top of page

Western Fashion Takeover: Southern Style in Northern Cities

By: Lily Smokler

You cannot make it down one block in northern cities, such as New York and Boston, without seeing multiple girls wearing one coveted closet staple—cowboy boots. These boots are being worn with just about everything. From maxi skirts and mini dresses to sweaters and more, and though not required, these boots are often paired with a Western statement belt as well.

You’re probably wondering: where did this style come from? Why is it just now so popular in northern cities?

The culture from which these items stem has been challenged over the years. Western fashion is typically associated with Western states and their corresponding authentic lifestyles. Southern universities adopted cowboy boots and turned them into a basic necessity for their trending fashion, being worn to game days, parties, etc. After adopting these shoes; however, most southern universities altered them to fit their aesthetic. For example, rather than wearing authentic, rustic boots, students wear knee-high white plastic ones — a major tenant of fast fashion.

Now, the culture around these boots is changing once again. Vintage-style, authentic boots are making a comeback all over the country, even replacing the white plastic ones.

What is so fun and special about these boots is that the options are endless. Want to dress them up and wear them with a nice dress? Go for it! Want to dress them down and wear them with a baggy T-shirt and shorts? Amazing! They are so versatile and can be styled any way you want.

Additionally, these shoes embody a sense of creativity and self-expression; so many outfits can be put together with the same pair of shoes — yet each one can represent someone or something different. I believe these shoes have become so popular in northern cities for this exact reason: cities are full of creative and unique people who express themselves and their creativity through their style.

Many stores are noticing this trend and beginning to advertise the boots they sell. You can shop for cowboy boots at numerous stores, including Free People, Anthropologie, and stores designated for them, such as Tecovas and Boot Barn. There are also a number of vintage retailers that carry used ones that could be found in local vintage shops or online at Depop and eBay. So, if you want to know what all the cool girls are wearing today, look no further than these timeless and rusticly designed boots!


bottom of page