Many fashion and home decorating trends are predictable, like hemlines that go up and down like clockwork and the pendulum of color schemes that swings through personal furnishings every few years. However, some rising fads are noticed only by the experts, and sometimes even they’re taken by surprise.

A young woman dawns a long fringe jacket.

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Case in point, the mercuric rise of fringe in 2020. Fashionistas and leaders in the home decor sector both admit that fringe has been peeking around the corner since music festivals became cool again around 2006. And as recently as 2019, bohemian styles were on the rise in the form of tye-dye t-shirts, raffia belts, and flowing paisley print skirts by Chloé and Paco Rabanne, a solid sign that fringe was on the horizon.

What’s New

The big difference between fringes past and present is all in the angle. Previously presented as casual, incidental, and low-brow, the fringe of spring/summer 2020 is meant to look expensive, elegant, and dressy. This means pairing it with luxurious floor-length leather trench coats, adorning shirt cuffs with fringe, and accenting ensembles with fringed necklaces and bracelets. And the most attractive component of fashion fringe is the fact it works just as well in a casual setting as it does at extravagant events. Similarly, fringed furniture embellishes a formal living room as wonderfully as it does a rustic beach cabin.

Fashion Fringe

As with many trends, the fringe boom started with handbags. Playful tassels used for purse closures evolved into oversized styles enveloped in fringe. The material used to make that fringe is usually either cotton macramé or baby-soft calfskin, both of which drape for inches or feet in a glamorous fashion.

A stylish pair of fringe-covered women's boots.

After handbags, dresses, skirts, and jackets are the most popular items where fringe is flourishing. Hems are finished with a row of fringe, lapels are swaddled in fine leather fringe, and jacket sleeves haven’t had so much fringe hanging from them since Elvis’ 1970 tour. Suede boots and shoes embellished with fringe complete this fresh bohemian look.

Fringe in the Home

An elegant pink couch adorned with a fringe border.

Much liked fringed clothing, home furnishings sporting fringe date back several years and have graced several countries and cultures. Fringed tassels were popular on upholstered sofas and chairs to prevent their edges from fraying; the added charm it brought as a border was purely incidental. Fringed-adorned lamps, mirrors, and cushions have particularly been a big part of Native American decor in the past few decades.

Today’s fringed furniture knows no bounds. Footstools and ottomans have fringe that barely touches the floor. Couches and chairs are fitted with fringed panels on their arms and backs. The fringe makes even the most minimalist designs stand out with added texture and a lighthearted flair that’s bold, beautiful, and a little bit bawdy. In fact, almost any object in a room can be made more sophisticated and fun with a touch of fringe.

A young woman wears a stylish fringe dress.

No matter what type of fringe tickles your fancy, whether you prefer the long, flowing variety or a more conservative short border, you’re sure to find something that’s perfect for your wardrobe or home in 2020. Start with a lampshade or clutch handbag and enjoy the experience of dawning fabulous fringe one step at a time.