Reese Witherspoon Reveals Her Favorite Fashion Trend
The actress talks cowboy boots and prairie dresses for the fall season.
These looks remind me so much of the clothes I wore growing up in the South. I was always dressing in prairie skirts and cowboy boots when I was little. I loved to watch Little House on the Prairie and play cowgirl. My favorite childhood memories are rooted in country music, doing square dances in cowboy boots. I learned to clog- and line-dance before I learned the fox-trot. I’m very influenced by country singers like Loretta Lynn, and, of course, Dolly Parton is my biggest idol. And I loved all the gorgeous long, flowing lace dresses Sissy Spacek wore when she played Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter. Western is such a huge style in Nashville. There was a famous designer named Nudie, and everyone from Johnny Cash to Dolly Parton wore his suits. The clothes have real Western flair. It’s so cool to see the look being recognized now as a global fashion trend. Maybe it’s about returning to a time and place that people find comforting and when everything seemed simpler. But it’s always been a part of my life. I mean, you’re talking to the girl who wore cowboy boots to her own wedding reception. I switched out my gown and heels for a short dress and cowboy boots because they’re comfortable and fun to dance in. I do love the look of a pretty dress or a floor-sweeping skirt with cowboy boots. It’s feminine and a little rugged, which encapsulates my personality.
I remember being in fifth grade and begging my grandmother to buy me a prairie skirt, and when she finally did I wore it every day with white cowboy boots. I’m definitely a dress-or-denim-skirt-and-cowboy-boots sort of girl. Every time I put on a pair, I feel like I’m back home. It’s so funny because my daughter just walked into my room wearing an off-the-shoulder vintage prairie dress—she’s so on trend. Except that she was wearing sneakers, and I was like, “I wish you had some boots on.” I have so many pairs of cowboy boots; I buy them new from Betty Boots when I’m in Nashville. And I buy every single one of my kids cowboy boots, and they wear them until they fall off. I also wear mine until they’re threadbare. They look better when the leather is worn-out, then I resole them. The intricate stitching and detail on Western shirts are so pretty and add a little something, as do tasseled bags and purses. And I love cowboy hats, obviously. They’re beautiful, and they give a prairie dress or skirt that something extra. The best versions are those that aren’t overly embellished. I can wear a cowboy hat with anything—you have to own it. For an easy and chic way to incorporate a bit of Western into your wardrobe, I like the idea of a chambray shirt over a dress. We work a different iteration of the chambray and Western shirt into our Draper James collection [Witherspoon’s fashion label, which she launched in 2015] each season. For us down South, it’s the perfect layering piece because it’s so hot. Our Draper James chambray shirts and jeans are made in Blue Ridge, Georgia, by these wonderful women who have been making blue jeans for 40 years. It’s an honor to be part of that tradition. I think there’s a mood for wanting to celebrate classic Americana right now. The whole Western look is very romantic, and there’s no beating that wearability and durability factor.
This article originally appeared in the September 2017 issue of Harper’s BAZAAR, on newsstands now.