Bella Hadid at Rode
Getty Images
April 19, 2024

Is 2024 the Year of the Cowgirl?

Everyone from Beyonce to Bella Hadid has been sporting a Stetson — should we get one too?

Recently, it seems that everyone is cuckoo for Country-Western wear. Cathaleen Chen reports for Business of Fashion that: “Sometime in the last two or three years, the style hit an inflection point […and although] there’s no one reason for the surge in popularity, [it could be] the increasing popularity of country music in the US and beyond.” 

Country music truly has exploded into the mainstream. Beyoncé is selling out stadiums filled with rhinestone cowgirl hats and assless chaps, Lana Del Rey is releasing a country album called Lasso later this year, and the song “Austin” by Dasha has gone viral on Tiktok as the backing for a trend to show off your cowgirl boots and line dancing skills. 

Beyonce Cowgirl
Image Courtesy of Beyonce/ Blair Caldwell

The Yeehaw Agenda

Unsurprisingly, we’re also seeing this trend drift into fashion. In 2019, Brooke Marine wrote “The Yeehaw Agenda” for W Magazine on the surge in popularity of the black cowboy in fashion and music. In 2023, the surreptitiously Western, cow-toed Tabi boots exploded in popularity following the “Tabi Thief” scandal and just this year, our beloved supermodel, Bella Hadid made it to the Amateur Finals at the NCHA Rodeo. Yeehaw!

It’s safe to say we’re primed for a return to the West — but don’t think we’re brand new to this. Every couple of years, our sartorial pendulum swings back and forth between Country Mouse and City Mouse. So, we’re no strangers to Cowgirl style here in the fashion world.

Way back in 1992, Mugler’s Spring RTW collection showed a full Western-glam fantasy. Models waltzed down the runway clad in sexy cow prints, sequin chaps, and even the famous red rhinestone cowgirl corset — which you may recognize from literally any fashion Pinterest board you’ve ever seen. Then, 26 years later, we see Dior take a more conservative spin on the Western trend with their Resort 2018 collection featuring belted fringe maxi dresses, plaid shawls, and painted leather ponchos.

The Modern Cowgirl

Now, if you’re looking for more modern inspo, the Chloe FW24 show was filled to the brim with the most deliciously ethereal Western giddy-ups. The collection featured muted tones, unfussy hair, and simple makeup — a traditional Chloe house code. Some stand-out looks from the show included this sheer, white lace slip dress paired with thigh-high riding boots and this mini-skirt/maxi-sleeves number topped with a tough, animal hide cape. 

Image Courtesy of Chloe

Chemena Kamali, the new Creative Director of Chloé, was able to seamlessly weave a certain sort of coastal ease with nostalgic Western toughness in this collection. The result ends up looking like the kind of outfits you’d see on a writer in the ‘70s, standing on a hill in Northern California, the tall grass brushing against their riding boots, wind blowing through their long tendrils of hair. Peaceful, serene, and simply beautiful.

For menswear, look no further than Louis Vuitton FW24 — a full-on Western extravaganza. Grammy-winning artist Pharrell Williams holds the title of current Creative Director at LV and was the one who spearheaded the collection. During a post-show interview with the press, he explained that the show was inspired by realistic images of actual cowboys, saying “…when you see cowboys portrayed you see only a few versions. You never really get to see what some of the original cowboys looked like. They looked like us, they looked like me. They looked Black. They looked Native American.” 

Stand-outs from the show included this Nudie Cohn-inspired double-breasted suit, this digi-style “cowmooflage” trucker jacket, and all the incredible finishing details: turquoise buttons, bolo ties, and intricate leatherwork.

Image Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

It Is, Indeed, the Year of the Cowgirl

Western fashion is so evocative because it harkens back to a simpler time — a time of cowboys and outlaws who didn’t have to clock in from 9-5 or schedule a dentist appointment over the phone. It scratches a certain nostalgic itch we feel when the modern world seems out of control — and when we just want to toss on our leather jackets and ride away into the sunset.

It’s also worth noting that garments in this style are often made out of natural materials like cotton, linen, and leather — which hold up well and feel great on the skin. In an age where everything seems to be made out of the same plasticky, thin, fast-fashion fabric, it’s a breath of fresh air to slip into a real suede dress.

Good news is: Western-wear and Cowgirl fashion are evergreen trends. You can feel safe investing in a high quality Country-inspired garment because you know that even if it goes out of style soon, it’ll always be back eventually.

Kaitlin Owens

Kaitlin Owens is a Writer, Fashion Obsessive, Movie Buff and a Women's 7.5 (if any shoe brands are reading). She is a Vintage Fashion Columnist for Byline Magazine, the Archival Fashion Editor for Haloscope Magazine and the Editor in Chief of Dilettante. Kaitlin is from nowhere. She has lived in hotels and motels all around the world, but in 2020, she finally settled in the middle of Virginia with her husband and a big fat orange cat. She plans to spend the rest of her days buying taper candles at flea markets.

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