Anyone else missing Stampede this year? Let's indulge in thinking about it even though we will have to wait until 2021.
As soon as I arrived at the Calgary airport last summer, I noticed hints of Stampede style. Displays at the baggage carousels featured classic straw cowboy hats. Airport staff wore black cowboy hats with their uniforms.
But Stampede style didn’t really dominate until I was actually on the Stampede grounds. And then it was inescapable.
Top to toe, the elements are simple:
- cowboy hat
- bandanna tied around the neck
- western style shirt (curved yoke, piping on the seams, pearl snaps, fitted style)
- rodeo belt buckle (check out our post on buckles)
- blue jeans or prairie style skirt (flounced and gathered)
- jean jacket or western style vest in denim or leather
- cowboy boots (of course!!)
But how much is too much? Do you wear only one or two elements? Or go whole hog? If it’s your first time at the rodeo, you probably want some guidelines.
Consider your own personal taste and fashion sense. Are you a fan of subtle, understated elegance? Maybe you want only one or two Stampede style elements. Do you like to draw attention to yourself? Then maybe you want to pile on the western themed gear. Or is your fashion comfort level somewhere in between? Experiment. Maybe try the elements that seem most fun. Or most comfortable.
There are some additional elements to the look that are not the basics, but are still plenty western. Bolo ties (metal-tipped string leather ties held together by a metal slide, usually silver). Fringe. Suede. Denim anything.
Perhaps you should ask yourself how much you love costumes. When someone who does not wear these kind of clothes everyday puts them on, it can feel unfamiliar. When a person wears the entire shebang, combining all of the elements, it can have a costume-y feel if you’re not a real cattle-wrangling cowboy. But costumes can be a lot of fun!
What the hay (bad pun intended)….go for as much as you dare!