Dressing country style

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For the past two weekends, I have been a saint by accompanying my friends to Dallas on Friday night for their respective 19th birthdays.

I have nothing against country music. Surprisingly, I know a lot of country songs that aren’t only by Taylor Swift. Plus, I groove out to “Footloose” like I’m Kevin Bacon.

Since I still have one more Friday to swim in a sea of plaid shirts, I thought it would be fun to trace back to where this charming country style came from. Although flannel and plaid are often used interchangeably because of the close association between the two, flannel is actually the soft woven cotton used to make the shirt.

The plaid print that has popularized flannel shirts comes from the Tartan plaid prints of the Scottish Highlanders. Plaid was originally used to distinguish between family clans.

Plaid then worked its way down in the late 1970s, as a punk era symbol of anti-establishment and has continued to make its comeback throughout the decades – most notably, in the 90s with teen spirit and grunge rock (think Kurt Cobain), replacing the pop culture icon of the lumberjack from the 20th century.

And of course, it’s a staple at Dallas.

The only plaid I own is an oversized boyfriend shirt, so I tend to wear something that doesn’t make me look like a walk of shame at 11 p.m., but from what I observed, here is a fun little look to wear during Ladies’ Night at Dallas.

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Bustier: Aritzia ($35), Plaid Shirt: H&M ($29.95), Earrings: Garage ($7.90), Cuff: Aldo ($12 – on sale), High-waisted shorts: American Eagle Outfitters ($37 – no longer available, from Summer 2010/2011), Boots: Aldo ($56 – on sale)

If you really plan on going all out, a plaid shirt (in a colour other than red or black, just to be different), high-waisted shorts and cowgirl boots are the easiest way to dress up, and show that you really like Shania Twain or “Sweet Home Alabama.”

If you’re not a Dallas frequenter, you can still use pieces of this look during the regular week. My favourite item is the Wilfred bustier from Aritzia, of which I admittedly own three. The bustier can be worn all the time – with cardigans, under sheer shirts and going out. They are a much improved version of a camisole.

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