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Get Ready: 1800s Fashion Is Having a Moment Thanks to These Badass Characters

There are some fashion trends we just can’t help but scratch our heads at (we’re looking at you, ‘90s “whimsigoth”). And then there are some that just feel so right for the season, like the return of western wear for fall. What better excuse to pull out the denim jackets and boots then in the name of all that is frontier-chic? And thanks to our new binge-worthy favorite, The CW’s Walker Independence, we’re taking all of our cues from our favorite badass female characters on TV.

Set in the late 1800s, The CW’s Walker Independence serves as a prequel to the hit show Walker, and follows Abby, an affluent Bostonian whose husband is killed during their journey out West. Her journey to find her husband’s murderer, and her purpose, takes her to the small town of Independence, Texas, and a host of interesting female characters whose stories she collects along the way (and whose styles we are filing away in our mental wardrobe).

Yep, this is your cue to tune in, then break out the suede fringe and bootcut jeans and channel your inner badass, just like Abby. Here, our favorite western-inspired trends to rock this fall and winter.

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1. Tartans

Before you go all Miranda Priestly on us (“Plaids for fall? Groundbreaking.”), listen up. This year, we’re forgoing basic buttondown flannels and plaid shackets in favor of a more elevated take. Like channeling Abby Walker and her cozy tartan wraps, wearing your blanket scarf as a belted poncho, or leaning way into the trend with a tartan trench. Just keep everything else neutral: Black, leather and denim pair well with the bold stripes.

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2. Corsets

These aren’t your (great great) grandmother’s hoopskirts and lace-up bustiers. While we’re taking inspiration from 1800s frontier characters like Kate, burlesque-dancer-turned-federal-agent in The CW's Walker Independence, expect a new take on the undergarments-as-outerwear trend, as evidenced by attendees at fashion weeks from Paris to New York, Kerry Washington, Ashley Graham, Beyoncé… Our advice? Don’t be intimidated by the form-fitting fashions, and style it over a button-down or under an oversized blazer for a more mature take on the playful party look.

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3. Western-Core

Bolo ties, belt buckles and cowboy boots, oh my! We’ve moved onward (and westward!) from the days of cottagecore and Coastal Grandmother, thanks to the fun fashions in Walker Independence. The trick is to not overdo it and lean more toward Western silhouettes (like Abigail Walker’s character in the show) over full-blown cowgirl. Think: fringe on jackets, pointed-toe boots, a silk neckerchief and lots of natural-feeling fabrics like denim, suede, leather and wool.

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4. Bootcut Denim

First they were skinny. Then they were wide-legged. And now for the goldilocks jean: bootcut. Before you cringe away from the style that reigned supreme in the mid-aughts, consider this: With their slightly flared ankle and fitted thigh area, this style of denim is extremely flattering (and elongating). They also provide plenty of room for our cold-weather footwear of choice—ankle boots—hence the name. Pair with pumps or heeled booties so that your jeans skim the top of your shoes, and wear with a tucked in blouse for the ultimate hourglass silhouette.

Whatever you’re wearing this fall, don’t miss the new CW series Walker Independence, Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, or stream free next day on the CW App.


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As Director of Branded Content at Gallery Media Group, Roberta helps oversee the ideation and execution of sponsored content and experiential campaigns across PureWow and ONE37pm...