Last week I felt like I was channeling the cover of the Byrds album, Sweetheart of the Rodeo, while attending the Calgary Stampede for the very first time. For this inaugural visit, I decided to go all out when it came to my western chic lewk. I was donning my best cowpoke duds which included a custom fit Smithbilt hat, which I realized I was wearing backwards for the first few hours much to my embarrassment, and my mother’s original cowboy boots from the 80s when she used to live in Calgary and attend the Stampede. The only items I was missing were a fringe element to my look and a tooled leather purse I mistakenly left at home. What a missed moment!

I drifted through a sea of denim cutoffs swishing the hem of my skirt over my preloved oxblood boots. Being over 30, these boots have certainly aged gracefully, then again, my mother took impeccable care of her clothing so I shouldn’t be so surprised. The majority of the attendees at the Stampede take the dress code seriously and arrive in head to toe western wear complete with bolo ties and spurs. People watching the Stampede is an activity all unto itself. I highly recommend If ever you get the opportunity.

The Swiss dot granny dress from Joe Fresh was the perfect piece to tie it all together in all my cowgirl glory (which is conveniently on sale for $9 now!). The neckerchief was a nice addition too for some added neck drama. With the temperature soaring in the mid 30s, I was very grateful to be in such a breezy number. Don’t get me wrong, I spent much of the day melting but I kept it cool oscillating between drinking water and fair treats – rootbeer floats anyone? Keep scrolling for more major cowgirl moments:


OUTFIT | hat – c/o SMITHBILT | sunglasses – RAYBAN | lipstick – c/o SMASHBOX | dress – c/o JOE FRESH – currently on sale for $9! | bandana – VINTAGE – similar here | belt – VINTAGE | boots – VINTAGE – similar here |

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It was a photographic miracle that my outfit perfectly matched both the tilt-a-whirl as well as the bright blue Albertan sky. It’s the type of colour complimenting that makes me drool a little and in a brief moment I miss the Colour Theory class I took in university. That longing is fleeting when I remember all the mundane tasks and the highly fastidious professor, however.

photographs – Jesse Sand

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