A Modern Prairie Woman’s Thoughts on Style

By Virginia Schmidt- Storyteller, Horsewoman & Wyoming Native


I wake up with a start in the dark and fumble for my phone, the home button, the blue blinding light: 5:29 am. I swipe off my alarm before it can buzz. I turn my head toward the window: completely black. It is mid October. I roll out of bed, let the dogs outside, and consider what to do first: ride my horse or walk the hill. Since I’ve miraculously kept my promise to myself to rise early, there will be blissful time for both, before the morning even begins to warm.

I decide to ride. I stand in the dim closet considering an outfit fit for both my expeditions – I don’t want to come back home between the barn and the hill. I finger through shirts and brush over jeans searching for something snug and warm that’ll let me move and stride out and stretch my legs in the saddle and on the trail. I tug on black Merino wool leggings, slip an espresso Smartwool base layer over my head, zip tight into my chalky Carhart vest, twirl a mint silk scarf around my neck, pull my port wine Carhart beanie over loose pigtail braids and pad out to the garage in my old faithful periwinkle bridgedale socks. I tug and lace into my Ariat Heritage Lacer boots caked with cowpie and dust and many, many miles.

As I walk the prairie, I want to be comfortable. I also want to reflect her. I’m always on the lookout for artists and brands with schemes/souls/threads that reflect the strong, elegant, earthy, muted richness of the prairie …  my home. As I walk her, ride her, pedal her, climb her, stand in awe amidst her … I want to pay tribute to the land I admire. The mountains dress up for me, why shouldn’t I return the compliment?

The more I explore the Great Wild around Yellowstone – the place that raised me, and the place I keep coming back to – the more inspired I am to surround myself with articles in the material world that reflect the style and spirit of this landscape. Its beauty is subtle, hushed in rusted hues. Its beauty is durable, barefaced to the wind. Its beauty is fierce, burning brightly in the most unlikely of places. Its beauty is a test: can you sacrifice comfort, leave it behind, to bear witness to the unbearable beauty of the Wild?

Every seasoned explorer needs her adventure regalia, not just to keep her protected from the elements, but to reflect her refinement in her role. When it comes to adventure/ LIFE outfits, I want looks that embody my naturally inspired fashion taste á la the mountain prairie while also being the most practically durable and comfortable for exploring the mountain prairie (be it by foot, horse, or bike – on a trail, dirt road or sidewalk) … aaaand these ensembles also need to be just right for waltzing into a coffee shop to have a hot cubano and a good write, or for sauntering into a brewery to nip a cold thick porter after a deliciously long, steep hike.

When I stumbled upon Revivall on Instagram one day, I felt the clothes warm my soul and hold my body. I immediately envisioned myself doing everything I most love doing in the cutest, toughest, most rustically elegant pair of sleek-fitted, wool overalls I never knew existed.

As I scrolled through prairie dresses, pinafores and jumpers (handmade from up-cycled stock fabrics and materials), I felt that I was meeting a friend who finally understood my deep desire to look chic and feel comfy while embarking on epic endeavors. Whoever conceived this brand just … got it: the meeting of Timeless and time to go, Classic and running to class, Smart (like the Brits say) and smart for the task at hand. Laura Lee creates clothing made from and for the fibers of the Mountain West experience. Revivall’s corduroy, velour and polyester thread a Western tale; they whisper and holler stories as beautiful and powerful as the wind they protect against.

I want clothes that will fit when I ride, walk, explore, run, bike, do spontaneous yoga, sit on a barstool and twirl around in a two-step. Fit, literally/comfortably on my moving body, and figuratively/charmingly into my romantic ideal of wearing the West. Revivall has managed to fit that spirit into a clothing line that fits this girl’s Western taste – clothes as eager to roam the West as I am.

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