Cowboy Core is Taking Over the Runway, Social Media, and Streetwear

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Giddy up everybody! If you haven't yet heard, we're going down a western/country direction in the fashion universe. That's right, cowboy core is one of the latest 2024 fashion trends that's taking over the runway, social media, and streetwear scenes. While western fashion has always been popular and has had it's brief moments where it's trended from time to time, a fair argument can also be made for western fashion being a niche interest—specifically with those who have grown up in country/western regions. That "niche interest," however, is slowly changing and becoming more of a global one that's catching on everywhere. Perhaps it's because Beyoncé is releasing a country-inspired album (more on that in a bit). Maybe it's because people want more flavor within their capsule wardrobes. Perhaps the answer is as simple as just wanting to rock a button-down shirt, skinny jeans, a good ole pair of cowboy boots, and a cowboy hat. Whatever the case may be, the western aesthetic is causing a ruckus on social media, so we're taking a look at how cowboy core (and Gen Z) is taking over the runway, social media, and streetwear.

RELATED: The Retro Streetwear Trend is Taking Over 2024: Here Are 10 Styles to Shop

Country music's growing influence:

While some might think country music's influence on fashion is a relatively new deal, we're here to tell you it's always been around to some extent, and this isn't the first time cowboy core has had a big wave (this is just the first time there's been a specific name dedicated to it). The trend actually had a similar explosion in the early 2000s, so the fact that it's coming around again is just another element of millennial trends and fashion coming back around for Gen Z'ers to have their turn. Take, for example, this photo of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake at the 2001 American Music Awards.

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While this outfit choice may have seemed random (especially at the time), in reality both Britney and Justin are indeed "country" as Timberlake was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, and Spears is a McComb, Mississippi/Louisiana girl. Of course, the anticipation is high for Beyoncé's upcoming Act II: Renaissance album—which very much appears to be a country album at the time of this writing, but Beyoncé herself is a proud Houston, Texan native that has been repping western fashion since her early Destiny's Child days.

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Of course we can't forget about Madonna's western era with her eighth studio album Music, which was released in 2000.

Or how Mary J. Blige has always repped country fashion.

As far as recent years go, you also have to give Lil Nas X credit for his contributions as well, seeing as though "Old Town Road" became a massive movement in the social media era—the man even got the country king Billy Ray Cyrus to be a part of the remix! That leads us to the runway.

Cowboy core on the runway:

Designers and brands experimenting with cowboy core isn't particularly a new concept either as it's always been referenced and played around with. However, in recent years, we have seen several collections and shows with a clear-cut western influence such as Pharrell's Louis Vuitton Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 collection at Paris Fashion Week this past January.

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Then there's Olivier Rousteing's 2024 Resort Menswear Collection for Balmain, which is designed to bring the "USA dream" through its cowboy hats, denim, and rhinestones.

Other relatively recent examples of the style in world couture include Wrangler and boot brand Lucchese working together in 2022 to bring forth a western-themed collection that honored the long-standing legacy of boot-cut jeans along with a mixture of denim jackets, boots, and more.

The impact of western style on streetwear:

Now that we're four years into the 2020s, it's safe to say there's a little bit of streetwear in everything (including couture). As such, you're starting to see more western influences in themes amongst streetwear styles and trends (and we predict you'll be seeing more in the future). Here are a couple of recent examples:

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Shop cowboy core:

Now that we've covered the basics, it's time to get in on the action of putting your western fits together. We've already covered the cowboy boots, button-down shirts, and skinny jeans, but of course you're also going to need a cowboy hat, and some everyday staples like t-shirts along with regular pairs of boots (because you'll need to vary your outfits some) as well.

Cowboy Hats to Shop Now

Denim Jeans to Shop Now

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