Heading to the Stampede this summer? We give you some fashion tips on how to stay stylish when donning westernwear to your next rodeo.
On the final leg of last summerâ€™s royal tour, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stopped in Calgary to kick off the annual Calgary Stampede. As Kate stepped off the plane wearing a yellow Jenny Packham dress, she was gifted with a white cowboy hat, a symbol of the cityâ€™s western heritage. The Duchess accepted gracefully, but she didnâ€™t don it right awayâ€”she waited to play sartorial cowgirl until she could pair the Smithbilt beaver-fur hat with boot-cut jeans, an Alice by Temperley blouse and cowboy boots. The Duchess was wise to tread lightly in the world of westernwear and careful not to cross the line into kitschy territory.
During the 13 years Iâ€™ve lived in Calgary, itâ€™s a line Iâ€™ve seen crossed every July, when westernwear is regularly taken to the tacky extreme. When the rodeo rolls into town, extra-small plaid shirts fly off the shelves, trash bins fill with denim scraps from cut-off shorts, and bandanas are reinterpreted as tops. Itâ€™s a hoedown where the Marlboro Man becomes a shabby mess and Calamity Jane parties in cowgirl pantiesâ€” enough to make me outlaw all traces of westernwear from my wardrobe. And yet, when I see western done rightâ€”like it was on many of the spring and fall runwaysâ€”a blues-singing cowboy tugs at my heartstrings, pleading to let in just one plaid shirt (and perhaps a pair of suede cowboy boots to wear with skinny jeans Ă la Charlotte Gainsbourg).
â€śCowboy style is about the romance of a lifestyleâ€”something we perceive as carefree, rugged and classic,â€ť says designer Thakoon Panichgul, who mixed bandana-inspired paisley dresses with two-toned cowboy hats for spring. â€śItâ€™s something we all crave right now.â€ť And heâ€™s not the only designer to think so. Miuccia Prada created elaborate cowboy-meets-folk leather boots for Miu Miuâ€™s Spring/Summer 2012 collection, while Michael Kors accessorized his pre-fall looks with cowboy hats and saddlebags.
Keep reading for more dos and don'ts of sporting this season's cowboy summer trends on the next page...