Most people go to the rodeo to see the riding and the roping. But there's good people-watching in the stands at the 100th Clovis Rodeo, too — and fashion has a lot to do with that.
There's a certain way of dressing up for the rodeo — yes, big belts and cowboy boots are a part of it. We've tried to boil down what spectators are wearing lately, with the help of some rodeo fashion experts. We've translated what's trendy into these paper dolls, which we encourage you to cut out and have some fun with.
"Rodeo fashion has become a big thing that it never was before," says 19-year-old Cassie Dorrell. She runs Sassy Cowgirl Closet inside A-1 Feed Store in Clovis and takes her clothing and accessories on the road to sell at other rodeos.
Rodeo fashion takes cues from Western wear, a niche all its own that you'll see people wearing outside the rodeo. But the rodeo is the perfect place to see all these trends in one place.
There, you'll see white dresses done up with lots of jewelry and accessories. But jeans are the building blocks of most rodeo outfits, specifically Miss Me brand jeans with lots of bling or embellishments on the pockets. The jeans are particularly popular at Boot Barn in Clovis — yes, they carry much more than boots — and come with a price tag of around $100. Though really, any kind of blinged-out jeans will do.
What comes next varies by age. Some women will add a button-down shirt, though even those have embellishments and bling these days. And flowy peasant tops are popular.
Dorrell's crowd opts for a simple tank top.
It's worth noting that you will see some skin at the rodeo. Some young women have taken to wearing super-short shorts and tube tops. But the people I talked to for this column — the people who actually ride horses and sell cowboy boots — don't think of that as "real" rodeo fashion.
The tank top that Dorrell talks about covers more skin and is merely the canvas for what comes next.
"The more jewelry, the better," she says. "The funkier, the better."
She layers several necklaces at a time, often pearls paired with the more Western themed-necklaces. Think turquoise, beads, horseshoes, dream catchers, and silhouettes of longhorn cattle and the state of Texas. Dorrell also sells bullets covered in rhinestones and hung on a chain.
Belts come next. Sometimes they're big buckles with rhinestone images on them. Sometimes they just have more traditional belt buckles that are oversized and studded with rhinestones.
And what about a hat? Yup, those are popular too. Sandra Miller at the Clovis Boot Barn says the store sells plenty of what she calls "concert hats" — straw cowboy hats decorated with turquoise or rhinestone bands.
But surprisingly, some women are ditching hats for head bands. There's beaded ones and ones made from bandannas that are embellished with feathers, crosses and rhinestone.
But no rodeo outfit would be complete without boots. Pointed ones with dresses, square-toed with jeans.