Going to a rodeo in 2023? Here’s exactly what to wear to a rodeo and cute rodeo outfits and rodeo attire to inspire you! You’ll feel comfortable, stylish, and ready for two-stepping!
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Originally published Jan. 9, 2022, Updated May 29, 2023
What To Wear To A Rodeo & Rodeo Attire
So, you’re heading to a rodeo – yeehaw! If you’ve never been, you can expect a lot of bull-riding, barrel racing, team roping, and classic western wear.
If you’re a rodeo rookie, it takes more than throwing on a cowboy hat and a pair of boots to fit in with the regulars. Whether you want to look like a rodeo princess, or are going for a more modern aesthetic, we are here to help you out.
Luckily, it’s not impossible to arrive at the rodeo looking fashionable and functional. Read on to learn all about the best rodeo attire, the do’s and don’ts, and get some great rodeo outfit inspiration!
What Top Should You Wear to a Rodeo?
When it comes to tops in rodeo attire, you should avoid any soft, fragile fabrics, like silk and satin. Instead, opt for lightweight material like cotton or linen, or a more durable material, such as a button-up denim shirt – a staple in western wear.
For a cute look, try tying the ends of your denim top to create a cowgirl crop top, and think about patterns like plaid, gingham, or white with ruffle or lace detailing.
Another suitable option is a flannel shirt or jacket. This classic American garment is a popular style among rodeo-goers, as it features an iconic pattern that will ensure you fit right in.
If you don’t have denim or flannel, you’re safe with a top that has ruffle layers or a top or jacket with fringe. In fact, the more fringe, the better.
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What Bottoms Should You Wear to a Rodeo?
If you guessed denim, you’ve got that right! Experiment with various fits and cuts, such as jeans, denim shorts, or skirts – all are fair game as long as they’re denim. Denim midi skirts have been all the rage in 2023, and with a pair of cowboy boots, it’s a stylish and modern rodeo attire pick.
While bootcut jeans are generally associated with cowboy fashion, you won’t look out of place wearing a fitted pair or straight leg, which are great for tucking into a pair of cute knee-high cowboy boots.
Wrangler is a classic brand for rodeo-goers and vintage inspired Levi’s will also add a high-fashion edge to your look. We love the look of denim cut-off shorts or a denim mini skirt with a feminine top at a rodeo!
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get the look:
We love the look above with simple denim shorts, a crochet top, and a western touch with the suede belt and gold buckle. The western style boots add a modern-cowgirl vibe.
With this look you’ll be comfortable and ready to rock the rodeo!
Rodeo Attire: Dress & Skirts
If you want to dress up a little, don’t hesitate to throw on a cute dress or skirt with your cowboy boots. Opt for a white cotton or linen dress or skirt with lace or frill detailing, or go with a floral print dress and channel your inner Beth Dutton (Yellowstone anyone?).
The right dress can look stylish and classy while still having that old western vibe you’ll want for the rodeo. Go with a midi dress or skirt if you want a bit more coverage. Or, if you prefer to look like you have legs for days, a cute mini dress with a western-flair looks amazing with knee-high cowboy boots!
We love the look above with the suede mini skirt, western-style belt, black cowboy boots, and cropped graphic tee. This rodeo outfit has an edgy vibe, but still has all the western details we love.
If you are headed to a concert at the rodeo, this is a great look to try!
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Rodeo Attire: Best Hats
If you’ve seen an old Western movie, you certainly know the answer to this question.
Yes, you should wear a cowboy hat, and any style will do. You’re welcome to get creative and select the one that speaks to you. There are a wide variety of cowboy hats, all coming in different textiles, including:
- Fur Felt
- Wool Felt
Additionally, if you want to play it safe, opt for a Resistol, which has been the preferred choice for rodeo cowboys for decades.
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What Kind of Shoes To Wear to a Rodeo
You didn’t think I’d compile a rodeo fashion essentials list and not include cowboy boots, did you? Just like cowboy hats, cowboy boots also come in various styles and materials, including:
Try to avoid boots with a super high heel, as they’re less aligned with proper rodeo attire.
Also, if you’ve never owned a pair before, you should know that many leather boots are stiff during the first couple of uses. We recommend breaking your boots in before the rodeo, so you can focus on enjoying the event rather than the blisters forming on your feet… ouch!
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Rodeo Attire: Accessories
The right accessories are the finishing touch to the perfect rodeo outfit!
In its own way, a rodeo is like a fashion show, where Old Western is the theme. That means accessories are definitely appropriate. Once you’ve selected your top, jeans, hat, and boots, it’s time to start accessorizing.
- Jewelry: Try layered gold or silver pendant necklaces or go with a statement necklace, bracelet, or earrings. And, turquoise is always a popular rodeo color when it comes to jewelry.
- Belt: A leather belt with a massive, flashy buckle is a must for a rodeo and a great way to accessorize. If you think your belt is too much, go even bigger.
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- Poncho: A colorful poncho with fringe is an effortless way to elevate your outfit to new heights. Wear your poncho over jeans or shorts with a pair of ankle boots to create an uber-stylish outfit.
- Vest: Another popular rodeo fashion piece. Leave it open over a long-sleeved shirt for a casual appearance that still maintains the western theme.
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Rodeo Attire FAQ’s
We are answering some of the common rodeo attire questions below, to help guide you when choosing your outfit!
Can I wear shorts to a rodeo?
Shorts are a perfectly acceptable piece to wear to a rodeo and look excellent paired with western boots and a cute top. Many women choose to rock denim shorts at the rodeo. If you don’t want to wear regular denim shorts, you can opt for linen shorts or cute shorts with a pattern like plaid or gingham.
Can you wear sandals to a rodeo?
When it’s warm out, you might find yourself thinking that a pair of sandals is a wise choice to keep your feet cool outside.Unfortunately, sandals should be avoided at the rodeo.
Not only will you likely get dirt between your toes, there’s a chance you might get your foot stepped on by a clumsy cowboy, considering the amount of people at a rodeo. Needless to day, sandals, flip-flops, or other open-toed shoes are not a good idea when it comes to rodeo attire.
Now that we’ve established the proper rodeo attire, you’re ready to hop in the saddle and put together one of these stylish rodeo outfits. Remember, while you’ll want to look cute (of course!), you’ll be on your feet all day. So be sure to choose boots you’ve broken-in already, and clothing items you feel comfortable in.
The last thing you want is to be pulling at your outfit, and missing out on all there is to see!
You’ve got this, cowgirl.
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