With the influx of Western-themed bars that have been popping up on Toronto’s nightlife scene recently – from Riverside’s Boots & Bourbon to the Entertainment District’s Rock ‘n’ Horse – frontier-inspired fashions have become our new muse for painting the town. There’s something undeniably romantic about Western Americana, from visions of sipping on Sarsaparilla at old timey saloons to riding off into the mysterious dusk of the sunset. In addition to the Chinese Zodiac proclaiming it the Year of the Horse, Karl Lagerfeld also elected cowgirl chic as the inspiration for Chanel’s Metiers d’Art show, so you know it’s a look that’s bound to have some serious sticking power.
Here are some of the hottest fashions sporting this aesthetic…
Stella McCartney, Estelle Contrast Stitch Blouse, $340
A yoked button down is one of the most elegant means of equine dress, with designs in flowing fabrics ideal for channeling the louche glamour of the Old West. Fit is essential to keeping the look contemporary, so be sure to find a style that is relaxed but still sharply tailored, with details like snap button closures or contrast piping. This navy design by Stella McCartney is luxe rodeo personified with its pure silk finish and mid-length placket.
Isabel Marant, Den Cotton-Blend Tapered Pants, $685
Modern notions of cowgirl chic take it to a somewhat bohemian place, dictating that such slouchy shirts are half tucked into skinny jeans or leather pants. Leading the charge (somewhat unexpectedly) is the designer of quintessential French cool, Isabel Marant, with her penchant for structured-yet-slack silhouettes and moto-inspired details. Her Spring ’14 ‘Den’ pants boast a fold-over waistband designed to sit loosely on the hips, with multi-loop wraparound leather belt, tapered legs, and laced-up grommets.
Anthropologie, Tooled Chelsea Boot, $158
Of course, any true Southerner knows they’re not worth their salt without a perfectly worn-in pair of boots. Tooled leather ankle boots are sure to come in handy when attempting to ride the mechanical bulls many of these new Western bars host. Anthropologie has breathed a new sense of modernity into the style with their embossed take on the Chelsea boot, utilizing the hand-worked effects of an imperfect geometric pattern.
Mango, Fringed Suede Jacket, $120
When selecting a jacket, studded jean or suede fringe styles are ideal for getting in touch with your inner Annie Oakley. This cognac coloured number from Mango features a collarless design and cropped fit – perfect for elevating your basic white tee and jeans ensemble into off-duty model territory.
Lizzie Fortunato, Minimal Luxe Bolo, $288
Classic country accoutrements are ripe for pilfering as accessories, from bolo ties to saddlebags. Lizzie Fortunato’s rendition of the bolo melds pretty with potent, matching celestial stones like Angelite with ominous gold daggers. Chloé’s Marcie Saddle Bag also manages to modernize a traditional design by employing the use of clean lines, grained-calfskin, and brass-tone hardware.
Forever21, Touch-of-Glam Wool Fedora, $20
And, of course, we would be remiss to neglect the most highly regarded of Western wears: the Stetson hat. Though spotted on many a spring runway, we understand it is a difficult style to pull off without coming across as costumed. In lieu, a wide-brimmed wool hat should convey the desired effect nicely.
So gussy up and get ready to hoedown as you hit some of Toronto’s newly branded watering holes this spring. Yee-haw!
What are your favourite Western-inspired pieces? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.