Casual cowgirl style can be summed up in two words, pretty and practical. These effortless looks have been where it is at for western babes’ way before the pandemic took away our activities and events to play dress up for. Even as a lifelong barrel racer who loves to wear “cute outfits” I believe that fashion should never outweigh function and comfort in the arena. Fringe flying in a girl’s face or sequins scratching at your skin can definitely distract ones focus and get in the way of laying down that 1D run. While shopping for myself personally and also our customers who are primarily rodeo competitors, I am always on the hunt for practical pieces that can be worn at the jackpot and also transitioned with a few easy touches for a trip to town. When polling my customers before market trips my requests are always to return with fun graphic tees, trouser style jeans, casual retro styles and durable outerwear. Every gal loves to be glam, but realistically how many of you live in that hoodie 90% of the time? Here are some styles you will always find in my home or trailer closet and some of my favorite ways to dress them up or down!
Graphic Tees: Truly the most versatile piece of clothing a gal can own. From western themed to rock styles, a basic tee can be dressed up or down through layering or when styled with a great statement accessory. These multi-function wonders pair well underneath an arena shirt for a quick trip to town, or a dinner out. A funky tee can also add a little “edge” to a classic blazer for a post rodeo concert or to create a more contemporary look. Currently, I am really feeling the retro western prints and ringer tees with a pop of contrast on the collar and cuffs. A pair of scissors can quickly transform a unisex souvenir tee into a distressed work of art. Believe me gals after watching a couple of You Tube videos, I now cut all my tee shirts and it’s a blast!
Long Sleeve Buttonups: Every cowgirl has their fair share of “competition shirts” all starched up and hanging in their wardrobe closet ready for arena time. I am always on the hunt for a great retro style or fun print that I can wear while running barrels or style it up with my favorite flares for a more fashion forward look. One of my favorite ways to transition a buttonup for multiple wears is to knot the base of the hem in the front of your blouse on both sides. This creates a more fitted look and is also a great way to hide wrinkles if you have worn your shirt tucked in while competing.
Trousers: Our trouser styles are by far our most popular denim item for good reason. These jeans are versatile for riding or everyday wear. By ordering a longer inseam I can wear these to ride in, and then in turn “cuff” the bottoms to the appropriate length to be worn with my favorite snip toe boots or tennis shoes. Trouser jeans are flattering on all body types and durable under use and saddle wear.
Caps/Beanies/Wildrags: Let’s face it ladies, there is no amount of product to fix “cowboy hat hair”. Thus, the need to have something cute in the trailer to cover it up. Caps with tooled leather patches are a great way to be fashionable in the arena. Custom patches are a fun way to show your individuality or promote your business or brand. Beanies with tooled details are also a great option for fall and winter. Don’t pack your wildrags away after the last freeze, they also make great headwraps during the summer months and look super cute worn over braids. FYI, you will find me sporting one of the above mentioned 90% of the time while at an event.
Athletic/Leisure Wear: Casual comfort is the name of the game while on the rodeo road. Yoga pants, hoodies and dry fit pieces are my outfit of choice while visiting my favorite truck stops for that late-night burrito and Red Bull fix. I like to pack pieces that I can drive in, sleep in and also wear to the gym. Several major western apparel brands are now offering athletic wear and casual staples to cater to the large demographic of travelling rodeo contestants.
Turquoise: I have a mix of faux and authentic items in the hanging jewelry bag that graces my RV bathroom door. I like to wear my smaller and less expensive fashion pieces when I’m running barrels because I don’t need any kind of wardrobe malfunction hindering my performance on the pattern. The larger statement pieces are sported when I am spectating and it is always my hope that my big ol’ beautiful rings will take attention away from my unkept barrel racer nails. When in doubt, wear turquoise! It can add a touch of western to any look, and there is just no wrong way to style it.