Andie J is a cowgirl at her core — minus the driving horses half. “I like petting and looking at them, but I’ve never loved riding,” she confesses considerably sheepishly. As a substitute, the content material creator (@andoej) prefers to pay homage to horses by way of her clothes: a set of 70+ Western-inspired items that will make Dale Evans herself jealous. “Cowgirl is an attitude, really,” she says, quoting the star of Forties Western musicals. “The cowgirl faces life head-on, lives by her own lights and makes no excuses.” And neither does Andie.

Born and raised in Calgary, she was all the time enthusiastic about vogue however didn’t notice it was a viable profession till a few years into her PR diploma at Mount Royal College. After a short stint in Toronto as an intern at Joe Recent, she returned dwelling and joined TikTok on a whim. A yr later, she began a video collection about what she would put on to the entrance row of sure vogue exhibits, and he or she went viral. She determined to pursue TikTok full-time (whereas designing web sites on the facet) and now calls it her “accidental dream career.” “There aren’t a lot of jobs where your number one goal is to connect with people,” she explains. “I just love having that driving force every day.”

Andie says she owes her model to her mom — the duo used to have 12-hour buying marathons at thrift shops — however jokingly blames her father for her preliminary resistance to Westernwear. “I used to hate it when my dad would dress up in his cowboy boots, hat and shirt,” she laughs. “It wasn’t until I was in my late teens that I realized it was actually cool.”

Practically a decade later, she now refers to her closet as “The Country Music Hall of Fame” as a result of she has amassed so many Wild West wares, together with 43 pairs of cowboy boots. “I’m urban, city, Hollywood, cowgirl,” Andie says, describing her model. “I’ve always been really into music, so I’ve definitely been influenced by Dolly Parton, Shania Twain, Cher and Harry Styles.”

As you possibly can think about, minimalism isn’t in Andie’s vocabulary. Color, sequins, glitter and fringe abound as shiny lime-green boots combine with ornate leather-based jackets. Belts are huge, and their buckles are even greater. And cow print is taken into account a impartial. “It’s kind of like when you put on a matching pantsuit,” Andie reveals. “I get the same energy wearing a cowgirl outfit. I feel confident and strong.”

A part of that confidence for Andie may also be attributed to Westernwear’s large makeover in recent times. What was as soon as an emblem of lone rangers and poisonous masculinity has remodeled right into a flamboyant vogue that had a starring function within the Barbie film. “The juxtaposition is very powerful to me,” shares Andie. “Westernwear was developed to be functional. It wasn’t seen as feminine until some really iconic women, like Dolly Parton, stepped in and added glitter to chaps.”

However, finally, the connection to her dwelling retains Andie coming again for extra. “Growing up, a lot of people try to leave Calgary, including myself,” she begins. “But in the past four or five years, there’s been a real thrifting surge. It’s a very interesting scene, so wearing my pieces makes me feel proud of where I’m from.” Dwelling on the vary, certainly.

Andie discovered this vest at considered one of her favorite thrifting spots in Calgary, Stored Clothes Collective. However she’s additionally been identified to supply plenty of objects from eBay — “There are a lot of Texans on there!” — and consignment shops in Arizona.

“I saw it across the room in a vintage store in Calgary, and I felt a zing,” Andie says of this teal fringe jacket. “I’ve worn many Western pieces in my life, but I have never felt as confident as I do in this — it’s my superhero suit.”

Regardless of having 20 or so cowboy hats, the collector admits she doesn’t put on them out that usually. Why? “I’m scared of getting forehead acne,” she laughs. As a substitute, she has her sights set on dwelling decor. “I want to have a wall of hats someday!”

Andie is a cut price hunter by way of and thru. One among her favorite finds is that this pair of pinkish boots from the now-defunct label Calvin Klein 205W39NYC by Raf Simons (the present inventive director of Prada). She obtained them from a consignment retailer in Arizona for $110.

You always remember your first fringe. For the collector, it was this tan jacket that she discovered on a household journey to Arizona in 2016. “I was 18 when I bought it and was too scared to wear it,” shares Andie. “Then I wore it in a TikTok video and got so many comments that I was like, ‘OK, it’s cool.’”

Andie initially purchased these crimson chaps from Poshmark to put on to her first ever Coachella, however when she arrived in California, the climate had different plans (learn “heat wave”). So she saved her sweat glands and wore the pants to the Calgary Stampede that summer season.

Andie describes bolo ties as a “cake topper” of types as they will immediately and effortlessly add a contact of Western whimsy to any outfit. “I only have six now, but I want 300,” she laughs. “There are so many weird ones, and I think they’re hilarious.”

Andie’s first pair of cowboy boots have been technically her mother’s. “I would steal them and wear them all the time when I was a teen,” the collector shares. It wasn’t till she turned 18 that she bought her personal.

A lot to Andie’s disappointment, she doesn’t have many pairs of classic cowboy boots. (She blames her measurement 10 toes.) So, to get her footwear repair, she outlets at locations like Jeffrey Campbell, Alberta Boot and Boot Barn and has now amassed over 40 pairs in a kaleidoscope of colors.

Consider it or not, this matching Topshop set spent years hiding in Andie’s closet. “I never wore it,” the collector confesses. “And then I rediscovered it and was like: ‘I’m such an idiot! It’s the most iconic outfit ever!’”

This text first appeared in FASHION’s November 2023 concern. Discover out extra right here.