Western style has always been something that I have disliked. The over-abundance of denim, false-virginity of prairie skirts, and the shameful misuse of glitter (sorry Dolly Parton, but too much is too much) makes me physically ill, so I was loath to discover that the Wild West seemed to be cropping up again and again on style blogs recently. Thankfully, the old clichés seem to be largely gone and the trend seems to be more for Western influences and accessories than an all out cow-town revolution. Praise the shoe gods for that, since my city-girl mind can totally handle the interesting contrast between the Wild Wild West and urbanity! In particular there are four trends that I’m getting behind whole-heartedly: feminine fringe, snakeskin footwear, unexpected bandanna paisley, and (of course) repurposed denim.
Depending on the material, fringe can cross some interesting borders. Leather and lace fringes were common in the clothing of the Roma (gypsy) populations of Europe and the native peoples of North America, but most modern viewpoints are reminiscent of cowboys as well. I’ve always loved fringed purses (I have a signature silver fringed tote), but I’m also really starting to like the fringed lace shawls that I’m seeing kicking around. They might have become popular again due to the Stevie Nicks and American Horror Story influence, but the style definitely screams vintage American bohemian.
In their live form, I am absolutely terrified of snakes, but maybe that’s what makes snakeskin footwear (the fake stuff – jeez) so satisfying: I have those suckers in a place where they’re harmless. Whether it’s Louboutin pumps, sneakers, loafers, or ballet flats, snakeskin seems to be the animal shoe graphic of 2014.
Paisley is a rather odd print. In its more psychedelic hues it can be identified with the 1960s, and bandannas seem to have become more associated with gangs than cowboys. But when it’s classic white on red or blue, once again my brain thinks of Ralph Lauren, classic America, and ranches. Banana paisley seems to be making a comeback specifically in menswear – and in very surprising places. From bow ties to dress shirts, or city-slicker men are taking it back to the Wild Wild West. (Will Smith reference very much intended).
It wouldn’t be possible to post about Western fashion without including a mention of denim. Ever-practical, denim long ago moved away from being simply a working Joe’s staple and became a couture commodity. I figure as long as we steer clear of denim overalls (or any overalls in general…) and the Brittney+Justin couples’ outfits then let the denim trend reign free.
images from Tumblr