Fashion Meets the Arena: Winning Looks for the 2023 National Finals Rodeo

Fashion Meets the Arena: Winning Looks for the 2023 National Finals Rodeo

The National Finals Rodeo, or NFR, isn't just about the thrilling rodeo events—it's also an opportunity to showcase your unique Western style. Whether you're a rodeo enthusiast, a cowboy, or simply looking to embrace Western fashion trends, the NFR is the perfect place to do it. In this guide, I will explore my predictions for the winning looks for the National Finals Rodeo, featuring leather, bright-colored felt hats, mid-calf boots, denim on denim, Western prints (think vintage scenes and cowboy items),  flare or bell bottoms, and trucker hats. 


Leather: The Rugged Elegance

Leather has long been a familiar material in the western world, valued for its durability and rugged elegance. However, I anticipate a significant rise in the popularity of leather this year. We can expect to see an abundance of leather pants, corsets, vests, and bags. The fringe trend may subside, making way for more simplistic leather designs. Personally, I recently acquired a pair of black leather flares and I am excited about the numerous outfit possibilities they offer. Not only are they fashionable, but they also provide functionality and comfort. Additionally, I predict that leather chaps will become a sought-after fashion item this year. 


Bright Colored Felt Hats: Top it Off with Flair

Barbie's ubiquitous presence is undeniable this year, and the western industry has wholeheartedly embraced her influence. Colored hats have been a prominent trend for some time, although the color choices in the past tended to be more traditional and subdued. However, I predict a shift towards more vibrant shades such as pink, turquoise, and red in felt hats this year. The current trend of the grungy cowgirl aesthetic is gaining momentum, providing the perfect opportunity to stand out from the crowd. Adding a pop of color is a surefire way to make a statement.  


Mid-Calf Boots: All About the Boots

Midcalf boots are making a triumphant return, and I couldn't be more excited! While over-the-knee boots have dominated the fashion scene in recent years, they never quite suited my shorter legs. Living on a working ranch, practicality is key when it comes to my footwear choices. That being said, I predict that dresses and skirts paired with midcalf boots of any toe shape will be a major hit in 2023. Not only that, but we can also expect to see an influx of natural, tooled, and unique designs in these boots. Say goodbye to the muted color suede looks of the past as we welcome a new era of vibrant and daring midcalf boot fashion. 


Denim on Denim: Embrace the Classic

Denim is a timeless fashion staple in the western world that never truly goes out of style. This year at the NFR, I think we can expect to see contrasting shades of denim on denim. Accessories will play a key role in elevating this trend, with soft leather belts, sheer tops layered underneath denim corset tops, and vibrant chunky jewelry becoming essential pieces to complete the look. Get ready to see a lot more of this combo front and center!  


Western Prints: Vintage Scenes and Cowboy Items

As the Nashville Cowgirl trend begins to lose its appeal, there is a surge of popularity for western prints. Personally, I am absolutely enamored with the vintage scenes. They are perfect for layering under my favorite graphic tees or even wearing on their own, paired with a leather or denim jacket. I must admit, I am slightly obsessed with them at the moment, so my opinion may be a bit biased. However, time will tell if this trend continues to captivate fashion enthusiasts. 


Flare or Bell Bottoms: A Western Twist

Flares and bellbottoms are a trend that I genuinely hope never fades away. The timeless styles of the 70s have always held a special place in my heart, and adding on my own personal touch to them has been an absolute joy. Miss Lainey Wilson is doing an incredible job of keeping the spirit of bell bottoms alive, and I am forever grateful. You can't go wrong with packing a few pairs of these in your bags this year. After all, a touch of retro fashion adds a certain charm and flair to any ensemble. 


Trucker Hats: They're Everywhere

Trucker Hats have been making quite the comeback this year, with a more vintage and western vibe. I anticipate seeing an abundance of these hats  at the upcoming NFR, adorned with charming country sayings or featuring nostalgic vintage scenes. It's clear that these hats are becoming a staple in the fashion world, adding a touch of country flair to any outfit. Get ready to see them everywhere, as they continue to rise in popularity. 


In my opinion, this upcoming year is going to be an exciting and dynamic one for fashion. We can anticipate a delightful mix of bold and vibrant colors, as well as the rise of the grungy dark trend that is currently gaining momentum. It's fascinating to witness different styles converging and intersecting, creating a truly unique fashion landscape. While some trends start to fade away, new ones are set to make their mark. The enduring appeal of vintage fashion is still going strong, adding a touch of nostalgia to contemporary looks. I, for one, am eagerly looking forward to this unpredictable yet enjoyable fashion spectacle that is going to occur in December. 

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