How to Dress Like a Country Girl
Whether you're striving for authenticity, visiting the wide open spaces of rural America, or simply want to inject a new sense of style into your daily wear, adopting the country girl style can be fun, freeing, and simple to master. Follow these steps to look as though you've stepped right off the set of Nashville.
Before you Begin
Determine your reasons for adopting a country style. Do you require a more utilitarian, functional style? Do you prefer a sexier look to hit the club circuit? Is it the wholesomeness of country dress that fits your personality? Knowing what your intentions are will help you personalize your wardrobe.
Start small. A different top, some new boots, or the right skirt will put you on the right path. It can be jarring to adopt a new look overnight. Ease into it, experiment to find out what works for you and what should be left on the sale rack.
Building the Outfit
Choose a color scheme. Country style utilizes a lot of reds and blues. Lighter colors are usually better in a sunnier climate. Brown leather is often better than black. Match, but create contrast. If necessary, use a color wheel to determine what works best.
- Darker shades are less suited for warm climates but hide dirt well. Plan accordingly.
Wear a simple, casual top. A plain colored tee or a well-fitting button-down top are simple and effective. Sleeve length, neckline, and material are all factors to consider. Women's tops are highly variable, and you can show off as much or as little skin as necessary to suit your individual style.
- For the tried-and-true cowgirl, nothing beats a snap-button plaid or red-and-white checkered shirt. Graphic tees can be stylish, but choose a design carefully, and don't make the mistake of assuming that a beer logo or a Confederate flag automatically makes the wearer country.
Put on a good pair of jeans. Nothing says country quite like blue denim. Straight or boot cut jeans work best. Levi's and Wrangler are classic western brands that won't break the bank. Gold or white threading complements a good pair nicely. Avoid elaborate, flashy designs. Jeans with lower rises are a safe choice. High rises are more traditional and difficult to pull off in a non-work setting.
- For an especially hot summer day, opt for a pair of short jean shorts.
Try on a dress or skirt. Thin cotton or cotton blends will be the most versatile, but denim works here as well, and can be very traditional. Light, tan, or pale colors are safe. Floral patterns also work well. Skirts should stop an inch or two short of the knee, but can occasionally go longer. Long summer dresses can be useful on a windy day.
Wear the boots. There's no replacement for cowboy boots. Heels are simply too burdensome for trying to navigate through fields of dried dung. It's difficult to go wrong with the color and style: tall, short, buckle, no buckle, ornate or minimal embroidery all work exceptionally well. (Short boots are best worn with shorts or skirts, however). Have at least several pairs to swap out in different colors and styles. Leather is essential, and plastic should be reserved for nights out on the town.
- You can find boots in just about every price range, but expect to pay at least $200 for a quality, lasting pair.
Completing the Look
Keep your hair long. Straight, wavy, curly, it doesn't matter. Solid, natural colors only. No highlights.
Accessorize. For jewelry, try a pair of tasteful chandelier or stud earrings in both classic and unique styles, and a matching cross necklace. Gold works as well as silver. Bandanas are versatile and instantly, recognizably country.
- Don't commit the sin of too much jewelry. You shouldn't be inviting comparisons to Mr. T.
Cowboy hats are optional. So are belts featuring large buckles.
Apply a tinted moisturizer in lieu of foundation. Apply a coral blush with a slight bronze undertone for a sunkissed look on the apples of your cheeks. Apply one coat of brown mascara and a sheer lip gloss. No heavy eyeliner. Black mascara is fine. For eyeliner, use something that will highlight your eyes. If you have blue eyes, use black or navy blue. For green, use brown or an emerald color. For brown, brown or black works great!
- Just as with jewelry, keep it tasteful and understated.
Don't overdo the perfume. A couple sprays is plenty. Country girls have a light, flowery smell.
- Never underestimate the power of pride, confidence, a disarming demeanor, and a warm smile.
- Borrow from the icons. Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Connie Britton, Kellie Pickler, Dolly Parton, Miranda Lambert, Fay Hield, and Laura Bell Bundy all exemplify country in their own way.
- Go further than skin deep. Open yourself to new opportunities and experiences to embody the country lifestyle. Country clothing was made to be worn outdoors.
- Take a trip to fashionable Southern locales to pick up on dress and mannerisms of the region. Nashville, Atlanta, and Dallas all feature distinctive styles.
- Use the internet. Sites like Polyvore, Chictopia, Pinterest, and Tumblr are all great resources for visualizing limitless outfit combinations.
- Country girls don't usually wear big earrings. You should wear studs, crosses, or small hearts. Don't have a wardrobe full of pink camo. Camo is only good for hunting. Tennis shoes are fine to have. Remember above all country girls like to keep things simple.