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Wild, Wild West: How To Wear The Prairie Trend

We help you navigate the prairie renaissance and learn how to style the season’s most modest trend

Little did we know when we watched Little House on the Prairie that we would one day look back so eagerly on the popular TV show; not just because kind-hearted Laura and her family’s misfortunes are a welcome dose of nostalgia, but also because her demure Victorian dresses are having a fashion moment once again. 

The reintroduction of the prairie style into contemporary fashion is not a completely new phenomenon though. Back in 2017, designers like Michael Kors and Alexander McQueen launched the trend via floral maxis with a goth twist, aiming for a dark yet romantic aesthetic.

This time around, prairie returns in full bloom, taking the shape and form of the original archetype: trimmed flounces, pleats and frills, next to high necklines and flared sleeves. And while designers like John Galliano insist on an edgier, punk-influenced take on the original style, many have moved on to a Wild West approach, vividly echoing the late 1800s and the era’s romanticism. 

Labels like The Vampire’s Wife and Batsheva have led the way, while fashion houses such as Chanel, Ferragamo and Chloé have taken prairie to the next level and given it a new sense of purpose. Leather fringing along the edge of tops and dresses, as well as ruffles and frills on buttoned-up shirts, contribute to the trend’s allure, ultimately making it a celeb favourite – boho queen Florence Welch and style icon Alexa Chung are only some of its devotees. 

Follow their lead with Port’s tips on how to master the look. 

Full-On Prairie

Embrace prairie in full romantic mode with a white tie-neck chiffon blouse with plissé textures and a floral midi skirt with swishing hemline. Complete the look with a pair of leather pointed-toe flats with a feminine crisscross strap, and give it the 2019 treatment with a linen headband. 

Modern West

To really capture that countryside charm, opt for a checked picnic dress with a front-button fastening and draped details. Add a western touch with a wide leather belt, but replace your cowboy boots with a pair of leather, fringe-tassel sandals for the summer. 

Casual Countrywoman

Add a little bleached denim to your look to bring it to 21st century. Go with a pair of denim shorts to match a relaxed ruffled-collar top with a tied neckline, and throw on a pair of Chuck Taylors. A lightweight bucket hat seems like the perfect modern response to the Victorian straw bonnet.