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Patsy & Dale: A brief obsession with vintage western wear

Friday, March 19, 2010

It has been a very busy week during which I made some of the most amazing vintage finds in my collecting career. This week also saw the resurgence of an old obsession, vintage western wear. Maybe it was growing up out here in the country where every farmer thinks himself a cowboy, or maybe it is the classic wholesome style of ladies like Patsy Cline and Dale Evans, either way, for years now I have had a secret obsession with western wear.


Now, you must understand that I am in no way a country music fan nor do I ride a horse or do anything that would merit the occasional adoption of this style but something about it is utterly charming, simple and seemingly irresistible to me.


Dale Evans
I'm in love with the tops worn in both photographs, especially paired with a scarf as in the photo on the top. I am not, however, a fan of the entire get up, unless you are Dale Evans, a country singer or a cowgirl. I don't think you'll ever find me with a western hat, shirt and boots on all at once. Pieces of vintage western wear sprinkled throughout my wardrobe should make things interesting and fun but not like halloween.

Patsy Cline

One night, while out at a bar, a man approached me and told me I was "a honky tonk dream" and that I looked a lot like Patsy Cline. Now, I do believe he had his beer goggles on while making this statement but I'll take his comment as a compliment. Patsy seemed to favor fringed western shirt and scarves. The fringe is a bit over the top for me but a bit of sparkle, like in the top in the bottom photograph, might be fun.


I finally found a vintage western shirt that fits me properly. I am entirely positive that this top is from the 1970s (boo) but western wear doesn't change much and this shirt is cotton, thank goodness, and not the dreaded polyester of the 70s. Of all places to find an item like this, I picked this top up when shopping in Toronto on Thursday. I love these shirts, the pocket on the chest and the buttons are simply charming. I particularly like the floral design on this shirt. Western tops are perfect for work and would be lovely with a pair of vintage looking denim dungarees!

While exploring vintage shops in Toronto, I encountered a number of cowboy boots that were to my liking. Unfortunately it seems that everyone in TO has the same size feet as me and snapped up all the size 8/9 boots that were available before I got there.

Etsy is a fantastic place to find many things, even cowboy boots. I think I will opt for a bootie as I doubt I will ever wear the boot outside my pants or with a skirt so the tall boot portion would not be necessary. My favorite part of western footwear is the detail on the toe, a bootie has that without the hassle of a tall boot. I've wanted a pair of cowboy boots for ages, I like the sturdy construction and the heel. They are a functional piece of footwear with a bit of style.




I have a feeling I will look back at this post a few months from now and have a good laugh. Nothing wrong with a little variety in my closet!

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