Contemporary Western my way

In the never say never category:

Less than a week ago, I responded to Angie's western trend blog post with a "not really for me" type of comment. 

Two days later, I found myself purchasing a western-style belt. ;)

True, belts have been on my HEWI list for over a year. Most of my old belts don't fit with higher waist trousers and jeans and since belts are an important accessory group for me, I need to replenish my belt capsule. Still, I suspect Angie is a master of subliminal suggestion. 

Having purchased the belt (at The Bay -- links are not working for me well -- sorry!) I walked into Nordstrom's. (Side note: what a thrill to be able to walk into actual stores whenever I feel like it!! Hurray for my new, more urban life!) 

Ten steps in and I came face to face with the mildly Western-influenced Blondo Elvina. (Looks less Western in the photo -- toe is pointy western shape IRL.) 

Now, I wasn't exactly in need of a black bootie. True, I just retired my beloved Stuart Weitzman chelsea boots. But I do own tall black waterproof boots. Also, I now have several pairs of waterproof blue booties, which I adore. 

Add to that, Blondo boots often don't fit me terribly well. But something was calling me to try these. They are very lightweight and flexible with skid proof rubberized soles. They have a mid-height shaft, whereas most of my current booties are sock style with quite a high shaft. And that toe...

You know the rest. Such a great fit. So practical for my wet climate and lifestyle. Reviewers say they run small. My best size is EU 37; I took these in a 7 vs. a 6.5 but I do that for Aquatalia boots also. I'd say they'd be too narrow for a wider foot/ ankle. Best on a regular volume or slightly narrow foot. Some reviewers said the ankle is too tight. On me, there's a bit of an ankle gap, but the shape of the boot makes it unnoticeable/ not bothersome. 

Next I headed over to handbags. What I really wanted was a structured handbag. Subject for another post. Suffice it to say I have been looking, looking, looking to no avail for one that combines the features I want. Meanwhile, here sat this Minkoff backpack in putty. I adore my Minkoff hobo but often feel the yen for a lighter coloured bag. And I love carrying backpacks. It was half price. Out came the credit card again. 

Saturday's lunch with Mr. Suz outfit combines a few trends: 

Nod to the Western with belt, and booties. 
Tartan jacket (BR, last year)
Maximalism my way (fringe, texture, pattern)

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Barbara Diane replied 9 months ago

    Love the look, love the story, love your happiness in having easy access to B&M. And I never would have thought to put that top in this outfit. Um...thinking :)

  • Alicewonderland replied 9 months ago

    Wow, awesome. I especially love that backpack!

  • torontogirl replied 9 months ago

    Fab fab fab!! You never get it wrong Suz!!

  • JAileen replied 9 months ago

    This, like Inge’s post, is how I like Western. No way this looks like a costume. Very nice!

  • Laurie replied 9 months ago

    Great outfit all around.  You have nailed fringe, texture and pattern!  That backpack is fabulous, you will get a lot of use out of it.  Super color.
    I love that crushed velour top on you.   When you first got it I was inspired by your photos and tried it, but it totally didn't work for me.   

  • rachylou replied 9 months ago

    Urban cowboy! Love it!

  • Cardiff girl replied 9 months ago

    Oh new boots!They look great ,classic styling and I love the outfit ,again classic but on trend.Very wearable.

  • jill58 replied 9 months ago

    I'm too am generally skeptical of all things western but I love this!

  • gardenchick replied 9 months ago

    Great look! Blazer is fab on you :-)

  • lisa p replied 9 months ago

    I'd wear all of this - and now want to !  Not sure I can do crushed velour without looking like a stuffed sofa, so I'll admire it on the smaller chested among us....but those boots are the bomb!  Also want a western belt now too - and this coming from someone who owns NO belts, never has, and proclaims to be iffy about the western trend. You have me convinced :)    I bet walking into a decent Nordstrom any time you want is pretty fun too !  

    Oh - are you enjoying the backpack? I sold mine a few years ago - couldn't make it work for me - too much depth, stuff kept falling out if I didn't zip a side pocket properly, and it was too  long to carry by the top handle  :(  

  • lisa p replied 9 months ago

    And where is your Nordstrom Rack??

  • Elizabeth P replied 9 months ago

    Love those boots Suz.  Waterproof too... needed for Vancouver!  Great overall outfit.

    I'm jealous of your ability to b&m shop at will.  Enjoy!

  • Sara L. replied 9 months ago

    Ooh, fabulous outfit!  I love the western belt with the sleek booties.  Around here those belts are usually paired with lots of bling.

  • suntiger replied 9 months ago

    Dont worry, its western lite in the best way :) definitely still reflects your style! Do you think the velour top will get more outings in new climate?

  • Suz replied 9 months ago

    Thanks, all. Suntiger, I have worn the velour top quite a lot -- usually under a jacket, like this. It's basically a "dressy t-shirt." So it works for casual occasions when you want to look as if you made a bit of an effort. 

    Sara, yes, it's the over-the-top bling that doesn't work for me. But a bit is fun! 

    Elizabeth, I can hardly believe my fortune! It makes such a difference. I'll write a post about it. There is a weirdness to it also -- I'm so used to online shopping that there are things I *don't* like about B&M. But when it's good, it's great. 

    Lisa, no Rack (that I know of) in Vancouver (though there's one in Toronto now!) I actually got the belt at The Bay. It's still in stock and online but I couldn't make Finds work from the Bay. Oh- and it seems to be on sale today online. I got a discount, too, but not this much.

    So far, I'm really enjoying the backpack. I didn't know if I would. I like how my phone fits into it. I keep shopping bags in one side pocket and kleenex in the other. My other stuff rolls around the bottom but that's what I'm used to with a hobo, so it's no big deal. It doesn't fit my computer but it fits an ipad, water, wallet, makeup bag, keys, phone, umbrella.... I still really want a great structured bag but I'm incredibly fussy about it and have not found what I need. 

    Gardenchick, Jill, Cardiff Girl, Rachylou, Laurie, JAileen, TG, Alice, Barbara Diane -- thank you. 

  • Inge replied 9 months ago

    LOL, never say never, indeed!-) I love all the individual pieces here, Suz (yay for those fab booties and fun belt!), and you've created another outfit that feels completely you and looks amazing (I've probably said this before, but you really have such a knack for making everything you wear look "totally you"!).

  • Mirjana replied 9 months ago

    All pieces are fantastic and you look terrific!!! No more words.

  • FashIntern replied 9 months ago

    Dang, this is how I want to wear jeans! I see what you meant about long jackets with pants.

  • Greyscale replied 9 months ago

    It looks great -- and I actually would have guessed you'd enjoy a bit of Western flair (exactly like that belt).

  • replied 9 months ago

    This is so great!
    I see how the tartan tones down the western.
    This something I ought to think about: combining a bit of preppy with the western and vice versa.

    I love that putty colour too.

  • Sal replied 9 months ago

    Looks fab Suz - I have a putty/cement colour bag and find it sooooo useful to match with colours (esp navy and black).

    I think I said I would not wear Western either - but I would wear this!!  I can see the influence but in an urban Suz way.

    And it will be fun to shop in store more - mostly still my preference......

  • Sterling replied 9 months ago

    What!?  Our belts are not going to work with the new, higher waisted pants?  NO!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You look beyond amazing.  The belt is GREAT.  I love all things belt.  

  • Suz replied 9 months ago

    You made me laugh, Sterling

    Sal, I'm really glad to know you find this colour of bag useful. I suspect it will be good for me also. 

    Smittie, yes -- it's a bit of a juxtaposition. 

    Greyscale, you know me better than I know myself! 

    Fashintern -- in this case the jacket is actually short ! (Though it's called Long and Lean, that is Banana Republic's mistake, not mine -- this is actually their shorter "classic fit" blazer and they mis-labled it.) It's not truly "shrunken" or cropped but it hits my high hip rather than low hip. A jacket this length also looks good with a skirt, definitely with a slim knee length skirt, maybe even with an A line or full midi skirt (depending on one's personal proportions, of course.). It would also work well with wide legs or flares. The waist nips in, which helps give structure. 

    Many people would not wear such a short jacket with slim jeans or skinnies. It works for me (I think) because I'm a sort of "gamine" type with a small frame. And my legs are on the short side. A shorter jacket makes the leg line longer. 

    If my figure were the opposite (with relatively long legs for my height) then I'd look great in a unstructured longer jacket (of the type Gryffin shows today.) But those jackets don't work so well on me, alas (much as I like them). A longer jacket tends to work with pants or with a short straight skirt. Or (sometimes) with a midi tube skirt -- depending again on the wearer's proportions. Or that's how it seems to my eye. 

    The more structure the jacket has (i.e. waist definition, shoulder definition) the more you can play around with it. This is an older post of Angie's but the general ideas still hold up. 

    Mirjana, thank you! Gracious as always. 

    Inge, that is a very kind thing to say! Thank you!

  • FashIntern replied 9 months ago

    Thanks for the explanation and the link!
    When you get a chance, I posted some more questions about blazers & dresses tonight. Can you take a look?

    ETA: Actually, Angie addressed it in that post A classic blazer layered over a fitted knee length sheath dress is ideal
    for a formal, reasonably conservative, professional work setting.

    And it looks like what I was considering short is what she calls cropped. This jacket's in the middle, but you're right, it's a far cry from some of the blazers I was looking at. I really like it that online clothing sales here always seem to include measurements like those of the blazers down the back I mentioned in my post. Do you know of anywhere that gives guidelines that way. Of course, I'd have to adjust for my body, but a measurement would give me a starting point. 

  • Joy replied 9 months ago

    Suz, you look wonderful and are an inspiration for modern Western. I had decided it was not for me. Maybe it was a ruffled Western cut, flannel shirt. I will rethink the look. I think I have the same Blondo booties, bought to replace much loved Aquatalia pair that are looking worn.
    Yes, my belts for low rise pants need to be replaced with shorter ones...a big, expensive job as I like colors to match my tops to extend my short waist an inch or so.
    A lady I know really rocks a Western look with very short hair. She and her DH often go to Western events in Wyoming.
    I also believe in Angie's subliminal suggestions. They almost convinced me to try on cowboy boots at The Rack today.

  • Christina F. replied 9 months ago

    Yee-haw! You look smashing, and it's appropriate now that you've moved West (technically).

  • bonnie replied 9 months ago

    Love the outfit!

  • Angie replied 9 months ago


    Trendy Modern Classic Perfection. 

  • Suz replied 9 months ago

    Awww, thanks, Angie! Blushing! I loved wearing this, I must say. 

    Fashintern, I'm not sure if there's a guideline for lengths in general but I'm short at 5'4", with a long neck, shortish waist, long rise, shortish legs. On me, a 17 or 18  inch jacket (back length) is cropped, 19 or 20 is short, 22 is high hip, and 25.5 or 26 is low hip. Anything longer would be BF length on me. 

    Cut affects how it looks. The blazer I'm wearing here is short, not cropped. 

    Sally from Already Pretty has a good article about blazer fit. 

    So does Sylvia from 40+ style. 

    And so, of course, does Angie. 

  • gryffin replied 9 months ago

    Suz - a totally fabulous outfit!!! Welcome to the dark side of embellished belts! Jewelry for your hips/waist. I’ll be interested to know what you think with time but fantastic belts are my favorite accessories!! Awesome look. I love the black watch blazer. I’m waiting for the right one to come along. I used to have a kilt and weskit. Miss the blackwatch. Great booties. Just love the whole thing!! Sigh of happiness

  • kkards replied 9 months ago

    That belt is TDF.
    Love this. Just the right amount of looks intentional and inspired with out looking (Deborah winger) urban cowboy

  • Mainelady replied 9 months ago

    See what happens, when a little seed of inspiration nudges us to try something new?! GORGEOUS! I am loving your entire look and your nod to western. I want be Angie, so I can give you a Killer compliment. Instead I will say you slayed it!

  • shevia replied 9 months ago

    Swoon! I realize that I have been drawn to Western style boots for years - pointy toes, low heels, made for action. Now I have to paw through my belts to find a Western style belt to match. Except I don't wear belts :) !

  • karen13 replied 9 months ago

    I love everything about this. You look amazing. I’m so happy you are getting settled; I’ve missed your WIWs. And every time you wear that t shirt, I want one.

  • Jessikams replied 9 months ago

    Looks great! Very updated but also very you.
    I have also needed a few new belts to go with a higher waist. I notice I am preferring wider belts- I feel they sit flatter on the waist.
    I drooled over that backpack on somebody’s blog. Then I saw a cheap knockoff in a street market and bought it to test: does this really work for my lifestyle? Jury is still out.

  • Firecracker replied 9 months ago

    Great outfit, Suz! I like your version of Western, and I agree wholeheartedly about Angie's power of subliminal suggestion. I think we're bag twins, too. Mine is a very light gray; not sure what the color was called. I love it. One of the things I find really useful is the ability to clip the bag at the top, so the zipper isn't exposed as you're walking around with it on your back in the city.

  • Katerina replied 9 months ago

    This is gorgeous, Suz! You have amazing style!

  • lyn67 replied 9 months ago

    Predict K2K from Angie, and of course it is smashing (from me)! Looking at your gorgeous outfit I can feel the power of the western lite!

  • kellygirl replied 9 months ago

    Adore this, Suz. Modern western suits you!

  • Janet replied 9 months ago

    Just the right amount of western influence to add a bit of spark without anything overdone or costumey. You look terrific! Love the bag too.

  • RobinF replied 9 months ago

    I totally love this. It is the perfect touch of western. That velour tee is gorgeous. 

  • abc replied 9 months ago

    I'm tardy to the party but WOWOWOWOWZERS!  This is so you, so amazing, so classic, yet so updated. LOVE IT.

  • Runcarla replied 9 months ago

    Fab as always, Suz!

    Regarding belts - I had additional holes punched in 3 belts so that I could wear them with higher waisted bottoms. If the belt tails are too long this won't look good, but in my case they weren't rendered awkward.

    Thanks for the link to blazer fit guides.

  • Suz replied 9 months ago

    Thank you all! This is an outfit I'll wear again for sure because it's practical and fun at the same time. 

    Carla, alas, my belts are too long to be adjusted that way. :( 

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