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Belle Starr – One Year Later

November of last year, I introduced my readers to a little boutique that was based out of Tofield, Alberta, but via the inter web only. The 5 year plan was to have Belle Starr Boutique in the town of Tofield, with a cute storefront, and still an online presence.  Fast forward to 2015 and the 5 Year Plan turned into an under 1 year plan. June 27th 2015, Belle Starr was up and running in town. Of course there is always room to grow, but its exciting to see a local business grow so fast and see success.  Belle Starr Boutique is another perfect example that following your dreams with hard work pays off.   The boutique will be returning to the Dodge City Marketplace at the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton this year, with all of their new stock that was hand picked during a road trip to the Dallas Market & to Pendleton this summer. Of course, if you cannot make it to Edmonton during the CFR you can always head out to Tofield and stop by to visit the store.

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Shelby Bochon-Duffy in Belle Starr Boutique wearing a blue aztec dress that you can purchase from the store. I NEED it!


How was the first year of business for Belle Starr Boutique?

The first year has been crazy! When I said I wanted a store front last year at this time, I was thinking it was a few years away! Watching this grow and come together has been a gratifying experience. You work hard and you see the results. It makes me proud of myself. It’s like a little business baby.

What big changes have you dealt with in the first year of owning the boutique?
The biggest change has been my lack of time for anything else! It’s all business all the time! I’ve grown up with both of my parents running their own business and always talking business. There is no real break from it! Even when I’m not working I’m thinking about work. Even being out, what you say and do reflects on your business. I’m much more carful with my opinions and my actions.

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The store looks outstanding! Shelby needs to get into interior designing next.


There is always so much to learn when owning a business; What have you learnt in the first year?
I have learnt that you can’t do everything. You have to make sacrifices in your personal life to get ahead in business. It sounds so cliche but I’ve learnt that hard work really and truly pays off. I’ve learnt that the support of your family is really what matters the most, I wouldn’t be who I am today, or where I am today with out my parents. I’m so lucky to have that support.

Where do you see Belle Starr in another year from now?
In a year I would like my online business to be stupid busy, to have my business be well known. I would like to expand and bring in more lines that people love. I would like to hire on more girls so I’m not spreading myself too thin! I want to be able to go more mobile with it and not have to worry about the store front, I’m so lucky to have my girls who work for me now (Shelby Coupland and Kassidy Gates, I wouldn’t be ready for CFR if it wasn’t for those two!) And boots! I want so badly to get big enough that I can sell boots!

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What fashion trends did you see on your trip down south that you want to bring here?

There was so much we saw on the buying trip. It was overwhelming! My favorite thing I saw though was boot rugs. I want them so badly! The just make an outfit look so Bad Ass!
The biggest thing I noticed though is all the girls down there just wear what ever they want and own it! Versus up here, I find that we are so much more toned down! Just wear what ever you want and rock it! It doesn’t matter if you’re the only person wearing it, own your own style!

What lines of clothing are you now carrying?
As of now, I have Dale Brisby, Cowboy Fresh, Pink Cattlelac, SAYiWON’T, Wrangler and then my hand picked ladies clothes from wholesale houses, “Southern Flair” is what I call it.

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What are your fashion must haves?

Right now I am all about Aztecs prints. Obsessed actually. I’m liking layers, belts and big jewelry! I love wraps too! .

Whats your favorite pair of cowboy boots, and favorite lipstick?
My all time favorite boots are my square toe Tony Lamas. I need them re-soled I wear them so much! My favorite lipstick is, Sexer- iridescent fluorescent pink by Kat Von d

 

Don’t forget to say hi to the girls of Belle Starr Boutique during the CFR!! I am excited for the future of this store, and hope they continue to grow and succeed! 

 

Fashionista

Ladies of Canadian Pro Rodeo Luncheon

The 41st Ladies of Canadian Pro Rodeo Luncheon & Fashion Show is happening Friday November 13th, and I am giving everyone fair warning, so that you can grab your tickets now, before they sell out! The event is held at the Westin Hotel Ballroom downtown Edmonton and is always a riot. Make sure you have a nearby hotel, or call yourself an taxi as the table wine seems to go down fast. I have personally been to this luncheon four times, whereas my Mom and Grandma have gone for many years before me. They would always come back with great door prizes and talked about how much fun they had with everyone there, all the while, supporting the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team and CPRA Cowboy Benefit  Fund through the dollar draws, silent auctions and other fun games.

Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall Of Fame Inductee & close family friend of ours, Shirley Edge, was the original founder of the Luncheon in 1974. Shirley wanted an event for all the women to be able to get together, socialize, and have a fun afternoon celebrating rodeo and supporting a good cause. She also put together numerous other events for the rodeo families in between rodeo performances during the week of the Canadian Finals Rodeo. When word got out about the first Luncheon and Fashion Show, nearly every woman involved in rodeo at the time wanted to attend. Over 325 women enjoyed the first luncheon, and they didn’t want to leave!

I got ahold of one of the current event organizers, Cindy Dahms, and asked her a few questions about this year’s Luncheon.

How long have each of you been involved with the event, and are you married to, compete, or have a child who competes in the CPRA?

“I joined the committee when I was the Executive Director for the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport Medicine Team (2004-2007) and have stayed on since my resignation. My husband , Dr. Mike Dahms has been a chiropractor with the CPRSMT for 25 years. Our ladies know and have seen first hand the contribution of both the CPRA Benefit Fund and the CPRSMT . That is why we have chosen them to be the beneficiaries of this annual fundraiser. Wendy  has been on the organizing committee for some 25 years and I have been involved for the past 10. She is the marketing director at Ranchman’s so she has had involvement with rodeo and the Cowboys for many years.”

Who is doing the modelling for you this year?

“We always ask CFR CONTESTANTS to model and for the last 2 years we have had the Miss Rodeo Canada contestants model as well, as part of their pageant. The MRC contestants will be modelling again this year.”

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Who will be the entertainment this year?

Our entertainer this year is Cole Malone.

Is there a theme this year, and who will be your MC’s? 

“Yes County Fair is the theme this year ! Our MC’s are the fabulously funny Dennis Halstead and Jackie Rae Greening. We are thrilled to have them back again this year. They have worked the event together over the years and do a great job!”

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If you are looking for an afternoon of fun with a table for you and 9 of your closest friends, including a fabulous lunch, table wines, fun contests, door prizes and much more, be sure to book a table before they are all sold out! Tables seat 10 and tickets are $55 each. http://www.lcprfashionshow.com/

 

Fashionista On The Record

Pursue Victory – Paige Callaway

This spring I will be purchasing just one new shirt for rodeo season. It’s long enough it won’t come un-tucked from your jeans. It’s sleeves reach your wrists and stay that way when you’re stretched out hustling home. It’s sides are fitted showing off your curves, rather than making you feel like a box. This shirt looks good with jeans and is rodeo ready, but you can wear it to the office, or a day in town if you want to. I NEED this shirt in my closet, so its now at the top of my must have list. The Pursue Victory Power Collar Shirt runs from an XS to an XL, is handmade in Calgary Alberta CANADA, and comes in uh-mazing colours. Urban Cowboy Denim, get-in-mah-closet!!!

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Paige in her Sunset Coral Power Collar Pursue Victory Shirt

Who is the designer behind this fabulous new line that launched this past October? Non other than Miss Paige Callaway. If you’re not familiar with Paige, click her name right there, and check out the About Me section of her Pursue Victory website.

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Paige at Fort Worth Stock Show

While on Instagram one day, I scrolled to a picture that had a bunch of cowgirl fashionistas. Tagged in the picture was Paige, and I had thought her name was familiar, so I decided to “Follow” her. Once checking out nearly all of her pictures I decided she was pretty much the coolest girl in the world. Her style is one of a kind, she trick rides and barrel races, she travels and loves fashion.  While scrolling her photos I thought to myself I hope I get to meet this cool cat one day, Paige seems to be someone I would get along with pretty well.. Though I have not formally met Paige yet, I was able to track her down on Facebook and do a little interview with her about her PV line.

View More: http://brzphotography.pass.us/wildrose

This dress was Paige’s first full couturier piece of clothing she made! I love both the dress and the fur coat!

What inspires you?

For me, I have learned there are two types of inspiration.  The inspiration the flutters my heart and it comes at any time and place to take my creativity in new directions.  I find driving I get my best ideas.  Other places I draw inspiration from are riding horses, flea markets, music, the old west, kids, graffiti, nature and laughing.  That’s why I like to laugh . . . I mean who doesn’t but for me its a double win!

The second kind of inspiration, and perhaps the most valuable as an entrepreneur, is the kind that nicely takes your hand and dusts you off after a “rough” day and gives you the strength and sanity to push on.  The deep, to the soul, inspiration that the beauty in a cactus just doesn’t cut it for.  I find that in music, quotes and other people who have done triumphant things.  For those days, I have one no fail source.  One of my best friends was paralyzed a few years back at Cheyenne and I call him.  He never rarely gives me a “you can do it speech”, and he usually doesn’t need to because knowing what he has been through and accomplished paired with his witty comments and jokes always change my attitude.  I am not sure if he knows thats why I call him sometimes, however it is probably best he doesnt cause it would go right to his head! Haha jk!

This may not be “inspiration” as much as “motivation”, however the drive behind what I do could be summed up in one word empowerment.  When I started Wild Rose Clothing a few years back, I used to say that wearing one of the graphic T’s with a cool graphic or uplifting quote could be the difference between a good day and a bad day.  Pursue Victory takes that to the next level.  When I went to couturier school and I made myself clothing specific for my measurements it gave me a whole knew level of confidence.  I thought that sort of confident energy is priceless for me going into a meeting (when I worked downtown) or at a rodeo running barrels.  You naturally have that energy transfer into what you do that day.  I thought there is so much value in this sort of thing for society.  On a big scale, regardless of which direction the fashion industry takes me, that will always be my MO, so to speak.

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Paige in her Black As Night Power Collar Pursue Victory Shirt

Will you be bringing more items to the Pursue Victory line?

YES!!! I am so excited for all the ideas I have for this line.  The first stop on the road map of Pursue Victory is to make sure that the pattern of the shirts (meaning pattern they are sewn off of) and the size grading is best for the clients.  Something very unique about Pursue Victory is that the shirt pattern and size grading was done by hand, not computer.  With the help of client feedback and tweaking the pattern and sizing, Pursue Victory will be releasing more colors and styles of the PV Power Collar Shirt along with maybe a casual line, a mens line and a higher end line.  I love blazers and vests so I am sure they will come along as well!

Paige in her Canadian Tuxedo

Will you be making your line available to wholesalers ever or strictly off the site?

I am working right now to move the line into wholesale.  My target with the first run of shirts was to really nail down the fit and I felt the best way to get client feedback was to sell it on a first hand bases and talk to the clients.  Now that I have a good idea of the feedback and where things can be shifted and adjusted I am looking forward to expanding into larger orders and venues while maintaining the quality!

View More: http://brzphotography.pass.us/paige
If you could have lunch with anyone dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Lunch with anyone, tough choice, either my Grandpa or Coco Chanel.  Growing up I spent endless hours with Grandpa on his ranch.  He was a very kind person to all walks of life.  He loved and cared so diligently for his cows and horses and I grew up in this idea that was how the world operated.  Turns out it doesn’t and the older I get, the more I appreciate the man he was.  Grandpas actions spoke louder then his words, and through those characterisitics that he so naturally had he was respected and appreciated by many, myself included.  That, and Grandpa taught me how to play cribbage, which though I havent played in a while I am still confident in my skills!

Coco Chanel; she revolutionized fashion to create functional clothing for woman and this is something I strive for.  She had an idea for functional clothing so ladies could move around easier, like getting in and out of cabs and she stuck with it.  It was actually a very liberating time for ladies in terms of fashion and the more I learn about it, it was the fine boned, quick witted Coco who led the charge.  She had low regard for peoples judgement when it came in terms of what she designed because she trusted her gut and followed her heart.  Plus, Coco rode horses, was slightly rough around the edges and left a mysterious trail of stories about her life . . . which I appreciate!

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Paige and her Grandpa

Since this blog is titled ‘Lipstick & Cowboy Boots’, what is your favourite of each?

I LOVE lipstick and I have become a lipstick snob!!!! There are a few things in life (Pursue Victory shirts being one!!! *wink) that quality counts! Lipstick is another where quality and brand counts . . . and so is mustard and paint brushes.  I love MAC and I have a few colors, my go to right now is called “Snob”, and I have also been wearing my “Candy YumYum”, which is neon pink! One of my friends and I have a long running joke when we see photos of each other we can name the MAC lipstick that the other person is wearing. Yes they are more expensive, they last longer and are soooo worth the money!

When it comes to boots . . . for work, Justins, hands down! For play, nothing beats the comfort and cuteness of my Old Gringos.  When I went to London I wore them around cause they are as good as a good running shoe for me!

After chatting with Paige back and forth I see how driven she is and she is now someone who inspires the heck out of me! She is passionate about her work and it gets me fired up to write more and do more with my own project this year aka this blog. 🙂

Want more about Paige and Pursue Victory, or would like to purchase a shirt? Head on over to her website! www.pursuevictory.com

*All photos submitted by Paige

Fashionista

My Fashion Must Haves

Holy interview overload! Here is a quick fashion post!!

The NFR is only.. less than fifteen days away for me now, and even though the Canadian Dollar is not looking its finest, I plan on doing some shopping.. Im going in with a free’d up Visa.. Its scary actually, I could rack that thing up in a hurry down there… I hope I have SOME self-control.. (I will let you know how that goes in my NFR post when I am back on Canadian soil..)

Before I jet off to ‘Sin City’ I figured I would share a handful of ‘Cowgirl Fashion’ trends that have my eye right now!

At the moment, I LOVE everything and anything that has a Thunderbird on it. No, Im not talking about your Dad’s 1969 Ford Thunderbird. I mean the Navajo version. The name Thunderbird comes from the belief that the beating of their massive wings, cause thunder and strong winds. It is the symbol for power and strength, and I’d say it’s my spirit animal.. 😉 just kidding. I just think that it gives off a fierce bad-ass vibe!! ‘Merica!!

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The Thunderbird goes hand in hand with the Aztec, Southwestern, and Native American trend we are seeing in ‘Cowgirl Fashion’ right now. Intricate beadwork, Pendleton patterns, Squashblossoms, and Aztec designs, as well as Fringe, Furs, and Feathers, galore!

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If you’re asking yourself, “What in the world is a Squashblossom”.. let me tell ya! Generally made by the Navajos, Squashblossoms are seen more often on necklaces with vintage silver and turquoise, depicting the flower of a squash plant . If you stumble across a real Squashblossom necklace, dont be surprised at the price tag. The more detail, turquoise and silver, the bigger. I have found these necklaces in the $3000 range.. Do I own one? HA! I have found a cheaper, and not so real version on-line, for about $100 instead. You might think they look a bit strange, or are too obnoxious, but when worn with the right outfit, they are drool-worthy and are true statement piece!

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I also LOVE fur vests. I cannot afford a real coyote or rabbit vest, so the faux furs have to do! I have had luck at The Bay, and also at Guess, for the two that  are hanging in my closet. One is purple, and longer, the other is short and Grey. When picking a vest, its really whatever floats your boat, and what you would be comfortable in! I am currently on the hunt for a neutral long one. Pairing the vest with a solid color long sleeve shirt usually looks best, but I am sure there are super creative girls who could show me otherwise!

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FRINGE!!! Fabulous Fringe. The love of fringe has finally caught on in Canada and is in full swing. Majority of girls I see at a rodeo or some kind of cowboy get-together, are rockin fringe purses of every kind. If fringe purses aren’t your thing, fringe cowboy boots, wedge boots, short boots and flat boots are popular as well, which provide a little flair to your step!

fringe wild bleu

www.shopwildbleu.com

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Headbands! Many girls, including myself have been rockin headbands for the last few years, but this year I saw more beaded headbands, vs the fabric type. Whether it was the Pink Pewter type beading or the Navajo beadwork you were searching for, they were everywhere, and show no sign of leaving our heads anytime soon!

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And since its so cold in Canada, there are MANY knit headbands either plain, or with wild embellishments. I say go big or go home! Hillbilly Headbands, Halters and more on Facebook has a wide variety to choose from if youre looking for a knit to keep your ears warm!

 

What is your favourite trend right now? Anything you dislike? Leave a comment below!
Cassie ➳

 

 

 

 

Fashionista On The Record

Belle Starr Boutique

I am a social media addict. Big surprise, right? So along with seeing what everyone is up to, I enjoy some online shopping. Instagram is FULL of little boutiques with fun and outgoing pieces I would love to have in my closet.. Except shipping ends up costing a lot, or they don’t ship to Canada at all. Plus right now, the Canadian dollar sucks!!

Example – Earlier this spring, I was on one of these American Instagram accounts and saw the Pink Pewter headbands. I love headbands. I found one I HAD to have.. OK, its only $45USD thats no biggie.. it looks handmade, and to be really great quality, I’ll add it to my shopping cart.. Oh! Oh my.. shipping for it is $30.. hmm.. YOLO (does anyone say that anymore?) Check out my Visa bill, and I spent around $90 on that sunofagun!

So with that being said, anytime there is  a local boutique to shop at, with similar items to the southern shops, I am all over it! Shelby Bochon-Duffy & Shelby Masse decided they wanted to bring the southern boutiques to central Alberta. While Bochon-Duffy attended Farrier School in Montana, she couldn’t stop buying and having it shipped to her dorm room. Meanwhile back at home, Miss Masse was working for one of our local more mainstream western stores, and ended up helping out with some of the buying for the store. They both knew that locally, not many stores kept up with the current trends other than the western brand-name lines.. They took a chance wondering if there was a market for it here, and they started Belle Starr Boutique.

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Their boutique carries winter & regular headbands, scarves, tank tops, long sleeve shirts with aztec elbows, patterned dresses, aztec patterned cardigans & vests, ponchos, palazzo pants, leggings, shorter skirts, and some plus size tops and palazzo pants, all at affordable prices.

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They also decided to carry TMT Enterprises local handmade jewelry, and as well as Rope Hard brand hats and jackets. They are the Canadian distributors.

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The girls have future plans of making their business a full time gig, by having a storefront in Tofield Alberta, and hoping to be mobile in the next little while.

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The 41st Canadian Finals Rodeo will be the Grand Opening of Belle Star Boutique, so be sure to track down booth G128!

Check them out online, or contact them at:

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Instagram – Bellestarrboutique

Facebook – Belle Star Boutique

Website – www.bellestarrboutique.com

Email- bellestarrboutique@gmail.com

Phone- 1-780-964-4989

Fashionista

Boot Rugs

I am all for trying new things, whether it be bright pink lipstick, or just an outgoing outfit that make people take a second glance,  but the Boot Rugs are something else. I am kind of on the fence about them… Mind you, I was the exact same way when BB Simon bling belts came out, when square toe boots became popular, or more recently, with the palazzo pants were making their way into our closets.. I will admit, I did end up with all three.

Boot Rugs have been out since the Fall of 2012, but I did not notice them until late 2013. Now here we are, Fall of 2014 and they are still not a big thing in Canada. YET!

What are the point of Boot Rugs you may ask? They are a boot accessory, and quite the statement piece. If I saw anyone in Canada wearing them, I would probably ask where they got them, what made them want to get them, and if they’re keeping their calves warm during the cold snap.. Who am I kidding, I will probably have a pair by the CFR but most likely for the NFR. Why not! I like to stand out and make a statement. I need a pair in my life!!

Now youre thinking, OK Cass, what do these things look like? What do you wear them with? WELL! All pictures I have found, the girls are wearing snip toe boots with the Rugs. Tends to make it look a bit more feminine. They are also either wearing dresses/skirts, leggings or skinny jeans. Regular jeans with any flare in the leg just wouldnt work the same. They would be too bulky at the top of the Rugs. If you are going to purchase a pair of Boot Rugs, I suggest buying something that will go with whatever you have for boots. My Gringos are already loud enough on their own, so I would find something that wouldnt take away from them too much (near impossible with the Rug, I know I know) maybe a more neutral pair.. Honestly, I could see myself buying a fluffy angora-style set.. Dont judge!

Santa Angela Collection from www.bootrugs.com

Santa Angela Collection from www.bootrugs.com

High Chaparral Boot Rug www.bootrugs.com My Favorite Pair!!

High Chaparral Boot Rug
www.bootrugs.com
My Favorite Pair!!

www.bootrugs.com

www.bootrugs.com

You can find Boot Rugs online for anywhere between $100-$500USD. I am sure there are more expensive ones out there. They come in many patterns, colors,  and  textiles. I have found Tibetan lamb-wool, Cowhide, fringe, and hand-loomed fabric made in Guatemala.

Bar T Boutique  http://bartboutique.storenvy.com

Bar T Boutique
http://bartboutique.storenvy.com

Geronimo Boot Rug

Geronimo Boot Rug

www.bootrugs.com in the Fall 2012 edition of Cowgirl Magazine

www.bootrugs.com in the Fall 2012 edition of Cowgirl Magazine

Do I think these will be flying off the shelves in Canada any time soon? No. I do think you may see a pair here and there. But they’re not going to be the next big thing, at least not right away. We tend to take the longest to catch on to any new styles. Perhaps by the 2015 CFR you will see more of them.  Am I a fashion expert, heck no, so I could very well be wrong, but I am yet to find a Canadian girl rocking them! If you are interested in purchasing a pair, may I suggest checking out www.bootrugs.com !

If you’re ahead of the game, and already own a pair, leave a comment and let me know what you think! 🙂

Fashionista

The Canadian Tuxedo

Just going to do a quick write up this morning on wearing your best Canadian Tuxedo. If you dont know what I am talking about, I mean denim on denim, jean shirt with jeans, you get the drift?

Now we dont want you to show up to a rodeo looking like Brittany and JT back in 2001, especially not with that hat… But if you want to, I wont stop you..

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I have always been told to wear a lighter wash on top, and a darker wash jean. Personally I think that works best, and looks the nicest, but you CAN match the right washes, with darker on top and a bit lighter on the bottom!

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Cruel Girl Denim with Lace Yokes

If you can find a denim shirt with some lace on it, or with a navajo or aztec pattern, or even a badass studded firebird on the back, BUY IT and ROCK IT! I am still on the hunt for one like that!

Also when buying these shirts, make sure they fit you properly please! The seam in the shoulder of the shirt should line up with your own shoulders, and not be over. If you are busty, make sure the buttons arent about to pop, or make the shirt gap.. Wear a tank underneath, you never know when your saddle horn is going to catch and give everyone a show!

I would tell you to wear a belt, I mean it ties the outfit together, and right now there are a lot of sweet ones to pick from, like beaded ones by Sweet Tequila Beadwork , some nice tooled leather ones, or even the fabric ones from Peru (thats what I have) along with some cute earrings that arent to heavy and smack your hat, but I have caught my belt on the saddle horn coming around third… so I dont wear one anymore. It was rather embarassing and midly terrifying trying to un-hook myself before we ran out the gate.

I asked some lovely ladies for their best Canadian Tuxedo pics, and this is what I got.

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Sam Smith rockin the tux at an FCA Rodeo this summer

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Laramie representing Canada in more ways than one at the CNCFR!

If wearing denim on denim isnt your thing, then by all means this works too

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Tanner Milan & Cody Haney

 

 

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