Westernwear, but make it Barbiecore.
Buckle up your rhinestone belt, dust off your fringe jacket and slip into your hot pink cowboy boots, because westernwear is getting the Barbie treatment.
We’ve all seen the pictures by now. When filming the upcoming live-action Barbie film, Margot Robbie (who plays the titular doll) was photographed in a hot pink ‘80s-style cowboy outfit, complete with a paisley bandana and metallic star detailing. The look went viral and now we all want to channel cowgirl Barbie this summer.
The vibrant aesthetic takes the character’s iconic hot-pink hyper-femininity and applies it to traditional cowboy get up like fringe, leather belts and flared pants. But don’t be fooled by its name — anyone, masculine or feminine, can participate in the trend. To see it come to life, look no further than the Calgary Stampede. Running until July 17, the festival is like Canada’s very own westernwear runway. And this year, elements of Barbiecore could be seen in the crowds. Attendees are sporting sparkly stetsons, brightly coloured cowboy boots, glitter makeup and hot pink-lined bikinis.
The cowgirl Barbie look is gaining attention thanks to the hype surrounding the film (set to be released in 2023). But people have been reimagining traditional cowboy imagery for years. Cowboy aesthetics have been going mainstream for some time now, with country-style boots and hats becoming a staple of TikTok #OOTDs, not just rodeos. Not to mention, Lil Nas X has brought genderfluid cowboy fashion to our feeds since his 2019 hit single Old Town Road. Other stars have put their own stylized spin on the traditional country look in recent years, from Harry Styles to Lizzo to Cardi B.
While we may have come to expect Lil Nas X in a hot pink cowboy costume on the red carpet, this aesthetic is a radical shift from the cowboys of yore. In mainstream media, western styles have historically been dominated by the heterosexual white male cowboy archetype. But as hyperfeminine aesthetics like hot pink and sparkles take over the trend, cowboy fashion is now a tool for experimental personal style.
Western fashion has officially gone alternative (or should we say… y’allternative?), and cowboys and Barbies now live harmoniously together.
If you’re feeling inspired to try the cowgirl Barbie aesthetic yourself, swipe through the gallery below to see our wardrobe picks.