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Style Trends

Trend Alert: The Modern Cowgirl

When I think of western inspired style, the first thing that pops into my head is one cringe-worthy Halloween in college when I went as a cowgirl. In an attempt to rebel against the college craze of having a sexy costume, I decided to go with stonewashed jeans, an extra-large flannel shirt, and Pippi Longstocking braids dangling under a gas station purchased straw hat. The result was tragic. If only I had Loxa Beauty back then, I could have been saved with the help of these tips. But I guess that is where the expression live and learn comes from.

Since then, I completely dismissed the idea of adding anything cowgirl related to my wardrobe... until now. I recently caught a glimpse of the Spring 2013 Lanvin collection and saw a pair of to-die-for stiletto cowboy boots, which immediately rekindled my interest in giving it a second chance. Drawing from the wisdom of experience, my cowgirl look today will be chic and sophisticated, not lacking in every possible way like it was years before.

Here are the looks I am most excited to try:

The Boot:

The reason this Lanvin look inspired me so much is because it opened my mind to the idea that cowboy boots aren't just reserved for jeans anymore.

The single most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a boot modern enough for evening wear is the toe. Lanvin nailed it with this gorgeous black leather stiletto because they toned down the severe point that is most common with cowboy boots. A rounded point will keep your look from appearing too casual.

Here is an example from singer Elizabeth Cook of how a typical pointed toe and too short of a heel will instantly make your nighttime look feel outdated. While you are updating your shoe wardrobe make sure that your closet is equipped with these 5 pairs of boots. They are the must-haves for every shoe wardrobe.

elizabeth cook Modern Cowgirl trend

The Hair

Aside from the boot, the cowboy hat is the other main staple, but not just any hairstyle will work with it. There is a reason cowgirls love their braids: they are one of the few looks that can still showcase style, even under a wide brimmed hat.

Rhianna brought out her inner modern cowgirl by pairing this side braid with one of the hottest color trends for 2013, bright red. She then took her look one step farther by adding turquoise earrings, a favorite color for western wear. If you are trying to make your hair healthier by not washing everyday, a side braid is the perfect way to wear second day hair.

rihanna Modern Cowgirl trend

The fishtail, like Minka Kelly is sporting below, and the four strand, are two other alternatives for modernizing your braid.

minka kelly Modern Cowgirl trend

The Belt

A leather belt is essential for capturing the essence of a cowgirl, and Ralph Lauren found the perfect way to turn this classic Americana style into one fit for modern day fashion. I love the way that they so effortlessly combined the sequin skirt with the brown leather belts, something I never would have thought to put together. The modern cowgirl is one that is confident and willing to take risks, so don't shy away when faced with the opportunity to do so.

Make it a goal in 2013 to revisit the ghosts of fashion past. You may be surprised at how much the power of perspective can have on your style.

For the love of the West,


MORE: winter boots, rhianna, red, minka kelly, four strand braid, fishtail braid, cowgirl, braid, belt