7 Fringe Fashion Trends for Summer Style: Bags, Tops, Dresses, Shoes & More – It’s the 70s Again!
by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)
Hey all you teenage girls, younger women, suburban moms, and older hipsters... do you want a quick and easy way to update your fashion look without the muss and the fuss of thinking too much? Of course, you do. Well, this summer is the perfect time to add a groovy fringed bag, a cool crocheted vest, a slinky tasseled dress, or some gorgeous fringe-enhanced sandals. The fringed look has been a trendy festival staple for rock-n-roll gypsies for the last few years. And, now, fringe has gone mainstream... but, not too mainstream. Fringed clothes and accessories are just right for those of us who want to stay slightly ahead of the fashion curve, while riding the curve back to the 1970s... and then some.
Yes, my little chickadees, fringe is trendy enough for fun-loving gals like you and me, but fringe can also be worn by typical American women without making them look too wild and bohemian for everyday life... unless they want to take it wild and bohemian... to rock their sleepy little suburban worlds.
And, fringe is one of the easiest ways to rock your fashion world, because fringe is a seriously badass embellishment... with superhuman multitasking powers. Really.
How to Wear Fringe... For Those of Us Who Need a Refresher Course:
Fringe can blend with almost any style, but fringe is also a chameleon that changes its mood depending on what you tell it to do. Here are a few examples for you to "try on" in the imaginary dressing room of your mind:
- Fringe Can Be Hip: You can hipify any boring pantsuit with the exotic texture of an elegantly fringed handbag.
- Fringe Can Be Western: You can countrify your basic jeans and T-shirt ensemble with a suede fringe jacket and a Stetson hat.
- Fringe Can Be Rocker: You can rockify any boring sheath dress with a black fringed biker jacket and a pair of funky boots.
- Fringe Can Be Hippie: You can funkify any kind of maxi skirt with a crocheted fringe top and a big floppy hat.
- Fringe Can Be Sexy: You can sexify your usual party look with a sensuously fringed dress and a new pair of stilettos... or a nice pair of groovy embellished flats.
And, those are just the ideas that popped into my tired old brain with a minimum of effort. Give me a minute to think... oh, it's way too hot to think (in Idaho). It's easier to show.
So, here are some cute examples of how to wear fringe... at any age. (Well, most of the models are about 12 years old, so if you're a baby boomer, I want you to copy these ideas without taking them too literally. If you are over 50, your days of crop tops and skin-tight Lycra are probably well behind you... I hope.)
1. Trendy Fringed Handbags:
The simplest way to add a touch of tasseled trendiness is with a fringe-embellished handbag. Check out the pics directly above, from left to right.
- Long Black Shoulderbag: The first photo shows how your eyes are attracted to the movement of the hippy-trippy fringe on the 70s-style handbag. You can use this principle to keep people's attention focused wherever you want it to be... away from your big tummy and your spazzy, saggy arms.
- Tiny Fringed Clutch: The second pic shows how an easy-to-wear fringed clutch glams up the style quotient of a simple evening look. (OMG, I sound as cliched as one of those nerdy fashion mags like Seventeen... but, cut me some slack... I have a bad cold. I'll try to get my head back onto the groove track... oh wait... I'm hopeless.)
- Long White Macrame Bag: I'm not usually ALL THAT into white handbags, which can scream "Florida retirement community" if you're not careful, but I would definitely wear this crocheted purse. You can wear this bag "long and slouchy" or sling it over your head as a cross-body bag. It's so retro-cute... and it's basic enough that even a visually-impaired granny could rock it with panache.
- Small Southwestern Bag: This too-cute shoulderbag, along with a pair of cowboy ankle-booties, brings a bit o' Western style to a simple white-blouse-and-jean-skirt outfit. You could also take this purse tribal (Native American) or prairie-chic.
- Blue Fringed Backpack: This adorable backpack shows how you can wear your fringe directly above your tush to show off your cute little butt. If your cute little backside isn't backstage-pass-worthy these days, save this small blue rucksack for some other little chickadee who has the right bod.
2. Fringed Fashion Kimonos for Summer:
When it's way too hot to wear a long sweater, you can always add a little spice to a blah outfit (or hide your tuckus) by throwing on a simple, lightweight kimono. And, if that kimono has fringe... all the better. Fringe adds movement and feminine mystery. Fringe draws people's attention to itself because it gently sways as you walk. And, like I said before... you can add this knowledge to your fashion arsenal. Just make sure the fringe hits you in a place you want to show off.
3. Boho Crochet Tops & Beach Cover Ups:
70s-style fringed tops can be worn "as is" (in all their rock-concert, stomach-baring glory), or worn over plain T-shirts or camis (for a more demure look), or worn over swimsuits as sexy, see-through beach (or cruise-ship) cover ups. These little crocheted things are terribly versatile. I guess that's why all of us hipper-than-hip baby-boomer chicks had a whole selection of crocheted tops and vests in our closets back in the 60s and 70s.
4. Fringe Dresses for Summer & Parties:
Fringed dresses can be sweet and modest, trippy and artsy, or slithery and provocative. It just depends on the dress. Take a look at the different styles in the photo above for confirmation. The first two are perfect for a warm summer day or a wedding (if worn with a slip). The other fringed dresses are more flapper or 1960s go-go girl and are perfect for clubbing or parties... or for batting your eyes at guys in a cruise-ship bar. All of these fringed dresses can be worn by older women in the right circumstances... with the right undergarments.
5. Sheer Ponchos & Hippie Ponchos With Fringe:
Fringed ponchos can be similar to kimonos in look, but they work a bit differently because ponchos don't open in the front. And, because these things slip on over your head, they are amazing for travel... and for covering your cleavage in a provocatively veiled way. Well, let me explain. I'm talking about two different "kinds" of ponchos. See the photo above:
- A. Sheer Evening Poncho: The sheer poncho on the left is worn boho "festival" style (with shorts), but this adorable poncho can also be worn out to dinner or on a cruise by any woman who wants to show off her cleavage without showing off too much cleavage (by wearing this over a low-cut black dress). Sometimes, a little hint of skin is more alluring than the full Monty. (Especially when Monty is wrinkled from sun damage.)
- B. Scarf Poncho: The poncho in the middle is a nice hybrid of the two styles on either side of it. You can wear this for veiling wrinkles or flab. You can also wear this type of scarf poncho for travel when you need to cover your shoulders for a cathedral or you want a little extra warmth.
- C. Crocheted Poncho With Fringe: The pink poncho on the right is a perfect example of the retro style worn in the early 70s. And, I'm so happy to see this type of granny-square poncho making a comeback because it's the perfect "sweater" for summer travel. This crocheted topper is just like wearing a lightweight blanket that won't slip off your shoulders... no matter how far you have to run to catch some Eastern European train or how many bags you have to juggle in some skittering Roman taxi. Also, you can sleep in a crocheted poncho while crammed into coach on a flight to Katmandu and never fear that your boobies will pop out as you snore away. (Disclaimer: I've never flown to Katmandu, but a hippie poncho seems like the appropriate garb for that trip.)
Okay... that's it. I've just talked myself into looking for a groovy fringed poncho. I guess it helps that I'm in a psychedelic groove because I've got my Bluetooth headset tuned to Pandora's "Anytime Ragas Radio" and Ravi Shankar is rocking out in my head. (It's the only way I can concentrate while I'm temporarily living in a smallish house with one husband, one stepson, two step-grandchildren, and one large dog... all of whom seem to be yakking, singing, watching, bouncing, barking, or nagging at the same time.)
6. Groovy Fringed Footwear:
In some instances, you'll want to keep your love of tassels to a minimum, and one of the subtlest ways to put a little fringe in your life is with embellished footwear. If you browse Neiman Marcus, you'll discover that you can go high end with fringed Valentino heels or tasseled Prada sandals... but this is the real world, baby. I'm only telling you about expensive designer shoes so you'll believe me when I say that fringed footwear is an acceptable way to sneak your inner hippie into some snooty country club. The gay waiters will smile and the traditional housewives will wonder why they suddenly feel so frumpy.
7. Fringe Jewelry:
You're also going to like the bohemian vibe of fringe and tassel jewelry. To me, fringed necklaces and earrings are almost always fierce and tribal. They seem to denote power and shamanism. I'm not sure if these embellishments are supposed to give that impression, but take a look at them. What else could they signify except raw courage and primal strength? Well, the tassel earrings give off a slightly different feeling... more like the sexual power of a gypsy dancing around a campfire... but what is that, if not another type of strength? HelloEarth! ... I may need to make something primitive and beautiful like these necklaces. The more I look at them, the more I like them. I want to add a sense of power to my everyday aura... without spending a ton of money.
Fringe is Not a Passing Fad:
Fringe is not a fad meant for the junior's section... it can be worn at the big kid's table, too.
So, even though you'll find a few spindly, anemic fringed kimonos, T-shirts, and bikinis at the discount malls, I think the fringe trend will continue to be huge for the next few years (like it is in London). And, I'm betting my own boho ass that fringe will be elegant and trendy for several more seasons. What I mean is... I'll be spending some of my own hard-earned loot on a few fringy things like sandals or a bag... and any nice, silky fringed top or kimono or poncho or dress that catches my eye.
And, I'm not the only one who is seeing fringe in the future. Here are a few pre-fall pieces that will be available in traditional London stores for AW15:
And, I don't really care what women in the states are wearing. I love classic, elegant, upscale bohemian clothes. And, the fact that I'm seeing fringed pieces on the London horizon (for spring/summer AND fall/winter) is enough to make my little hippie heart go pitter patter with peace and love.
More Articles for Baby Boomer Women Who Want to Be Somewhat Trendy Without Becoming Fashion Roadkill:
Photo Credits: Prshots.com. I'm sorry to say that these clothes are from 2015. The same sites usually have something similar for this season. (And, as far as I can tell, fringe is still in style.)
- Main Photo: Miss Selfridge, Sainsburys, Dorothy Perkins, Asos, Asos.
- Fringe Jacket - Kate Moss: Topshop (2014).
- Trendy Fringe Handbags: Asos (4), Accessorize.
- Fringed Fashion Kimonos: Asos, Monsoon, Asos (2).
- Crochet Tops & Cover Ups: Asos (2), Apricot, Asos, New Look.
- Fringe Dresses for Summer & Parties: Wallis, Asos (4).
- Ponchos With Fringe: Asos (2), Asos Marketplace.
- Fringed Footwear: Steve Madden, Asos, Next, New Look.
- Fringed Jewelry: George, Asos, Wallis (2).
- Fall 2015 Capes & Coats With Fringe: M&S, Hobbs, BHS.
What do you think of this article? Are you ready for 1970 redux? Will you party like it's 1969... or are you going to keep wearing that same old stuff?