How about a Country HoeDown? (What is a Hoedown? and What do I wear to a hoedown?)

Last night, my daughter and I went to a "Country HoeDown"(or is it Hoe Down???) arranged by the local Girl Scout Council for girls ages 5-8. Living in metropolitan Philadelphia, country and hoedowns are not a big part of life here. Leaving some wondering what is a Country Hoe Down? - and - What should my daughter wear to a Country Hoe Down?

Last year, this event was called a Western Dance. It is a dance with Country & Western themed decorations, Country music, and a bit of square dancing. I like the Country Hoe Down name for it. Hannah Montana Movie anyone??

Sadly, the DJ did not have the Hannah's Hoedown Throwdown song to play. But, he showed the girls several simple country dancing moves - "Round The Circle", "Do-Si-Do", and "Boot Stomp". He tried another he thought was called "Going to Meeting" - but it was a bit too hard to get the hang of given the young age and high numbers of girls.

The girls (and moms) had fun choosing what to wear to the Hoedown. Even city-slickers likely have what they need in their closets! I saw lots of jeans and jean skirts, of course. Plus - cowgirl boots - including PINK cowgirl boots! Plenty of brown and black too.

Also popular were prairie skirts- elastic waist skirts made of light weight cotton, sewn in multiple tiers, to create a full "circle" skirt. These skirts make for great swing and swirl when dancing. We saw lots of tops and shirts with horses, white blouses, and plaid button-front shirts.

To make something from your closet a bit more Hoedown ready....

  • Add lace or fringe to the bottom hem of a denim skirt - or any skirt. You can get some eyelett fabric, lace by the yard, or fringe by the yard from a fabric store. (for the fringe, check with the drapery supplies) Just sew it on with a few long stitches, so you can easily remove it later.
  • Wear a full, lacy slip under any full skirt - to give it more poof. If the slip can hang below the skirt - all the better!
  • Use long brown or tan shoelaces through the belt loops of regular jeans or a straight skirt
  • Grab a white or striped or plaid button up blouse and tie a bandanna around your neck (bandannas match all colors and all prints!)
For your/her hair....

  • Fold a bandanna in half and fold over your head as a kerchief
  • Wear two low side ponytails. Perhaps tie some scrap fabric around them... nothing finished or fancy
  • Wear a low back ponytail, and top it with a cowgirl hat.
Whatever you wear... make sure you are comfortable! I definitely recommend layers - no matter when or where your Country Hoe Down is! These events get hot from all the people and all the dancing! But, can also be cooler than expected, depending on the venue.

And, make sure to wear your dancing shoes (or boots!) . Enjoy line dancing (yes, yes, the Macerana, even at a Hoedown), square dancing, the "Cotton Eyed Joe", and plain old regular top 40 style "dancing".

Have fun now, ya hear?

Cindy - the HorseLoversMama


  1. Hi there,
    What do the men wear. We're attending one in August, it's going to be terribly hot, far too hot for long sleeves and what do the men wear?


  2. Hello Karen,

    I do tend to think that men do typically wear jeans to Hoe Downs and similar Western-themed parties. I hear you that it is too hot for jeans, but I don't think I've ever seen a cowboy wear shorts of any kind. (Well, I assume they wear boxer shorts ;) )

    Certainly, a short sleeved button up shirt, in a light-weight woven fabric would be worn. Something as basic as solid red would work well, but, a plaid including some blue could be even better.

    While a working cowboy must always wear boots when around horses, certainly a sport style sandal could be worn to a hoe down, by men and women and boys and girls. You'll want something "athletic" enough to allow for dancing and having fun.

    I do not know how cowboys stay comfortable in their jeans during the hot summer months. That's something for me to look into for another article. Thanks for the idea!!