Wear Western Flair: 7 Ways to Style Cowboy Boots
If you're wild for the West or want to get in on recent trends, you'll need to know how to wear cowboy boots. This footwear option is fabulous any time of year, but it's especially functional and fashionable during colder weather. If cowboy boots are new to you, it may seem challenging to create the perfect outfit with them. That's where we come in! Check out the guide below to learn how to style cowboy boots in trendy, fashionable ways.
What Makes a Cowboy Boot?
If you've never worn cowboy boots before and want to try them, you may not know much about this footwear. Cowboy boots, also called Western boots, take modern inspiration from the footwear of the Wild West days. Given their functionality in the past, cowboy boots still feature details today that made them practical back then. Those features give cowboy boots their iconic look, including:
- Different heights: You'll often find cowboy boots in ankle, calf and knee heights. That gives you versatility to pair Western boots with almost any type of outfit and hemline. Classic cowboy boots rise to somewhere on the calf. Trendy options are ankle height and dramatic boots are up to the knee.
- Cut-out tops: The tops of cowboy boots are often cut out on the front and back. This detail allows for better flexibility, which was useful for cowboys who wore them for their practicality. Today, the curved shapes of the sides and the lower front and back are an iconic feature of Western boots.
- Pull straps: What started as function is now also for style with cowboy boot pull straps. You'll usually find a strap on either side of the boot at the top. These are meant to make it easier to pull on the shoes. The straps are sometimes in a different color than the rest of the shoe to stand out, or they can be in the same color to blend in.
- Heels: Cowboy boots often have a chunky heel that can vary in height, depending on the style. Women's styles may feature a higher heel, but even men's boots have at least a 1/2 inch or so of heel height.
- Certain materials: In the past, Western boots were often made of cowhide leather, which makes sense given their association with cowboys. You'd also find other skins, like alligator or snake, in classic cowboy boots. Today, many manufacturers opt for faux varieties of these hide, skin and leather materials so anyone can wear them.
Are Cowboy Boots in Style?
Cowboy boots are definitely in style! From the runway to celebs, cowboy boots have been appearing more and more off ranches and in the fashion world. Part of the reason for the popularity may stem from how versatile these shoes are, especially in stylish outfits. Street style has adopted this footwear, with cowboy boots appearing in urban settings more than rural ones these days.
Another reason for the popularity might be how many styles, colors and patterns you can find in cowboy boots. You could easily fill your wardrobe with cowboy boots in different materials, prints and colors without scratching the surface of the options available. Whether your tastes lean neutral or colorful, contemporary or classic, there's a pair of cowboy boots out there that will fit in your wardrobe.
How to Fashionably Wear Cowboy Boots
The key to learning how to pair cowboy boots is avoiding other Western-inspired pieces. Pairing denim overalls, suede fringe or prairie dresses with cowboy boots can come across as a costume. Instead, go for the unexpected. Use unique materials, patterns or colors in contemporary options. Need more inspiration? Here are some ideas for how to style cowboy boots:
1. Combine Cowboy Boots With an Animal Print
Trends combine in an animal print and cowboy boot outfit. Animal prints often feature neutral colors, which complement the look of cowboy boots that are often in neutral shades. Because cowboy boots often feature a faux snakeskin pattern, you can match this to what's in your outfit if you want. Whatever you put together, try not to overwhelm your outfit with the print or pattern. Instead, balance the look with solid color pieces to maximize your wardrobe. Consider animal print outfits like these with cowboy boots:
- An animal print coat: Wear an animal print coat over solid bottoms and a top. Make sure the outfit works with just the shoes, bottoms and top if you're going somewhere and plan to take your coat off. Complement or match the solid colors in your outfit to the shoes to maintain a stylish outfit when you remove the animal print.
- Animal print bottoms: Get bold and pair animal print bottoms with a solid top. Choose a solid color pair of cowboy boots that match or complement the top so the animal print pants stand out.
- An animal print top: If you don't feel daring enough for animal print bottoms, consider a patterned top instead. Match the top with solid-colored bottoms and pick a solid color for your boots that matches the pants or complements their color.
Play around with different animal prints for your cowboy boot outfits. Black and white zebra stripes are modern and fashionable, and they go well with black cowboy boots, for instance.
2. Try Other Patterns
If you have solid-color cowboy boots that don't have much texture, add details to your outfit with patterns and prints. Use modern patterns or traditional ones in unexpected ways to create fashionable cowboy boot outfits. Try details like:
- Plaid: Instead of wearing plaid up top in a flannel, try trendy plaid pants. Find a neutral plaid and complement the print with solid colors for a stylish result.
- Stripes: Stripes are an unexpected combo with cowboy boots. Wear vertical stripes with stylish bottoms in the pattern. Opt for a pair that flares at the bottom to let the boots peep out a bit. That'll help prevent any pattern higher up on the boot from clashing with your pants.
- Geometric: Add a modern twist to the classic appearance of cowboy boots with geometric patterns throughout your outfit. Try the refined look of a geometric pattern dress or a contemporary twist with black and white geometric print pants.
3. Wear Slim-Fitting Bottoms
A popular way to wear cowboy boots is to tuck your bottoms into them, which works best when you wear slim-fit pants or jeans. Trying to stuff flared or wide-leg bottoms into boots could create a bulky look that isn't very fashionable. Instead, try bottoms and outfits like:
- Skinny jeans: Choose dark washes for a contemporary style. For a bit of edge, wear distressed jeans in a dark wash or black, which will suit black cowboy boots. Try an oversized sweater to complete this look.
- Jeggings: If you prefer more comfortable bottoms but still want the denim look, consider jeggings. Find slim-fit styles to pair with any color of cowboy boots.
- Leggings: Make a classy-cute outfit with black leggings and cowboy boots. Pair these with a loose-fitting top and outerwear of your choice. Choose a more subtle cowboy boot to pair well with plain black leggings.
If your jeans aren't slim enough to fit into your boots or you have a shorter shoe style, consider cuffing the jeans. Roll the bottom hem a few times to show off your boots.
4. Let the Boots Be the Statement
Maybe you're not into animal prints or you want to let your footwear do the talking. In that case, learn how to wear cowboy boots in a way that lets them be the statement. To style your Western boots so they stand out, you could:
- Avoid accessories: Ditch accessories like hats or statement headbands if you want your shoes to stand out. If you wear jewelry, make sure it's dainty or subtle instead of large, layered pieces.
- Try neutral colors: Wear white, black, gray or shades of brown to downplay your clothes and let the shoes stand out. What you choose will depend on the color of your cowboy boots. Avoid picking the same color and opt for something that contrasts.
- Contrast your boots: Your cowboy boots probably have some sort of texture to them, like faux snakeskin. Let them stand out by using smooth materials and solid colors in the rest of your outfit. You can also contrast the color of the boots and your bottoms to help the boots stand out.
- Pick a statement boot: If you don't have cowboy boots yet, choose a pair with bold patterns or colors. Unique details are sure to stand out, especially in a cowboy boot. Make sure they complement enough neutral pieces in your closet so you can get enough wear out of them.
5. Contrast Cowboy Boots With Flowing Dresses
Cowboy boots can sometimes have a more masculine style that contrasts well with pretty pieces. Flowy dresses are a popular option to pair with cowboy boots for a boho-chic vibe. The resulting look is effortless yet put-together in a way that evokes street style and runway fashion. If you want to show off your cowboy boots, select a flowy dress with a cut or asymmetrical skirt, and wear boots that go up to the knee. To create this trendy outfit for yourself, consider dresses like:
- Florals: Take the soft appearance of a floral print dress and contrast it with a bit of edge from a cowboy boot. Select a black floral dress to complement black cowboy boots, or try lighter colors with brown or tan boot shades.
- Midi and maxi dresses: Maxi and midi dresses can have a flowy look to them, which pairs well with cowboy boots. An ankle-height Western boot is sleek and stylish peeking out from these dress styles.
- Black dresses: If you need to style a black dress, try pairing it with cowboy boots. Choose black boots for a sleek outfit, or let the footwear stand out by picking a different color or pattern. If your boots have details or patterns, pair them with a simple, smooth black dress.
6. Treat Them Like Chelsea Boots
Chelsea boots are ankle-high shoes that fit close to your feet and often feature neutral colors. You can find cowboy boots in similar shapes and colors, making it easy to style them if you've never worn cowboy boots before. Go for subtle boots and treat them like fashionable Chelsea boots. The outfit possibilities for short, neutral cowboy boots include:
- Going for sleek, contemporary fashion: A classic Chelsea boots outfit includes dark wash jeans, a black sweater and plaid outerwear. Pick a different color sweater and outerwear style to suit your tastes and your Western boots.
- Playing with materials: Complement the faux leather materials in your cowboy boots with dark faux leather pants and a blouse or button-down top. Combine edge with feminine details when you put a flowy top and sleek bottoms together.
- Wearing one color: Wear one color with short cowboy boots for a modern result that also works with Chelsea boots. Try slim-fit bottoms and a top that match the color in the boots. Black is a popular and easy choice to get this look, and you can break up the outfit with a gray coat or other outerwear.
7. Avoid Double Denim
While denim on denim is making a comeback, the trendy look can be a bit too Western when paired with jeans and a jean jacket. That doesn't mean you can't wear any denim with Western boots. Instead, contrast one denim piece with different fabrics in prints or solid colors. Since you already have some ideas for how to pair jeans with cowboy boots, here are different outfits you can wear with a denim jacket:
- A skirt and a top: For a simple look, wear solid color cowboy boots, a solid color maxi skirt and a plain top with a denim jacket layered over. Pick a lighter denim wash for your jacket to add classic charm that complements the boots. If you prefer to keep it contemporary, wear a dark wash denim.
- A dress: Take the flowy dress inspiration and layer a denim jacket over it. Try cowboy boots in a pattern or solid color with a print dress and a denim jacket. Base the jacket's wash on your dress style, with lighter options to match classic or cute styles and darker washes to look edgier.
- Bottoms and a top: Keep your outfit simple yet stylish with black leggings or slim-fit pants, a black top and a denim jacket. A light denim wash will pop against the darker colors in your outfit. If you go with lighter colors for your bottoms and top instead, contrast that with a dark denim jacket and dark cowboy boots.
Shop Boots and Outfit Essentials With Perfectly Priscilla
When you want to try the latest fashion trends, shop with Perfectly Priscilla. Since 2014, we've been specializing in plus size fashion that breaks away from the myths and fashion norms for plus size individuals. Today, we still specialize in plus size pieces, and we've expanded our selection to include a range of sizes. Our boutique offerings feature exclusive sizes and styles, so you're sure to find something that fits your tastes.
Shop our boots and clothing options today to try new trends and enhance your style!