Strange New Street Style: Incredible Coachella Fringe Fest

After a two-year pandemic imposed hiatus, more than 125,000 music lovers, fans, and celebrities descended on Indio last month wearing fringe face masks, fringe eye glasses, rhinestone fringe cowboy hats and fringe everything else.

Since its founding in 1999, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has been not only a premiere festival featuring some of music’s biggest names, but also a haven for fashion freedom, style experimentation and women’s wide brim hats to shelter you from the sun.  

From the monochromatic trends of 2016 to the resurgence of Y2K fashion in 2019, Coachella is often an early predictor of where fashion is heading. And this year, one trend stood out head and shoulders above the rest. 

Fabulous Fringe

Annita attends 2022 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival wearing shorts with rhinestone fringe. (Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Coachella)

For those that have been wondering if fringe is in fashion in 2022, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” From celebrities like Orville Peck, Annita and Alessandra Ambrosio to a variety of festival goers, fringe was everywhere at Coachella– on clothing, women’s cowboy hats, and accessories. 

Festival goer shows us how to wear eye glasses with fringe. (Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Coachella)

Some chose subtle accents on shirts or shorts, while some went bright and bold with statement hats and accessories showing use how to wear a hat with fringe. Musician Orville Peck took it one step further, donning an eye-catching fringed face mask during his performance at the Gobi Tent. 

Orville Peck demonstrates how to wear a hat with fringed on his face mask. (Rich Fury/Getty Images for Coachella)

Rhinestone Fringe Cowboy Hats

Festival goer poses in a rhinestone fringe cowboy hat at Coachella on April 15, 2022, in Indio, CA. (Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Coachella)

If you’re wondering are fringes in fashion in 2022, perhaps this uber chic street style cowboy hat with fringe dangling from the brim will answer your question? It’s one step further than the brim trim phenom we wrote about last November. Men and women alike embraced this fringe fashion moment, giving a fun makeover to one of the most unmistakably American hat styles. It’s the boho version of a Stagecoach cowboy hat.

This non-gendered trend seemed to mesh well with the styles of two of Coachella’s headliners, Harry Styles and Billie Eilish. Both are known for blurring the lines between traditionally masculine and feminine fashion trends to express their own unique aesthetics. 

Perhaps the statement-making fringe cowboy hats is a nod to how our society is beginning to view fashion – and identity – as something not confined within the boundaries of the traditional gender binary, but instead as a fluid spectrum through which we’re all free to roam.

Fringe = Freedom?

Alessandra Ambrosio, Matheus Mazzafera and Ludi Delfino wear fringe outfits at Coachella 2022 on April 15, 2022. (Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Coachella)

Fringe has dominated as a fashion trend three times in modern American history. First, it was a staple of the flapper aesthetic of the 1920s. After weathering the Spanish Flu Pandemic, the ‘20s were a period characterized by freedom, revelry… and fringe. 

In the late 1960s, amidst the turmoil of the Vietnam War and growing political unrest, the hippie counterculture embraced fringed clothing, again perhaps as a symbol of freedom and forward thinking.

Is it a coincidence, then, that in 2022, as we emerge from yet another global pandemic and period of political turmoil, fringe is once again taking center stage? Maybe not. Either way, it looks like fringe is poised to become the hot street fashion for summer. 

How Do I Wear Fringe?

Festival goer pairs a silver fringe collar with a black bikini top at Coachella 2022 (Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Coachella).
Festival goer pairs a silver fringe collar with a black bikini top at Coachella 2022. (Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Coachella)

As summer approaches, look for fringe cowboy hats to continue to gain popularity. Wondering how to wear it? Let it shine. Pair fringe with simple clothing and accessories to make it really pop. 

Whether you’d like to rock a sparkly fringe collar, or a statement making cowboy hat with fringe, the secret to making it “work” is simple. Be confident. Be proud of who you are and the fashion choices you make. Fringe is too bold to do halfway. Commit, and celebrate the summer with your new style.

The Hat Stops Here

At Coachella 2022, fringe was everywhere and fringe cowboy hats were a big part of it. What can be accessorized with fringe? According to Coachella festival goers, performers, and celebrities, everything! 

Whether onstage or in the crowd, revelers celebrated returning to Indio for the first time in two years with fringed clothing, hats, and accessories, showcasing the trend’s versatility, and the fashion freedom and creativity the festival is known for.

For more Coachella fashion coverage, check out our Men’s Coachella hats and Women’s Coachella hats posts.


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