What pink cowboy boots taught me about style

Sian Bradley Kettlemag
Written by sianabigail

I was eight when I had my first memorable shoe crush. They were a pair of pink cowboy boots, the kind that you wear on a ranch with horses and hay. I thought they were the best shoes to ever have existed, and I wore them to the next primary school disco and two-stepped my way through “These Boots Are Made For Walking” like I was born to do it, in these exact shoes. 

I was even younger when I developed my first outfit obsessions. I have no idea where the fairy costume came from but I refused to take it off for a considerable about of time. Complete with a crown, gloves and a wand, you have to rate my Mum for allowing me to wear it in public. Next came a TK Maxx golden find, the pink leopard print dress.

Sure, it was the 90s back then pretty much anything was acceptable, but I really pushed the boundaries as a child. I have a very clear memory of the fabric of that dress, which had a sheer top layer, and how it felt in my fingers. 

I have always felt very strongly about my clothes, and appreciated them with a close scrutiny. To this day I find that occasional item which I dote on and cannot understand how I ever lived without it. Currently, that is my men’s leather jacket, a charity shop bargain, which makes me feel like a 60s Rocker. 

From a Powerpuff girl bucket hat, to cord trousers, yellow jeans and an apparent unhealthy obsession with leopard print, I have always had quite eccentric fashion sense. 

But it has taught me a lot. Cringing at my old style choices and questioning why I ever thought I looked good has revealed a lot about personal style to me. Not everyone has it figured out, and I certainly didn’t back then. It took a lot of trial and error, and pictures which captured the grey knee high sock and purple converse combination that never looked good, to teach me what suits me, what doesn’t and most importantly- that personal style should always be preserved as such, and if I happen to fall in love with a vintage Adidas jacket which earnt me some roasting from my family and a apair of shiny pink Nikes which look like “space shoes” (according to my brother-in-law, that is), it’s ok, because ever since I pulled those cowboy boots on I realised that there are some pretty funky, pretty unique and downright odd clothes out there, so it’s only right to honour them.


Style is a fluctuating, constantly developing part of us, changing with both popular styles but most explicitly, according to our current needs for expression. i see style as a reflection of my tastes and my personality, which changes day to day. I know now how to dress, in the technical sense of pulling an outfit together, but I will always fall in love with those clothes which belong in a different era or are five sizes too big- and I never want that to change. So buy that tacky jacket, wear those shiny shoes and have fun doing it.