Turquoise and Western Fashion

In the 1970’s, a sky-blue gem poked its way into the world of fashion, and it was warmly embraced by the American Southwest. This collectible stone has since become a staple in Western fashion, but turquoise has a history that dates far back, before the 70’s.

Holy Cow Couture is excited to present the history of turquoise and how it made its way into the Western fashion world. We’ll also be sharing some tips on how to pair turquoise with your outfit, so you can rock this timeless trend at any and every occasion!

Brief History of Turquoise

turquoise and western fashion infographic

The name “turquoise” is believed to come from the French word for Turkey, Turquie. This is because of the early belief that the mineral was first brought to Europe through Turkey from the Alimersai Mountains in Persia.

Turquoise was used as a major trade and barter item among the Persians, Turks, Tibetans, and the Mongols. This popular gem spread throughout Asia and Europe through developing trade routes.

In North America, turquoise first appeared to be mined and used by the Hohokam and Anasazi people. Because of its rich sky blue and sage green hues, early civilizations easily projected symbolism into the stone, using the stone as signs of good fortune, healing, and protection. The smoothness of turquoise made the stone easy to cut and design, which is why turquoise is said to be one of the first stones to be worn by man. Some Native American tribes wore turquoise amulets for protection, since 1000 AD. This precious stone was also said to provide serenity and healing.


Centuries later, in the 1900s, two things happened. The first was the rise in popularity of silver jewelry. The second was the discovery of high-quality turquoise deposits in the American Southwest which quickly turned southwestern America into the main supplier of this ornamental stone. And thus, turquoise became an icon in Western fashion.

What Colors Go Well With Turquoise

white and brown cowhide bags with turquoise

There are many ways to pair this rich blue-green hue, but Holy Cow Couture recommends wearing turquoise with various shades of light blue, brown, gray, and white!

When this vibrant hue is paired with earthy colors like brown or beige, it creates a subtle, sophisticated feel. A brown leather hide bag can stand out with a pop of turquoise! Another reason why brown works well with turquoise is because they complement each other. Complementary colors, or colors opposite each other on the color wheel, such as red and green, give a nice contrast to each other.

The opposite of turquoise is a mix of yellow-orange and red-orange. A warm, burnt brown color makes the perfect complement to turquoise’s cool hues.

For a more neutral or clean look, pair turquoise with varying shades of gray or a cool white. 

For a more retro look, pair turquoise with bright red! Two vibrant, contrasting colors like red and turquoise are sure to bring all eyes on you! To avoid a fashion disaster, make sure the rest of your outfit is tied down with one solid color like black, gray, or white; otherwise, you’ll risk looking too busy.

What Patterns Go Well With Turquoise

mosaic and cow print leather bags with turquoise

Turquoise is surprisingly versatile when it comes to wearing with different patterns. But Holy Cow Couture recommends pairing it with these three patterns.

Mosaic or Aztec Print. Traditional Aztec patterns are bright and recurring through symmetric, geometric symbols. The designs were often bright and used different materials such as pearls, jade, shells, and other jewelry — the Aztecs believed that painting or incorporating precious materials would please the gods. The rich and vibrant hue of turquoise is seen repeatedly throughout Aztec designs because of its beauty. It worked then, and it certainly works now!

Cow Print. Staying true to Western fashion, turquoise looks great with cow print! Usually cow print is in a neutral white and black, white and brown, or black and brown color, which all pair well with a bright color like turquoise!

Floral/Leaf Print. Turquoise itself is not a common color found in nature, but blue and green sure are! Natural prints like floral or leaf prints pair well with this blue-green hue. Floral print is just as timeless as the color turquoise, so a combination of the two will always stay in style!

For a dressier look, pair this opulent color with precious metals like silver or gold! For a more casual feel, pair it with leather or cowhide materials and you’ll nail that iconic Western fashion aesthetic!

There are a hundred different ways to wear turquoise because it’s a timeless, versatile color and material. At Holy Cow Couture, our only goal is to make stunning, high-quality hide bags worthy of haute-couture which is why we incorporate this rich color into some of our handbags and accessories. Our collections include all kinds of colors, textures, and styles, so you’ll be sure to find a piece you love. Browse our online shop today!

turquoise wallet and leather cowhide shoulder bag

Leave A Comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published