First, you circle the big day on your calendar with excitement. It might be your favorite rodeo, a hot date, your best friend’s bachelorette party, or a long anticipated photo shoot. But then… panic sets in. What. Will. I. Wear?
Tiffany Cooper, owner of Fashion Posse & Western Runway Magazine, is the industry expert in western fashion. Promoting western fashion trends, diversity, and body-positivity across her social media platforms, she covers rodeos across the country to share the very best of current & classic trends.
Fashion is an expression of personal style.
Before I put a look together, I keep in mind what I want to highlight and what I want to minimize. Similar to how makeup can highlight, contour and conceal features of your face, clothing can do the same for our figures. Knowing what parts of your body you want to highlight can help you assemble the perfect outfit for any occasion. Some women might want to show off their legs, while others want to emphasize their toned arms. Some women will want to emphasize curves, while others might want to balance curves. The use of colors, textures, layers, styles and accessories can allow you to express your personality while complimenting your body type perfectly.
Here are a few general rules to keep in mind regarding your body type:
- Rectangle/Athletic: when your upper body is the same width as your lower body, consider enhancing your figure by creating curves with hemlines and colors. Think high waisted belts, interesting necklines, or contrasting colors.
- Pear: when your upper body is more slender than your hips, create balance by wearing lighter colored tops to bring the attention up. Things like blazers/jackets, colored cardigans or tops, or pants with a boot or flare cut will achieve this.
- Hourglass: when you have a small waistline, wear a fitted or tailored look. Try wearing skinny or boot cut jeans, or nude high heels to elongate your legs.
The first outfit I assembled started with the base of a black dress. The Tasha Polizzi Women’s Goddess Dress has a beautiful relaxed fit with fun button detailing on the collar and fringe on the arms. Because this dress falls below the knee, I wanted to show a bit more leg by pairing the dress with these short black Lucchese Booties with feather and fringe detail. I have a personal love for hats, so I added a black ‘ale by Alessandra hat.
A little black dress is a staple in any woman’s closet, and there are some really fun ways to mix up the style with a base this versatile. The Wonderwest website styled this dress with a concho leather belt. Adding a belt is a great way to define curves – especially if you have a rectangular or athletic type body. To showcase the versatility of this dress, I styled it in two different ways:
For my first look, I chose the Tasha Polizzi Malia Vest to add a pop of color. The texture of this vest is beautiful with a beaded floral design and leather trim. A vest like this brings the attention toward your upper body – which is perfect for a pear shaped body to visually balance the upper and lower body.
A second way to bring color and interest to the outfit is with a scarf. This Idyllwind Scarf has a red rose design with studs. Adding the scarf lets the dress speak for itself – which is a great way to add a layer of dimension to the outfit but let the dress show off your hourglass body figure.
This Shyanne Floral Maxi Romper immediately jumped out to me on the Wonderwest website. A romper like this could pair well with heels to show off your legs, but I chose a tall, nude Luchesse Boot to complete the look. This boot has a fashion heel to add height and subtle stitching to add interest without trying to compete with the loud design of the dress.
This romper can be worn with or without a belt. I added an Ariat Turquoise Stone belt to create more shape at my waist and break up my lower and upper halves.
This ‘ale by Alessandra Tribal Hat matches both the boots and the romper with its cute design, pulling everything together.
For my final look, I started from the ground up. This tall boot by Liberty Black has been a favorite of mine. I love the weathered dye and the over-the-knee statement so I was on the hunt for a dramatic short dress I could pair it with.
This 3/4 sleeve dress by Johnny Was was the perfect match. It has a lot of visual interest with a stitched floral embroidery on the neckline and sleeves, and it is the perfect length to compliment a tall boot.
I added the same Ariat Turquoise Stone belt as the previous outfit. The dark leather in the belt draws out the dark edges of the boots, while the turquoise stone adds a touch of depth to the turquoise dress.
How to style an outfit around your horse’s color:
- RED horses (sorrel, chesnut, red roan): red-toned horses pair well with soft, earth tones like gold, rust, or brown.
- BLUE horses (bay, gray, black, blue roan): horses with a blue base look great against bright colors.
- YELLOW horses (palomino, buckskin): any color choice is flattering against nude-toned horses.
- Wearing black, ivory, or blue/green shades compliment every color of horse.
Styling an outfit for an upcoming event doesn’t necessarily to mean a trip to the store for a wardrobe overhaul. Chances are you can do some “shopping” in your own closet for anchor pieces that you can breathe new life into with simple accessories. However, whether you are shopping for a new head-to-toe look or a few fresh pieces it is important to look in the right place. I appreciate boutiques and stores that style their products well so they are easier to shop at. Wonderwest does a great job bringing pieces together as inspiration in their look books and on their Instagram account.
The final piece of every outfit is the confidence you wear it with.