Cowboy Core
Beyoncé blazin' the trail. Courtesy of Beyoncé

Beyoncé just dropped her new highly-anticipated album, Cowboy Carter, further cementing her status as a megastar and influential voice in country music. Her track "Texas Hold 'Em" makes her the only black woman to have a country music number one hit. Pinterest searches for Cowboy Carter Beyoncé are up 230 percent week over week. But as a reigning style star, she adds more fuel to our lust for elevated Western style. Fun fact: Cowboy Carter also includes a cover of Dolly Parton's iconic song "Jolene."

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We may only be three months into 2024, but many defining fashion trends have already been birthed. We've seen the rise of the office siren aesthetic, the resurgence of blue on fashion week runways, the naked and no pants trends, white accessories for spring and the coquette aesthetic. As powerful as these latest fashion trends have become, it's cowboy core that's getting all the attention on the airways and in our wardrobes.

You only need to look at the runways of Paris Fashion Week and celebrity style stars like Queen Bey, Bella Hadid and Kim Kardashian to know that cowboy core is heading toward iconic territory. Speaking of Bey, she's definitely given the trend a superstar stamp of approval by showcasing a myriad of dazzling Western-inspired looks lately. We're thinking of her metallic lingerie two-piece set and black cowboy hat on the cover of "Texas Hold 'Em" and the Louis Vuitton leather studded skirt suit and Stetson hat she wore for the Grammys in February.

Then came Rihanna effortlessly nailing the Western trend for Vogue China's April cover wearing a black satin jacket with floral embroidery, trousers, a Savage x Fenty bra and an embellished cowboy hat.

Cowboy Core
Louis Vuitton Fall 2024 Menswear. Courtesy of Launchmetrics Spotlight

Other industry titans have also helped to solidify the staying power of cowboy core. Pharrell Williams' Fall 2024 Menswear show for Louis Vuitton served as a tribute while redefining Western wear courtesy of cowboy shirts with turquoise beading, quintessential denim with the brand's signature Damier print and exclusive boots in collaboration with Timberland. Coach's runway also displayed fringe jackets and paired buckle harness boots with almost every look.

"The elevated Western look is huge right now. I love what Pharrell Williams did for Vuitton. I've worn cowboy boots forever and now love seeing my 16-year-old daughter and her friends wearing them. There are so many cute ways to add it to your wardrobe with flared jeans, denim shirts, cowboy boots, of course, and I love a suede fringed shirt," says Fashion Times Market Director Sarah Meikle.

Cowboy Core
Coach Fall 2024. Courtesy of Launchmetrics Spotlight

While we're certainly enjoying its comeback, the cowboy trend isn't exactly new. Cowboy core, also known as the Western aesthetic, dates back to the 19th century and the Wild West first popularized by singing cowboys like Roy Rogers before becoming a sartorial staple in the Southwest. It usually includes staples, such as cowboy hats, boots, fringe jackets, leather belts, prairie dresses and classic blue jeans.

To help you add a little elevated Western edge to your wardrobe, we've rounded up the trend's signature pieces. First up is the cowboy hat. Nothing displays Western style like a cowboy hat. Invented by John B. Stetson in the 1860s, the accessory has become an essential piece of the subculture. Style it classically with denim on denim or go big like Bey by pairing it with a lingerie dress.

Although the shoe style has existed for centuries, Emily Ratajkowski has recently cemented herself as the queen of cowboy boots. Keep things clean and minimal with a classic black boot or consider a silver, scrunched silhouette for a night out.

While the brown suede style rules this category, fringe jackets have graduated to more experimental styles like black leather with crystals (ask Lady Gaga). If you're feeling more casual, style yours with jeans and white sneakers for everyday wear.

Although it's not as popular as other staples, the Western belt is no accessory to sleep on. Take it from Hadid, who effortlessly styled it with a white cropped tank and low-rise jeans.

Stars like Katie Holmes and Gwyneth Paltrow consistently stepped out in prairie dresses last summer and we predict they will get even more popular this year. You can rock them solo with bold-colored heels or layered under a leather motorcycle jacket teamed with sneakers.

Jeans are wardrobe musts regardless of aesthetic, but their dominance in cowboy core is second to none. The classic straight-leg will never steer you wrong, but for those looking to push the envelope, try cowgirl cut-outs like Bey.

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