The Ins and Outs of Cowboy Boots: Don't Get Tucked In by Fads


Getting the boot: You've got the right shirt, the expensive Stetson, you've even worn out that "Tush Push" video. Now it's time to head for the nearest country-Western club. But before you walk out the door, you take a good look at your boots and stop. Do you show off your boots by tucking your jeans inside, or do you pull the jeans over the boots?

"Guys need to have their jeans over their boots," says Joanne Carper of Cowtown Boots in Anaheim. "Today's style is for guys to cover their boots, but women can tuck their jeans in."

If you're new to the Western look, you should also be aware that those straight-leg jeans you wear with everything else don't go well with boots. Boot-cut jeans have a leg wide enough to cover your Tony Lamas but not so wide as to be considered a bell-bottom.

The bottom of the leg should barely touch the top of the upper. If it's any higher, your dance partner will think you're waiting for a flood. Any lower and you could end up stomping your heels on your jeans.

Grandmother's favorite: It's possible that years ago, when your grandmother went out on a chilly evening, she took her crocheted shawl with her. She may have even knitted you one, which you promptly tucked into a drawer to keep as a remembrance. Lately, though, you may have noticed women who look as if they've pulled grandma's shawl out of the drawer and onto their shoulders.

"It's a hot retro-trend right now in some areas," says personal shopper Kari Bell of Laguna Beach. "Old shawls and peasant dresses kind of bring back the '60s look."

The shawl look may not last long, but women can take advantage of it, if they so desire, by wearing it with a long dress or a blouse and long skirt. If the skirt hemline is above the knee, though, they may want to think about leaving the shawl at home.

If a woman tries it on and sees it doesn't seem right to go out in, she shouldn't throw it away. Even if shawls don't come into the mainstream again, '60s costume parties are hot and a shawl could make a great accessory.

Fuing around: About the time feminists were making headlines showing how strong women can be, men began showing up with their own statement of sexuality: the Fu Manchu mustache.

Guys who wore this menacing, macho facial-hair style wanted to look as though they were not to be messed with. The fad lasted until the late '70s, when men turned to other things, such as pulling beer caps off with their teeth, to show off their masculinity.

Just when it seemed that only convicted felons would sport a mustache that dropped down along the sides of their mouths, some members of the Hollywood elite have been showing up in them. Can a regular guy grow a Fu Manchu now and not be assumed to have a record?

"If you're going to grow one, make it part of a grunge look," says hairstylist Bob Leal of Anaheim Hills. "Keep a lot of stubble on your face, wear a lot of black, try to look trendy. That won't scare people."

Don't let your bottom whiskers extend longer than 1/4-inch, and be sure you have enough facial hair on either side of your mouth so as not to have any hairless gaps.

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