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The Fashion History of Fringe and How to Wear It Now

When did we start wearing fringe and how should we wear it today?

Fringe is trending right now as an adornment to clothing, accessories, and just about everything! But when did we first start wearing this fun and flirty trend? Believe it or not, fringe originated with Native American tribes. It served a purpose to repel rainwater from the person wearing it. Originally, it was made of leather, suede or buckskin and was cut into strips, cords, and threads.

70s Fashion You Can Still Rock Today fringe

Photo Credit: Stefano Coletti

In the 1920s fringe was seen more as decorative fashion and was popularized by the flappers. Flappers wore dresses that were above the knee which was considered very racy for the time. To make the dresses slightly longer, flappers added fringe on the bottom for a bit of decorative flair.

In the 1960s, fringe also appeared in the hippie movement as political causes were of major concern, including civil rights. The oppression of certain minority groups, such as the Native American people, brought it back as a way of supporting the Native American cause.

By the 1970s, fringe was no longer as popular as it had once been. But today, it’s back and trendy as ever in modern fashion!

Today’s fringe is not overpowering. In fact, consider it “light”. One way to wear the trend today is to have it on your accessories such as on a handbag. This way you don’t look like you are wearing a Western outfit or looking 100%
bohemian. This type of styling is modern, subtle, and not over-the-top.

Stella McCartney


Or how about a skirt or dress that has a hemline with fringe? Once again, it’s not the main aspect of your look. It’s worn as an accent to your otherwise simple A-line look.

Rachel Zoe

Shoes with fringe can be fun and exciting! Here, it will bring your eye down towards your shoe and this is a very unexpected way to make a fashion statement!

lucky brand Wekka Fringe flat thing sandals, viva glam magazine, spring


Jewelry is always a quick and easy way to spice up your wardrobe! Pull your hair up into a ponytail or high bun to emphasize this look.

pom poms, tassels, and fringe earrings

As always, don’t go fringe crazy. Focus on only one item of fringe per outfit. Don’t wear a purse, shoes, and kimono all at once as it is simply overkill. Instead, focus on a balanced look and you can wear this fun and easy trend with ease!



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