The saying goes that the crowning glory of a woman is her hair. We tend to partially disagree. The crowning glory of a cowgirl is not her hair but her hat.
Ever since Mr. Stetson invented a cowboy hat in the mid-1800's, this accessory has been a way for both the gents and the ladies to show who they really are. Just like your favorite pair of jeans or most flashy piece of tack, your hat is a way to express yourself.
So, how do you choose a cowgirl hat that's right for you?
There are several things to consider when shopping for a cowgirl hat. Apart from trends and your personality, you should consider the season, the shape of your face, color of your hair, and functionality.
1. Season - Cowgirl hats come in different types of materials, with felt and straw being the most common. Felt hats are better able to protect you from the elements (both precipitation and the harmful UV rays), and they are also able to handle regular wear and tear better. However, felt does not provide good ventilation, and that can be a big problem on those hot and humid summer days. If you want more ventilation, straw hats are the way to go. They have gaps in the straw weave that allow air to move freely through, so your head will not overheat. Straw hats still have drawbacks in that they are stiffer, less comfortable, and due to the gaps in the straw, they don't do a very good job of protecting you from the sun. The best option with these hats, if they are to be used during the summer months, is to find the hybrid of the two.
2. Facial Shape - Cowgirl hats have exaggerated proportions that can attract attention to features such as very thin faces, jowly chins, and broad foreheads. When choosing a hat, honestly assess the shape of your face, and keep in mind that balance is the key.
Long, thin faces would look their best under a hat with a low crown. A lady doesn't want a crown any taller than about 4 inches in the front. It can rise up some in the back, as long as it tapers with your face. Anything less than that, and you can't pull it down on your head. Anything more, and it will look too tall. Brims that tilt downward can also minimize the appearance of a long face and neck. In addition, medium sized brims make a thin face look fuller. The basic hat brim width is 4 inches. Some ladies can wear 4.5 to 5 inch brims, but if your face is thin and long, stick with the basic.
Oval and round faces require a balanced hat in terms of its height and width. If the crown is too high or low, the face appears to bulge. A brim that is too thin makes the face balloon in appearance. A brim that is too wide makes the face appear oblong. Brims with an upward tilt draw the eye upward and inward, giving the illusion of a thinner, smaller face.
Full chins and prominent foreheads require special considerations when choosing a hat. Faces that are full at the chin and pointy on top require hats with low crowns and brims that extend further than the chin's width. Wider brims and/or high crowns reduce the prominence of foreheads.
3. Hair Color - also plays an important role when choosing a cowgirl hat. A basic rule of thumb is that blondes look great in black hats. Olive skin tones and brunettes look sharp in Silverbelly hats. The idea is to stay away from colors that, when combined with the color of your hair, make you look washed out.
4. Functionality - is the most important consideration when buying a cowgirl hat. You should never be worried that it would blow off during ranch work or competition. Also, you need to think about protecting your skin from the harmful UV rays. Basically, use common sense when deciding which hat to buy and consider the occasions in which it will be used.
5. Trends - Last but not least, every woman - including a cowgirl - wants to stay abreast the latest trends. However, trends come and go, and if you are not filthy rich (and who is?) and able to buy a new high end hat each time the trends change, your best bet is to stick with the timeless classics. You can still make a classic hat look trendy by adding a hat band in trendy colors, tying a scarf around your hat, adding a peacock plume, or whatever the current trend may call for. Once the fashion winds have blown that particular trend away, you can remove the little accessory you added and have your tried and true hat back in its original shape. Your pocketbook would thank you, too.
Now, it's over to you... What is your style in cowgirl hats, and what are your favorite brands? Leave a comment to let us know.
Cowgirl Chic? Who has ever heard of such a thing? Just put on a pair of jeans, some old cowboy boots and a hat, and you are in business, right? Wrong! Styling for Cowgirl Chic is not as easy as it may seem. But don't worry: we've got you covered from head to toe (and all places in-between)!
First, let us define Cowgirl Chic. When you combine Western Style of ladies' clothing with high quality materials, designer styling, and high end accessories, you get a fusion style that has been making waves in the fashion world lately with even the likes of Ralph Lauren, Chanel, and Alexander McQueen jumping on the proverbial bandwagon. However, the style named Cowgirl Chic has its own design stars: Tasha Polizzi, Marrika Nakk, Johnny Was, Old Gringo... just to name a few.
In this post, we will show you how to use two materials - leather and copper - to put some chic into your cowgirl style.
There are three different elements of style that, properly combined, make your leather and copper outfit not just plain Western Style but Cowgirl Chic. Here they are, in no particular order:
1. COPPER JEWELRY - Warm tones of copper suit the cowgirl style perfectly, evoking memories of country sunsets. You can wear only one choice piece, or combine several if you prefer. Make sure your copper earrings have ear wires made either of a non-reactive metal or, if made of copper, that the metal has been sealed. Our copper earring designs always include ear wires made of either sterling silver or gold vermeil in order to minimize risk of allergic reactions and skin discoloration.
2. LEATHER CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES - Leather is a great companion for copper. While the color family is the same, the suppleness of leather contrasts and, at the same time, complements the rigidity of copper. Although any self-respecting cowgirl should have some leather in her wardrobe, make sure not to overdo it. A pair of leather boots, a leather bag, and either a leather jacket or a great leather belt are quite enough for a single outfit.
3. EVERYTHING ELSE - By all means, break the monotony! Use clothing and accessories in bolder and/or contrasting colors and different materials to break the monochromatic look. Here, we have used a pair of blue denim jeans, a red, patterned cotton peasant blouse, and a straw hat with turquoise trim. Feel free to mix rough denim with silk, lace, and other more feminine fabrics. After all, every cowgirl is still a girl, and all of us girls like pretty little things.
This was Part 1 of our 3-part Guide to Styling for Cowgirl Chic. Parts 2 and 3 will be coming out soon. For a sneak peek into what the remaining two parts will be addressing, take a look here http://www.hartsd.com/blog/how-to-style-for-cowgirl-chic-free-guide.
Interior decorating is not only only about big, bold pieces in the particular style you want to achieve. Like anything in life, the soul of a good design is in the details, and when it comes to home decor, those details are the lamps, decorative pillows, accent pieces, rugs, and yes, even toilet seat covers you place in your home.
The secret to achieving a consistent, elegant yet rustic Western feel for your home interiors is not to overcrowd your space with western artifacts and to choose your decor carefully. Of course, the second point requires a lot of patience.
We all want to have our homes decorated and ready to be shown to the visitors as soon as humanly possible. That sometimes leads us to severe cases of buyer's remorse after we have purchased a piece just to "fill that empty spot" without thinking how that particular piece fits into our larger decorating scheme. The trick to help you avoid this scenario is to decide up front if you are aiming for a more high-end Western Style or a rough, rustic feel. Then, before each purchase, ask yourself if that particular item fits your chosen style. If it does, the next question to ask is, "Do I absolutely love it?" If you can't respond with a resounding "yes," that item is best left on the retailer's shelf.
Now, you may think that you need to spend a lot of money if you decide to go with a higher-end Western Style for your home. This is not necessarily true. If you are at all crafty, you can make a lot of accent items, such as pillows, runners, drapes and curtains, and even some simpler pieces of furniture on your own for a fraction of the retail price. However, if you are all thumbs, don't despair. You are not relegated to the fate of big spending either. All that is required of you is to become a smart and patient shopper. That means you will have to learn how to practice restraint and how to set a budget. If a piece of decor you love has a price tag that is way higher than what you can afford at the moment, do not rush into buying a poor replica instead. Exercise patience while setting every spare dollar aside toward your "home decor fund." Once you have saved enough, go ahead and treat yourself to that special piece!
Now that you know how to be a smart decorator, it is time to give you a few pointers on what to look for in accent pieces to achieve that coveted Western Style.
Mood boards and style boards are always a good idea before you start any type of design or decorating project. In case of Western Style interiors, what you need to do is visualize a Western landscape. Notice the colors, textures, and materials that compose that landscape. If you live in the Western part of the U.S., go out on walks, hikes, and nature drives, and take lots of photos of things that catch your attention. If you don't live on a ranch or in the West, go to your local library, and read Western themed books and magazines to get some ideas. Then, make a decorating "blueprint" taking into account the following 5 principles:
With these decorating basics in mind, you are now set to turn your home into a Western oasis. If you need more inspiration, feel free to browse our Western Style Home Decor board on Pinterest.
What are your must-have items for Western decorating? Let us know in the comments below.
the mind and hands behind hART Sense Design. I am a designer and hand-maker of one-of-a-kind and limited edition jewelry and accessories for artistic, chic cowgirls, boho babes, and lovers of all things western.
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