It’s easy to associate western fashion with the equine and cattle industries. From horse shows and rodeos to cattle drives and brandings, western fashion is a staple. We expect to see tooled leather, pearl snaps, turquoise jewelry, and cowboy hats. If these things didn’t appear it would be cause for concern. However, these fashion statements have grown much further than western life—they’ve become mainstream.
The thought of such an idea is almost cringe-worthy. Western wear is a way of life. It doesn’t seem right for it to be privy to the fashion world and all of its ideas. But, it’s also a very cool concept. What used to be considered clothing for cowboys and cowgirls is expanding. Western fashion is being accepted throughout far more walks of life, allowing for the ideas of the western way to follow.
One of the biggest ways that western fashion has breached new territory is through boutiques. All over the country, there are boutiques popping up with unique items based off of western roots. This can be done through graphic tees and fun koozies or through boots and jewelry. No matter the chosen item, each piece has its own story to tell—a story that seems to always to return to the western style that started it all.
Although this trend is ever-growing, it does bring up the question: Why western? While there isn’t a simple answer, I have an idea. One of the most profound parts of western wear is the versatility. Each and every item in the western category can be customized to fit its wearer and their unique style. Each hat can be shaped to the desire of its owner, leather can be tooled to the exact ideas of the artist, and boots can be worn with far more than just jeans. Every aspect of western fashion is an opportunity for the wearer to show off who they are while maintaining traditional roots. After considering this, it makes me wonder why such a trend didn’t take off years ago.
When you’re flipping through a magazine, scrolling through social media, or even just walking down the street, take a look at what people are wearing. Can you find one of the western fashion trends that was supposed to stay in cattle country? More than likely, you can, and that is a huge win for the western fashion industry as a whole.