Tribal prints are easily labeled as one of the trendiest prints for this summer season. These exotic prints can instantly transform your look from drab to stunning. Discover more on how you can be inspired and translate these traditional patterns into beautiful live works of art.
AFRICAN PRINT VS. SOUTHWESTERN PRINT
While tribal prints can be seen in many forms, there are two reigning prints within the today’s tribal kingdom: African and Southwestern. These graphic prints are considered ‘tribal’ due to their similarities (although, the term ‘tribal’ technically covers areas that aren’t Westernized). Instead of lumping these motifs two together, you can tell the difference if you’re discerning enough.
1. Flamboyant Colours
Both prints come in array of colours; name a colour – you will find it almost in every garment. In addition, these colours often are bold and striking which easily differentiate from other prints like polka dot, paisley, Asian, etc. ‘Clashing’ colours are often paired up together (i.e., fuschia with neon yellow).
2. Geometric Shapes
Geometric shapes are found in these prints whether they are in the form of a simple square or to even more complex, like a deformed hexagon.
The Southwestern pattern is influenced by the Southwest area that includes Native American areas (i.e., south of United States) and Latin areas (i.e., Mexico, Central America, South America). As for African prints, these prints are influenced by the whole continent itself.
2. ‘Different’ Geometric Shapes
Although both prints encompass geometric shapes, certain shapes are more frequently found in each motif. Southwestern prints are usually in horizontal or vertical lining and contain triangles or diamonds that kind of look pixelated (i.e., pixelated triangle or zigzag pattern like the All Saints dress Lourdes Leon is wearing). Whereas the African print is usually spread out all over the fabric so that the shapes are almost uneven and distorted resembling a kaleidoscope image. African prints practically took over L.A.M.B.’s S/S 2011 collection.
Though you will come across Southwestern and African prints that look exactly the same, these are just general ideas of how to differentiate between the two in modern fashion.
STYLING TIPS TO STAY GLOBAL
1. Vibrantly Minimalistic
Tribal prints are fun when you want to brighten your wardrobe. Since your tribal print attire is already a ‘statement piece’ itself, you don’t need to pile on so much jewelry or accessories. Let your prints do the talking, not your jewelry.
Examples: Style Icon StylePantry styled her African-inspired Zara pants with a navy blazer and simple tribal print necklace. Style Icon WhitneyWhitney looks simply astounding in just her polychromatic dress and hat.
Nail both trends by wearing a tribal printed maxi dress. Go ahead and try an all-over printed maxi dress. Curvier fashionistas, choose prints that are on the medium-sized to refrain from looking stocky. As for boxy-gallant figures, you can try zigzag patterns to give you form and width! Overall, these prints are suitable and flattering for practically any size and shape. In addition, these deeply saturated colours will make you look more awake than any concealer can do for you!
3. Master the Accessories
For those who are more subtle, you can always go for accessories. Colourful accessories, like scarves and handbags, can surely evoke the same fierceness as a maxi dress. Since you’d want to make your accessories stand out, be sure to wear your clothes in neutral colours (i.e., grays, pinks, nudes).
Examples: Surely it’s summer here, but that doesn’t mean it’s not cold elsewhere in the world! Style Icon Jamour styled her Southwestern print scarf with soft tones like gray and pink. We also love Chictopian NikkiSunga who looks professionally chic with her Southwestern clutch.
NOW COP THE STYLE!
Here are a few (affordable) picks to spruce up your summer wardrobe. Come on now, let’s get happy!
1. Go Native! Tank by GoJane.com ($22.00) – Our number one pick! If you love Lourdes’s ‘All Saints’ dress, here’s a similar looking tank that you can wear!
2. Butterfly Sleeve Dress by 1015store.com ($15.00) – Feeling free-spirited? This butterfly sleeve tribal printed dress is for you. Psst flat rate shipping is only $6.95 for all orders!
3. Geometric Tribal Dress by Hot Topic ($29.50) – This geometric dress will surely make you feel like you’re on a get-away vacay to Latin America!
4. Tribal Print Purse by Lulus.com ($41.00) – Take this versatile bag with you wherever you go – whether it be shopping for groceries or taking a hike, it’s the go-to bag of the season. Also the bag comes in two straps where you can easily change your style!
Now that you’ve mastered the arts of wearing tribal prints, how will you Chictopians be wearing ’em this summer? Let us know in the comments!
Or, let us know via EverybodyIsUgly’s Twitter! We try our best to tweet back! (@EverybodyIsUgly)
By Crystal (watermoolen)
Main Image via Numéro #124