdy boots, western wear serves as inspiration for many trendy looks in this day and age. While this topic has often been linked to men, women have embraced it as a part of their narrative as well. To assist you, 303 Magazine has created a style guide on how to embody the cowboy look in the streets of downtown Denver and beyond.
Keep it Simple
The Lowdown: Part of the beauty of western fashion is that some pieces just seem to be timeless. No matter how many times these looks and accessories are recreated, the enthusiasm never fades. Layering lighter fabrics with heavier ones is a good way to navigate the evolving weather of this changeover season. The simplicity of a button-down and a bandana can serve as the perfect complement to fitted jeans and a suede fringed jacket to make an effortless look. Similarly, adding an eccentric bolo tie with a dress shirt and a brimmed cowboy hat can elevate an outfit beautifully. Western film adaptations such as True Grit or High Noon show their protagonists in similar ensembles, proving that this classic look has transitioned seamlessly through the tides of different eras and art mediums alike.
Make it Formal
The Lowdown: Day-to-night wear doesn’t have to be as complicated as restructuring an entire outfit. You can easily find pieces that will assist you with the transition. Many people tend to associate western style with more casual attire, but that’s not necessarily true. Maxi dresses are graceful and unconfined making them perfect for prairies, the local saloon or a night out on the town. Not to mention a lengthy skirt can catch light and movement effortlessly, creating an ethereal effect in the right setting. A chic crossbody bag can hold everything you need, serving as a functional and stylish accessory. Complete the outfit with a statement necklace and suddenly a once casual daytime dress turns into a formal gown for any occasion.
Incorporate Modern Pieces
The Lowdown: A certain style doesn’t have to be defined as traditional or modern, there are exciting ways to incorporate both in a cohesive manner. For example, wearing a red ascot with a western gingham shirt reflects the classic side of country clothing. Following this with more unconventional bottoms — for instance, a ruffled midi skirt — can update the outfit. Something as simple as a graphic tee can be amplified with a billowy skirt and a western hat to make you feel like Annie Oakley in a far more urban setting.
Photography by Madison McMullen.
Models provided by Goldie Mae Productions.
Location provided by The Grizzly Rose.
Hair by Cecelia Kirby.