FALL & WINTER

Trend Alert: Southwest Style

Bold Navajo prints, fringe, shearling jackets, and western boots? It seems like cowgirl is the new chic!

Savvy Southern Style Blake Lively

Southwestern style clothing was featured in one of Chanel’s resort collections. Isabel  Marant also showed it, and so did Valentino. Blake Lively was even photographed in a Southwest fashion spread by Vogue.

Southwestern Clothing - Navajo Coat for Women

Just recently, Ana from Mrs. American Made sent me this photo of herself in a cute Navajo coat. Southwestern women’s clothing like this is perfect for chilly fall days and a refreshing change from your three-season windbreaker.

Jamie from More than Turquoise is a big Southwestern fashion clothing fan too.

The Southwest fashion trend is a great way to look casually chic. It’s colorful, rustic and little artsy.  How do wear this fashion trend without looking like you stepped out of the wild, wild west? Here are a few style tips to get the southwest look, no horse required!

1.  Wear Western Boots

The most subtle way to get in on the trend is to pull on a pair of cowgirl-style boots.  Low-heeled ankle-height booties with almond-shaped toes go-anywhere. Wear them in place of ballet flats for a more unexpected look. They pair perfectly with jeans.

Tall western boots work too. Find a luxe pair in suede or leather with fringe, shearing, buckle or some other kind of western inspired detail.

2.  Wrap up in Sante Fe Style

Ponchos, blanket coats, and wraps are a big part of the south by southwest trend, which takes its inspiration from Native American s Navajo, Apache, Hopi and many more.

The most charming pieces are made from rough woven fabrics that have rich and intricate patterns like this beautiful print tribal sweater coat. The colors are desert-like – tawny and earthy with pops of bold.  These clothes look handcrafted.

3.  Look Cowgirl Chic

For a fashion-forward look, why not emulate Valentino’s version of the Southwest style? HIs idea of Southwestern fashion clothing consists of a crisp white button-down, paired with a western-style embroidered skirt. It’s a bit “European missionary meets the locals”- and the perfect way to dive into the trend headfirst!

All you do is choose a simple white shirt free of frills or fuss. Pair it with a straight skirt with western-style beading or embroidery to get a high fashion look on a budget. Simple pumps and stud earrings round out your look in a chic, understated way. This version of the trend works for the office, dinner or anytime you need to be a bit more put-together!

4.  Fringe Benefits

Get an upgrade from your basic tee. Choose a subtle fringe top to give a touch of the southwest feels to a casual look. Wear your fringe tee with simple jeans or tan pants for a weekend-ready outfit that can take you anywhere.

5.  Tribal Colors

There may be a temptation to pair southwestern pieces with all black or navy, but instead pair them with warm, dusty neutrals to round out your look. Try a blanket poncho in soft beige, taupe and stone shades. Olive, cognac, and warm brown hues look fabulous with southwestern pieces too. Mimic the colors of a southwestern landscape in your outfit to tap into the look in a super-subtle way and make your ensemble look more authentic.

Deborah Boland Fabulous After 40 gray poncho
The blanket coat- one of the must-have items of southwestern style.

6.  Keep it from looking costume-like

There’s cute, and there’s costume-like. To avoid the latter, don’t wear this look head to toe. Limit yourself  1,2 or maybe three western elements in your outfit. Feather jewelry, oversized belts or turquoise- can also make your outfit appear dated. Instead, choose minimal jewelry like a simple watch, stud earrings and maybe a fun bangle Silver is best. If your ensemble doesn’t include western boots, go for simple pumps or flats to quietly finish your look.

7.  It’s in the bag

Wondering what bag to pair with your Southwest look? A slouchy purse that’s weekend-ready fits the casual vibe of western pieces. If you’re trying Valentino’s version of the southwest trend, a simple, structured handbag that hangs from the crook of your arm adds modern polish.

Do you like the Southwest Fashion Trend? Let me know. Maybe you prefer a more refined western trend?

Join the Conversation

12 thoughts on “Trend Alert: Southwest Style

  1. Wonderful to see this look again. I collected silver Navajo jewelry years ago as a college student (I am 60 now) and love to pull these pieces out again. I agree that the western look is best in small doses, or with just a few accessories or one key piece. Along these lines, I have a question: Can you show us how women over 50 can wear cowboy boots without looking silly? I love them, but want to be careful that I don’t appear to be trying too hard. Have you covered this topic earlier? Cowboy boots?

  2. No, I will not wear the trend. Where I live in Northern Minnesota one might wear a nordic print but not the Southwest gear.

  3. Hi,

    Maybe I am just to old (60plus) but I would rather wrap myself in a sheet than wear on of those blanket looking jackets. Not loving the fringe either.

    Cowboy boots, on the other hand, fabulous!

    1. Hi Claire, That’s perfectly all right. I think it is important to stress that fashion is not a one trend fits all thing. If this is not for you, good for you for knowing it. What you wear should be a true expression of who you are.
      Cheers, Deborah