Cowgirl Shirts Galore

New Ariat shirt

Flattering fits, fantastic prints, and a variety of sleeve styles make modern day cowgirl shirts totally fabulous.

Not long ago all button down cowgirl shirts were too wide, too short, and too easy to shrink. Don’t even get me started on the damage my father could do with the dryer when I was growing up. I donated more than one shrunken cowgirl shirt to my stuffed animal camel.

Nowadays many brands make their shirts a long and lean cut. This just makes sense! While we bend, lift, and stretch our arms around the shirt stays where it’s supposed to, tucked into our pants. Even the sleeves are cut differently. A slimmer fit and longer sleeve makes a trip to the dryer less traumatic.

One particularly fab shirt is called The Perfect Shirt made by Goode Rider. It is to die for! I know, I know the website is for English rider clothing, but if you saw this shirt in person you would understand why it makes such a great cowgirl shirt. The shirt is breathable cotton with knit fabric sides. This means the shirt moves with you so you can pull off a fitted look and still be comfortable. Down the middle of the back are tiny buttons, drawing the waist area in and making for a snazzy view from behind. The cut of the shirt is amazing, sleeves not too long or too short and shoulders fitted but not restricting. Divine perfection.

You must beware of the “too short shirt”. It’s true they are still being sold to the public. While trying to avoid this phenom, it is easy to buy a shirt that is too large everywhere else. Don’t be suckered in to this particular shirt. Say no and move on, you will find something better.

SJP ties up her cowgirl shirt! photo: justjared.com

If you wind up with a too short shirt, be creative and turn it into a tied up shirt or cropped shirt.

Some cowgirls really like to go sleeveless for the summer. I love this look, but I love not having skin cancer even more. During steamy Cali summers its VERY important to protect yourself from the sun. Some advice: Save the sleeveless shirts for dusk. Wear a thin long sleeve button down during the day.

Not only will long sleeved shirts give you some degree of protection from the sun’s evil rays, but also they will help you avoid farmer’s tan. You know, black arms, white body. If you get an early summer farmers tan you can forget about that strapless summer dress you were going to wear to the Gary Allen concert! You will be trying to get rid of those tan lines for months, trust me I’ve been there.

Tans line ahead!

Hours in the sun will turn your beautiful golden tanned arms and adorably freckled shoulders into saddle leather by the time you hit 30 years old. More sun protection reminders to come!

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If Kate Middletown can wear a 10 gallon Stetson, so can we.

Cowboy hats are made in all shapes, colors, sizes, and materials, but share the same basic qualities. They have a tall crown with a wide brim and an inner band for a snug fit. Most are made of felt or straw but can be found in leather too.

If a ten gallon hat is good enough for Kate Middleton and her Price, it’s good enough for me!

I’m sure you’ve heard of the ten-gallon hat made by Stetson. The original commercial showed a cowboy using the hat to water his thirsty steed! It turns out a ten-gallon Stetson only holds three liters of water and it is not recommended to use it as a water bucket for your horse. The commercial illustrated the tight weave of the felt and high quality of the Stetson hat. The ten-gallon is a very popular hat among old-school cowboys, actors, country music stars, and politicians such a Rick Santorum and Ronald Reagan.

Besides watering your hoss, cowboy hats can be used to fan a campfire, block the midday sun for a siesta, and hide offensive morning bed head.

A classy felt cowboy hat is often seen with a shiny purty band around it. Bands can match the hat or a contrasting color can be used. A black band on a sand colored hat would look sharp and a teeny tiny silver buckle is a must.

A black felt hat is thought of as a winter hat and as a formal hat. A light colored straw cowboy hat is cool for summer and wind drifting through offers a bit of air conditioning. Traditional straw hats are commonly worn for work and can be obtained at a rock bottom price. If a straw hat is worn to a day event or into the evening hours its probably a blingy, raffia, and maybe bejeweled type hat. Picture a hat you would wear floating down the river on your inner tube with a bikini and Bud Light.

We love your hat Denise

A very useful accessory that comes with certain hats is called a stampede strap. Can you guess what it is? The stampede strap holds that hat on your head in times of high wind, like when you are galloping REALLY fast! STAMPEDE!!

Hats come is different shapes “off the rack” or can be shaped to fit the way you like. The shape of a hat is really just personal preference. Some people like the sides curled up really tight like the super-sexy Kenny Chesney. Some people like the front brim dropped a bit, like the famous bareback diva Stacy Westfall.

Low brimmed Westfall

There are a couple Do’s and Don’ts to be aware of before embarking on your hat adventure.

Don’t wear your hat backwards or you will be called a city slicker (great movie). To prevent this cowgirl faux pa, check to make sure the narrow part of the hat is in the front and the band buckle or other adornment is on the left side.

Do follow the same basic rules a man wearing a hat would. Remove your hat inside a home and for meals. If you are at a cookout or on the range, leave it on.

Do take good care of your hat by keeping it in a box. A hatbox will protect it from dust and losing its shape in your crazy closet.

Now go out there and make a good decision!

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Gettin down off the farm: nighttime fashions

To prevent a cowgirl from getting the blues it is important that we have a “blowout” on the town every once and awhile.  Or as Pam Tillis would say, “Let that pony run!”

This is a thoroughbred named Mexican Bull. This silly girl must have thought his name was mechanical bull and that she was at Papa’s N’ Beer!!

Different occasions and locations call for different outfits.  Whether it be a night out with the ole ball n’ chain or clubbing til the wee hours with your girlfriends, I have the breakdown for you.

First assess where you are going. Is the place a dive bar that can only be reached with a John Deere? If you answered yes you are most likely in a rural area where dressing to impress is overrated. Trust me, the men here are not to be impressed.  This is a situation where overdressing is not appropriate. Go for a clean, natural look. I recommend polished boots, pressed and newish jeans, a tight T-shirt or a fitted button up. Don’t go full bore with the makeup. Leave the Mac at home.

Is the bar or club in town but still laid back? Maybe there is some music and dancing, mechanical bull, lots of nice folks drinking longneck bottles? If you said yes this place gives you options! If you plan on riding that bull wear some fancy jeans, and a super blinged out belt. Give the cute cowboys something to look at. If you are spoken for and looking forward to the dancing part of the evening try rocking a sweet dress. Dresses in a floral pattern a la Taylor Swift are always a go. Don’t wear anything too restricting that could inhibit your two stepping. This dress would be adorable with boots.

Is the bar just finally filling up at 11:00 p.m.? Does it stay as packed as a mountain mule until closing time? Did you empty a few red solo cups on the ride over? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, chances are you won’t be sitting on your tail in this place. You will be shaking it like Beyonce pre-baby and riding that mechanical bull like you stole it, and who knows what else will go down. Dress it up! Wear those booty short cutoffs with your fancy boots and do some big Texas hair. Don’t wear your favorite cowboy hat because you will probably lose it. If you wear a tight dress with a fancy belt and boots, we won’t judge. For Christ’s sake, call a cab.

I feel a lost hat coming on!

Secondly, assess the weather before you go. In the summer months, if the attitude is casual, you can wear shorts or a sundress with boots in place of jeans. In the winter you might be more comfortable in a plaid pearl-buttoned long sleeved shirt instead of a tight Tee.

A night on the town is the best way to show off your clean, tidy, and sexy self. Wear a smile and confidence with your well-planned outfit and you will be golden.  Surely you will hear a few cowboys say in awe, “Wow, you clean up purty nice little woman.”

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Cowboy Boots: From Ranch-to-restaurant

Oh, women and their shoes. Cowboy boots are no different. Black caiman, brown tooled, traditional ropers, high heeled patent leather, Lucchese, Dan Post, Ariat, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We want them all. I could blog everyday for a year’s time about their color, leather, sole, texture, brand, heel, maker, quality, and when, where and how to wear them.

Fancy Corral boots

Imagine you just finished feeding for the day and you get a call from your BFF. She is dying for a Bud Light and some happy hour food from the BBQ joint in town. You brush off the three inches of dust on your jeans and shirt and do your best to pick the hay out of your hair. Things are looking up until you look down at your boots. What a heartbreaker, you are wearing the s***kickers you have been meaning to toss for the last few months. Comfortable yes, but even the most talented shoe repair man in town couldn’t get a shine out of these. It’s a little embarrassing.

To find the perfect ranch-to-restaurant boot, first consider what is comfortable to you. I will use myself as an example. I have narrow feet and I like a boot with a roper (low) heel, because they are most comfortable for walking.  If you have narrow or wide feet become familiar with the brand of boots that fit you best. Some people don’t mind a higher heel. These look great and keep your long jeans from dragging. Remember, some boots that are great for riding are not great for walking. 

These could be perfect for you, no?

After you have considered what’s comfortable, seek out some style. Something with a little bit of tooling or a punched toecap is a nice choice. Mega fancy boots don’t always hold up and the high price tag does not make them a good work choice.  Using these simple tips will help you find a ranch to restaurant boot that will make you feel like a champion!

Boots make or break the outfit ladies. If the shirt isn’t completely clean and the Wranglers are still dusty, nice looking boots will move you up a notch.

Don’t you dare wear these to the barn, not even just this once.

Advice: Don’t work or ride in your fancy boots. I know your mom must have told you this, but I’m telling you again. If you do the walk of shame from the club to work, keep some extra work boots in the tack room.

Boot abuse.

Recognize the days when you are too dirty and smelly from work that no matter how great your boots look you should just go home. Grill a burger and save the community from your filthiness.

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Not Your Mother’s Wranglers

All cowgirls know the best way to get a cowboy’s attention is with a pair of tight, well-fitted wranglers! And a great smile of course.

I am aware that there are some people who still refuse to wear Wranglers because of the perceived fit. It’s true the Original Cowboy Cut Wranglers featured a high waist that could double as a bra, and no room for that fine booty you got from riding all those horses.

The good news is The Original “Mom-jean” Wranglers are nearly extinct and in their place are a plethora of new, improved, sexy and functional Wrangler choices. Each year new designs in combination with great shades of blue and new fabric blends are coming out. There literally is a cut and color combo for everyone.

Booty ups not appropriate for tiny cowgirls!

My personal favorite are called the “Booty up”. Excuse my drama but Booty-Ups have changed my life. They are a low rise and slim leg boot cut, with just enough bling on the signature “W” pockets. The Booty-ups are 25 percent spandex! You can literally do gymnastics in these. In fact I did an unplanned emergency dismount off of a rabid filly the other day and landed curiously on my feet holding the reins. I owe this feat of athleticism to my Booty ups. The spandex keeps them tight all day. You could not possibly look hotter in anything else. Period.

I’ll let you in on a little secret…I totally busted my boyfriend taking an iphone photo of my backside the first day I wore these jeans.

The “Q-Baby” are another popular and modern Wrangler cut. Q-Babies feature an amazing “no-gap” waistband that is to die for! It’s quite astonishing that there is elastic on the inside of the waistband and it is invisible from the outside. The jeans themselves are a slightly wider leg and thicker fabric that the Booty-up. The Q-Baby is a mid-rise jean and depending on the color can have a denim combo with a low percentage of spandex, lycra, or polyester.

I was recently hand delivered a pair of the stylin’ Rock 47 Wranglers. They are a true boot cut and look great with my Cayman Dan Post boots (more on boots later). The Rock 47 has a mild fade to the blue and super bling pockets. Unstoppable when they are starched and pressed.

There are other new cut/style/fabric/stretch combos available at fine western wear stores. Other great new Wranglers are the Aura, Cash, Shiloh, and Mae.

For those of you old school cowgirls still wearing the Original Cowboy Cut. Give it up! They aren’t flattering on you or anyone else. Don’t be a Wrangler fashion “Don’t”.

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