Viva Las Vegas! My Top NFR Parties and Events 2017

Hi everyone!

Well, it’s officially crunch time for us – packing list is getting crossed off, jeans are getting starched and tickets are being printed. It’s down to the details before we head to Vegas, so of course I’m in full out stress mode.

I know – part of my job is looking cool and collected on Instagram, but have no doubt – I’m freaking out over here! Lucky for me, once we get on the plane, I’ve already done my homework. For months, I’ve been planning my schedule for the week – everything from photo shoots to after parties. One thing I’ve learned from going to the NFR every year is it’s best to go in with a plan. Yes, of course you’ve got to be a little spontaneous and not plan every moment, but it’s so helpful to be in the know about where the fun’s at!

So, for those of you joining me in Vegas over the next two weeks, here are a few of the places and events I’ll be hanging around for the week.

 

DECEMBER 8TH:

HOOEY PARTY: THE BROOKLYN BOWL – 9 PM

Last year was the first time Hooey had hosted this event, and it easily topped the list as my favorite night life event of the week. It’s free to get in, but make sure you can get on the list ahead of time – a ticket is required. I loved getting out of the casinos for a little while to listen to great music in an iconic venue, especially since it was put on by a great brand. Sam Hunt and Randy Rogers Band did not disappoint last year, and I can’t wait to see Cody Jinks this year!

 

DECEMBER 9TH:

DENIM & VELVET FASHION SHOW: THE SANDS – 3 PM

If you’re a western fashionista, you know the stylish gals who make up Denim & Velvet. I was beyond excited when I found out they’re hosting a fashion show featuring some incredible designers and boutiques. Not to mention, the fashion community will definitely all be hanging around, so if you want to meet someone – there’s a good chance you’ll run into them here. I can’t wait to see the show and the fashions they showcase.

 

DECEMBER 10TH:

BULLFIGHTERS ONLY: TROPICANA – 2 PM

When I was an intern at Rodeo Austin, I got to watch some of the talented bullfighters of Bullfighters Only do their thing in the arena, and they’re back in Vegas to wow you with their skills. The bullfighters have shows daily the 7th – 10th and the 13th – 16th, so you’ve got plenty of chances to see the show, no matter when you’re headed to Vegas. Tickets are required, so make sure to check their Facebook page or Ticketmaster to snag your seats.

Bonus: after the show, there’s a free concert featuring either Luke Kaufmann or Corb Lund starting at 4pm.

 

DECEMBER 11TH:

AARON WATSON: SOUTH POINT – 11 PM

This is the only day I could slip away from my schedule to go see Aaron Watson at the South Point, but have no fear – he’s headlining for a good portion of the week. The South Point is out of town, but totally worth the drive. There’s more shopping (because we totally need more of that, right?) an arena hosting ropings and barrel races, and lots of NFR related events as well. Stop in before the concert to see the buckle presentations for that night’s round – it’s an awesome way to get to know the contestants in an intimate setting.

 

DECEMBER 12TH: 

GOLD BUCKLE ZONE: MGM – 10 PM

This is another one of those events I’m getting a chance to squeeze in around a busy schedule, but there’s fun to be had in the Gold Buckle Zone every night of the NFR. If you want to mingle and dance with plenty of room, this is your party for sure. It’s also a great place to catch a replay of that night’s round on the big screen. This is one of those parties everyone puts on their list, so don’t forget to put it on yours too.

 

DECEMBER 13TH:

BEST OF THE WEST BALL: SILVERTON CASINO – 6 PM

This party is going to be the BOMB, I can just feel it. First of all, it’s being hosted by The Bleacher Babe herself, Brianna Bigbee and Cowboys & Indians magazine. Pull out your most outrageous, high fashion western wear and grab a friend to take with you. I’m expecting to see a lot of familiar western fashion faces and some fabulous ensembles. Plus, there’s a $1000 gift card to Rocketbuster boots up for grabs to the best dressed of the night!

 

DECEMBER 14TH:

CODY JOHNSON: SOUTH POINT – 11 PM

I’ve got another event this night, but I’m definitely going to make an effort to head back out to the South Point to see Cody Johnson before we fly home the next morning. I’ve seen Cody before but he puts on a great show, and the South Point is a great venue. If you’re a Cody Johnson fan, you’re definitely going to want to head here to listen to good music and get a good two step in.

 

I’m getting so excited to be back in Sin City. If you see me out and about, come up and say hello – I’d love to say hi and get to know you!

Are any of these events on your list? Where else are you headed during Vegas? Let me know in the comments.

Viva Las Vegas, ladies!

A Rodeo Mrs. Christmas – What’s On My List This Year

Hi again everyone! I’m sure you all aren’t used to hearing from me on a weekend, but since we’re in the holiday (and more importantly, NFR) season, I’m switching things up a bit. Today I want to share with you what I’m hoping to find underneath the tree this year  – I’ve had my eye on so many things walking around rodeo trade shows and watching my favorite designers post their crafts online – I’ve finally narrowed it down to a few I’m dying to get my hands on.

P.S. Thank you to Sierra Lewis for the idea – go check out her Instagram @sierra_raegram for more awesome western fashion inspiration!

 

TOOLED BUSINESS BAG

I feel like I’ve been on the lookout for a functional business bag with a western twist on it FOREVER – like, at least a full year. Since I’m usually carrying the regular business stuff plus my camera around on every trip, it’s really hard to find something that can protect and fit everything while still looking cute. So, when I saw this gorgeous tooled, carry on business bag, I basically died.

It has padded pockets and expands to get everything in there that you need. I also love that it’s convertible – carry it as a regular bag or pull out the handle and roll it through an airport or parking lot. Did I mention it comes in a bunch of gorgeous colors? My personal favorites are the red and turquoise, but there’s one for any taste.

 

CUSTOM TOOLED CONVERSE.

 

If you ask any NFR veteran their top tips for being in Vegas, I guarantee all of them will tell you to pack comfortable shoes. I know that sounds sort of boring, but trust me when I say even your comfy shoes can have A1 fashion game!

These custom tooled converse by Long X Trading Co. have been all the rage this year, and I’ve been dreaming of my own pair forever. Comfy shoes with leather tooling are always a win for me. If you’re not a huge converse fan, they also do tooled Twisted X’s as well. Whatever you prefer, you’ll be styling and comfortable all day long.

WARBONNET CUSTOM HAT.

To be fair, I already have one of these, but as they say – when you find something that fits you just right, get it in every color! For those of you not familiar with Warbonnet Hatworks, they are an amazing hat company that custom makes each hat to your liking. They offer them in every color from classic black, brown and silver belly, all the way to red, purple and green.

One of my key closet staples is a great hat, so naturally, I’m all about investing in some quality custom pieces that express my personality to a tee. In a perfect world, I’d have one in every color and shape – one for every day of the week, at least. P.S. If you’re headed to NFR, you can get a hat custom made to your head shape – talk about a PERFECT fit!

 

JUAN ANTONIO HANDBAG.

Even though my handbag collection is super eclectic and full of unexpected pieces, I’m totally partial to a clean design with classic materials. I love the Juan Antonio handbags for that reason – they’re crisp and classic with any outfit – whether you’re headed to a rodeo or the office, the design really works.

They use gorgeous tooled leather in tons of colors, so you can pick the best one for you. I’m obsessing over the all black, the dark brown and the red. They also have a few different styles, so if you’re more of a clutch or small bag girl, they have you covered. Hopefully I’ll pick one up at NFR next week!

 

 

BLACK BOOTIES.

I’ve got quite a few pairs of boots in my collection, but somehow, a great pair of black booties slipped through the cracks. I tend to wear more brown than black, so it never occurred to me how I don’t have a go-to black pair in my closet. But, I’m holding out for the perfect pair – for me that’s a pair of Old Gringo booties with all the studs and jewels.

I love this style because it adds so much sass to even the most simple outfit. You can pair them with leggings and a sweater or the fanciest dress in your closet. The pairs I’m drawn to are definitely pricey, but for a staple piece, I’m not afraid to splurge a little bit!

 

What’s on your Christmas list this year? Let me know in the comments!

NFR 2017 Trend Forecast

Happy Friday everybody!

It’s the end of another work week (the one right after Thanksgiving and before NFR, ughhh…the worst) but have no fear, I’ve got a little light reading for you to get you out of work mode. You’re welcome.

Everyone is frantically buying up pieces for Vegas, looking for the biggest trends out west for 2017. To make your last minute shopping a little bit easier, I thought I’d throw together a quick trend forecast with some of the biggest trends you’ll be seeing at Cowboy Christmas in less than two weeks. Read on for some fun ways to style the trendiest pieces of the season.

 

FUR. 

It’s no secret that everyone’s winter obsession is fur, especially this year. Whether you’re pulling out your grandma’s vintage mink, splurging on a Tasha polizzi fur trimmed number or rocking a boutique faux fur piece – you’ll be living for the luxe, winter vibes of this trend.

I’m wearing a mix of faux and real fur in Vegas this year, in more than one color too. The classic choice would be a neutral brown, cream or black but don’t discount the colored pieces. If you’re feeling a little more bold, reach for a bright fur trimmed vest or full jacket in jewel tones.

I love fur because it’s the perfect statement for any outfit. Graphic tee and jeans? check. Elegant evening gown? check. Leggings and heels? check. If there’s one trend worth your Christmas cash, look no further!

 

VELVET.

Velvet has been hot for the past year and it shows no sign of slowing down. Whether you want to rock a crushed velvet blazer or a pair of sleek bell bottoms, there’s something for you. Not to mention you can find pieces in every color imaginable.

I love velvet because it’s a fun way to add texture to your ensemble and adds a fun element to even the most basic outfit. Throw an off-the-shoulder velvet tunic on with a pair of leggings and booties or wear it as a floor length, stunning evening gown. It’s versatile, interesting and bonus: there’s tons of vintage numbers in your local thrift store for you bargain shoppers!

 

FASHION HATS.

My hat is red, my denim is blue…‍♀

One of my favorite trends of 2017 has been the rise of colored cowboy hats. Whether it’s from Greeley, Warbonnet or a vintage shop, girls are getting on the colored hat trend and decking them out with personalized hat bands and shapes. Some of the most popular colors of the season have been mustard, kelly green, red and burgundy.

Hats are a great way to add some sass to your outfit, and it’s even more fun when everyone’s got something a little different. Whether you’ve got a turkey feather tucked at the brim or have your grandpa’s buckle attached to the band, there’s a million ways to tell your story and express your creativity. Even some of the cowboys have taken to colored hats – that’s how you know its really a trend worth jumping on.

 

CUSTOM LEATHER.

Gone are the days where tooled leather was reserved for your tack – these days you can have a talented leather craftsman make everything from a handbag to heels to blazer lapels. I’m looking forward to seeing tooled leather tucked in the most unexpected places. If you’re classic, opt for a tooled belt or clutch. If you’re a little more daring, take a chance with tooled converse or blazer lapels.

Leather is a western staple that never goes out of style, so you can have faith that your investment in a custom piece will still be cool a year and 20 years from now. Nothing’s cooler than having pieces in your closet that are handmade and one-of-a-kind.

 

TURQUOISE & SILVER.

It’s no secret that natural stones are a western staple that every cowgirl fashionista pines over. What’s different this year, is I see smaller, daintier pieces coming center stage. We all want to wear a $8000 squash blossom, but for those of us who can’t afford that dream this year, opt for a cute pair of turquoise post earrings, a bolo tie with a small statement stone or smaller, stackable rings or bangles. You can wear them alone for a light touch of turquoise or stack and layer them until you’re totally decked out.

The same goes for silver – one of my favorite ways to rock silver and give a big impact is wearing thick silver bands coupled with my natural stone jewelry. It gives a lot of shine and interest while not breaking the bank. I picked mine up for $30 a piece. Add a little diversity into your jewelry box and watch it wow just like the big stuff!

 

I hope this got you excited to watch the outfits come out of Vegas! Don’t forget to shop these trends from your local makers and boutiques – whether you’re headed to the finals or just doing some Christmas shopping, these trends are worth investing in.

 

Stay unique sisters!

 

 

 

Outfit Rewind: My Favorite 2016 NFR Pieces

Hi Everyone!

We’re officially in the final countdown to NFR – can you hardly wait?! In the fashion blogging world, NFR season started a few months ago when we started looking for the pieces that will really turn heads in Vegas. Since this is my second year headed to Vegas as a fashion blogger, I couldn’t help but think back to my first year right when I started my blog.

First of all, I’m so grateful for every one of you who read my posts, follow my social media accounts and take my opinions to heart. You’re the reason I’m able to work in western fashion in the first place, and I can’t believe how much has changed in one short year.

So in honor of the bright future ahead, I wanted to look back to a few of my favorite outfits/pieces from last year. Hopefully this will give you some inspiration if you’re headed to the finals next week, or if you’re watching it from your couch.

BRIGHT FLORALS & CLASSIC FLAIR.

Obviously this photo wasn’t taken in Vegas, but I did wear this exact outfit out to a Casey Donahew concert at the Mirage last year! The bright, fall floral maxi turned heads paired with a few simple details that took it from fall staple to Vegas chic.

I added this fun pair of Corral snip toe boots – the colors really compliment the dress and add some extra interest without being overpowering. Over the dress, I threw on a knitted fringe vest. It’s just enough of a layer to make the look more dimensional without adding bulk. I kept the accessories understated but classic – a turquoise/silver concho belt and a vintage silver bolo.

This look is simple western fashion at its best. It’s not fussy, difficult or distracting – just enough to make you stand out from the crowd and make people wonder how you come across so effortless!

 

FUNKY PRINTS & SOFT VELVET

I sported this look to our first day at Cowboy Christmas in 2016. Suitable for a full day of shopping without sacrificing any style or flair. My style has always been focused around getting the most bang for my buck – I don’t like fussing with my clothes or feeling restricted, so I’m always looking to combine comfort with high style.

The base of this look is that funky pair of palazzo pants. I love this print because it can be dressed up to be loud or understated, depending on how you pair them with other pieces. For this look, I toned them down with a black velvet blouse.

I tied the colors together with a fun burgundy floppy hat and distressed copper earrings. I also wore a tooled silver ring. To give myself a little more of a waist with the flowy velvet top, I added a rhinestone belt with one my buckles on it. I love being able to incorporate a little bit of my rodeo self into my fashion when I can!

I kept the look laid back with a messy fishtail braid to finish off the details.

 

MIXED TEXTURES & HARVEST COLOR.

I wore this look on my last night in Vegas last year, headed to a Lonestar concert after the final round. I love this look because it incorporates so many elements in texture and color. It has some trendy elements but also has timeless elements that keep it current for 2017 too.

I started this look with these rust suede bell bottoms. They’re comfy to wear and give great texture that plays off the other pieces – not to mention, the rust color is a classic western fashion color that never goes out of style.

I paired the bells with this denim button down. I love the medium wash and the texture from the denim. On top, I threw on this white fur vest with aztec embroidery. This piece is so versatile and the fur really adds a layer of luxe and classic western influence. I also love the white and rust contrast, especially since the embroidery ties it all together.

For accessories, I added the same burgundy floppy hat from the last outfit, along with a pair of copper drop earrings and this beautiful statement necklace. The necklace really speaks for itself – the colors bring a bright, fall punch and make you look put together and polished.

 

I hope you enjoyed my throwback outfits from 2016. Even as I write this, I just can’t believe it’s already been a year and so much has changed and grown. Thank you for reading and keep an eye out for my NFR 2017 looks on Instagram and here as well.

Stay unique sisters!

Rocky Mountain Style Inspiration

Hi Everyone!

I don’t know about you guys but I can’t believe the weekend is already over. I spent the weekend in northern Colorado shooting with a fabulous photographer, Emily Nicole Photography. It was a great opportunity to get a much needed break from home before cabin fever sets in with all this cold weather.

My sister-in-law, Kansas, happens to live close to where I was shooting, so I spent some much needed sister time with her while basking in the mountain view. I love heading west for so many reasons: the history, the open, undisturbed land and of course the wide open skies, but I also love their fashion.

I was surrounded by western style pieces everywhere from woven blanket coats to fur and boots. I love the rich colors and textures I found, even in the thrift stores! I knew I wanted to channel some of this style in my photo shoot because, hello, I’m not in the mountains every day! Read on to see one of my favorite looks of the shoot feature a beautiful Ariat fur collar vest and Tasha Polizzi pants.

This outfit to me screams mountain style. Starting with the pants – I’m in love with everything Tasha Polizzi, so of course I fell in love with these when I saw them the first time. I’ll warn you, they’re a luxury brand so the price tag is there but wow, no buyer’s remorse here. These pants have every fall color in them, so it’s easy to find things to match even though the pattern is very bold and draws the eye. The details in this pair really takes the staple pieces to the next level.

As soon as I got this Ariat sweater vest in the mail, I knew it was going to be a fall/winter staple in my wardrobe. The rich teal sweater material is top notch quality and SO soft. They also didn’t skimp on the luxury feel of the fur details. The soft faux fur paired with the already luxurious sweater put me in comfort heaven, let me tell you! This piece looks amazing dressed up or down and really adds a level of polish to your sweater collection.

Underneath the sweater vest, I added another level of color and texture in this rich burgundy red button down from Buckle. The entirety of this piece is lace and has beautiful details that really tied in the strong details of the pants. I love the rich jewel tones against each other paired with the rich earth tones on the hems of my pants. This shirt goes to show just how far little details go in adding interest and style to an outfit – the secret to style really lies in the small things!

 

To tie the whole look together, I added a few bold turquoise jewelry pieces. If I had to pick a stone that really goes with everything, turquoise wins, hands down. I love how the pieces pop against the darker colors of the shirt and vest while not being too overpowering. My favorite turquoise piece has to be this vintage slave bracelet from my grandma’s collection – it’s full of history and timeless style!

What did you think of this Colorado-inspired look? Where should I travel to next? Let me know in the comments!

 

Handbags of Fall – My Handpicked Favorite Designers

Hi Everyone!

I’m so excited the day has come to release this post. Let me tell you, this has been a labor of love all for you, my readers. Over the past six weeks, I’ve reached out to some of my favorite handbag designers to see what’s new for this season. They sent me their favorite, beautiful bags for me to style and shoot, to give you some fall outfit inspiration as well as fall in love with their beautiful creations. Read on to see some of the coolest designs from some of my favorite designers and makers!

 

CASEY CURTIS DESIGNS.

 

I’ve followed Casey Curtis on Instagram for awhile, and her work has always caught my eye. I was so thrilled to see the piece she sent me to model was the piece I had my eye on! This beautiful shoulder bag is made from a repurposed boot and has tons of character to go around. I specifically couldn’t get over the matching turquoise fringe which really takes any outfit to the next level!

 

Casey also makes beautiful wallets and jewelry, so make sure you look further than her gorgeous bags! I can truly say her pieces are one-of-a-kind and not easily replicated. Every piece has a little something different to offer and she finds inspiration in repurposing old western pieces into something new, which I totally love. Go check out her Instagram for your share of unique western accessories!

 

Follow Casey Curtis Designs:

Instagram: caseycurtisdesigns

Facebook: Casey Curtis Designs and her Bitta’Roots

 

LONG X TRADING CO.

 

When I took this bag out of the package, I was instantly in love. I’m such a sucker for big, statement handbags and this one has enough wow-factor to go around, let me tell you. This bag is from the personal collection of Stephanie Schmidt, the co-owner of Long X. The white angora is luxurious and has enough style to pump up even a basic jeans and tee outfit.

 

For those of you who are familiar with Long X, you know they’re known for their outstanding leather work. While the bag itself is a stunner, don’t miss the tooled leather strap that really takes this piece westbound in a hurry. They also do fabulous tooled pieces like shoes, blazers and accessories. The best part is, they do custom work too – make sure to check them out!

 

Follow Long X Trading Co:

Instagram: longxtradingco

Facebook: Long X Trading Co. 

 

VINTAGE BOHO.

Vintage Boho specializes in customization of Louis Vuitton bags, and it couldn’t be a bigger trend right now. LV bags are super popular but what could be better than having one that reflects your individual style while loading on the western flair? Michelle can customize your LV for you, or you can buy one she’s already worked her magic on – it’s up to you!

This Louis Vuitton crossbody bag is the perfect accessory for walking around Vegas this December or carrying the essentials to a concert while still looking crazy-stylish. The fringe and turquoise concho really set this classic bag off and make it a staple in any western fashionista’s closet.

Follow Vintage Boho:

Instagram: vintage_boho

Facebook: Vintage Boho

 

STONE FEATHER ROAD.

 

If you guys have been following my blog and/or Instagram lately, you know my obsession with Stone Feather Road is so real. The owner Paula Lorenz designs all of her cowhide bags and each one is one-of-a-kind. This particular bag is cut from a champagne acid wash hide with a fun print. The colors in this bag go so well with the burgundy’s – brown’s – olive’s – orange’s of fall and can be dressed up or down.

This tote is called the “Destination” bag because of its size. You can fit everything but the kitchen sink in here and it’s still lightweight and easy to carry. I carry mine from rodeos to business trips to everything in between. This bag is truly unique, not to be found anywhere else!

Follow Stone Feather Road:

Instagram: stone_feather_road

Facebook: Stone Feather Road

Style For Every Body: Fall 2017

Hi everyone!

I know I’m a little late in saying it, but happy fall! I’ve been waiting for the weather to cool off so I can bust out some new pieces and projects. For the last few months, I’ve been anticipating a certain project with some of my best friends from college – Style For Every Body Part Two!

If you’ve been a reader for awhile, you may remember an article I wrote called Style For Every Body. I wanted to encourage women that no matter your size, you can embrace style and tweak it to be uniquely your own. I invited four of my friends to my hometown to style them in western fashion. The challenge of this project was all of my friends are completely different shapes and sizes, yet I was styling them all out of my personal closet. This was an experiment that truly proved that it’s all about working with your body and knowing how to flatter your shape. I ended up having so much fun getting creative with the ladies that we decided to do it again this year!

My girls came out on Friday night where we did a makeup trial and organized styled outfits. Saturday, I did everyone’s makeup and was the official photographer for the day. Since we shot out at the farm last time, I decided to switch it up and take photos downtown instead. I loved the bold, western-inspired outfits against the urban landscape. I’m totally obsessed with how the photos turned out and couldn’t wait to show you what we came up with this time. They are beautiful inside and out, and it totally shows. Check them out below:

ABBEY.

Sassy & Sophisticated

For Abbey’s first outfit, I started with this beautiful pair of Tasha Polizzi palazzo pants. They are bright, classic and make a very classy statement. I paired them with a white tank with jeweled details around the collar. I loved the simple details on the neckline, so I didn’t add anything that would take away from that. Over top of the tank, I added this rust orange, suede jacket. The color blended beautifully with the colors in the pants and set off Abbey’s gorgeous auburn hair.

I added a brown concho belt around her waist to bring some more interest to the top half of the outfit and bring in an element of sparkle and accessory. For shoes, I put Abbey in a beautiful pair of Ariat open toe booties. I love the rich chestnut color and the sophisticated look. Since the pants were a little long, the heel on the bootie helped her get the perfect length.

Bold & Playful

For Abbey’s second outfit, I wanted to step up the heat and really show off her fiery side. I started with one of my go-to pieces, my serape duster. Not only did it flatter her figure but totally brought out her skin and hair. I kept it simple with a black cami underneath and a pair of straight leg jeans. I rolled the jeans up to showcase the Ariat fringe booties.

For accessories, I added a cowhide waist belt to bring in another western element to the look as well as add another texture. We added a red stone necklace and a matching pair of earrings to compliment the star of the outfit – the hat. This is the newest addition to my hat collection, a bright red, vintage-inspired Warbonnet. I had it custom made and thought Abbey rocked the style!

 

EMMA.

Vintage & Classic

Emma’s natural look just screams fashion to me, so I love to push her outfits out of the box – straight to the western runway. I started this classic look with a black jumpsuit. I knew I was going to be adding beautiful western pieces overtop, so I wanted to keep the jumpsuit a detail compared to the main staples of this bold look. This jacket is a vintage item that belonged to my mom, and Emma requested to wear it – I think she totally rocked the beads and fringe!

For accessories, I added this beautiful statement concho belt. It has beautiful, bold conchos that really pull your eye to the details while adding lots of interest to the outfit. I love this piece for this particular outfit because it sets the theme of high fashion western paired with the other accessories.

Finally, I added a simple turquoise heishi necklace and a pair of fringe earrings to compliment the cognac fringe on the jacket. I kept the jewelry simple to make sure it added to the outfit without taking away from the statement pieces. To top the whole look off, I added a vintage fedora, complete with a feather.

Cute & Bubbly

I took Emma from bold to cute in a hurry with this adorable polka dot ensemble! This bright red, short sleeved button up paired perfectly with a denim vest. The details on this vest are the best part – they have beads above the pockets, embroidery and a rough edge finish that give it a vintage feel. I paired this top half look with a pair of dark wash flairs and a pair of Twisted X moccasins.

I chose moccasins to keep the look casual, but that doesn’t mean they lacked flair! I love this particular pair of Twisted X’s for the patchwork ostrich detailing. They’re neutral and go with everything, but still can pair with a dressed up look too!

For accessories, I layered two vintage bolo ties – one turquoise, one silver. I love mixing vintage pieces for the character of the outfit. Paired with the retro polka dots, they really gave off a fun, old school vibe. To complete the accessories and give an unexpected modern touch, I added a red, stamped leather choker – a modern trend.

WHITNEY.

Sultry & Sexy

Whitney is my silent superstar who can usually be found behind the camera taking photos for me, but today, we got to switch places! She pulled out this beautiful gray cardigan with a fur collar and knew she wanted to wear it for one of her ensembles. I decided to keep it neutral with all black underneath. I chose a pair of ripped, black skinny jeans to add interest to the look, since it’s very simple.

After adding a black cami underneath the cardigan, I finished off the top half of the look with a studded fringe belt. I love this belt because you can wear it more than one way. You can show off the fringe in the front or off to the side, or completely hide it and show off the studded side of the belt for a little more sparkle. Speaking of sparkle, don’t miss those Ariat fringe booties! They totally set off the fur collar and added some spunk to this already sassy look.

Finally, we added a few small rings and a pair of earrings to finish off the look. Whenever I’m working with a bold element on a piece, I try to keep everything else dainty to really keep the eye on the statement parts of the outfit. Paired with a bold pink lip and smoky eye, this outfit really pops and gives tons of attitude!

Fierce & Funky

I was drawn to this look for its jazzy, funk-filled vibe. Starting with a pair of navy velvet bell bottoms, we built a funky, yet comfy outfit featuring this beautiful kimono. I love the lace detail and the print on this piece – honestly, I love kimonos in general because you can keep everything else so simple and not over-think it. That’s exactly what we did with this outfit, simply putting on a white cami underneath and adding a few fun accessories.

For accessories, I added a turquoise heishi necklace and layered it with a dreamcatcher necklace. Mixing lengths on necklaces brings attention to the jewelry and shows attention to detail. After adding a few rings, some bangles and a pair of dangle earrings, all that was left was a hat.

I used the same hat Emma wore in her first outfit – a vintage, cream-colored fedora with a funky turkey feather. This hat actually used to belong to Whitney’s great-grandfather, and she generously gave it to me to have for photo shoots. I’m obsessed with it and it looks great on her too!

 

HOPE.

Professional & Put Together

 

If there was one outfit in this shoot that screamed fall perfection, it was this one! I built this look around the blouse Hope is wearing in this photo. I immediately thought to pair it with a great pair of burgundy colored bell bottoms. We all know florals look great in the fall, but pulling out the dark colors really made this blouse pop!

Overtop of the floral blouse, I added this gorgeous suede jacket from Wrangler. I love the cutout design on the sleeves and the draping in the front. These simple details really add polish to an outfit and make it versatile. The saddle brown color really balanced all of the colors and made Hope’s features stand out. Also, the jacket was a perfect match for this pair of peep toe booties!

For accessories, we worked around the neck tie on the blouse. I tried to incorporate it into the actual jewelry to really highlight that detail. I layered a string of turquoise pearls with a faux squash blossom, which really stepped the look up a notch. After adding a simple pair of turquoise earrings, this look was totally office, or date night ready!

Luxe & Lovely

I thought this look was a great reflection of Hope’s personality – bright and luxe. She loves comfy, cozy things like this fur vest and the coral button down really brought out her true colors. The embroidery details on this vest worked with the same colors and I loved the mix of pattern with texture. To accentuate her shape, I added a brown concho belt with one of Hope’s buckles for a little extra bling.

We kept the same pair of turquoise earrings on for a little pop of blue and added a white bubble necklace. The length fit the shirt well and brought just a little bit of polish on an overall, very fun outfit.

After all the pieces were added on top, I paired them with a simple pair of Ariat jeans and brown booties. The flair boot cut really balanced out the top of the outfit and made it great for casual wear or dressing it up to go out on the town.

 

I hope you all enjoyed this project and seeing some of my friends get all dolled up. I truly had a blast being behind the camera for a change and documenting such a fun weekend. Don’t forget, if you’d like to be styled by The Rodeo Mrs. – send me an email to book an appointment. Until next time, stay unique sisters!

 

Iowa State Rodeo Club: Inside The Student Run Organization

Hi Friends!

For any of you who’ve tuned into the blog in the last week, you know I’ve been highlighting the Cyclone Stampede – the last student run college rodeo in the nation, which also happens to be held at my alma matter, Iowa State University. As an organization close to my heart, I really wanted to give a little insight to what the ISU rodeo club and team do in their little corner of the sport.

Last week, I talked with the Cyclone Stampede chair, Erin Lagone. This week, I brought you style from the event, and now I’m bringing you Emma Grotting, the ISU rodeo club president.

Emma is one of my good friends who I competed with on the rodeo team and also spent a lot of time on campus with. She’s one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met and an awesome president. Here’s what she had to say about her responsibilities leading the club and what it’s really like behind the scenes.

 

How did you get involved with ISU Rodeo Club/Team?

I’ve always been horse crazy, so when I moved to Ames I brought my mare with me. Being a barrel racer throughout high school, I was just getting into rodeo at the time, and I knew I wanted to join the club. I made some great friends and it was easy to get involved right off the bat. A year later, I started competing on the team.

What do you do as the president of the club?
A lot of what I do as president is overseeing committees and making sure everything gets done. I organize the monthly meetings where the club gets together to discuss business, future plans, and other activities. We also bring in rodeo-related speakers and other interesting subjects. My main goal as president is to make everyone feel comfortable and welcome so that they can get the most out of rodeo club.
What was your experience like on the rodeo team?
I experienced a lot of ups and downs while being on the team, but overall my experience was amazing. I absolutely loved competing for Iowa State and meeting rodeo kids from all over the midwest. I didn’t always reach my competing goals which was very frustrating for me, but it was an important learning experience. The big aspect about being on the team that took some getting used to was traveling with your fellow team members. This can be one of the best parts of being on the team, but it also means you need to respect your team members and be willing to go with the flow sometimes.
What’s the brief history of the club?
The very first Cyclone Stampede hosted by the Rodeo Club was in 1962. This has been a long running rodeo club tradition and it is the last student-run rodeo in the United States. Iowa State has had members compete on the rodeo team since the sixties and the rodeo club has hundreds of proud alumni.
What events do you host?
Our biggest event is the Cyclone Stampede Rodeo that we host every fall. Like I said, this is the last student-run rodeo in the nation and takes a lot of man power to put on. The students work extremely hard to ensure that the rodeo goes smoothly every year. Another fun tradition the rodeo club has is the cowboy ball which is a banquet and dance held every spring that celebrates the club and their accomplishments for the year. The club also hosts fundraising events like jackpot barrel races and bull rides.
How many members are currently in the club?
The ISU Rodeo Club Currently has about 50 members and is run by an officer team made up of 13 students.
How big is the committee? What do they do?
The committee is made up of 7 people and they do everything that goes into planning a rodeo. The event costs about $20,000 to put on, so there is little room for disorganization and poor planning. The committee members work extremely hard coordinating the stock contractor, announcer, rodeo clown, and other staff. They work with the university’s office of risk management to make sure that everything is carried out safely. They do all of the advertising, sponsorship recruiting, and a whole lot more. During the rodeo, rodeo club members will fill over 20 different types of volunteer jobs.
What’s been the best part about the rodeo club? The most challenging part?
The most challenging part of being involved in the rodeo program has been fundraising for sure. The members have had to work very hard to raise money for the club, and this isn’t always fun or exciting. Being president has been a challenge because it takes a lot of time, organization, and innovation. I want things to go well for the club so when they don’t it’s really frustrating for me. My absolute favorite part of rodeo club is the people that I have met and the fun (sometimes crazy) things I get to do with them. The club is made up of some incredible people who all share a passion for western culture and the sport of rodeo. It’s great to have friends like that!
I hope you all enjoyed Emma’s interview – If you did, let me know in the comments!

Cyclone Stampede Style – Day to Night

Hi Friends!

I’m bringing this post to you all with a little extra pride this week. The Cyclone Stampede Rodeo is the last student-run college rodeo in the nation, and also happens to be my old stomping grounds at Iowa State University.

I made awesome friends and learned so much spending time serving on the Stampede committee as well as competing in the event on our college rodeo team. No matter how you spin it, I was super excited to come back and style it up with some of my old friends. Shout out to this year’s committee – y’all did a great job. Let’s get to it!

So if we’re being honest, college rodeo fashion isn’t really a thing. You show up in jeans and a ball cap, and pretty much everything else looks a little bit odd. But, what is fashion if not memorable, right? I’m definitely not one to worry about fitting in, so I had to pull some stops out anyway. I wasn’t alone though – one of my best friends and a soon-to-be alumni this December got in on the fun as well, diving into my closet with me.

When we got there, I was actually surprised to see a few girls rocking some western fashion. It definitely was encouraging to see a western fashion vendor set up as well. I was pleasantly surprised that people were totally into my western get up, and it was so fun to meet people who got some inspiration from my outfits during the weekend.

 

NIGHT LOOK.

The first performance we went to was on Saturday at 7 pm. This perf is always the busiest and has been known to sell out, so I made sure to bring my fashion A-game to this one.

I wanted to be put together, but not over-the-top so I reached for this adorable poncho from Stone Feather Road. I stopped in the store last week, saw this and knew it had to go home with me. It was comfy, warm enough for a fall night but not heavy. I paired the poncho with a pair of Ariat trouser jeans and their new Reese boots. These boots are SO adorable – pieces of exotic hide sewn together with burgundy thread. Perfect tones for the seasons ahead!

The details on this top made it easy to accessorize – if you didn’t want to think about accessories too much, you really wouldn’t have to. BUT, if you know me, I’m always layering on the jewelry and accessories! I started the jewelry with a beautiful spiny oyster cuff and matching earrings from my grandma’s collection. I originally wanted to stick with reds but decided to bring in turquoise too. The turquoise cuff is also from my grandma’s collection while the cluster ring is from my own.

On my neck, I started with a stamped red choker from Eve West, followed by a turquoise heishi necklace and an antique sterling bolo from my grandpa. I finished the look with a vintage fedora and my favorite clutch from LOV Leathers. I’m usually a big bag lady but sometimes I just love the simplicity of a clutch that you can carry all night without any fuss.

For makeup, I started by using the Anastasia Beverly Hills palette on my eyes. I wanted a dark brown and red smoky eye to compliment the rich reds and browns I was wearing. For lips, I wore a pink Milani liquid lip. This shade is bright but still neutral enough to not clash with the red eye makeup.

I finished off this look with a pair of false lashes by Vegas Nay. This is hands down my favorite pair for a dramatic look, and only cost 12.99 at Ulta. I usually wear this pair 10-15 times, which makes it worth the money for me.

 

DAY LOOK.

The next performance we hit was the 1 pm short go on Sunday. We were originally going to hang out at slack in the morning but we just decided to grab some breakfast and a coffee before we headed over to the arena. I opted for a much lighter and simple look for this laid back Sunday perf.

Starting with the same pair of Ariat trouser jeans from the night before and a pair of cheetah Ariat cruisers, I added a Cinch graphic baseball tee. I don’t think they actually sell this style – it was given to me as an intern at the CNFR two years ago, but it’s super cute anyway! I added a distressed denim vest from Stone Feather Road over top. I love this style because of the wash, distress and oversized comfort. I’m usually a large in shirts and was a small in this vest. It was a perfect piece to add easy style to a simple look.

I added one of my favorite bags from Stone Feather Road to accessorize – this is my personal business bag/awesomely stylish messenger bag. It’s all cowhide with a a buffalo hide flap and saddle latigo for a strap. I fell in love with it at the Cheyenne Frontier Days and took it home with me soon after. I recycled some of my accessories from the night before: the turquoise cuff and cluster ring as well as the turquoise heishi necklace. I added another turquoise cuff and ring as well as an adorable pair of turquoise earrings.

I recycled my straight hair from the night before into a fun half-pony which showed off my earrings. I kept my makeup fresh and low maintenance with a no-eyeshadow, natural lip look. The only thing I did on my eyes was add the same pair of false eyelashes from the night before. It took my look to the next level without putting in a lot of extra effort.

I loved this look for its simple cool effect as well as its wearability. I kept this on for the drive back to the house and even for riding my own horses when I got home.

 

Overall, we had an awesome weekend hanging around the Cyclone Stampede in Ames. This rodeo will always be close to my heart thanks to the people who make it happen. Congratulations to all of the winners and a safe trip home for everyone who competed.

Did you like these outfits? Have you attended the Cyclone Stampede? Let me know in the comments!

The Cyclone Stampede: Student – Run Tradition

Hi Everyone!

Today I’m bringing you a little piece of alumni pride. During my time at Iowa State University, I spent a lot of my time working with other members of the ISU Rodeo Club to produce our home college rodeo, the Cyclone Stampede. For anyone who doesn’t know, Iowa State has the last student-run rodeo in the nation. That’s right – an all student committee taking care of everything from the stock contractor to the arena authorization.

I caught up with Erin Lagone, this year’s chair of the Cyclone Stampede committee, on what it’s like to be in her shoes and oversee other students putting on their own production. For my local readers, this year’s Cyclone Stampede goes on THIS WEEKEND. I’ll be there – stop out, watch some rodeo and support a college tradition.

 

 

Describe what you do on the committee.

I am the President of the Cyclone Stampede Rodeo Committee which entails being the liaison between the committee and Iowa State University. I also keep a checklist of things that need to get done, assist the committee members in the tasks that I’ve delegated to them, and consider all ideas that are brought to me and determine if they are beneficial and feasible for our production.

What’s been the biggest challenge in planning the rodeo?
The biggest challenge that I have found is effectively communicating with the university. They are very supportive of our event however they aren’t as knowledgeable on the sport of rodeo. They have a lot of concerns about the safety of the contestants, as does the committee, however they don’t understand why any sane person would strap themselves down on a bull or bronc or jump off a perfectly good horse to wrestle with a 500 lb. steer (honestly I don’t blame them!). We are working very closely with ISU to ensure that the safety of our contestants is a priority and the future of this rodeo is looking even brighter.
What’s the most rewarding part?
The Cyclone Stampede is a huge production to put on in this area and I believe there are a lot of rewarding aspects to being a part of the committee. First and foremost, the past three years I’ve been helping with the Cyclone Stampede I have always enjoyed how much the spectators enjoy the event. I love seeing people appreciate the sport of rodeo the way I do and knowing that I helped bring them that is special. Secondly, I enjoy supporting the ISU Rodeo Team. Some of my best friends compete on the team and I’m glad that we are able to put on this home town rodeo so that their friends and family can come support them. Lastly, through my involvement in this rodeo production I’ve had the ability to gain a lot of connections in the rodeo industry and I value the opportunities that has presented to me.
What can ISU students expect to see if they attend Stampede?
The committee has planned a great show for our ISU students to come see. First of all, we have 9 ISU Rodeo Team members competing that would love to have their ISU family there cheering for them. We are also having some friendly competition between a couple of the frats and sororities in an event called a calf scramble. This will definitely supply a good laugh by watching more of our Cyclones partake in some fun. We would love to see as many ISU students at our rodeo as possible, the energy they bring to our stands is second to none!
How is the Cyclone Stampede rodeo different from other college rodeos?
The Cyclone Stampede Rodeo is unique as it is the ONLY college rodeo in the country that is student run. That’s right. Our own club members do all the planning, fundraising, set up, jobs at the rodeo, and tear down. This is the 55th year of the Cyclone Stampede and it is a long standing tradition at Iowa State University that will be continuing for many years to come.
How many volunteers are needed for the show to go on?
As I stated before, our rodeo is completely student driven. The committee is made up of 7 students and our 2 faculty advisers. To work all of the “glamorous” jobs at the rodeo, however we need at least 50 volunteers to make sure all of the behind the scenes work gets done. This ranges from sorting roping calves to collecting tickets to working the stripping chutes. Without these student volunteers this rodeo wouldn’t be possible.
How long has the committee been planning?
Our committee was elected seven months ago and since then it has been a nonstop process. Luckily, we have many great connections with in the rodeo industry which makes it significantly easier to plan. The entire committee has put in many tireless hours to plan this rodeo and I believe that we have a great show lined up.
Walk us through the process of putting together the event.
The initial questions we asked ourselves was who we wanted to be our stock contractor, announcer, and clown. Fortunately we have two Iowa State and Rodeo Club alumni that we are happy to be working with again this year- Marty Barnes with Barnes PRCA Rodeo and Jeff Lucas, PRCA Announcer. Second, we start going around to businesses and asking for sponsorships. Over the summer we start working closely with the university to ensure that we are complying with all of their rules as well as keeping them up to date on our finances and tentative schedule for the weekend of the rodeo. Throughout the summer we also start kicking around ideas for other entertainment that we plan to bring into the rodeo; this year we have the Diamonds and Dust Equestrian Drill Team, Frat/Sorority calf scramble, kids boot race, and Miss Iowa Rodeo Queen and Miss ISU Cyclone Stampede Rodeo Queen doing meet and greets.
How long does it take to set up?
This year we will be starting set up on Wednesday and will be actively working towards the full set up until Friday night. It’s a gruesome process but when the entire Rodeo Club pitches in it makes the time go by quicker.
What do you hope spectators take away from the event? 
The committee’s goal is to provide quality entertainment to the Ames community through the sport of rodeo. We understand there are a few misconceptions the general public has about our sport and we hope to sort out any confusion by providing a good example of what the rodeo industry truly is. The ISU Cyclone Stampede Rodeo is a family event and we look forward to sharing our passion with people of all ages and backgrounds in our community.
There you have it, folks! Make sure to come support your ISU Rodeo Team at the Cyclone Stampede September 30th – October 1st. The rodeo is located in the Hansen Agricultural Learning Center. Be on the lookout for a fun college rodeo look here on the blog after the event too!