The 2011 West

Take me to the one place on Earth where the sun shines 300 days of the year and I am guaranteed to always spot unusual and inspiring fashion worn by the locals. The kind of fashion that reminds you about the endless options clothing actually offers.  To my left, as I sit casually outside a delicious restaurant with my good friend, Tina, on the famous Pearl Street located in Boulder, Colorado, I instantly do a double take as I spot a man sitting on a bench.  He catches my eye first with his black fedora, donned with enormous feathers from different types of birds, then, as I look again, I see his hat is paired with a leather and canvas bomber jacket (even though it’s 90 degrees outside) light blue, tuxedo strip trousers, and fur-lined boots. Really?

Well, welcome to the new West, where memories of hippy fashions go out the window and in enters re-energizing, classic Americana appeal consisting of Navajo prints, bold colors, and feather and crochet embellishments everywhere!  But what makes these classic pieces fit in 2011 fashion are the clean tailored lines seen in coats, vests, pants, and more.

Compliments of Elle.com

The western frenzy is expanding outside the Rocky Mountains and taking over the rest of the United States.  The world was already celebrating this look coming back earlier this spring with collections of all white dresses, eyelet shorts, lace jackets, and fringe leather accents.  For fall, this trend is staying strong with more expressive patterns, uniquely pieced items, and feathered everything – even hair wraps!

Compliments of Elle.com

I’ve found in the past few years that Colorado fashion is a mix for me between relaxed and ready activewear, truly western inspired looks, and those who dress with a European sense (things I would expect to see in the U.K. or France).

What I love even more about Colorado is how Earth friendly companies and people are statewide!  I feel as though La Porte, has in many ways, thanks to the citizens, improved their ways of life by recycling more and taking reusable bags to the grocery store but we still have a long way to go to match our efforts to a state like Colorado.

For instance, Boulder has adapted the Boulder Bike Sharing Project, a project exactly like those in Paris and other European countries.  This project in a nutshell is about reducing single person vehicles and offering a healthier form of transportation by offering hundreds of city owned bikes at different stations around the county.  In Paris, you would pay merely 1 euro to rent a bike for a day, travel wherever you needed, and simply return it to whichever station you pleased when you were finished. Boulder has adapted this same project, simply in a smaller scale to start.

Boulder Bike Share Project

Last Thursday, a friend of mine and I went hiking the Flat Irons in the mountains.  After catching our breath due to altitude difference on the first hill, I looked around and spotted the National Center for Atmospheric Research.  A place I have been to several times before, it studies climate changes and pollution and aims to educate citizens about Earth-saving experiences!  Even the little things like saying goodbye to plastic water bottles good for only one use and investing $10 into taking along instead a canister you have to wash and reuse.

Flat Irons

Even brewing companies such as Oskar Blues Brewery in Colorado are taking on new challenges in becoming an eco-friendly place.  After taking the brewery tour and sampling a few of their tasty selections, I learned that they have reverted back to using cans for their beer instead of bottles.  Put aside what you might be thinking about the taste of beer in cans from the past because Oskar Blues lines their aluminum cans with a water based coating so the flavor doesn’t change.  Because they use cans, they are able to help reduce fuel costs on the road and their carbon footprint on the world by 35%! Chalk it up to helping save the environment one drink at a time!

So, besides being inspired by the new kind of western fashions, get inspired about environment friendly fashion and what we can do to help re-dress our world in an entirely new way.  If you haven’t been to Colorado, I highly suggest a trip. Just be careful…most who venture out there, don’t want to return!

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