Kimes and Kindness

In life and in fashion, a solid foundation is the key to success. Jeans are the foundation of a cowgirl’s wardrobe – the staple piece that we dress up or dress down in the rodeo arena and in the office – and our style starts with our signature denim. We wear our favorite jeans through thick and thin just like the core of our personalities remain steadfast through both the good and the bad. The two words that describe the foundation of who I am and the person that I strive to be each and every day are “kindness matters” and the foundation of my fashion is quality, comfort and fit. My foundation is Kimes and kindness.

This summer took me back to the roots of my love of rodeo – Cheyenne, Wyoming. I worked as a legal intern for the Wyoming Stock Growers Association while traveling to rodeos throughout Wyoming and Colorado and spent my birthday at the Daddy of Em All (just like every other year!). I keep coming back to Cheyenne – first as a fan, then as Miss Rodeo Washington and Miss Rodeo America, and this year as my “hometown rodeo.” From climbing behind the chutes to help load bucking stock to speaking at rodeo queen pageants and talking to government officials about issues affecting agriculture, every day is a new adventure and I have to be ready for anything and everything! After traveling thousands of miles during the summer months, I learned that starting with a foundation of Kimes and kindness prepares you for any curve ball that life may throw your way!

Wild rags became my signature accessory during my year as Miss Rodeo America, but they aren’t only for the rodeo arena! I love to pair my bright wild rags with fun graphic tees like this one from the American Quarter Horse Association and slip the ends through a funky ring to hold them together to mix it up instead of the classic buckaroo knot. Of course, the best accessory is a smile and I’m lucky to have a best friend like Miss Rodeo Colorado 2016 Madelaine Mills that keeps me laughing all the time!

I love the classic look of denim on denim for almost any occasion. It’s no secret that I am a huge fan (avid collector may be a more accurate description!) of Greeley Hat Works hats, and this custom taffy colored hat adds a fresh, fun pop of color and updates a traditional look.  Ever heard of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants? Yep, Madelaine and I call it the sisterhood of the traveling Kimes because they magically fit both of us perfectly!

For a casual and cute rodeo look that can transition into an appearance at a queen contest, I pair fun shirts like this one from Dale Brisby with staples like the Butterfly Bleu vest from Double D Ranch and their awesome collaboration with Greeley Hat Works, the Buffalo Joe hat. This whole outfit is centered around the blue foundation of my Jolene jeans, which tones down the different accents and patterns and makes for a cohesive outfit.

Even though I call it WyHOMEing instead of Wyoming, I am a Northwest cowgirl and my Pendleton jacket is my go-to for cooler evenings. It’s rodeo season in the Columbia River Circuit so grab your Pendleton and your Kimes jeans and join the fun!

At the end of the day, I have my foundation of Kimes and kindness.

-Katherine Merck