Incorporating the Tribal Trend With Three Easy Tricks

The tribal trend is making headlines heading into the spring and summer seasons. These three tricks can help anyone incorporate this trend into their wardrobe.

The tribal trend is one that we see come around every few fashion cycles or so. Particularly suited to the warmer weather of summer, the tribal trend lends itself quite well to the deconstructed, bohemian vibe of the music festivals and carefree outdoor gatherings that are such an integral part of the landscape of summer.

This time around, the tribal trend is being shown with heavy influences of folklore; embroidery, beads, and fringe all seem to have been ripped right out of the pages of a cultural anthropology textbook and transplanted onto the runway.

These pieces, while light-hearted and easy to wear in some contexts, may prove difficult for day to day wear, perhaps even threatening to look too much like a national costume for some fashion lovers. The following three ideas can help you overcome this sartorial obstacle and enjoy your tribal pieces in many different contexts over the next few months and well into the fall as well.

#1 The Motif Is Your Focus


When styling your tribal piece, let the rich patterns, textures, and colours do the talking. While print mixing has been (and still is to a certain extent) all the rage during the warmer months, this time around, let your tribal print items really shine by pairing them with something simple. A pair of weathered skinny or boyfriend jeans can create a terrifically casual bohemian look that is as comfortable as it is chic.

Pairing a pair of ikat-printed trousers with a plain white tee is a fantastic way to take a simple trousers and tee combination to new heights – just add a blazer and heels to take the look form day to night. Large, dangling jewellery and heavy statement bib necklaces always look best when against a simple, clean backdrop such as a plain v-neck or over the top of one of the season’s many sweatshirt offerings.

#2 Tribal Can Be Quiet


When the tribal trend enters into any sartorial conversation, our thoughts immediately turn to the loudest, brightest, most beaded and fringed offerings of the season. But would-be trend followers should note here that tribal is not synonymous with loud.

Tribal-inspired pieces can be found in monochromatic shades, with quiet tone-on-tone embroidery, or in neutral shades that have been inspired by mother nature herself. Look for quietly embroidered pieces like cotton tunics, denim pieces with soft tribal embellishments, and pieces made from natural linens and cottons with an ease and deconstructed quality about them.

#3 Don’t Forget The Accessories


If you feel that perhaps a brightly-printed and patterned tribal piece is not really for you, there are still plenty of ways to incorporate the trend. This season’s accessories are available in all kinds of tribally-inspired patterns and textures, and provide just the right amount of the trend to your look to make it pop without being over-the-top-tribal.

Feel like you want to give it a try but don’t know where to start? A pair of tribal print ballet flats or a clutch purse is an excellent accent to a look; it adds a bit of depth and trendiness to a look while keeping it light-hearted and summery. Also very popular this season: fringe. For summer, fringe can be seen added to everything from the hemlines of tops to necklaces and handbags.

A great place to start is with a fringed handbag. Choose a cross-body mini bag with just a whiff of fringe across the body of the bag, or perhaps a handheld satchel with long, floor-grazing fringe that takes on a life of its own – the choice is yours. Fringe is also a great complement to summer’s sandals and statement jewellery, so don’t be afraid to give it a try.

The tribal trend, although perhaps daunting at first, can be incorporated by anyone to brighten a summer wardrobe. By pairing the tribal motif with simple pieces, choosing quietly tribal prints, and making use of shoes and accessories, anyone can add a little tribal flair to her wardrobe, no matter how conservative or adventurous she may be.

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About the author

Kristin Buchholz-MacKillop

Kristin is an American writer based in the Scottish Highlands. She is a saxophonist, an obsessive tennis player, a U.S. Air Force Veteran, and holds a Master's degree as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. She is the author of the online style blog

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