Is it a rodeo — or a fashion show? A little bit of both, actually, at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. This year, urban darlings and cowgirls can take inspiration from mainstream fashion trends. Sure, leather fringe and denim will always have their place, but why not create a rodeo outfit with some spice?
To get the lowdown on 2023's rodeo style, we sat down with the unofficial queen of rodeo fashion, Zinat Ahmed, who has cultivated her jaw-dropping rodeo looks over the past six years. Ahmed is the executive vice president of marketing and branding at Cotton Holdings, and not only did she help oversee one of the most lavish tent ever at HLSR's annual cookoff, she is also sure to make an entrance at every rodeo event.
"Rodeo season in Houston has always been a great time to step out of the box and tell a story through fashion," Ahmed tells CultureMap. "It's an opportunity to dust off our boots, take risks, and accessorize incredible pieces we rarely wear. I love telling stories through creative outfits. Whether with sequin suits or brightly colored boots, rodeo is the time to bring a different level of creativity and unique flair to your overall look."
For the next month, ultra-glam looks with bold statement pieces will rule the buzzy rodeo scene. This is the year of the "Disco Cowgirl," according to Ahmed, with oversized statement pieces, bejeweled boots, and wild embellishments. "There are no rules anymore," she says. "Put on your squash blossoms, wear denim on denim, throw on a bright pink hat, or have your full rhinestone cowgirl moment."
Since RodeoHouston runs through March 19, fashionistas still have time to gather all the essentials for a fantastic rodeo season. With that in mind, we've assembled local rodeo fashion inspiration that will make you wish the rodeo is a year-round event.
Christina Greene Jewelry
Christine Green's Rice Village boutique is bursting with rodeo fashion, including the gorgeous gemstones she is known for. Shoppers can also pick up scarves, dresses, hat bands, stunning beaded bandanas, and handbags.
King Ranch Saddle Shop
Iconic Texas brand King Ranch has everything you need for the ultimate rodeo experience. Their newly opened Rice Village outpost is stocked with apparel, boots, accessories, and cult-favorite leather bags.
Seeds of Glass
Houston artist Amy Simon's Astros-inspired jewelry designs are a favorite of the Astros' wives and Houstonians everywhere. Her brand of handmade beaded necklaces and earrings burst onto the scene during the World Series, and she hasn't stopped creating since. The H-town-inspired jewelry is a great finishing touch to any rodeo outfit and can be worn long into baseball season.
Maida's is a Houston classic and has been making bespoke custom boots since 1901. Their master craftsmen can make any fashion dream a luxurious reality, and the best part about the investment is that they will never go out of style.
Parker Boot Company
Family-owned Parker Boot Company makes all of its boots by hand. Owner Zephan Parker learned from the best master craftsmen from all over the state. Their Heights store also offers a selection of handmade belts, wallets and accessories.
Republic Boot Co.
The award-winning boot company makes all of its boots in Houston. Their Heights showroom has a selection of in-stock boots and craftsmen ready to get started on a custom pair.
Tecovas is known for its large selection of handmade products at a great price point. Pick up high, low, or zip-up boots along with bags, coats, and accessories at either of their City Centre or Rice Village locations.
We are currently obsessed with Freya's Rodeo Edit. The Houston brand has several felt and straw styles to choose from. Shoppers can't go wrong with the Mesquite or the Robin styles.
The Hat Chick
This year's rodeo darling, The Hat Chick, is popping up everywhere. The brand's fun hats with customizable embellishments will be at Hemline Heights location and Zadok Jewelers Rodeo Kick-off, among others, throughout the rodeo season. Check out their schedule to customize a hat for yourself.
Luxury western-wear brand Kemo Sabe will pop up in Rice Village during rodeo season. Shoppers can pick up clothing, boots, buckles, jewelry, and their line of Kemo Sabe Grit Hats. A celebrity favorite, they have been worn by Beyonce, Katy Perry, LeAnn Rimes, John Mayer, and more.