It’s all about the boots. Boot Country (304 Broadway, 615/259-1691, Mon.-Thurs. 10am-10pm, Fri.-Sat. 10am-10:30pm, Sun. 11am-7pm) stocks a huge variety and organizes them by size. If you want boots, this is the place to go. If, in fact, you want three pairs of boots, this is the place to go, as they are always “buy one get two free.” If you can’t fit three pairs of boots in your luggage, organize a couple of friends and each get a pair.
Even without a ton of cash you can outfit yourself in some of the best Western designs at Katy K Designs Ranch Dressing (2407 12th Ave. S., 615/297-4242, Mon.-Fri. 11am-6pm, Sat. noon-6pm, Sun. 1pm-5pm). This is the showplace of designer Katy K’s unique clothing line, which has been worn by the likes of Loretta Lynn and BR549. Ranch Dressing has a well-curated selection of vintage goods, plus clothing from other designers’ lines. To find the shop, look for the giant cowgirl on the facade.
A boot is not just a boot—at least not in Nashville, where boots are a status symbol as much as footwear. And in a town that loves boots, people really love Lucchese (pronounced “Lu-K-C,” 503 12th Ave. S., 615/242-1161, Mon.-Sat. 10am-7pm, Sun. noon-6pm.) This brand has been around since 1883, but only since 2012 has it had its own retail shop in the Gulch. The boots (and belts and clothes) are made in the United States, and custom orders are taken.
The name says it all: Manuel Exclusive Clothier (1922 Broadway, 615/321-5444; Mon.-Fri. 10am-6pm, or by appointment). Manuel Cuevas goes by just his first name, and he’s the man who outfits all the stars with their stage-worthy clothing. The cowboy shirts start at $750 and jackets at more than $2,000, so this isn’t the place for an impulse buy. This is the place to go when you’ve made it. You can stop by to admire the work even if you can’t order your own Manuel suit. Yet.
Lots of the downtown boot shops are boots-only-type storefronts. Trail West (219 Broadway, 615/255-7030, Mon.-Tues. 10am-8pm, Wed.-Sat. 10am-9pm, Sun. 11am-6pm) is a one-stop shop for country attire, including hats, clothes, and, yes boots. The selection here runs the gamut, from bedazzled Western shirts with a yoke to cowboy boots that cost more than a planet ticket. There aren’t a lot of locals who shop here, but if you want a Western-style souvenir to take back, the selection is ample and the staff friendly, although the prices are more touristy than bargain basement.
Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Nashville.