Most recently, the Western drama Yellowstone, America’s most popular TV show, has brought Western style to the forefront of the fashion scene, and the most recent months have seen a rise in Western-inspired outfits, a.k.a. the Westerncore aesthetic. Even the Wall Street Journal reported on the rise in suburbanites dressing like cattle ranchers.
On a personal level, after coming from the Midwest to Texas for college, I was intrigued by the Western style people wore. Until then, I only ever wore cowboy boots for horseback riding, but in Texas, they’re a part of the everyday wardrobe. It’s true that elsewhere in the U.S., Western fashion may come and go with the trends, but for Westerners like the Dutton family, their clothing is actually designed for a ranching lifestyle. The women of the series, especially Beth Dutton, find ways to make the looks their own by incorporating feminine details.
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In the desert, the mountains, and the plains, the temperature changes dramatically from day to night, so layers are the perfect solution to a region of extreme temperatures. A shearling-lined ranch jacket is a cozy and chic Westerncore trend that we can thank Beth for.
Cowboy boots are perhaps the most quintessential aspect of Western fashion. Historically worn by cattle wranglers, they’re distinguishable with their decorative embroidery, slanted or square heel, and tapered toe, designed specifically for Western-style riding. Cowboy boots can also be a fashion statement if styled with professional-looking clothing, like a shirt dress, pencil skirt, or trench coat, to balance out the country aesthetic.
Denim is an indispensable part of southwestern fashion. Western-inspired flare jeans are the current trendy cut of denim, and rightly so, as they create a super-feminine silhouette by being fitted at the hip and flared out on the ends. They look great not only with boots, but also with sneakers, flats, or espadrilles for a more urban-appropriate look.
Since summers are hot in the Southwest, a sundress is the flattering and functional solution for the climate, as Beth Dutton knows. Retro-inspired floral prints in soft colors and muted tones make prairie dresses the perfect option to pair with cowboy boots.
In the form of a button-down shirt or a dress, plaid has always been evocative of Western culture. The key is to find a dress or top with a feminine fit that isn’t shapeless and baggy, as well as a pretty color.
Finally, to add an eye-catching sparkle to any outfit, earrings are an indispensable accessory. Whether paired with casual jeans and a button-down, or with a chic dress, dangly earrings add a bit of glamor to any outfit.
You don’t have to live in a western state to incorporate the Westerncore aesthetic into your daily wardrobe. The West itself is like its fashion, as the Yellowstone series shows, untamed and rough with its uninhabitable deserts, snow-capped mountains, and its harsh climate, but with a bold and striking beauty, from the vast blue skies, red sand, breathtaking landforms, and gorgeous sunsets. The beauty of Southwestern fashion, and all regional styles, is that it incorporates the culture and geography of that location in its expression.
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