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the stylist’s notebook | the cowboy boot

19 September 2009

Dear La Couturier,

First let me start off by saying that I am head over heels, completely in love with your blog! However, you probably already know that. I have always adored your posts where someone will request something, and you will give them little tips. You give fabulous advice, by the way. So I thought that I would ask you for some advice myself. I just recently bought the Frye ‘Jane 14’ Tall Pull-On Boot at Nordstrom. I already had a pair of biker boots, so I thought that I would opt for something different. Now most days I dress very classy, but some days I love to go for the grunge-chic look. With that, I have made many outfits with my new boots that don’t look too “cowgirl”, which is what I was going for. So, that said, I was wondering if you could give me some tips or outfit ideas so I could have your perspective on how to wear my new boots. I understand that you are very busy and probably get hundred of these requests, so I understand if you can’t help me.

Thank you for taking your time to read all of this! 🙂

– laur @ neonmango

4th & Bleeker 2

{image source: 4 t h  a n d  b l e e k e r }

The cowboy boot has ventured into the shoe racks deemed trend-forward, creeping its way to a spot between much-adored and sought after biker boots. At what point the cowboy officially became popular once more lies in the gray area – but there is one thing that we do know without a doubt. They have made their comeback.

By no means does the aforementioned statement mean that this particular shoe is for everyone; depending on taste and personal style, your liking (or disliking) for the cowboy boot will differ. For most it is a love or hate situation; some adore the nostalgic reference to the southwestern culture of the United States; others look over it as (and I shall be rather blunt with this) tacky and irrelevant. I have neither extremities in feelings for this trend – I will, however, only admire it on others from afar.

But incorporating such a shoe is, by no means, easy. It so happens to be one of those pieces that either makes or breaks an outfit. An outfit “gone wrong” (again, this is all personal opinion) could result in an exact (borderline tacky) rendition of those historical ranchers. Yet when worn “right”, the effect is undoubtedly and undeniably chic.

The boots in question? The Frye “Jane 14” Tall Pull-On Boots. The perfect blend of the classic boot with a touch of western.

{uptown & sophisticated.}

{ chickdowntown, net-a-porter, nordstrom }

Balance. Perhaps you tire of me being repetitive in my constant usage of the word in dishing my style advice, but I cannot emphasize enough the importance of it not just in creating ensembles, but also in life. The key to a successful and seemingly timeless ensemble – regardless of what current trends are incorporated into the look – is indeed balance. The typical cowboy boot nearly screams “LOOK AT ME!” in its unmistakably southern drawl. So tone it down with something sophisticated. The Rachel Pally batwing top is quite ideal: part ethereal and wholly sophisticated.

Dark skinny denim. The darker the wash, the dressier denim becomes. Tailored dark skinnies are the best choice of bottoms when wearing cowboy boots; they instantly add an element of sophistication.

Opulent gold. Again, I bring up my point of balance. Cowboys often evoke a casual-ness; add a bit of formality and (again) sophistication by juxtaposing that boot with gold jewelry. The more decadent, the better. Think Rachel Zoe and her armful of gold bangles and cocktail rings. Mm.

{ethereal romanticism & a tad western.}

Cowboy 2

{ chickdowntown, net-a-porter, forever 21, nordstrom }

Seek inspiration from Chloé. Most picture Southerners clad in plaid shirts, ripped denim, and a straw denim at the mention of cowboy boots. Yet I (again, the odd one out) picture previous collections by Chloé – ad campaigns inclusive. Grassy fields with models in ethereal, billowing linen tops, the Paraty slung on their shoulders. Take heed from the creative director(s) at this design house – and add that cowboy boot.

Think creams and neutrals for your color palette. It is simply the best way to balance (yet again) the ruddy red-brown of the [typical] cowboy boot. Variations of nudes, whites, and creams instantly soften the impact of the boot, adding a touch of feminism and dreaminess. Add light greys to add a bit of ground and solidity.

{ net-a-porter, nordstrom }

Layers. Again, with inspiration taken from Chloé. I imagine layers of linen blouses and knits with cable knit scarves that reach the knees. And a knit beret in an olive-y cream. Ensemble revelation? Perhaps.

High-waisted mini shorts. Paired with billowy tops, they add the perfect touch of sophistication and balance to knee high boots!

Mix & match. In any other circumstance I would say “Match! Match! Match!” But this occasion calls for a bit of flexibility; I do admire the mismatched pairings of different shades of browns for that perfectly imperfect Chloé look.

Cowboy 4

{ net-a-porter, nordstrom }


La C.

P.S.: This is ridiculously delayed, but sometime last week I had gotten a blog award from Cindy of True  North Style in which she said “she deserves this just for introducing me to lollipop26, but on top of that she has an amazing blog!” Thank you so much for the blog award! (: It is imperative that all you lovelies visit her, she is absolutely amazing. I adore her & her blog!

46 Comments leave one →
  1. 19 September 2009 2:28 pm

    Such a great tips, doll! 🙂


  2. thebaglady permalink
    19 September 2009 2:33 pm

    I’ll be honest and say that I hate cowboy boots.

    But LC, as soon as I read this post & saw these outfits I wanted a pair realll bad. So either you’re a ridiculously talented stylist or you’re a damn good stylist.

    Looooved this post!

  3. 19 September 2009 2:34 pm

    I never would have thought of wearing a wrap cardigan with cowboy boots, but I love the way you pulled that look together. Here’s my dream:
    I’m rich and you do my shopping for me. Honestly, I would wear everything you suggested.

  4. 19 September 2009 3:12 pm

    Great post, girl! I like cowboy boots …they have the laid-back elegance of a wealthy ranchero!

  5. 19 September 2009 3:55 pm

    Wonderful post — you really have a talent for styling! 🙂

  6. 19 September 2009 4:35 pm

    Another amazing post!!! I love your writing style and outfit tips!!! Amazing! 🙂

  7. 19 September 2009 5:01 pm

    awesome tips. any suggestions for pairing cowboy boots with skirts? would that be veering too far into “western” territory..?

  8. 19 September 2009 5:39 pm

    Oo the first outfit is to die for!
    I love your how to wears, you create such great ensembles.


  9. 19 September 2009 5:57 pm

    Your post came at the right moment because i own such a pair and I think I would wear my cowboy boots a lot when the fall will seriously begin.You give us very good advice!You could be the best stylist girl!

  10. 19 September 2009 6:38 pm

    Ah I love this, so perfect! Love the ideas, and what perfect ways to incorporate the cowboy boot!

  11. 19 September 2009 6:43 pm

    This amazing guide makes me want a pair of cowboy boots… really bad.

    xx. Shannon

  12. 19 September 2009 7:46 pm


  13. 19 September 2009 8:49 pm

    The dark chocolate frye boots are sooo beautiful paired with the blue jeans and neutral color scheme xo

  14. 20 September 2009 12:07 am

    all these outfits are super cute! 🙂

  15. 20 September 2009 1:15 am

    LOVE cowboy boots! Although I haven’t found myself a pair yet…fat calves don’t help (doh!) 🙂

  16. 20 September 2009 2:01 am

    great advice. i will definitely work the cream neutral colour palette next time i wear my fryes.

  17. 20 September 2009 5:36 am

    Re: I can assure you, it was delicious 😉

    Lovely outfits you put together, I especially like the first one 🙂

  18. decadentluxe permalink
    20 September 2009 5:43 am

    I love your last set.

    I’m currently holding an LNA zipper legging giveaway if you’re interested!

  19. 20 September 2009 6:15 am

    Beautyful looks

  20. 20 September 2009 7:00 am

    great post dear. i love the frye boots. really want a pair now.theyre just such perfect autumnboots

  21. Tamara permalink
    20 September 2009 7:40 am

    Love the boots in the first pic you posted! Like cowboy ankle boots, amazing 🙂

  22. 20 September 2009 8:45 am

    I think you’ve got a very good eye for styling, but I’m just not such a big fan of cowboy boots.

  23. 20 September 2009 9:37 am

    another great post, she has fantastic style too!

  24. 20 September 2009 9:42 am

    Hey there. Great post. I hope you’ve been having a wonderful weekend. Take care. Cheers!

  25. 20 September 2009 10:26 am

    Hey La Couturier 🙂
    long time no see… I was off due to a long and strong cold – latest posting: interview with the lovely Dakota Rico – come and check it out 🙂 He did an amazing drawing of you!

    Cowboy boots…. Love them but find it not very easy to find a good pair which doesn’t look trying too hard 😉

    You’ve picked out some very amazing items – and the collages are just awesome!
    My favorite is the first Chloé collage!

    Enjoy the Sunday, darling!

  26. 20 September 2009 2:08 pm

    really awesome outfits you put together! thanks for the great tips 🙂

    ♡ R

  27. 20 September 2009 4:16 pm

    Awesome tips! Love love love your blog! ^^

  28. 20 September 2009 4:29 pm

    Your tips are awesome ! But I guess you won’t like my cowboy boots because these don’t seem cowboy at all to me xD…….. but I’ve been so in love with mine for years now ( even if my first pair has broken and I had to rebuy it this summer ), they’re so versatile !

  29. 20 September 2009 6:28 pm

    Love cowboy boots and love the looks you created! 🙂

  30. 20 September 2009 10:22 pm

    great ensemble La C! love the first set!

  31. 21 September 2009 5:12 am

    i love your combinations 🙂 very classy

  32. 21 September 2009 5:15 am

    what a great post!!! I have some cowboy boots that I’m going to be digging out for winter and I will definitely be using some of your outfit combinations 🙂 xoxo

  33. 21 September 2009 10:21 am

    that ring is so beautiful. need that one

  34. 21 September 2009 11:35 am

    Each of these looks is beyond fabulous! 🙂

  35. 21 September 2009 1:20 pm

    Great advice as always, La C! You put together some truly sophisticated outfits around a pair of boots and made the cowboy chic vibe of the boots much more urban.

  36. 21 September 2009 6:48 pm

    thx for this post – i always loved cowboy boots (being an equestrian and all of course) but shied away b/c of the tack-factor. i like how you paired it with soft and pretty/neutral shades.

    About dance: do you still dance? i used to dance ballet (age 3-9) and always regretted the day i stopped. Like you, i was forced to stop b/c my mom had a misconception that girls must stop ballet during the ages 9-12 as it was bad for their development. I just loved the way you describe how a primi ballerina might look leaving the studio or rehearsal…it’s so romantic and feminine. What i loved about dance was the freedom in expression, the music, and the team work. Above all, i loved the performance – i loved being on stage.

    so much so i am thinking about going back and taking some intro to modern dance…maybe one of these days…

  37. 21 September 2009 7:54 pm

    love this, and it’s so timely too – my friends and i are planning a southwest road trip and i’ve been contemplating the boots, but was sure it was too incongruent with my look.. great post!

  38. 21 September 2009 8:07 pm

    OMG, that Chloe bag is most delicious!

  39. 22 September 2009 12:23 am

    I looooove those last two outfits~ and I really want to purchase myself some cute cowboy boots….but I have to find some nice silver pumps first..gah…

    E> An

  40. 22 September 2009 11:48 am

    i love fourth and bleeker. she looks good in anything! great suggestions on how to wear cowboy boots. i love the all of the slouchy tops and nude accents.


  41. 22 September 2009 4:23 pm

    First off, thank you ever so much! I LOVED the post! Fabulous advice, as always. I adore the idea of mixing the nudes, and the whole Chloe look. I also loved the first ensemble. Definitely cowgirl chic. This makes me want to rip out my boots and wear them right now 😀

    Thanks again!!! 🙂

    – laur @ neonmango

  42. 23 September 2009 7:55 am

    Nice outfits! I have a pair myself and I almost never wear them. Thanks for the advise!!

  43. 23 September 2009 4:44 pm

    Here I am wishing that I do no live in a tropical country and can wear boots all the time. I have only one pair of cowboy boots and I never wear them so fashionably like you suggested here because I know people will look at me like I’m crazy.

  44. 23 September 2009 6:53 pm

    Great post! I love the looks you have selected.

  45. 25 September 2009 4:41 am

    thanks for your advices


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