Cowboy boots, prairie dresses, fringe jackets suited for a Shania Twain video: Every few seasons, designers bring Western fashion back into the mainstream.
Fashion's twist on rodeo-wear is returning for fall 2022. There's Isabel Marant with suede boots and floral dresses; Saint Laurent with jackets fit for Rocky Mountains ranch; ba&sh and Re/Done and Nili Lotan with twists on Western denim shirting. Hollywood has also given the latest Western fashion cycle an extra boost—and we don't mean the costumes in Yellowstone.
"Last spring and summer, we saw street style looks from celebrities pairing Western boots with easy dresses," Noelle Sciacca, senior fashion lead at The RealReal, tells BAZAAR.com. "The trend has continued into summer 2022, as evidenced by Dua Lipa spotted wearing them with a mini dress in Lisbon, Portugal this June." Or, Kendall Jenner declaring "J'Adore Cowboys" from the bleachers of a Wyoming rodeo last month.
In vintage and brand-new retail, interest in Western footwear is spiking—and brands think we'll be walking in new spins on the cowboy boot come autumn. (Just check the arrivals everywhere from Reformation to Khaite.) "Looking at ready-to-wear, we’re seeing more shoppers looking to adopt Western-influenced fashion as well," Sciacca adds. The trend is set to continue into 2023, too. Showgoers at Copenhagen Fashion Week are mixing their Nordic knitwear with cowboy boots, and at least one runway (Ganni) featured the style in its Spring/Summer 2023 collection.
Street style has shown Western fashion can translate to the city, and that it's generally more versatile than we may assume. Below, find five Western fashion categories that can work anywhere, plus the pieces to shop.
When you think of Western fashion, you think of cowboy boots. And if you're currently reconsidering the pointed-toe utility boot for fall, you're hardly alone. "Comparing this first half of this year versus last, we’re seeing a 48% increase in searches for western and riding boots," Sciacca tells us. The beauty of the boot is its newfound versatility. Just look at street style, where editors, stylists, and influencers are wearing them with tailored dresses, sporty separates, and heritage denim.
As for where to shop your perfect pair? Lucchese is a sought-after brand on The RealReal. Then there are true specialists in Western wear to consider, like Miron Crosby (for luxe, one-of-a-kind boots) and Boot Barn (for an authentic assortment used by the ranchers and rodeo queens of today).
"Fringe was a major 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, J.W. Anderson, and Khaite shows," Sciacca tells us. Western-inspired fringe from high fashion have inspired searches for archival takes: Views for fringe tops and dresses increased 42 percent at The RealReal in the first half of 2022. Above, you'll find selection of Western jackets and shackets in suede, felt, and wool that belong in motion—including a cult-favorite (and vintage) Miu Miu interpretation.
No ode to Western fashion is complete without denim. The average shopper may not put their jeans to work like the original wearers way back when, 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're really committing to the Western look.
It's more or less synonymous with the prairie dress, with an emphasis on billowing, tiered skirts, embroidered or printed florals, and warm tones. If you'd rather skip the puff-sleeve, try a thinner strap dress in a dark floral or denim to layer with a creamy turtleneck this fall.
Western shirts dropping this fall aren't your usual button-down. Designers including Nili Lotan and Maison Margiela are tipping 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 Kacey Musgraves would approve, look for a brass studded or crystal-embellished version.