This unique style has been around since the 1800s and it bravely stood the test of time. In the beginning, it was worn by mountain men, cowboys, and rodeo riders, but later during the 1940s and 1950s, famous singers such as Gene Autry and Roy Rogers popularized the recognizable garments including denim jeans, fringe jackets, embroidered shirts, embellished boots, cowboy hats and substantial belt buckles.
Nowadays it seems like everyone became obsessed with the yeehaw chic. The country style is the go-to choice for those who put in the hard yards because it’s relaxed, comfortable and suited for everyday use. But, even the most popular fashion influencers couldn’t resist this rugged aesthetic and got inspired by the wild, Wild West.
From Gigi Hadid to the British Royal Family, everyone wants to embrace their inner cowboy/cowgirl. If you’re one of those who dig this style, continue reading to find out what you’ll need to pull off the country, western look.
Country & Western Shirts
In order to pull off a country western look, you first need to find the appropriate tops. Although you can choose between various colours, patterns and textures, there are some details which are considered to be the epitomes of western tops.
First on the list is the western yoke which is often pointed and extends over the front and back of shoulders. The yoke provides support for the looser parts of the garment, but when it comes to country shirts; it serves more an ornamental purpose.
Next, come the snap closures which came into being around the 1900s and their main purpose was to provide better functionality for riders and cowboys. Most western shirts have snap buttons down the front placket and at the cuffs, but the collar uses a traditional button that offers better breathability.
Then, you’ll notice that many western shirts have embroidered details such as flowers, skulls or logos on the front and back yokes or the cuffs and sleeves.
While many contemporary country shirts don’t feature all these elements, you can still find a shirt that’s making a big western statement. For instance, The Pure Western Baldwin shirt includes all the staples mentioned above. It has curved yokes, snap closure and convenient pockets that create a subtle western look from the front, but the embroidery on the back will let everyone know that there’s a new urban cowboy in town.
Country Denim Jeans
…Cowboy hat from Gucci, Wrangler on your booty, can’t nobody tell you nothing! Except that there’s no way you can pull a western look off without a classic pair of blue jeans. And the best part is, you can wear them to all sorts of occasions if you don’t choose a pair that’s too loud. Straight or boot cut, country denim jeans never go out of style. Brands such as Levi’s, Wranglers, Lee Riders, but to name a few live and breathe old west.
Your western jeans can sit below the waist, but they should never sag. They need to fit you properly without restricting your movements. If you can feel the denim smoothly falling on your legs that’s a good fit. Anything too tight or too loose won’t help you achieve the country look. That’s unless you’re opting for a slim fit which still needs to have the right amount of stretch for all-day comfort. Your western jeans should also have the appropriate length so you can wear them over your boots.
Although almost all country jeans can be styled in plenty of ways to achieve different looks, boot cut jeans give out more vintage vibes whereas straight and slim-fit jeans have a more contemporary feel. For a more formal look, stick to darker denim with seamless stitching and for a laid-back daytime outfit you can choose a distressed or embroidered pair and go for exposed stitching.
Wrangler’s cowboy cut original fit and Levi’s 514 are straight-up classics and you can’t go wrong with either of them. Just tuck in a button-down shirt and pop on thick-soled boots and you’re ready to go. If you aim towards a more modern look, check out Levi’s 511. Thanks to the narrow leg, you have endless style options. For instance, you can go with a slightly scrunched leg and sneakers or rock a 2-inch cuff with a Chelsea boot for a more formal look.
As for the ladies, classic dark bootcut jeans which hug the curves are always a good choice. You can opt for a pair with embroidered pockets to add a splash of colour and break up the look. If you want something more elegant, go with straight or slim shaping jeans which will look great with sneakers, boots and pumps.
Once you’ve picked your perfect pair of western wear jeans, it’s time to go shoe shopping. A quality pair of western boots is an essential addition to every Cowboy and Cowgirl’s wardrobe. These boots can range from basic and sleek to courageous and bold, and you should choose a pair that fits your style best. However, you should know that the bolder you go, the harder it would be to mix and match.
Ariat has a wide range of western-style boots that are made from full-grain premium leather and Duratread™ outsole. Thanks to their durability and comfort, these boots are among the most popular work footwear. In addition, they’re also great everyday boots, so you’ll look good wherever you are.
Accessories are where it gets tricky since they can make or break your western style outfit. If you overdo it, you may end up looking like you’re wearing a costume or auditioning for a western movie. Go easy with accessories because they should complement your outfit, not take away from it.
Choose one or two country-inspired items like a cowboy belt buckle, a leather purse or a country-style bush cat to tie everything together. If you aren’t sure how to do that, get inspired by some of the fashionistas who nailed the cowboy aesthetic.