7 Ways to get Western, shot in Nashville
All images shot in Nashville, Tennessee by Jessica Steddom
Truth be told, I’ve been waiting for this day since I was little girl line-dancing in my Grandmother’s living room and clicking my heels to 9-to-5. Bolos are music to my collar bone and cowboy boots the earth to my sole(s). What is this day, you might ask? Why, it’s the day I moved half my life to Nashville - only the home of country music - for my boyfriend’s job. Ok, so the day I’d been waiting for was more of a one-time trip as opposed to a life-changing move, but still, it ticks the box. Plus, with every designer from Chloe to Magda Butrym championing all things Western, it would have been rude to stay in London full time, what with all these great outfits to wear that feel way more at home in Nashville. Plus, the colourful city provided the backdrop for this shoot, so I really can't complain.
That said, I (probably along with many, many other lifetime cowgirl wannabes) had a slightly irritable moment as Western fever exploded all over the runways and I felt my private affair becoming ever more public by the instagram share. Selfish, yes, but don’t we all feel that way when something we’ve loved becomes everyone's thing? (No, I’m not the older child before you ask.) But then I had an epiphany - think of all the newness, all the colourful reinventions of boots to be had.
On the same foot (or different, however you might see it) I know from many an insta friend that the all-singing yeehaw look isn’t for everyone. But I’m a firm advocate of wearing whatever the hell it is that makes you happy, so I set out to prove it's not an 'only real cowgirls need apply' kind of scenario. Personally, I’m the kind to give it my all - fringing, suede, the works - but I also love pairing my own Lucchese boots with tailored jackets or dresses for a bit of a kick, so I concluded that breaking it down into style tribes (sorry, that sounds so fashun but I couldn’t find a better term) to help you relate to the vibe, and saddle up before you can say ‘I don’t do cowboy bootssss!!!!’
You’ll just need one or two of four things: cowboy boots (did you guess?), cowgirl hat, a Western belt or a bolo. Then, simply fit it into your own wardrobe the way you would a new bag, and ride off into the Horizon.
BIG TIME BOHO
If Siena Miller circa 2009 (perhaps her best style years, all boho dresses and cutesy skirts) sounds like your dream wardrobe, then this one’s for you. Cowboy boots couldn’t work any better with your style, and tan suede will go with the pastels and neutrals you already won. A cream woven hat will pull it all together (plus many of your other summer outifts - I’d put good money on that.)
THE FIRST TO FASHUN
You know what’s cool, and you’re not compromising, I get it. Minimal changes need to be made - just keep it tonal and unfussy and you’re good to go. For purposes of simplicity, all black can never lose.
You love a super girly, I-wish-I’d-been-in-Girls-Aloud get up - so what? Doesn’t mean you can’t get on board. Pick your favourite co-ord (apparently that’s a mainstream word now) and team it with some sleek, non-clunky boots, plus a hat to amp up the stage coach element of it.
FORMALS FOR FUN
So you go to a lot of soirees and swanky sit-down dos - who said cowgirls don’t? Just keep it subtle - cowboy boots just poking out from under a gown - and no one will sniff out your alter ego. Granted, white boots are a strong look - I’ll admit that - but there are plenty of heeled ankle styles to go round, too. And if you really have to, the belt buckle could handle some jewels, too.
What Would Dolly Do? (The only question I ask myself on a daily basis.) She’d be uncompromising, wearing knee high boots and a cowgirl hat with the usual tailoring (not that this skirt suit is usual in any way, it has to be said.) The white tights are optional.
Perhaps Western isn’t your thing because it’s a cyclical trend from the past (aren't they all?) But here’s the thing - it can actually enhance cool shapes like this tulle-covered coat-dress. Imagine this with a sculptural heel and sure, that’s how everyone else would wear it. But throw on the boots and it’s a new thing altogether.
ALL IN, ALWAYS
You don’t do trends by halves, and I respect that. So throw together your fringed suede jacket, cowboy hat and classic boots and be done with it. NB: chaps not used due to the risk of offending readers, but go ahead and swap them in if that’s more your thing.