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ISSUE 116 VOL 13 PUBLISHED 3/7/2003

Western wardrobes change with trends

By Lindsay Horn
Contributing Writer

Friday, March 7, 2003

As the stars of country music became increasingly popular in the late 90s, so did their sense of style.

Although some of the flash trends like fringe, cowboy boots, big belt buckles, and cowboy hats definitely had their moments, other items like silver, jeans, leather, and suede have proved to have longer staying power.

Just like the hottest looks in fashion are forever changing, so are those that have been influenced by country. For example, even by comparing the trends of last year to the current and forecasted looks, one can get a good idea of the variety and fluctuation that western looks contain.

Last summer, country had a huge impact on clothes and accessories. For instance, bandanna and western prints, jean skirts, and straw cowboy hats were very “in.” As far as accessories went, turquoise stones were key items for those wanting to keep up with the latest style. Turquoise was especially popular in bracelets, necklaces, earrings and as accents to belts. It looked remarkably striking when paired with white clothes and sun kissed skin.

As summer moved into fall, skin-baring items took the back burner to longer jean skirts, suede and leather pants and skirts, showy belts and boots. Along with these staples, accents of leather chords and suede ties gave classic pieces a country western feel. Colors of cobalt blue, neutrals and muted primaries further added to this motif. When the leaves had vacated the trees, jean jackets lined with faux or real sheepskin became a key must have item.

During this winter it became harder to pick out strands of country influence, but it did manage to sneak in through outerwear. One of the most popular looks for this snowy season was the sheep skin coat. Whether they were fake or real, it didn’'t matter as long as they looked good and kept their wearer’s cozy. Actually, this trend was not only popular for its rustic chic look, but also for it’s practicality as these coats proved to be extra warm.

Although the fashion forecast for this spring and summer doesn'’t look particularly bright for those hooked on the styles of country, subtle hints can still accentuate your outfit.

For example, silver is the hottest metal for spring and summer and it can be worn in numerous ways. Silver jewelry is always a classy yet contemporary look. To keep up with the latest and greatest in this trend, be sure to invest in unique chunky pieces. When wearing silver, just remember that cooler colors are always preferable to warmer ones and you can never go wrong with classic black and white.

No matter what your take is on country music, there is no denying that singers like Faith Hill, The Dixie Chicks and Le Ann Rimes have both unique and great style. By taking bits and pieces of their wardrobes, and incorporating them into your own, you can have a little taste of country without worrying about committing any major fashion faux pas.

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