For those of us in Calgary, Alberta, it's like dressing up for Halloween all over again. You want to dress the part of an effortless, chic cowgirl that just spent the day corralling horses at her ranch (when really you live in a downtown condo with air conditioning); but you also don't want to look exactly the same as everyone else. On top of that, you also don't want to spend lots of money on outfits you'll only wear once.
Stand out from the crowd and be your own, beautiful country woman (even if you don't listen to country music). Here are five unique ways to look like the part of a fashionable Western girl, without having to spend the money.
1. Turn Your Choker Necklace into a Cute Cowboy Bolo Tie
Take your choker necklace, and instead of wrapping it tightly around your neck, wrap it once and with the remaining wrap, tie it loosely in a knot, about 2-4 inches from the ends. To add even more Stampede flair, you can add a pendant or bead where the knot is, to give it a true bolo tie look! Vintage pendants like stars, big gold or silver beads, turquoise or bull pendants, are perfect for a Stampede Bolo Tie. This one in the picture is actually a brass flower ring that I found in my jewelry box!
2. Turn an Old Bandanna Into a Tie Up Headband
Instead of wearing your bandanna around your neck, turn it into a pin-up style, country inspired headband. Fold your bandanna into a triangle, and start rolling from the corner end first. Once it is rolled into a band, wrap the band around the back of your head, underneath your hair. Wrap it so that the ends are at the top of your head. I like to tie the ends on the side of my head, not on the very centre, and I like to tie it twice so that it is nice and tight, and the ends aren't too floppy! Even if you don't have a bandanna, almost every single dollar store I have been to sells them. You can get them in any colour, but I prefer red or dark blue because they are Stampede colours.
2. Invest in a One Layering Piece and Mix and Match
No need to get an entire wardrobe for Stampede; buying the chambray shirt, the cowboy boots, the plaid button up, the cowboy hat, it all adds up and you might only wear it once! Instead, you can invest in one, easy piece of clothing that you can layer and wear over all your regular clothing for a Stampede twist. Vests are my personal favourite, they go with tank tops and jeans, dresses, t shirts and short, almost everything! I also love it because it's lightweight- the last thing you want to be doing is sweating at the Cowboys tent in a long sleeve chambray shirt, full denim jeans and boots. A jean vest on top of a white t shirt and jean shorts, or a fringe suede vest on top of a floral dress instantly turns your everyday clothing into a Western theme.
4. Tried and True- Stampede Colours
When I think of Stampede, I always think of a few basic colours, textures and styles that come up over and over again. Keep these in mind, and add in your own personal style or accessories to make it yours. Obviously, denim is the first thing that comes in mind, denim in all shades and styles, from denim jackets for a casual look, to denim pencil skirts for work. Camel and navy green is also a great starting point, camel coloured belts, or navy green fringe purses. Top it off with brass coloured jewelry for that Western feel- brass fringe earrings or thick, brass cuffs. Our Antelope Statement Necklace is perfect for that raw, country feel.
5. Shop Thrifty- Trendy Consignment Stores
If you do want to invest in some classic Stampede outfits, why don't you check out fashion consignment boutiques? They all stock up on Western clothing when Stampede is coming up, they might even have some real cowboy boots for half the price! The bonus part is that supporting consignment stores helps create a more sustainable and eco-friendly environment as well.
Stampede shouldn't be hard, and it shouldn't be about looking the exact same as everyone else. Get creative, and wear Western inspired trends that are uniquely yours! Stand out from the crowd with these simple, unique tricks. Happy Stampeding everyone!