My hometown, Calgary, "Cowtown" hosts a rodeo every July. The Calgary Stampede is often called the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. Going back about 100 years, Calgary is known for Western events, and there are still many working ranches, and genuine cowboys and cowgirls close to city limits. With a population of over a million, there are also lots of urban dwellers who have never seen a horse, but embrace our Western Heritage enthusiastically every July. Tourists and locals come out in droves to see the Stampede, eat something weird (like cricket pizza) and see world class entertainment. I'm really sure that there are lots of other cities across the world that see this same phenomenon - Western themed events which allow city dwellers to connect to ranching roots.
The big question is, what should the average girl wear for a Western night on the town? At Yoshi-Bella, we have great Western themed jewelry, but I didn't feel qualified to speak to the rest of the outfit.
Here I am with my son riding in the Rocky Mountain Foothills.
I don't look very Western but I do love to ride!
Luckily, I know a certified expert. Stacie Lee Heron from SLH Personal Stylists was kind enough to answer my top 7 questions about how to dress for Stampede (or any western event) without looking like you belong at a Hallowe'en party.
Do you have a question we didn't answer below? Pop it in the comments below or reach us @yoshibelladog on twitter or instagram. Find Stacie's contact below.
1. What makes a great Western Look?
Choosing one, two or even three statement pieces within the western style you gravitate towards. I love a beautifully shaped cowboy hat, denim piece, leather belt with authentic buckle or styling with a handkerchief. Making the details in your outfit literal with a spin of interest within styling.
2. I don’t have much Western Gear – how can I use my existing wardrobe to look great during Stampede?
Dressing head-to-toe in western gear is overkill & can come off as dated, especially if you're pulling from your existing wardrobe. Choose pieces that are inspired by stampede style yet fit your body type & are current within style.
My top Stampede Must Haves are Denim & Leather. Do something unexpected!
3. How should I pick a great pair of boots?
Comfort is key. Decide whether you're going to purchase a literal cowboy boot or go for a boot you'd wear daily, yet has some sort of western detail, as simple as leather, perhaps the silhouette or fringe.
An insole helps with comfort & absorbs sweat, keeping your boot in good shape & lasting longer. I highly recommend a leather insole, my faves are Pedag from Gravity Pope
4. What accessories should I wear?
Wear accessories that elevate your stampede look. If you're having trouble finding inspiration, I suggest choosing a jewelry designer that inspires you, such as Yoshi-Bella - one of YYC's best. Build your outfit around that piece, or in this case because it's Stampede, you could choose to go all out & layer lots of turquoise or leather.
6. What are my Stampede Essentials?
If you truly want to nail Stampede Style, base your appearance on SLH Personal Stylists essentials everyone should dress by:
- Personal Style
- Body Type
- Age Appropriate looks.
7. How do I get a Western inspired look without the boots?
Put the focus of your ensemble on either the clothing or accessories. SLH prefers having a piece or two stand out & compliment your overall Stampede Style.
Thanks Stacie for answering all of our questions on how to dress for a Western event and look great - even if you never step foot on a ranch.
You can reach Stacie at SLH personal Stylists:
Do something unexpected with Yoshi-Bella. Splash out with a bold medallion without breaking the bank. Change your style in a Snap.
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