The fire of the sunset… the prairie… soft breeze calms the hitted body… wild horses, scorched grass, golden sands, cacti, smoked saloons, young cowboys, silver handmade heelpieces, sheriffs… A lonely romantic Johnny wearing rubbed jeans and a checked shirt glances at a suntanned beauty…. The western we love, with all the risk, naivety and freedom of the Wild West, together with its amazing style and originality. It is the good old classics that never changes notwithstanding season trends replacing one another all the time. It will always be fashionable, it will always stay in trend.
History of the style
Designers of all countries have been trying to make head or tail out of Wild West everyday clothes for over half a century. The reason why the style appeared on world podiums lies in its severity, succinctness and simplicity. This provincial style produced soft laced boots, fringed leather jackets, neck scarves, jeans of all kinds, wide-brimmed hats and cowboy boots, flat or on a pared-down heel. When all these were being designed, people thought not about fashion or looks, but only about convenience: a couple of straps were always attached to the wide-brimmed hat to fix it against the wind; the neck scarf protected your lungs from the dust; the boots allowed you to walk in the fields.
All the accessories were made of leather just because only this material out of all available could serve you for decades. Worn-out jeans were carefully patched, frayed cuffs were hemmed with chintz. By the way, the patched jeans clothes that have been in trend for so long by now are also a part of country style. The fashionable now checked shirts could be made only of cotton and the choice of colour was defined by wish to conceal at least some of the dirt on it.
Women clothes in the Wild West (blouses, dresses, skirts) were also made of natural clothes, mainly chintz. The lower part was usually dark, again to conceal the dirt, the upper part – light. The look was completed by high lace boots. To make it even more practical they wore aprons with dozens of pockets.
Country style today
Jeans, cowboy hats and high boots are still the classics. Western lovers can practise with multi layered skirts. There are endless types of trousers: capri pants, shorts, breeches, regular jeans, bell-bottomed jeans. Rubbed areas are optional, but patch pockets are an absolute must. Besides jeans, country style also goes for leather or suede pants, fringed or not, but with a number of pockets anyway. A belt (wide, leather, riveted, with a heavy buckle) is also a marker of the style. A true cowboy shirt must be checked, long-sleeved, with a stitched coquette and rounded cuts. Other additions include neck scarves and leather or jeans waistcoats.
Colours are: brown, beige, red, all taken from the nature. Floral and polka-dot prints will always work for you. Materials are: leather, suede, flannel, chintz. Forget about velvet, silk, lurex or pastes. Lace and fur are also not from this story, replace them with linen and leather, uncoloured or brown of almost any tint. Country style like any other welcomes handmade clothes and accessories, show your creativity: make a bracelet, die some cloth, stitch a skirt or make a couple of additional patches, pockets or lines of fringe!
”Country style” means “natural”, so all accessories must be natural as well: stone, wooden, silver, leather etc. The leading idea is simplicity, not the cost or refinement. A platinum bracelet with several diamonds must be replaced by a tiny silver one or just a leather lace tied around the wrist. You can also use some of the neck scarfs for this. The same goes to bags. Leather bags are better, but jeans ones will do as well, fringed or not – as you please. Patched pockets are welcome, as usual.
Hairstyle and makeup
The basics are still the same: minimum of everything, natural, practical and simple. Let your hair down, make a ponytail or braid it. No sophisticated forms, sets or hair sprays. If you love hair accessories, find natural bands, leather laces for ponytails and braids, wooden pins and clips. Your makeup must be also very natural, daily, no loud colours or smokey eyes. A hint of rouge, little mascara and natural lip shine is all you need here.
Can you overdo? Easily. Contemporary country style is sound and profound, though a modern elegant girl can’t wear hard-working farmers’ or sweety cowboys’ clothes of the previous centuries. Country style is truly original and highly practical. The interpretations we see on catwalks is the essence of the work clothes that have undergone significant alterations. It must look naive and elegant at the same time (which is not the easiest task) to make it practical today: things practical 150-200 years ago do not feel like it today any more.
Remember that this style works well for country voyages, thematic parties or horse riding and will never look appropriate at a wedding or a corporate party. Everything has its limits, and you must observe them not to look ridiculous and silly. Be appropriately stylish according to the place you go to, and success won’t make you wait long.