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How to do Folklore Fashion Trend Without Looking Like Heidi

folk dance clothing russia ukraine

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

If you've been looking around online trying to find ways to freshen and update your tired old wardrobe, you've probably seen the folk / folklore fashion trend. If you're my age, you'll just see this trend as an update of the 60s and 70s version of folk embroidered clothing. If you're too young to remember gauzy Mexicana and brightly colored floral patterns from those hippie days of yore, I'll help you understand it.

Yes, you can do folklore without looking like Heidi.

how to wear folklore trend without looking like heidi idiotWhere Did Folk Fashion Start?

Once upon a time, long before the internet, even before the Sears & Roebuck Catalog, women lived out in the boonies... even further out than the suburbs... if you can imagine that. And, those women were stuck wearing whatever they could make out of wool or cotton or bark or whatever they had around. And, it all looked boring, so they found some thread and they spent many winters embellishing their boring, ugly duds with embroidery... while they were stuck in their little huts and their igloos up in the mountains and out on the tundra.

Yep, I don't know where they got their colored thread or anything like that. All I know is that you mostly find beautiful folkloric styles up in snowbound Lapland or in little bogs in Bavaria or out in the middle of pigsty nowhere. So, I'm just putting two and two together. This is what makes sense to me.

Elements of the Folklore Fashion Trendwhat is folkloric fashion?

There are all kinds of cool details in folk clothing, as you will see if you visit my Pinterest page, but if you go head-to-toe with folklore-ish details, you're going to look a little crazy. And, one of the only things worse than looking old... is looking old and crazy. Now, don't take this to mean that I want you to wear jeans and jogging suits everywhere. The only thing worse than anything else is looking old and boring and dowdy and suburban... every day and every night... always the same... even to parties.

boho clothing folk fashionWhat you should do is to take some of the elements of the folklore trend and work them in with your normal clothing. And, this is easy to do. You just have to relax and realize that every part of folklore clothing has been done and redone over the years in an effort to resculpt women into beautiful objets d'art.

European Folk Costumes: Folkloric Trend

There is most certainly more than one kind of folklore, but I'm mostly talking about European styles and Mexicana, which was imported from Europe. Here are the main elements of folkloric clothing:

Embroidery: Almost all true folkwear has elements of embroidery. You can get around this by looking for fabric with designs that mimic folk patterns. And, one trick from the 70s is to sew embroidered ribbon along the hem of your skirt (and add several other rings of different kinds of ribbon) or to sew embroidered ribbon along the seams of your jeans. Yes, this looks good on adult jeans if you use elegantly embroidered ribbon.

Bright Colors: Bold flowers on black backgrounds are the essence of many folklore patterns. For summer, you'll see white backgrounds, and some areas prefer blue, green, or red for their backgrounds.how to wear folk clothing trend

Simple Botanical Prints and Patterns: Simplistic vine-and-leaf patterns often accompany florals. Some patterns include birds and woodland animals.

Mirror Images: This means that the embellishment on the left side of a garment is the same as it is on the right side.

Repeating Patterns: Some areas have indiginous patterns that are geometric and some places have curvy patterns and others mix the two styles together.

Mixing and Matching Patterns: folk fashion boho dress red brightsIt's easy to mix and match patterns when they have one or two similar colors. And, when most of the colors are the same, it's almost impossible to make a mistake. Just make sure you keep some neutral areas for the eye to rest.

Lace Embellishments: Many folklore outfits for women have an element of lace or crocheting. Most of the time, a white blouse will have lace on the collar and sleeves. And, some costumes include a white lace apron, but wearing one of those will make you look like you might start dancing a Polka at any second. Avoid those lace aprons.

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Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

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1 Comment

  1. Cindy Smith

    Just saw a post with a brunette wearing an embroidered sleeveless tunic in a dark "army green " color with green leggings. I love this outfit. Can you tell me where I might be able to buy it? Thank you!