How to Dress Western When You Have Nothing Western to Wear

For new Calgarians, people visiting Calgary, those on a budget, or just really poor planners (the Stampede happens every year. It’s safe to plan for it in advance), the 10-day “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” comes around and everyone panics. What do I wear?!

Well I, a seasoned Calgarian, (for a while longer anyway) am here to rescue you and show you how to use what’s in your closet to create a passable drug store cowboy look for your event. To help yourself out, go and buy a $1 bandana from the dollar store. But wash it first because the dye will rub off on your clothes. In any case, if you get called to an event last minute, these below items will be western enough so you’re not mocked, although they won’t win you any spirit awards.

Things that I’ll assume you have are a belt or two, a bandana, and some kind of other items in your wardrobe. I’m also assuming you’re a woman. If you’re a man, wear a button up shirt and jeans and call it a day. Click the photos to make them larger.

Button-up shirts
Most folks have one or two button-up shirts in their closets. Pull it out, iron it, and tuck it in to any pair of jeans. Ok, wait. Put it on first. Then tuck it in.  Roll the sleeves up to the elbow for extra points.Any white dress
Other than your wedding dress, slap a belt on any white dress that isn’t satin and you’re good to go.

Anything with ruffles
If you have a dress or shirt with ANY kind of ruffle on it, throw a belt over top or tuck it into your jeans.

Any denim
Red or yellow, black or white, any kind of denim taking any form will help you cruise to outfit completion in no time. Unless it’s a denim baseball cap. With mirrors.

Anything with any kind of pattern
Any pattern, any pattern at all here, folks. Tuck them into belted jeans or throw a belt over top.

That turquoise jewelery you bought on vacation.
Also works great with any wooden or red jewelery you might have.

Any leather or suede shoe or boot
Extra points for tan or brown.

Anything “native” inspired
Including anything with tassles or beading.

And you’ll fit right in at your last-minute Stampede event. But also, I cannot stress enough, that at the Stampede (and related events), you will be standing and/or walking A LOT. The most important thing is that you have shoes you can do that in and not end up in so much pain that you want to tear your body apart when you get home.

Like this post? Find me over here, you won’t be sorry!