Hippies lived in it. Flappers wore it. Cowboys still wear it. And at the moment, everyone is wearing it. Free-falling, floaty, flirty fringe.
By Maureen Mancini Amaturo
Hippies lived in it. Flappers wore it. Cowboys still wear it. And at the moment, everyone is wearing it. Free-falling, floaty, flirty fringe. Not just on suede purses or at the edge of a scarf. Fringe is falling from the hems of sweaters, tops, tanks, dresses, and skirt hems, bathing suits, jewelry, and more. And you can find your favorite fringe pieces everywhere from TJ Maxx (great beaded fringe tank dress, $59.99 and plenty of fringe-hemmed tops and tanks) Forever 21 (fringed everything from cardigans to necklaces with a bazillion choices under $30) and American Apparel (check out their ponte fringe dress, $72) to designer showrooms like Miu Miu, Anna Sui, Valentino, Marc Jacobs, Rodarte, and Gucci.
While fringe has been inching its way back to the forefront for a few seasons, it really sprung in a big way this spring. It’s dangling from everything possible. For the record, fringe was featured in many fall ’14 runway shows this past February.
The Many Faces of Fringe
From cowgirl to Gatsby, romantic to rock star, shy to scene-stealer, there are so many ways to revel in fringe benefits. Update what’s in your closet now with a fringed add-on or create a new outfit all together. Here are a few tips on how to do it.
• Fringe 101. Don’t overdo it. Pick one piece, like a skirt, a big purse, or an oversized ethnic-print scarf, featuring the fringe. Don’t wear several fringed pieces at the same time. Choose one element to be your statement piece and create the rest of your outfit around it.
• Hemlines create a graceful movement when you walk. Wear a midi-length fringed-hem skirt or duster with slim high heels to bring even more attention to the lower half of your outfit. Keep the top simple.
• Mini skirt Depending on the color, try it with neutral tights (or bare legs) or black tights. Add a simple tee. You’ll be surprised at how wearable a fringed mini skirt can be.
• Total fringe bottoms, like pencil skirts, can be paired with blazers, sleek tanks, or turtlenecks. Fitted sheath dresses in tiered fringe can be paired with a blazer, too.
• Fringed ankle straps on stilettos and tasseled flats are all part of the movement. If wearing a skirt, dress or pants with a fringed hem, keep your shoes airy, delicate, and strappy. A cross-strapped high heel will complete the look.
• Must-have dress. The little black dress this spring is tiered, fringed, and drop-waisted.
• Fringe phobia? If you’re not the type for the fringed sheath or midi skirt, have no fear. There are plenty of options for you to get in on the trend. Grab a new, fringed purse, necklace, or earrings. There are so many to choose from. Try the trend in smaller doses.
• The long and short of it. Short and sassy fringe or long enough to sweep the floor, either way is on trend. Accessories are offering the biggest spectrum of fringe lengths and options, especially bags.
• Fringe and prints work beautifully. Just because fringe has movement and a personality all its own doesn’t mean it can trim a floral tank or crop top, patterned midi or gown, or distressed jeans. A fabric print that’s a gorgeous image when static and disburses into free-floating fringe is magical.
• Fringed-hem tanks, tops, and sweaters look great with dark denim for a dressy, but casual look.
• Accessories. Shoulder-length fringe earrings in silver or gold can make a statement and be all you need to add a little fringe to your look. Long necklaces with fringe-like chains attached to pendants are hot right now.
• Stand-ins. Feathers and distressed-edge ruffles can have the same fashion feeling as fringe. Ethereal, feminine, graceful, spindly, threadlike, reedy, or ropy. You get the picture.