You might know me as the girl who’s sick of tribal print. But the truth is I don’t hate it, I just wish retailers would treat it with more respect. I really dug tribal in the beginning, when it was popping up on runways. But then stores started smacking it onto everything they could get their hands on and before you knew it, people didn’t even know they were wearing it. It was like they had been tribal-mugged or stamped with it in their sleep. But there are still ways to wear this trend gracefully, tastefully, and here are some that I actually — yes, really — like.
As a textile — as opposed to a silkscreened image. Nothing cheapens the original appeal of tribal print faster than taking it out of its natural habitat: the allover print. Tribal-inspired prints serve as a busy complement to more streamlined pieces, allowing you to control the focal points of your outfit. It’s about composition, and tribal prints are a fantastic design element when used well.
Jewelry. Complexity and ornateness are elements used to describe jewelry more than clothing, and for good reason. Bright details and bold patterns are often what turn a regular piece of jewelry into a statement piece.
Swimwear. When we find ourselves so scantily clad as we do in a bathing suit, why not make every square-inch count with some vibrant prints? The bright colors can make you look tanner and definitely camouflage any unsavory issues that might result from sudden temperature changes.
Shoes. Your accessories are completely entitled to speaking for themselves. Pair these tribal print shoes with a simple summer outfit for effortless impact.
Nails. These designs are surprisingly easy to create. The ikat print is available as a decal, while the others are made by painting thick lines of different colors, allowing them to dry, and then drawing on the designs using black and white nail art pens. A friend did it to my nails and it took under fifteen minutes, start to finish. Grab a friend and try it out!
Tribal print is supposed to be fun and a little wild. Don’t go for those watered-down pieces that tend to be more readily available than the real thing. Instead, shop just a little harder for the pieces that really bring out the iconic nature of the prints. At a place like Forever 21 walking between two racks could mean the difference between looking like a fashion victim and looking really chic and in control. That way you look really expensive without actually spending more. And I love that feeling.
Do you rock tribal prints? What’s your favorite way to wear them?