The K-Pop powerhouse have reemerged with “Permission to Dance”, their latest single penned by Ed Sheeran. Fans of the sensational boyband were treated to the usual: a catchy and uplifting track, a dynamic choreography worthy of a TikTok dance challenge, and of course, some stellar outfits.
In their new MV, BTS made the surprising case for Western wear — cowboy hats and all. All seven members were clad in some variation of the cowboy style, incorporating fringe, suede and plenty of denim into their ensembles. And as they performed out in the desert and under the sun for their new single, one thing became clear: this was the look of the summer.
The runway seem to suggest so, too. Just this month, Dior showcased its Spring/Summer 2022 menswear collection dubbed “Cactus Jack Dior”. Inspired by the Texan landscapes, the collection featured elements of snakeskin, saddle stitching, bull motifs, and a desert-like colour palette that altogether created a modern vision of the Wild West. Added to the mix was a collaboration with Houston rapper Travis Scott, who adorned several pieces in the collection with a cactus symbol.
And then there was the Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2021 show, where house ambassadors BTS made their runway debut last week. For the collection, creative director Virgil Abloh played around with menswear staples including Western boots and hats — much like the one that Jungkook modelled during the fashion show.
Looking to pull off the look for yourself this summer? Read on below for our must-have pieces and styling tips that will have you nailing the codes of the cowboy with panache.
Header photo credit: Big Hit Music
Denim shirts are a big part of BTS’ new look, and this one by Japanese fashion label Remi Relief could have easily made it to their wardrobe. The Western shirt offers plenty of Americana references, from its embellished collar to the bead-tipped leather ties at the side. You can make the shirt work outside of the desert by wearing it as an outer layer over a T-shirt and swapping your boots for a pair of sneakers.
Nothing drives home the Yeehaw Agenda more than a cowboy hat, and nobody knows that better than RM and V who both sported this Visvim accessory. Crafted entirely from leather, the hat features a multicoloured string and a branded patch made in Japan. Leave your bucket hat behind and try this one on for your next trip to the beach — you’ll get much more coverage.
If you’re looking to make a subtle nod to Western dressing, these Ray-Ban sunglasses will do the trick. The slim gold metal frame will sit lightly on your face while offering plenty of protection from the sun thanks to its gradient tinted lenses. As Jin shows us in the MV, the shades are the perfect accessory for sprucing up a crisp white button-down shirt.
If you don’t already have a pair of jeans that have been properly worn out, you can get this pair from sustainable Swedish denim brand Nudie Jeans. Their signature Gritty Jackson straight jeans are designed to sit neatly at the hip and offer plenty of legroom. But what we love about this style is that its organic cotton has been faded and distressed, giving it that rugged look that BTS pulled off so well.
It’s the little details that make up BTS’ refreshed cowboy look, from the fringed sleeves to the polished buckle belt. This one from Lemaire is crafted in Spain and adorned with antiqued silver-tone hardware that will go with much more than your favourite pair of blue jeans.
We’ll admit, regular cowboy boots may not be the most versatile shoes for anyone who isn’t a K-Pop superstar. We would make do with these ankle boots from California fashion label Amiri instead. It comes with all the same Western codes we saw in the MV, from its sculpted suede exterior to the bandana-wrapped buckle that fastens the shoes. These shoes are a statement all by themselves, so be sure to dress down for the rest of your outfit.