Here is Part Two of our western-style series. In case you missed Jennifer’s post, the Texas native POV, you can read it here. Wanna know what an “outsider” thinks about the whole western “trend?” Keep reading below. And check out more looks, western or otherwise, on our Instagram.
I was born in New York City, but we moved to Southern California when I was barely 4 years old. I have very few memories of my pre-LA life, so while not a SoCal native, I am as close as you can get. Neither of these places, especially in the 70s and 80s had much in common with Texas. That is why my first taste of western-style came from television’s The Barbara Mandrel Show and the movies Urban Cowboy and Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
As a child, I loved the over-the-top ensembles of Dolly and Louise (the best Mandrel sister in my book), but as I got older and more judgmental (as a young 20 something who hails from both coasts is wont to do….), I thought that western clothing was barely if ever a trend, everywhere else but Texas and other parts of the south. I told myself that it would never fit in with my personal style or my far superior Los Angeles chic aesthetic. I also thought that all Texans lived on ranches and used horses as their main mode of transportation. The fact that I ended up living here is just one of life’s many lessons.
And now that I have been here 15 years, it is safe to say my opinion has changed. In fact, it went a bit overboard in the opposite direction. Once I moved here, I became cognizant of earning the right to call myself an Austinite, and I did not buy a pair of true cowboy boots for about a decade. To put it in SoCal surfer terms, I didn’t want to move here and be that poser that after living here for about 30 seconds acts like they put Lucchese’s on the map. I had respect for the locals.
I also understand the history, the craftsmanship, and pride behind much of the clothing that gives us our current western flare. I see the common threads (no pun, but) between traditional western-style clothing and much of what C/Meo and Ganni offer season after season. I realize that what the fashion industry rebrands as Pioneer or Prairie and that helps shape styles like Cottage Core and Boho has its roots in traditional western clothing.
So now that my 20 something never has become my new norm, I love incorporating western elements in both vintage and modern ways. My outfits include a vintage Indian dress from Garment Modern, a pair of long-time favorite Freda Salvador mules, a Zara purchase, and plenty of gems found at Goodwill and Savers.
And I wore a pair of thrifted cowboy boots on my first date with my now-husband. If he didn’t want me in my boots, he didn’t deserve me. Never say never, people. Seriously.