I met Carol Jansen Koch in 2005 when I was on my Frog Prince book tour and hosted a tea in Plano, TX for Pi Phi Alums. We didn’t really get to know each other until I was back 2006 on my Flirting with Forty book tour. After that event we spent a couple of hours talking and by the end of the evening Carol was a true blue friend.
On every visit to Texas, I try to see Carol, and when I returned in 2010 for my She’s Gone Country book tour, a 10 day trip that would take me across Texas, I had Ty and 18 month old Mac along. We kicked off our trip in Dallas/Ft Worth and who better to launch us on our Texas adventure than Carol and her new husband, Garner Koch, a true Texas cowboy.
Ft. Worth is Garner’s old stomping grounds so he took us to get real boots–at Leddy’s–and then showed us the Texas he knows and loves.
Garner and Carol are the friends we meet every year in Las Vegas for the NFR. While the guys go off and do guy stuff, Carol and I and her cool Texas crew go shopping at Cowboy Christmas. This last year Carol made a list as one of the most fashionable people at the 2015 NFR and so I thought it would be fun to share a little bit of Carol’s western fashion sense with you, as well as some great places to pick up your western fashion wear.
1) Carol, I met you in Texas at a Pi Beta Phi alum event. So have you always been a cowgirl?
I’m a Midwest farmer’s daughter. Born and raised in Iowa. Self proclaimed big boned Iowa girl. Got to Texas as soon as I could. Texas completes me.
2) When we first met you were single. How did you meet Garner? Tell me about your first date.
I cannot tell a lie. We met at a Honky Tonk. (I hope my Mother isn’t reading this… she thinks we met at church) It was the day after Christmas and I was very germy and so didn’t want to go out. Garner was the tallest most handsome cowboy in the place and he came up to the table where I was sitting with my 5 girlfriends and asked ME to dance. I so thought he was coming to ask one of my other of my pals. Ha! We danced the night away. We exchanged numbers and I so thought I’d never hear from this cowboy again….to my surprise, he called me while my friends and I were driving home! Yes. my friends were very impressed!
3) How did you develop your western style?
My style is forever evolving. I love to invest in some fabulous pieces and then throw in a few inexpensive pieces to make the look my own.
4) Where do you shop?
Orisons in McKinney, Texas and also Ya Ya Gurlz in Abilene, Texas are both my favorites and thankfully not next door to me – otherwise I might get into lots of trouble….it’s a treat and ordeal when I go to shop. I go with my list of parties/events and they help dress me. It’s like stepping into your best friend’s closet.
5) What is the one thing you MUST wear when going out with Garner?
Boot and turquoise.
6) How much did Garner influence your fashion sense?
Garner is very traditional. He has great shirts from 10+ years ago in his closet that with “extra heavy starch” – wears today and looks timeless. Our dry cleaners know us well. Unless Garner’s britches (jeans…) can stand up in the corner by themselves, we take them back to the cleaners….
My favorite line early on was oh I need something new to wear to our next party/function as….”it’s hard being Mrs. Garner Koch…” this only worked a few years. He’s onto me now. I can admit I’m addicted to the entire perfect “costume” hunt and presentation. It’s my obsession. 🙂
Garner Koch’s Fav Shops for Boots & Traditional Wear:
Leddy Boots – 2 locations in Ft. Worth, TX http://www.leddys.com
Maverick Western Wear – Ft. Worth, TX http://www.maverickwesternwear.com
J Hilburn Custom Shirts – http://jhilburn.com/catalog/custom_shirts
A couple of Jane’s Favorite Shops: (I discovered these shops and designers from attending NFR’s Cowboy Christmas (of course, I was introduced to them by Carol!)
Patricia Wolf – Patricia’s vests and belts are amazing. I have one of each! http://patriciawolf.com/product-category/women/vests/
Ann’s Turquoise – Craving some turquoise jewelry? Here you go! http://www.annsturquoise.com/8hsyiqjs4vnrk6i1p8barp3bnp9t3w
Plus a few more fun stores if you’re in Texas or enjoy shopping online:
Pinto Ranch – You can shop online or visit their locations in Dallas, Houston, and Las Vegas http://www.pintoranch.com
Gypsy Wagon – Fun mix of western and boho fashion–plus jewelry & more. Online or locations in Dallas, Austin, and Crested Butte, CO http://www.the-gypsy-wagon.com
Wild Bill’s Western Store – Hats, boots galore & lots more http://wildbillswestern.com
A big thank you to Carol for letting me poke around her closet and talk fashion. Carol, you inspire me to take fun risks and make fashion fun!
Do you enjoy western wear? Where do you shop? Leave a comment and you’ll be entered for a giveaway! The prize is the winner’s choice of a signed print copy of She’s Gone Country, set in Mineral Wells, TX, or an ebook version of the book, plus reader swag!