Western style is elevated to unseen heights on the mainstream fashion runway and beyond.
The symbol of the Wild West — cowboys and cowgirls — have quickly become the newest symbol of the mainstream fashion frontier. According to a summer study by Pinterest, Western-inspired clothes are on the rise with apparel featuring yokes, flares, fringe, and Southwestern prints. It's not uncommon to see these staple motifs moving beyond traditional Western fashionistas to the likes of Bradley Cooper and Gwen Stefani among others.
But in addition to broader audiences embracing traditional Western apparel, the inverse is also true with longtime Western brands expanding beyond their roots to offer on-trend pieces to a more diverse audience.
A striking example of this departure is found in Wrangler, who recently launched a widely known partnership with rapper Lil Nas X. For those who don't recognize the name, Lil Nas X pioneered the record-breaking hit "Old Town Road" which was later remixed with Billy Ray Cyrus, and even recently won a CMA award. While this stirred up controversy in the Western space, we're seeing the lines continue to blur between country music and pop culture, which only fans the flame causing mainstream fashion to gravitate West.
With insight from the boots-on-the-ground team at Wrangler, here are a few trends being picked up everywhere from Nashville to NYC.
THE REVIVAL OF CLASSIC COWBOY FIT
Cowboy cut denim has been pushed to the back burner, replaced with the relaxed fit boot cut jeans of the past two decades. However, we're seeing a renaissance of the classic, form-fitting style among men and women. The perfect pair of Cowboy Cut jeans are obviously Western, styled more for function than fashion - but that's what makes them cool. Paired with a been-there-done-that graphic tee, an effortless throwback look suddenly has a place among modern fashionistas from every walk of life.
FREE SPIRITED FLARES
Stereotypically, hippies and cowboys never mixed - until now. The 70s-inspired flare jean is back in a big way, making appearances on Western ladies all over the scene. Styled up with a classic Western shirt, or laid back with a kimono, the flare is a fashion workhorse in your wardrobe. With a higher rise and flowing silhouette, this style is flattering on all body types and adds a huge dose of personality to any outfit.
CALL BACK TO AMERICANA ROOTS
2019 has repeatedly called back to the past for fashion inspiration, leading to the resurgence of vintage styling and the "worn" look. One may also conclude that the pull on vintage is also in demand for its simplicity. The fashion industry is going back to basics - Americana colors, simple cotton and quality denim. Faith in the idea of being an American original has been restored, and all want a piece of our heritage-inspired culture.
QUINTESSENTIAL WESTERN MOTIFS
Everyone is looking to own a little piece of the West these days, and many are turning to Western brands to provide. The simplest designs such as rivets and yokes on collared shirts add the flair mainstream fashion loves, and makes the Western style accessible to all. For the bold: adding fringe, rhinestones or heavy embroidery is a knockout. For the subtle: pearl snap buttons or an engraved silver belt adds just the right touch.
WANT MORE WRANGLER?
See the convergence of modern and Western fashion onsite at Wrangler NFR Cowboy Christmas, and follow @westdesperado, @ayadtx and @westerncouture leading up to the event to get their take on “What to Pack for Vegas.” Be sure to join in the conversation using #WranglerNFR, and follow @wrangler to keep up with all things WNFR.