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Walk Tall in Western Style

All Areas > Health & Beauty > Vintage & Sustainable Fashion

Author: Lynda Rowland, Posted: Thursday, 1st October 2020, 15:50

Do you remember the song, ‘Where Have all the Cowboys Gone’? Well, look around you in Autumn 2020 and cowgirls could be everywhere.

Western trends in dressing are back in style, but perhaps wearing them all at once might frighten the horses. So, let’s strip the looks back and see how we can work with them whilst still looking stylish, rather than like Woody’s girlfriend from Toy Story!

One of the major features on the season’s virtual catwalks was the western style boot, though we may as well take the plunge and just call them cowboy boots.

These were fashionable in the 1980s and again in the early 2000s, making them a likely style to be found in dress agencies and charity shops now.

Some of us have an aversion to second-hand footwear although, when you consider the fact that many new shoes and boots will have been tried on multiple times before we buy them, this may be rather illogical. Not to try to make anyone feel squeamish but, in the case of a boot, there is usually a sock between the wearer’s feet and the actual footwear anyway, so that makes a difference.

The positive point about this, is that if there is one design of boot that benefits from being pre-loved and worn-in, it is the cowboy boot.

The type of leather they are usually made from is hard-wearing and unpolished, and looks all the better for signs of wear and tear, as long as it is in moderation. If they have actually been worn by a rodeo rider who has been knocked off his or her steed and dragged along the dusty ground too many times, then maybe not so much!

I recently unearthed a beautifully preserved pair of western boots made of nubuck leather, which I’d had in my wardrobe for ten years plus. On trying them on I discovered that the ultra-pointy toe and fairly high Cuban heel no longer suited my style or my present lifestyle so I listed them on a well-known auction site. They were snapped up by a lucky lady, meaning they will now have an extended fashion life rather than going into landfill.

During the same wardrobe excavation I dug out another pair of similar boots from about the same period – at one time I was a bit of a shopaholic – and these were found to be more in keeping with my current needs. Having been worn more frequently than the others, this pair needs quite a lot of TLC to restore them to their former glory but, with a little work, they will have more character and give me better sustainability credentials than if I were to go out and purchase a new pair.

Although fashionistas are wearing their western boots with short skirts and even paired with tailored trousers, another western style trend this autumn is the full or tiered midi-skirt. Putting one of these on with your cowboy boots was popular a few decades ago and will still look good today, as long as you pick a garment in a warm, winter floral print or natural autumn colours like russet, sage, plum or olive, rather than choosing the type of denim A-line skirt we might have chosen in the 1980s.

You may well be lucky enough to chance upon a suitable skirt or even a seventies style midi-dress in your local vintage store, charity shop or dress exchange. Remember to take your boots with you on your shopping spree to see how things look together.

Fringing on bags and scarves is another 2020 fashion feature. However, it might be best not to sport your fringed, suede bag with your western skirt and cowboy boots all at the same time, or you might find yourself being greeted with cries of ‘Yeehaw’ and invited to host a hoedown!

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