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Folk Fashion Trend: Embroidered Florals, Ethnic Designs, Simple Patterns

boho gypsy folk trend

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

Whether your idea of heaven is living as a peasant girl in a country village or living as a bohemian princess in the East Village, folkwear fashions, with their classic, time-honored designs, are destined to become one of your favorite clothing trends. Hey, exuberant floral prints, colorful embroidered designs, purified primary colors, full poufy skirts, and flattering long tunics… these are clothes you can love.

folklore folkwear fashions

Embroidered Party Dress

And… I love the folkloric trend. Folk fashions represent the logical embellishment and natural celebration of a woman’s shapely body. Woo hoo!

Folk Styles Were Created by Real Women

For centuries, peasant women made clothing out of whatever they had on hand, experimenting with different styles in an attempt to enhance a woman’s natural curves… or, sometimes, in an attempt to add curves where none existed.

Peasant mothers created full skirts to make the narrow hips of their skinny daughters appear more feminine or to make the chunky waistlines of their stoutly daughters appear smaller and more refined.

These resourceful women embroidered beautiful hearts and flowers onto their own bodices to draw the eye up to the bustline and away from the problem areas.

And, these old-school “fashion designers” sewed bands of colorful ribbons onto the hems of their long, flowing skirts to accentuate their shapely legs when they twirled seductively to the folk tunes played by their local violinists.

What Exactly is Folkwear?

There are two types of folk clothing:

  • Traditional costumes used for celebrations in specific locations.
  • Contemporary fashion inspired by ethnic silhouettes and details.

This article is mostly about modern boho clothes… inexpensive items that use current technology to give the look of hand-created embroidery and prints.

Sometimes, the cut of a contemporary dress or blouse will mimic the shape of a traditional folkwear garment. Other times, folk clothing will have a modern silhouette, such as a T-shirt dress, but will be embellished with romantic details associated with old-world peasants and gypsies. Either type of item can be worn as part of the modern folkwear trend.

Folkloric Fashion for Women of All Ages

Folk styles have always been worn by old grannies as well as by young girls. Folkwear a fashion genre that’s suitable for any age.

Of course, if you’re over 40, you’ll have to adapt the festival look to suit your personal style and body type… but you already knew that.

  • You can wear a mini dress as a tunic over leggings.
  • You can add an embroidered shoulder bag to a casual jeans and T-shirt outfit.
  • You can wear a plus-size gypsy top with a long, printed maxi skirt.
  • You can wear a suit blouse in a traditional, old-world, folk print.

Just don’t go folkloric from head to toe. Mix your folk styles with other fashion styles to come up with your own chic, updated, hippie look.

folk fashions for women over 40 - boomerinas.com

Folk Patterned Clothing

Finding Folkwear Fashions Online

Modern folk fashions often go by names that don’t include any variation of “folk”. Try googling some combination of these alternate words:

  • Festival
  • Embroidered
  • Crocheted
  • Embellished
  • Gypsy, Peasant, Ethnic
  • Floral Print
  • Smock
  • Tunic, Kurta

Folk Prints and Patterns

There are lots of recurring themes with folk embroidery and folkloric prints. Look for hearts, birds, roses, daisies, and simple geometric patterns… any type of design that might be painted on a wooden chair in a traditional Scandinavian cottage or a Swiss chalet. Think of cross-stitch patterns… or the Disney movie, Frozen.

Folk Wear Clothing

Folkwear Tops for Women

Folklore Folk Patterns are Often Symmetrical

Most of the time, folk patterns are symmetrical images, with the left side mirroring the right. It’s a simple look, made for a simple people, living in simpler times. And, I think this carefree feeling is part of the appeal of folk fashions. Who wouldn’t want to live in a simple wood cabin in the midst of a field of flowers in the European countryside… as long as you could jet out of there as soon as it got too cold for your bare peasant feet?


Folkwear really is a great, versatile trend. You can make folk fashion as rock-n-roll or as sweetly demure as you want.

You might really love folk-patterned clothing once you try it. If you want to update your style, give your look a trendy twist by adding a folkloric top, a simple folkwear skirt, or a repeating, geometric-print scarf to your everyday wardrobe. Folk fashion is hot this summer. Folk fashion will be hot this fall... and beyond. Layer your folkwear items. Mix them up. Play with the look. Have fun… and dream of Swedish cookies.

More Articles for Hip Baby Boomer Women Over 40:

Embroidered Boho Tops, Dresses & More: New Trends

Best Jeans: 5 Denim Trends for Fall and Winter

5 Easy to Wear Kimono Trends: What's up with Kimonos?

How to Wear Lace Trend for Women Over 40 50 60

folk style trend

Main Photo - Folk Inspired Clothing

Photo Credits: Prshots.com

  • Main Photo: Minkpink, Asos Premium, Asos, Warehouse, Free People, LaRedoute.
  • Embroidered Party Dress: Phase Eight.
  • Folk Patterned Clothing: New Look maxi skirt, East embroidered coat, Topshop dress, It's Vintage Darling embroidered pillow, Accessorize embroidered purse.
  • Folkwear Tops for Women: LaRedoute embroidered bib front blouse, Asos vintage sweater.

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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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