[Nameplate] Fair ~ 88°F  
Feels like: 98°F
Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

How the West is worn

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Tess Noles of Sikeston models some of this year's rodeo attire.

As rodeo time nears, stores that carry the westernwear experience a sort of Christmas rush: longer hours; and lots of customers.

So what are the hip clothes and accessories for rodeo-goers this year?

"It just depends on the person anymore," said Linda West, owner of Linda's Western Store. "Some want calm and plain, then you've got the next person that wants the sparkly, glitzy stuff."

Kersten Tibbs, who owns C Bar K with her husband, Chad, said the new trends in the West are mostly rhinestone "bling bling" including shirts, belts, shoes and even hats.

Among the women's clothing racks at Linda's are solid-colored button-down shirts, sparkly and embellished button-downs, and then the three-quarter-

sleeve and sleeveless cotton tops.

"It goes from glitzy to calm," West said.

She pointed to what she called a "retro" shirt as well -- a burnt rose with black piping.

"It's stuff I sold 30 years ago but it's back again now," West said.

She also had several blue jean vests with western screen printing on the back.

Hot colors include pink, lime green, orange and purple. And a lot of women's shirts have rhinestones and embroidery, Tibbs said.

Sleeveless tops are typically most popular around rodeo time, because of the heat, she said.

And although spectators may want a little sparkle, it's usually the barrel racers who really shine. "There will be a lot of sparkle out there on the barrel racers," West said.

Candy Harper, clothing manager at Ag Mart, agreed. "The sparkly shirts draw a lot of attention -- the lights from the rodeo tend to hit their shirts."

Men and women may have different preferences when buying their rodeo attire. "The ladies buy clothes and the men buy boots," laughed West. But Harper said men tend to be just as picky as women.

Still, there is plenty of attire to outfit men, who gravitate toward the solids and plaids -- minus the sparkle of women's clothes.

"Camouflage is really in," West said, pointing to a rack.

The retro look is also back for men. "The new trends right now are retro and paisley," Tibbs said. "And snaps are back in."

Men often come to Falkoffs for rodeo gear, too, said owner David Friedman.

"Jeans and shirts are always popular," he said. He also stocks the plain and plaid styles.

A lot of men purchase the Levi's, Polo and Lucky jeans he has in stock.

For all, pink is popular -- which Harper credited to Wednesday's "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" night. "Even the little boys are wanting the pink shirts," she said.

Children also get dressed up for the rodeo, in styles that mimic the adult sizes -- shiny, bright tops for girls and solids and plaids for boys, West said. She pointed out a leather-fringed set of chaps and vest, saying they were popular items for small boys.

Harper said little girls like bright colors to dress up in. "For little boys, shirts with the patches on them -- like PRCA or bulls -- are popular," she said.

It's best to hit the stores early, or the clothing may be picked over.

"The four days of rodeo is just chaos, usually," West said.

"We close at six, but are usually here later," she added. "When they quit coming is when we close."