In Conversation: Elisabeth Webb, Local Shop Girl

“Time goes by so slowly
Time goes by so slowly
Time goes by so slowly
Time goes by so slowly
Time goes by so slowly
Time goes by so slowly.”

Well, Madonna, not this time.

RODEO HOUSTON wraps up this Sunday, March 17 with George Strait performing. There are a few more days to get in your fried food fix, carnival rides and shopping.

In the final installment of STRUT’s rodeo campaign, we introduce you to Elisabeth Webb, a local shop girl who found a love of style at a young age. She has worked various retail jobs from department stores to boutiques, and at one of Houston’s luxury consignment boutiques, More Than You Can Imagine. Currently, Webb can be found styling at Sandro, an effortless take on contemporary, and Maje, a well-known feminine yet modern and bold line, two French brands who opened their doors in the Houston Galleria last fall.

Webb’s outspoken personality, witty charm and insane style is what lead STRUT to ask her to participate in this campaign. Like Ariela and David, we asked her what western wear means to her.

Keep reading to learn about her favorite part of fashion — resale.

STRUT: What comes to mind when you hear, ‘western wear?’

ELISABETH WEBB: When I think of western wear, the first thing that comes to mind is western shirts and embellishment. That’s a personal favorite of mine; I have a collection of [embellished western shirts]. I love pieces versus just a dress and cowboy boots. I like a top, pants and layer it all — mix and match.

STRUT: When we initially reached out to you and shared our vision for this campaign, what did you think? Where did your mind go to?

EW: I was thinking about a realistic approach to western wear. Something that would be stylish but very accessible for a consumer – or a client of mine. My message is to spread high and low, mixing + matching and showcasing personal style through embellishments or little details of garments.

You can have a monochromatic denim look and add jewelry, a belt or other accessories to give it that je ne sais quoi [little something] or personality.

STRUT: Which is what you did for all three looks.

Yes, it’s all the same idea with different color tones, slightly different details and accessories. It’s realistic; it’s something I would wear, you would wear, even our Auntie’s would wear.

STRUT: What inspired your first look? 

EW: I wanted to do more of a chic moto-sporty look. It may not come off like that, but the hat is a pageboy hat made of leather, the shoes are pointed with a gold steel toe and a high stiletto heel. Then, I wore leather leggings with a button down that had embroidered embellishments on each shoulder/upper chest area — I keep saying embellishments, don’t I? — Well, this look was a western punk look.

STRUT: Then you added gold accessories like the hoops and a Hermes bracelet with gold-plated studs and ring.

EW: Yes, there was an urban influence with the large gold bamboo earrings, matching the gold steel toe.

STRUT: And a lot of texture.

EW: Yeah, there’s a western detail on the shoe. It’s suede, and it looks like they went back and sewed on a western flame. The leggings are leather in the front and spandex in the back.

STRUT: How would you describe the look and feel you were aiming for with the denim on denim?

EW: This is a classic denim head-to-toe look. That’s an everyday, easy, accessible look. It’s fun to jazz it up with typical western jewelry, but I added a bowler cowboy hat that’s also in that same monochromatic hue. It gives it more of a classic edge instead of a western feel.

STRUT: The bowler cowboy hat also gives off an older feel.

EW: Totally. It’s a mature approach.

STRUT: Then, with the monochromatic look, you switched out the baby blue bowler cowboy hat for a neutral hat and added long dangle earrings.

EW: I’ve had that hat for a long time; it’s from Abejas Boutique. It’s not very western, but it has a clean cut to it, so the look feels elegant. I like those hats that have the flat top and flat rim; there isn’t much curvature to it. It tops it off for you and ties in all the suede detailing.

STRUT: Let’s get into the third look.

EW: The laser cat, the maroon checkered button down.

STRUT: Where did you purchase the two embellished button downs? Somewhere in Houston, I hope!

EW: No, they’re from Austin.

STRUT: What were you aiming for with your final look?

EW:  The first look was the most fashion-forward being very sleek with different elements like the leather hat, the shoes, etc.

The second look was more approachable, and the third look is all the same kind of pieces;  I wanted to do something bolder, a little louder and not so obviously rodeo or western chic. The pants are legging trousers from Rag & Bone.

STRUT: It feels comfortable.

EW: Very. I think I wore this look for Christmas Day.

STRUT: Can readers find similar items in Houston boutiques, resale shops and department stores?

EW: For the most part, everything can be bought in Houston. For example, the full denim look, that’s a trip to J.Crew, no problem. Some of the accessories can be found at vintage stores, or my personal favorite is eBay — it’s the international vintage shop.

Fashion recycles itself, so I feel like it’s vital to have that understanding. The 70s are back, the 80s are back, obviously, but you don’t have to spend high-dollar money on a Saint Laurent interpretation of an 80s look. You can go to your local vintage shop and get the same inspired look for $50 or less.

There’s a stigma in fashion, and it’s broken down by class systems, honestly. You get your best things from your grandmother’s closet, so why wouldn’t you go to a vintage shop?

STRUT: If you go to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo this year, would you wear either of these looks?

EW: Oh, yeah! I like to show my personality in what I choose to wear; I like that approach to fashion. So, when I go to the rodeo, I wear outfits like these three I put together. I will wear a denim outfit and classic Navajo turquoise jewelry then add a leather cap to give it an edge.

This interview has been gently edited for clarity.