If you’re spending time at the NFR® in December, you’re going to want to dress to impress. Of course, here in the Fort, we wear our boots with pretty much anything, from skinny jeans and miniskirts to suits. We talked to a couple of experts in the western fashion industry to find out what’s trending and where to buy your new western wear during the festivities.
Taylor Morton, Marketing Manager at Justin Boot Company, has some good news for those of us who haven’t bought boots in this decade (or maybe even this century): Retro is good. If you have a favorite pair of boots, especially one with a really eye-popping upper, this would be the time to shine them up and put them on.
Justin is known for the classic round-toed roper boot but, of course, they make everything from snip toe to wide toe boots. Taylor’s tips on fitting boots: The boot should hug the front of your foot and the ball of your foot, “like a good solid handshake,” she says. The heel should slip up about a half an inch when new. Morton says that will diminish with time.
And Morton says when you put on a pair of boots, you should hear a “pop” when you slide your foot all the way into the boot. That’s the best predictor of fit and comfort.
"Here in the Fort, we wear our boots with pretty much anything, from skinny jeans and miniskirts to suits"
As for what to put on with your boots, really anything goes this year. Gina Chancelor is head of Key Accounts at Westmoor Manufacturing –– the folks who make the classic Panhandle Western Wear and the glitzier Rock & Roll Denim. The company began in the Midwest in the 1940s and pioneered the pearl snaps on western shirts. A move to Fort Worth in the 70s brought Panhandle Western closer to their consumer market, and in the early part of this century the company added a fashion arm (Rock & Roll Denim) to dress the western fashion consumer. She spends pretty much every day considering what her consumers want to wear with their boots, and says that there’s a very different vibe in dressing from day to night.
“Daytime attire is usually Rock & Roll Denim’s cute graphic or concert-inspired tees, paired with our trousers, pull on bargain bells or skinny jeans,” she said. "At night, the spectator attire’s going to be a little more colorful, including metallics, cheetah prints, lace and velvets from the fall and holiday 2020 lines."
One of the latest additions to the Rock & Roll Denim line is Bargain Bells –– a super-stretchy flare (more than boot cut but less than bell bottom) in both trouser and denim material. It’s definitely not your grandma’s western wear –– although plain boot-cut functional cowgirl jeans never go out of style.
Where to Shop
Take a peek at Cowboy Christmas – Dec. 3-12 at the Fort Worth Convention Center (open 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. daily, free to public). You can find Justin Boots, Panhandle Western Wear and Rock & Roll Denim on display. Two separately managed Christmas Markets will also occur: Cowtown Christmas in the Stockyards and Stetson Country Christmas at Will Rogers Memorial Center.
If you’re looking strictly for apparel and boots, Justin Boot Outlet, M. L. Leddy’s, Maverick Western Wear, and Fincher’s White Front Western Wear have Western apparel that’s fun and functional. If you need boots and saddles, blankets, and other equipment, Teskey’s in Weatherford and NRS Ranch in Decatur are your one-stop shopping options.