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They’re a classic as old as the American West—cowboy boots have always been favored by rugged outdoorsmen… and women. In recent years, however, they have become somewhat of a fashion statement, with Hollywood starlets and Nashville crooners alike jazzing up their blue jeans and sun dresses with Western boots.
The great thing about cowboy boots is how well they go with just about everything. It’s a common misconception that you must stick to the old standard—plaid, Daisy Dukes, and spurs—in order to show off your boots. If you’re tired of your current wardrobe, consider some of these alternatives, and give your look a refresher this summer. With barn dance season well under way, and the Fourth of July approaching, there’s no better time to show off your style.
1. ) Plain White Sun Dress This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how easy this look is to put together. Chances are, you already have a little white dress tucked somewhere in the back of your closet—and the less formal it is, the better. This look is best pulled off with a somewhat boxy, plain dress, so you can draw all the attention to your cowboy boots. Lightly curl your hair and wear it down to add a bit of elegance to the otherwise casual look. If you’ve just gotten a last-minute invite, be it to an outdoor festival or to a tailgate party, you can create this look and be out the door in less than five minutes. For added pizzazz: add a large, chunky piece of statement jewellery.
2.) Skinny Jeans and Your Ex-Boyfriend’s Shirt Though country girls know how to rock a pair of cowboy boots with just about anything, the beginner might feel more comfortable testing the waters slowly. If you’re a beginner yourself, or you’re a long-time cowboy boot lover trying to convert a friend, this simple look might be the best one to start out with. Choose your favorite vintage T-shirt—bonus points if it’s slightly faded and worn-in—and pair it with a pair of black or dark blue denim skinny jeans. This look is all rock ’n’ roll, but a retro-style pair of cowboy boots, worn over the skinnies, will add some country flair. If you don’t have the perfect vintage tee: hit up your local thrift store.
3.) Denim, Floral, Leather Summer is the time to try new things, and if you’ve been waiting on the perfect opportunity to break out of your jeans-and-T-shirt routine, this might be it. Pair a floral sun dress—or a simple black top and a skirt—with a denim jacket. Then finish the look off with a pair of simple leather cowboy boots. The top half of the outfit is soft, sweet, and feminine, while a pair of fringe boots add a bit of an edge. If you’re not a fan of florals: try a solid color high-waisted skirt. The more ruffles, the better.
4.) Patterned Leggings This look is slightly more daring than anything else we’ve suggested, but if you’re the type of cowgirl who likes to make a statement, it will be perfect for you. Patterned leggings are typically best when worn with a slightly loose, baggy top in a solid color—we’d recommend sticking with a simple shade like black, white, or grey. While the shirt is basic, the leggings—and the cowboy boots you choose to pair them with—are eye-catching. The best colors this season: pink, white, army green, and gold.
5.) Plaid Tunic Dress Inspired by the authentic flannel-and-cutoffs look that has been popular for over a decade, this outfit is a slightly more modern take. Plaid and cowboy boots are an ideal combination, but you can enhance this classic look by wearing a tunic dress with a plaid print rather than a simple button-down. It’s a little more elegant, so if you’re going to be attending a barn dance and want to be the best-dressed there, consider this alternative. As far as jewellery is concerned: less is more. Try a pair of large dangly earrings.
6.) Bright Colors If you’re no stranger to cowboy boots, and fashion in general, then you might be looking for a way to broaden your horizons. What better time to add a new pair of boots to your wardrobe? If you’ve previously only stuck with classic brown or black cowboy boots, you might want to try out some brightly colored footwear—especially if you're an “all black everything” kind of girl. Wear a bold red pair of boots with head-to-toe black, or add a splash of liveliness to a grey T-shirt and jeans with a pair of patterned boots. The options are limitless. For the truly wild: try a pair of these on for size.