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How To Wear Cowboy Boots With Dress Pants (5 Tips)

December 21, 2022
How To Wear Cowboy Boots With Dress Pants (5 Tips)

You cannot deny that cowboy boots are becoming more and more popular, and with that comes different ways to style them. But how exactly do you wear cowboy boots with dress pants?

When wearing cowboy boots with dress pants, you should wear boots that fit the occasion. More formal occasions will require darker trousers and boots combinations but regardless of where you’ll be wearing them, you should make sure the trousers are fitted appropriately.

That’s only the short answer. There’s a lot more detail that goes into perfecting this look to avoid glaring fashion-faux pas and look fresh.

So, read on and we’ll get right to it.

cowboy boots and dress pants
Image From Deposit Photos

Check The Dress Code

Dress pants are commonly associated with business-casual and formal settings whereas cowboy boots alone have traditionally been seen in only casual settings.

However, in modern times, cowboy boots have become an acceptable pair of shoes to wear in business-formal settings such as weddings and in relaxed workplaces.

It’s still important to check whether these will be appropriate to wear for the particular occasion that you will be attending as some may deem it a fashion faux pas.

Be aware that traditional workplaces such as finance, consulting, and business will require a suit and dress shoes rather than dress pants and cowboy boots.

Many more artistic industries such as marketing, fashion, and publishing industries may have more leniency towards business-casual modes of wear.

It’s best to ask someone at your workplace about the specifics of your dress code or to look around and gauge how appropriate slacks and cowboy boots will be.

Wear The Right Cowboy Boots

Wearing the right cowboy boots is very important to getting this combo looking appropriate. 

Here are some of the footwear that we would recommend to wear with your choice of dress pants to enhance your look.

1. Casual Occasions

For casual occasions, you can wear either traditional western boots or short cowboy boots with your dress pants.

Traditional cowboy boots have the benefit of looking classic as this is the boot most commonly associated with cowboy boots. These are currently trendier than other boots.

They will give your dress pants a more dressed-down feeling as you carry out your weekend and after-work activities whilst still looking trendy.

Here’s an example on Amazon: 

The short cowboy boots are a shorter version of the traditional pair and are the easiest of the boots to walk in during your casual events and offer more versatility.

Another benefit that can’t be overlooked is the ease with which you’ll be able to take them off and put them on.

This is something you’ll appreciate during your more casual days while you’re taking a respite from the hassle and bustle of working hours.

During these times, you’ll also be able to experiment a little more with the color of your boots and pants combo, as long as you ensure they match at least in terms of tone.

2. “Formal” Occasions

As mentioned before, it’s important to ensure that you will be able to wear dress trousers and cowboy boots to the formal occasion you attend.

In general, the combo wouldn’t be appropriate because the cowboy boots would simply look too casual. That’s why I’ve put the word “formal” in inverted commas. 

However, in rare instances, more formal occasions (eg. Texan weddings) may allow for cowboy boots. In these cases, a cowboy boots and dress pants combo may be reasonable (after checking with the couple in advance). 

The boots we would recommend wearing during formal occasions such as weddings are “dress” cowboy boots as they commonly have an intricate pattern or details. 

These boots can be found with quality materials and can be stained to appear aged and despite this will still look appropriate for important settings.

You should avoid cowboy boots with too many tears and cracks and with an overall appearance of being too wild for the workplace or the event you’ll attend.

For formal occasions such as weddings, you should wear darker slacks with dark boots, avoid lighter colors and you should especially avoid wearing patterns on your pants.

For work settings and casual business meetings, the best color dress pants to wear with your cowboy boots are black and dark navy. It’s best if the boots are black or dark brown in these instances. 

Here’s an example of a dressier pair of cowboy boots on Amazon: 

Wear The Right Dress Pants 

Wearing the right dress pants with cowboy boots will mean that you are wearing slacks that fit your proportions properly. Otherwise, they can look unflattering and awkward.

It’s important to make sure that your dress pants are wide enough at the bottom to fit over your cowboy boots. 

It’s also important not to let the V shape of your cowboy boots make a print on top of your jeans otherwise the aesthetics of the dress pants will be lost.

This may be easier to do, however, when choosing dress pants that have a thicker and more durable fabric.

One way to ensure both of these conditions are met is to wear your boots whilst shopping for your dress pants.

Another slightly more expensive option is to have your dress pants tailor-fitted to ensure they go over your boots.

The perfect length for your boots then will be when they are covering your boots and resting on the heel of them by a quarter to half an inch. 

How To Get the Right Fit

Getting the right fit will be essential in elevating this combo from a standard and basic outfit, into one that ensures you look presentable and fashionable.

Always remember that it’s easier to get trousers that are too big to be tailored to fit you, rather than trousers that are too small.

One thing to ensure is that your slacks fit around your waist with no need for a belt. They should fit around the hipbone or slightly higher on your waist.

The dress pants should hug your seat without feeling overly tight or being too loose. Again, a little bit of extra fabric is possible to get tailored if necessary.

They should not be too fitted around your thigh nor should they be in any way baggy. To check, you should be able to pinch an ½ to an inch of fabric around your thigh.

Any less, and you know that these are too tight but if you find that you can pinch much more then they are too tight for you. 

Wearing A Belt

As mentioned above, your dress pants should be able to fit you without the addition of a belt. However, dress pants do look better with a belt. 

When wearing a belt, it’s important to make sure that it complements the overall look by matching both the color and fabric to your cowboy boots.

For example, if you’re wearing brown leather boots, you should aim to find a matching belt in a brown fabric. 

But if your boots are in suede or another fabric, it’s important that you try to match that too.

The belt should be an inch and a half to an inch and three-quarters wide. You should avoid wearing a buckle that is too big, go for a simple and understated one.

You shouldn’t wear large obvious belt buckles in workplaces anyway, but even in casual settings, you should avoid them so that you don’t look as if you’re wearing a costume.

The material of your buckle should be gold or silver-colored metal and the color of which should depend on the other accessories you are wearing.

Choose The Right Fabric

Dress pants and cowboy boots are a combination that can be worn on a wide spectrum of occasions so the way in which you wear the individual items can have a major impact.

The fabric of your dress pants will be dependent also on the level of formality you wish to display.

Some fabrics such as wool and synthetic blends, whilst common for dress pants, can be seen as more appropriate for business casual and formal situations.

Whereas dress pants made from heavier, more durable, and less shiny fabrics are more appropriate for casual settings.