5 Steps for Creating a Western Wardrobe
Simplicity is key when building or updating your Western wardrobe. From versatile shirts and fashionable outerwear to the accessories that complete the outfit, choosing the best Western wear depends on your personal preferences and intended use. Whether you’re looking to add some cowgirl flair to your everyday wardrobe or need a full cowboy apparel overhaul, these tips will help you build your Western clothing collection easily.
1) Start With Versatile Base Pieces
Any wardrobe—Western, business casual, or professional—starts with a few basic pieces. It’s the style of those pieces that determine the overall feel of your outfits. Decide whether you want to create a fully Western-inspired selection of clothing, or only work in a few pieces here and there. Then, look for these items in your favorite colors and prints, as well as in various neutral hues, so you can mix and match your items for near-endless combinations.
Pants or Trousers
- Denim jeans are an everyday wardrobe staple. They’re durable and fashionable, making them perfect for a Western wardrobe, and they’re versatile enough for casual wear. Whether you choose straight leg, boot cut, skinny jeans, or wide flare styles, favorite Western wear brands like Ariat, Wrangler, Carhartt, and Silver Jeans Co. have plenty of options to suit a range of tastes.
- For workwear, heavy canvas work pants are durable enough to resist wear and tear while you’re working the ranch or jobsite—and hold up well for days spent hiking or exploring as well.
- For hot days, comfortable, cooling shorts are a favorite option. Choose denim or cotton styles that breathe and opt for materials with a little stretch to suit active lifestyles.
- Don’t forget trousers for business wear or dressy occasions: Have at least one pair of pants to wear with a sport coat, or for more formal occasions, a blazer. Dark-colored canvas pants and dress ranch pants are suitable business-casual options for men, while women may prefer fashionable printed styles that make bright statements.
Western Cowboy Shirts
The traditional Western shirt is a classic. The distinctive collar and yoke, pearl snaps, rhinestones, fringe, and other embellishments provide that characteristic cowboy look. It’s a perfect option for work, casual days, and formal occasions—so choose a few of these wardrobe staples to suit every need. An all-black or other solid color Western shirt is a great option for special occasions—contrast piping or studded embellishments dress it up for date night. Plaid or printed styles are perfect for everyday wear or heading out on the town. Choose a classic two-tone Western shirt for any occasion.
Casual and Dressy Shirts
Women’s Western-style tops, T-shirts, and blouses show off a personal sense of style. Lacey shirts, fringe-detailed tops, cool and comfortable graphic tees, and casual sleeveless tops are fantastic options for building out a shirt collection. For men—in addition to Western shirts—choose a few comfortable T-shirts and a dressy collared shirt or two to fill out your collection.
Skirts and Dresses
Dressing up doesn’t require a special occasion, as every cowgirl knows. Choose stylish Western dresses: Cowgirl dresses come in a variety of designs, including casual options for easy country days, lacey styles perfect for dinner out or rustic weddings, and cool, breezy cotton dresses that keep you comfortable on even the hottest days.
2) Add Fashionable, Functional Layers
Top your jeans and tee, skirt and blouse, dress, or trousers and button-down cowboy shirt with layers to add dimension, warmth, or both.
- Cardigans offer a lightweight layer against a chill in cooler seasons, and they are perfect for layering over blouses, tanks, and tees. Choose from flowy duster styles or shorter buttoned sweater options with silky, fringed, embroidered, or embellished details to suit your outfit.
- Leather and suede jackets, hoodies, and other Western outerwear blocks the cold, and brings that cowboy or cowgirl look to any outfit. Look for fringed accents, embroidered details, and desert-inspired color palettes.
3) Choose Your Accessories
Accessories can make an outfit by bringing more Western flair to cowboys’ and cowgirls’ wardrobes. The best tip for choosing accessories is to look for pieces that speak to your own sense of style. Casual jewelry—a coordinating necklace and bracelet, or earrings and necklace—is perfect for everyday wear, while more elegant Western jewelry dresses up an outfit for a special occasion. Choose pieces that work with various outfits for unlimited mix-and-match potential.
For men, consider bolo ties, scarves, gloves for both work and warmth, and a leather wallet or money clip. Also have high-quality leather belts on hand—in black and brown to coordinate with any outfit, with various statement buckles for any occasion.
4) Fill Out With Western Footwear
From boots and sneakers to moccasins and sandals, there are plenty of Western footwear options to suit your growing wardrobe. Consider your specific needs when choosing your footwear: Are you aiming for fashion or function? These footwear options suit a variety of tastes.
- Keep your feet protected while in the saddle, on the ranch, or at the jobsite with work boots crafted for comfort and safety.
- For quick trips to the store or cafe, slip into a pair of leather mocs or canvas cruisers; they’re comfortable, casual, and easy to slide on and off.
- Supportive sandals are ideal for sweltering summer days and trips to dip your feet in the creek. Rock-hopping is safer when you choose sandals with secure straps and soles with plenty of traction. For brunch or days out with friends, strappy, slip-on leather sandals look pretty paired with everything from shorts or jeans to a flowy skirt.
- Of course, cowboy boots are a must-have. Choose rhinestone-embellished styles for weddings and events, classic stitched leather boots to pair with jeans for everyday wear, short booties for apple picking or going out, or vibrantly colored boots to grab attention.
5) Wear a Cowboy Hat to Top it Off
Of course, every Western wardrobe needs a cowboy hat—or two, or three… This accessory is an essential piece that brings traditional elements to a modern wardrobe. Cowboy hats aren’t for style alone: The rugged materials and wide brim design help protect you from sun, rain, snow, and wind while working, playing, or exploring. Choose from classic styles in faux fur, wool, or leather, or opt for contemporary options with embellishments made for modern tastes.
You can build a full Western wear wardrobe using these five elements. When you choose coordinating pieces, you can combine tops, bottoms, and accessories to create dozens of different looks perfect for any cowboy or cowgirl. For more Western wear tips, explore our blog.