1.17.2010

Style Secrets: Cowboy Boots Made Classy

“A lie can be halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on.”
James Callaghan

Though I truly cannot stand the term “stigma,” I am the first to admit that such a word comes attached to the mere thought of the cowboy boot. While such a design has made its way back into the welcome arms of fashion lovers and loathers alike, there is a very large gray area in which many are completely baffled in how to go about styling such a fragment of foot accoutrement; a confusion which keeps many at arms length, avoiding such a look at all costs.

The time has come to put your brave disguise on, kitty cats; to smirk in the face of befuddlement and embrace the wide unknown apperceived as cowboy boots! There is no rule etched into stone stating that one must be a skilled equestrian to don such an aesthetic; no regulations scripted upon weathered scrolls of parchment paper dictating that the wearer should be well-versed in miscellaneous music facts about country artists; no regime ordering that such a style should only be seen in the ring of a rodeo. The plain and simple truth is that cowboy boots can be just as gritty or glamorous as the wearer deems worthy.

Cowboy boots are like the redheaded stepchild of the fashion world. At times they are ostracized, others they are embraced; yet still they never receive the credit they deserve for having the ability to contribute a chic touch of rustic cosmopolitanism to one’s look du jour. That all changes now; for, my darlings, cowboy boots are about to get classy!

The Boots Cowboy boot aesthetics have changed quite a bit over the years. The typical seam-detailing, slightly chunky heels, harness embellishments, and pull tabs flanking either side of the top of the shaft, like that seen on Frye’s Melissa Button Boots, have given way to more urbane, sophisticated styling which proffers countrified influences inspired by Southwestern culture; a juxtaposition between two worlds that contributes a vintage elegance to one’s way of dress.

Color is an important aspect to take into consideration when selecting the perfect pair of cowboy boots for your ever-burgeoning shoe collection. Blacks are a stunning choice when it comes to more cultivated cuts that are crafted out of suede; however, given the fact that cowboy boots are most often constructed out of leather, I find that cognac shades are far more versatile to one’s wardrobe.

“My optimism wears heavy boots and is loud.”
Henry Rollins

There is something very prestigious and posh about cognac hues. The subtle mingling of rich auburns and soft browns, with the slightest touch of amber, effortlessly creates an almost instantaneous aristocratic aura; whilst holding fast to the ever so feeble earthiness that cowboy boots bring to the forefront. Pieces with minimal detailing, a shaft which hits just below the knee, round toes, and a stacked heel with the ability to give you height without turning into a full-fledged stiletto, like Frye’s Jane Stitch in Redwood, are your best bet. Offerings like this toe the line between playful and polished, and are an absolute cinch to style!

Short Stuff It may sound a bit strange, but one of the most stunning ways to display your charming cowboy boots is by pairing them with bare legs and a saucy pair of short shorts. Now, we are not talking about cutoff denim showcasing tattered hemlines, mind you. The type of shorts on the tip of my tongue, and the future BFF of your bewitching boots, are those of the tailored fashion.

Tailored shorts are an atypical way of allowing your cowboy boots to steal the spotlight, as they provide a pretty pairing that is dignified yet delicate; whilst giving you the chance to show off your sophisticated savoir-faire with smart grandeur! Look for cuts that are short enough to boast your beauteous gams without crossing the line of being too risqué – you wouldn’t want anyone attempting to prohibit you from leaving the house while donning them! Styles which feature cuffed hemlines, slanted hip pockets, and token pleats along the front, like Diane von Furstenberg’s Ramier Shorts, are ideal. Designs like this allow the wearer to give off an uptown, blasé vibe tinged with a touch of cheekiness; the perfect balance for a true streetwise lady!

“Always wear expensive shoes. People notice.”
Brian Koslow

Skinny Minnie When not coupled with barely there tailored shorts, the absolute next best way to pay tribute to a tantalizing team of cowboy boots is to tuck a pair of super skinny jeans into their shaft for a look that is completely comfy, cozy, and outrageously chic. The main thing to keep in mind when it comes to incorporating denim into your daily look, however, is occasion.

Denim, as much as we despise to admit it, will forever be labeled as an “off-duty” sort of style. It is regarded as being laidback, lazy, and unprofessional; therefore, to make it more acceptable in the working world, and to ensure that you forever look dressy, it is best to forgo light washes, and instead splurge on dark denims which bridge the gap between midnight blue and black colors.

In general, dark-rinse denim, like Citizens of Humanity’s Avedon Slick Skinny Legging Jeans in Poseidon or Phantom Ankle Skinny Jeans in Typhoon, is far dressier than pale blue shades; yet provides an identical comfort factor to its more carefree-colored counterpart. It also takes away thoughts of invisible extra pounds speckling your body courtesy of the opaque coloring; while, at the very same time, creating a gorgeous backdrop to your boots - making them even more showstopping than you could have ever imagined!

“The fact is, sometimes it’s hard to walk in a single woman’s shoes. That’s why we need really special ones now and then to make the walk a little more fun.”
Jenny Bicks

Billowy Bliss Darlings whether you’ve taken it upon yourself to accouter your lower half in tailored shorts or skintight denim, the key to keeping yourself looking and feeling sassy, saucy, and spunky in your style is by embracing the concept of balance. Barely there, painted on, either aesthetic your bottoms happen to be modeled after will benefit immensely by being matched with a blouse that billows and floats around your form in an airy, ethereal fashion.

Your boots are, most likely, a part of the cognac/tan family; hence the reason why it is best to stick to a neutral palette for the upper part of your body. Blouses that stay true to pale gray, white, cream, and nude shades are dainty in their design, and present a nice contrast to the ruddy golden hue that virtually emanates from your stunning shoes. Look for feminine detailing such as the ruffled trim found upon Ella Moss' Estee Top; free-spirited embroidery like the scalloped and eyelet hem on Joie’s Steffie B Embroidered Top; and necklines which allow for a petite peek of décolletage like Beyond Vintage’s Deep V Chiffon Tee. Such architecture serves to make your silhouette ever so slightly swankier, and enhance your entire ensemble with a carefree flick of the wrist.

“A pair of shoes can change your life. Just ask Cinderella.”
Unknown

Gold Digger To stay in tune with the “southwest” ambiance created by your boots, it is easy to instantly think of silver or turquoise jewelry as the go to hues for your accessories; I say be bold! Think outside of the box and spruce up your style with the addition of glittering gold baubles to offset the ruggedness of your fancy footwear.

Gorjana is my absolute favorite company in terms of jewelry at the moment courtesy of the minimalism of their designs. The Double Feather Necklace conjures up thoughts of a whimsical Indian Summer; the simplicity of the leather wrap found upon the Graham Three Charm Bracelet works hand in hand with the beatnik beauty of your boots; and the Selene Ring contributes a touch of curiosity to your dazzling decorations thanks to the textured dot embellishments covering its surface. The honest truth? Dolls, a few well-placed pretties glittering in all of their golden glory is all you truly need to further hypnotize your many admirers!

“I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes.”
Oprah Winfrey



Fashionably yours!


Thanks to We ♥ It and Shopbop for the pictures.


Don't forget to enter The Haute Hostess Giveaway for your chance to win a Women’s Apron Original Frosted Cupcake from Flirty Aprons.
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84 comments

Jen said...

what a fantastic post! i adore cowboy boots but i never bought a pair since i can't see myself wearing them. after reading this post i might just reconsider :)
i especially love the tip about wearing them with shorts!

Luinae said...

Fantastic idea Cafe Fashionista- I think they can be used for all kinds of boots as well!

Melissa Blake said...

Those looks soooo warm! :)

vintagepetals said...

I actually dared to dress up the cowboy boots for a night on the town! I was kind of nervous about how it would be received, but everyone loved it! I guess you just have to take the chance...

www.vintagepetals.etsy.com

COCAMIA said...

I am all about the boots that you have showed...Love them! I own a few pairs of boots that have that same Boho, Vintage, Cowboy feel!!!

Mimi said...

I've never really had an interest in cowboy boots but all the ones you showed are fabulous! I also really love the shorts and dark denim choices. Your posts are so inspirational!

Leah said...

I have been eyeing a cowboy boots but I'm having second thoughts because I don't know what to wear it with. Thanks for the tips, now I'm definitely buying that boots.

Couture Carrie said...

OMG ~ great minds, indeed, darling!

Love all your styling suggestions!

I am totally linking this on my post today ~ thanks!

xoxox,
CC

meraldia said...

Great tips! I love those white, romantic tops with blue jeans and cowboy boots! Cool combination!

labelllefille said...

Great tips! As cute as they may look on someone else, though, I've never really gotten into cowboy boots... I'm more into motorcycle/riding boots myself. xo

AudreyAllure said...

i love the idea of the billowy top; i'm going to try it :)

Taylor Sterling said...

i am always a fan of a good pair of cowboy boots! I am so not country, but they are cute.

Couture Cookie said...

How cute are these flouncy blouses?! Tops like those, skinny jeans or even jeggings, and a nice pair of boots is definitely a favorite you can never you wrong with... and pretty much what I always don when I'm on a break from my Park Ace chic.

I got some great styling ideas from reading this - thanks, love! xoxox

Sherin said...

I love my cowboy boots, but actually can't remember the last time I wore them! Thanks to this post, I'm definitely going to start wearing them again!

Fashionography. said...

This is an awesome post!

janettaylor said...

YEPP, I love cowboy boots for the cosy days. :-)

Rachel said...

Great post, Erika! I don't have cowboy boots, but I have been wanting a pair to wear with skinny jeans. I love the Frye Melissa Button Boots. They're perfect!

Joanne said...

I am so enjoying the change in styles this year, it seems really like it was time. Love the look of skinnies with boots. Another pairing with cowboy and/or ankle boots is with a long skirt, not quite to the ankles, that gives a good glimpse of the fun boot too.

Inspiration in Italy said...

Darling I love this post...and those brown boots are beautiful! I hope you are having a fantastic weekend, Love! ♥♥

xoxo
Rachel

Jacqueline said...

I love this post Erika! You know I love my cowboy boots and bolo tie =) I am really into tweed shorts and I like a pair that you posted up there. xoxo

www.FashionSnag.com

Jennifer Fabulous said...

Gaahhhh just yesterday I was at Nordstrom and showing Rian all these fab cowgirl boots I wanted. I told him they were making a comeback and it looks like I was right. :P Such a cute post! Definitely bookmarking this one!!

Shannon of ** Happiness Is...** said...

Ya know, I've never been able to find the perfect pair of cowboy boots for me, but I've been wanting them for the past few years! Sigh. I'm waiting for my future pair to just speak to me :) xo

Sarah @ Pandora's Box said...

You really made cowboy boots look approachable.. even desirable! PS, love the Oprah quote! :)

jayne said...

just bought a fab pair of boots the other day and cannot wait to bust them out! thanks for the tips!

Jen said...

"The redheaded stepchild of the fashion world" - utter perfection! I just love how you paint a picture with your words.

I've bought many a pair of cowboy boots and can never get them to work. I can never quite get that laidback, relaxed style. Shame, because I love them so much! I'm going to try a few of your tips and see if I can crack it.

nookie said...

love love,cowboy boots!
have a great week dear!

Riah said...

Love these clothes! <3

Sara said...

Great post! Very detailed. I love cowboy boots as trend going into spring. I am a fan of a more simple style and more of an ankle boot. Very Cute. Love the looks!

J'aime said...

Ahh, don't remind me of cowboy boots, the last time I came into contact with those things was when I was in the back of Dorothy Perkins, trying some on, and then couldn't get them off, and needed the shop assistant to pull them off for me. Embarresing I tell you. I still love them though, but I don't know if I can face them again! Great post.

J'aime
www.tinominosquared.blogspot.com

Ann Marie Broadhead said...

I Love the cowboy boots in the middle. I have a bag which would really suit them!

www.sistarbbags.com

www.sistarbbags.blogspot.com

Leia said...

I think I would look silly in cowboy boots but these cowbow-turned-classy ideas are such fun!

Catie said...

This is a great post! I really love the pair of boots on the left. I've adored cowboy boots, but continually tell myself that they don't really match my style. But, I really love the ideas you have, so I'm thinking I'll look back into investing in a pair. The blouses are also beautiful and I absolutely adore the Steffi B top.

Zanah said...

Great post!! :) Mon Mode Blog

K said...

lol I just did a post about cowboys boots a couple days ago!

Jessica said...

I love cowboy boots. I want the latest ones that are shortie ankle cowboy boots. I think they're adorable!

Sabine said...

What!? I don't need to swing a lasso and ride a horse to wear cowboy boots??? Well then, I'll take no. 1, please! They are absolutely gorgeous and look really comfortable. Also many thanks for all the other tips of how to wear your cb in style! Great post! Sabine x

clarewbrown said...

I am from VA, so lots of girls from my hometown wear cowboy boots. Lots of girls usually wear them with sundresses. But I loved your styling tips tips in this post. It may sound weird, but I never thought to wear cowboy boots with skinny jeans! lol, I always think cowboy boot=dress

xoxo

Jord. said...

Hello Erika [:

Thankyou for your comment, had so many things going on lately that i just haven't had as much time for, well, anything.

I'm back permently now, i just checked your facebook and i see it's been your birthday! I hope you had a fabulous day.

I have a lot of posts to catch up on with your blog. But from what i just read, i can see they're as beautiful as ever!!

Speak to you soon, i'll read more of your posts tomorrow afternoon!

Kind regards, Jord

www.bonadragboys.blogspot.com

Erin said...

Oh man, cowboy boots. I have a legit pair I picked up at my aunts ranch in Utah, that I wore into the ground, but now for some reason I just can't find a way to incorporate them. They just seem too rustic.
I like the shorts idea though, maybe I'll bust them out this summer.

LAUREN said...

I wish I could pull off cowboy boots - unfortunately I was "blessed" with huge calves and tiny feet, an unlikely combination. I could comfortably fit in plus size boots with wide-calve widths, but my feet themselves are awkward and small, making the boots look awkward/never fit just right.
I'm so jealous of all you girls who can pull off Fryes effortlessly!

S.Elisabeth said...

So adorable! love the cowboy style =) ANd your idea are perfection!

Style, She Wrote said...

It is rare that someone uses the phrase "ugly redheaded stepchild" well in a sentence. Kudos.

Also, kudos for defending the cowboy boot. I have a well-worn cognac leather pair that I would die without.

wonderfelle said...

yay for cowboy boots! this TN gal has an OBSCENE number of them in her closet - but they don't make them on my feet nearly enough! consider me inspired :)

thesydneygirl said...

hope you have a great week ahead! great post :)

♥ add me to facebook and say hi =)

bananas. said...

give me those cowboy boots NOW!!! ahhh i love them. i own a pair of vintage ones that need to be refinished. but once they are...i am rockin them hardcore with my skinnies and booty shorts. what what!!!

MissNeira said...

I love cowboy boots with flowy print dresses!

B a la Moda said...

Love these trends. The cowboys boots that you saw are a good reinterpretation. I like them more this way since they feel more feminine.


xoxo
B* a la Moda

The F Word Online said...

i could never pull off cowboy boots, but i love when when they're done right !

xx lue

FashionJazz said...

Realy luved ur post and styling ideas! Thanks so much for your super sweet comment on my blog as well! Have a stunning day xxx

Treacle said...

I'm a firm believer in the idea that anything can look classy if you wear it with confidence and aplomb.

And oh boy do I need a billowy blouse!

MJ said...

Let's hear it for red-headed stepchildren, haha! I like them with summery, flowery print dresses - but for me, they're definitely a summer trend which means I can't even bring myself to think about them at the moment...

http://dreamingspiresandoldcartyres.blogspot.com

English Rose ♥ said...

I've never been a fan of cowboy boots, like you said 'stigma' but I do like the idea of them in skinny jeans or with something flowy and feminine.

Great post dearest

thanks so much for your lovely comment, i'm so glad you enjoyed reading it as much I as I enjoyed writing it

Stay safe and chic darling,
English Rose x
http://iamanenglishrose.blogspot.com

Macaron Treats ♥♥ said...

I must admit, Im not a fan of cowboy boots, or the western style.. But darling your writing is forever fabulous! I adore visiting ur blog

xx

DT said...

You have been tagged !

Miss Kriss said...

Okay, so I have to admit - before I moved to Nashville, I LOATHED cowboy boots! I'm typically one who doesn't jump on "trendy right now" bandwagons, and instead tend to opt with more timeless fashion. However, since I have moved to Nashville, I have purchased 6 (yes, six) pair of cowboy boots! Everyone wears them here, and like you said, they are perfect to stick with some skinny jeans or short shorts! I've even been known to pair them with a dress or two! :) Fabulous post, girlie! Absolutely fabulous!

Sogni e Sorrisi said...

Great post, although I don't think cowboy boots are for me!

That Chelsea Girl™ said...

Fantastic post! I actually just purchased a dress that match a pair of vintage Tony Lamas that were gifted to me.
You forgot to mention leather & boot dye, though: it's great stuff--I used it all the time on an old pair of Durangos I had. The boots were brown with a tinge of red, and didn't go with much I had after that. A lot of the time, when I would wear them dancing, I would use the dye to make them black. The boots have to be real leather, though, otherwise the dye would damage the material. The stuff is easy to get off the boots, as well. I used to go to rodeos all the time (had a boyfriend that was a participant) and boot dye is a great way to make any old boot look new!
Anywho, take care girl. I've been busy all weekend and I finally have time to catch up, haha.

City Girl Chicago said...

I am loving this season's cowboy boots paired with a billowy top ~ it's what I consider urban edge~

xox *cara* @ City Girl Chicago

Fashion Court said...

confession: i wore cowboy boots for nearly a year straight during my freshman year of high school, so much that i was known as "the girl who wears the cowboy boots" haha :P i absolutely adore the style!

i've been meaning to get a nice pair of black denim. my work prohibits jeans, but this may be a way around it :P

Kristin said...

Thank you for tauting the fabulosity of the cowboy boot. I've always had a fondness for them. And mine are among my most treasured possessions!

Emily said...

cowboy boots = love!

I want a pair so bad..

diamondsinchampagne said...

I am desperatley looking for awesome boots to wear with jeans, the ones you posted with the jeans are awesome

CF said...

To get even more of the nude boot look, check out a recent post on the street style college fashion blog, College Fashionista, (www.collegefashionista.com) where one of the writer's captured a true Fashionista wearing the Boutique 9 Elation boots on the streets of Chicago!

nicole said...

Erika, I love these posts of yours! Although it induces the urge to shop (bad!), your picks are always showcase your great sense of style and are so fabulous (good!). It doesn't hurt to look right? ;)

LOL great quote by Brian Koslow! I don't think I can pull off cowboy boots well, aside from the colour and I like the ones you've chosen. That deep rich cognac brown gets me every time.

I absolutely LOVE tailored shorts! esp the ones you've picked. Those champagne-taupe ones in the middle are to die for! As are the grey ones to the right. I totally agree with the shorts paired with cowboy boots, esp when done right, it's a really cute look!

I haven't brought myself to even try on a pair of denim leggings (I hate the term 'jeggings').. am I missing out? I see them, I've felt them and picked them up, I can imagine them being comfortable but don't think I could pull them off and don't know if I would want to LOL.

PLumWillow said...

Great post. Couldn't agree more about how rich the cognac color is.

"And yes, there's something you can send back to me
Spanish boots of Spanish leather"
-Bob Dylan

Hanako66 said...

you totally nailed the way that cowboy boots should be worn!

Style, via TIa said...

You know I have never worn a pair of cowboy boots but the color of those (cognac) make me want to!

Iva said...

I completely love those shorts!!

{lovely little things} said...

Cute cowboy boots!

Deliciously Organized said...

LOVE every pair of those boots!

Mrs. Smith said...

I LOVE this post.

Skinny jeans and boots are my winter staple - Nashville natives love their boots!

And the Joie’s Steffie B Embroidered Top - BEAUTIFUL!

Birdie! said...

I'll admit - I'd love to rock a pair, but I have zero idea what I'd do with them. Thanks!!

Jenn said...

love cowboy boots! can you tell me who makes the dark brown, slouchy pair in the main image (girl with blue dress standing next to guy)???

M said...

I luv my suede tan ones when I'm feeling colorful they go with my bright red skinny jeans and the result makes me feel so happy

Rachel said...

Great post! Love your outfit ideas for cowgirl boots. I especially love the feminine billowy blouses. Some cowgirl boots can look a bit rugged but those blouses are a great contrast.

Monique said...

I love it! The Frye boots were a HUGE seller at my store this season, I regret not buying a pair!

www.rueparesseux.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

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tony lama boots said...

It's nice post! I like that post and all information. As per i think that these cowboy boots are made to last. The craftsmanship in these boots is excellent and is made by using the best technology. They are expertly made and are a part of American history and culture. These boots are beautifully designed and can be worn just at any occasion.

Evita said...

Beautiful post.Nice Writing.I am definitely a Boot person and my favorite Boot is Frye
Carson -Pull on Boot

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's crazy man. They should really try to do something to fix that.

Kyle said...

I love it when girls wear cowboy boots, especially with some nice denim or a sundress. I can really say that I like these boots but really prefer cowgirls that are wearing their cowboy boots all year round.

luminox watches said...

Nice post. I really enjoyed to watch the different styles. Specially the boots.

wedding dresses said...

I can see that you are a professional at your area! I am starting a webpage soon, and your tips will be very useful for me. Thanks for all your support and wishing you all the success in your business.

Womens high heel Pumps said...

I love over the knee boots: so sexy!

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