Cowboy boots, prairie dresses, fringe jackets fit for a Shania Twain video: Every couple of seasons, designers bring Western fashion back into the mainstream.
Fashion’s twist on rodeo clothing returns in fall 2022. It’s Isabel Marant with suede boots and floral dresses; Saint Laurent with jackets fit for a Rocky Mountain ranch; ba&sh and Re/Done and Nili Lotan with twists on western denim shirt. Hollywood has also given the latest Western fashion cycle an extra boost – and we don’t mean the costumes Yellowstone.
“Last spring and summer, we saw street style looks from celebrities who paired western boots with simple dresses,” says Noelle Sciacca, senior fashion director at The RealReal. BAZAAR.com. “The trend has continued into summer 2022, as evidenced by Dua Lipa who was seen wearing them with a mini dress in Lisbon, Portugal in June.” Or, Kendall Jenner declared “J’Adore Cowboys” from the stands at a Wyoming rodeo last month.
In vintage and brand new retail, interest in western footwear is increasing – and the brands think we’ll be putting new spins on the cowboy boot this autumn. (Just check out the arrivals everywhere from Reformation to Khaite.) “When we look at ready-to-wear, we’re seeing more customers looking to adopt Western-influenced fashion as well,” adds Sciacca. The trend is set to continue into 2023 as well. Exhibitors at Copenhagen Fashion Week mix their Nordic knitwear with cowboy boots, and at least one runway (Ganni) had the style in its spring/summer 2023 collection.
Street style has shown that western fashion can be translated to the city, and that it is generally more versatile than we might assume. Below are five western fashion categories that can work anywhere, plus the pieces you can shop.
The western boot
When you think of western fashion, you think of cowboy boots. And if you’re currently rethinking the pointy utility boot for fall, you’re hardly alone. “If we compare this first half of this year with last, we see a 48% increase in searches for western and riding boots,” says Sciacca. The beauty of the boot is its newfound versatility. Just look at street style, where editors, stylists and influencers wear them with tailored dresses, sporty separates and heritage denim.
As for where to shop for your perfect pair? Lucchese is a coveted brand on The RealReal. Then there are true western clothing specialists to consider, such as Miron Crosby (for luxurious, one-of-a-kind boots) and Boot Barn (for an authentic selection worn by ranchers and rodeo queens today).
The fringe jacket
“Fringe was a big trend on the Spring/Summer ’22 runways at shows like Chloé, Proenza Schouler and Jonathan Simkhai, and continued for the Fall/Winter ’22 Bottega Veneta, JW Anderson and Khaite shows,” Sciacca tells us. Western-inspired fringes from high fashion have inspired stock photo searches: Views of fringe tops and dresses increased 42 percent on The RealReal in the first half of 2022. Above, you’ll find selections of western jackets and shackets in suede, felt, and wool that belongs in movement – including a cult-favorite (and vintage) Miu Miu interpretation.
The Western Jean
No ode to Western fashion is complete without denim. The average shopper may not use their jeans to function like the original wearer before, but we can appreciate the timeless fit and durability of a classic boot cut or straight leg. Add an over-the-top belt if you really commit to the western look.
The western dress
It is more or less synonymous with the prairie dress, with an emphasis on billowing, layered skirts, embroidered or printed flowers and warm tones. If you’d rather skip the puff sleeve, try a slimmer strap dress in dark floral or denim to pair with a creamy turtleneck this fall.
The Western shirt
Western shirts dropping this fall aren’t your ordinary button-downs. Designers including Nili Lotan and Maison Margiela tip their hats to ranch-appropriate styles with chain-stitched details and a whole lot of denim. If you want to take things in a disco-cowgirl direction that Kacey Musgraves would approve of, look for a brass-studded or crystal-embellished version.
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