Considering county music’s rugged roots, the CMA Awards are a surprisingly formal affair. Male attendees typically do traditional black-tie with a twist; velvet jackets, snakeskin cowboy boots, that kind of thing. Last night at the 2017 CMA Awards, Midland, a new band out of Texas, decided to take the idea of Western formal a bit further, indulging in Elvis-level suiting and Migos-level accessories that came together in the most extra of ways. We thought the trio was easily one of the best-dressed acts on the red carpet and, as it happens, not at all out of context with the mood in menswear right now.
Midland’s cowboys-on-acid vibe touches on fashion’s infatuation with maximalism (the embroidery! the jewelry! the boots!) unconventional, NSFW suiting, and Western-inspired clothes that are built for the city, instead of the rodeo. And they did it all, from what we can tell, without the help of Alessandro Michele, Raf Simons, or Stella McCartney; the masterminds behind those trends. Instead, they reached right into country music’s OTT archives, pulling out looks that were a little bit old school, a little bit new school, and a whole lot of awesome.
Now, that’s not to say we expect you to pile on the vibe in just the same way. These looks pretty much only make sense on the red carpet or the stage. What you should do, however, is pick one element from these fits and fold it into your normal-guy wardrobe. We’re into the rings, the boots, and even the slightly flared pants, bust, most of all, we’re feeling the souped-up Western shirts. Whether you go for one that’s done in a swanky fabric like silk or finished with embroidery or contrast-color pockets is up to you. Just as long as it goes three steps beyond what you would consider basic. Here are 8 to put your money on right now. Wear yours with slim-straight trousers and pointy-ish dress shoes or boots for just the right amount of Midnight Cowboy flavor.