Thursday, September 24, 2015

Culture Couture Exchange: How Fashion Trends from Different Cultures Became Popular Worldwide

In modern fashion, there are no clearly defined boundaries – any part of a folk costume can be easily adapted to and fused with modish clothes and accessories belonging to remote parts of the world. That’s one of the upsides of globalization: instead of hundreds of ethnicities defined by their unique clothing style, we now have only people with infinite possibilities of reinventing their looks using clothes the wear of which was once limited to one nation only. Thanks to fusion of different fashion trends, you can find inspiration for your outfit literally anywhere. Here, we bring you five nation-specific items that have become ultra-popular across the globe over the past decade.

1. Japan – Kimono

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Once used in Japan only, kimono stands for ‘a thing to wear’. Back in Japan, kimonos were straight-cut dresses with a waist belt (obi) and were made from silk and other premium fabrics, so they were expensive for an average American or European. Today, modern polyester and rayon kimonos are available in online stores at an affordable price. The traditional Japanese kimono designs and colors indicated political class, wearer’s virtues, clan belonging and season of the year, but the tones and patterns of their modern counterparts have nothing to do with the original symbolization.

2. India – Saree

Indian sarees are draped dresses crafted from a single long piece of fabric, and its use is not resorted to India alone: they’re worn in Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Malaysia, too. The saree’s stylistic versatility, infinite adaptability and aesthetic simplicity inspired fashion designers across the globe to create their own takes on the Indian costume. Often worn with an underskirt and a tight top (choli), the saree comes in a variety of fabrics, colors and designs and can be draped over a woman’s body in dozens of ways. From the subcontinent, the saree has spread to the rest of the planet, so don’t be surprised to see a European lady donning a piece of India at a formal ceremony.

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3. France – Beret

A headpiece worn by members of the Resistance in WWII, the beret is an easily recognizable clothing symbol of France that has recently become a part of the global fashion scene. Usually associated with rebels, army and the bohemia, the woolen cap can be worn with one end pushed to the side or it can be pulled over the forehead – both styles are hip and both denote a rebellious, progressive spirit. If you’re looking for a statement clothing item to add to your avant-garde wardrobe, you can go no wrong with the beret.

4. Chile – Poncho

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If you want to stay on the cozy side, try the poncho. Worn throughout South America, this warm, boho-chic clothing item is called chamanto in Chile. The chamanto differs from the traditional poncho getup in that it has a two-in-one design with reversible girlies: one side is light-colored for use during the day and the other is dark for nighttime wear. The Chilean chamanto was once made from silk only but can now be found in stores worldwide in many different fabrics, such as wool, polyethylene and cotton.

5. The Aztec tradition - Tribal prints

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Tribal prints have been a major fashion fad over the past years, but few people know the true origins of this unique clothing design. Although they have been somewhat modified to suit contemporary trends, tribal motifs such as plaids and stripes have their roots in the Aztec era. If you opt for tribal prints, make sure you wear them in moderation, outlined against a monochromatic outfit or as an accent on leather handbags, shoes, belts and socks.


When it comes to fashion, inspiration is everywhere – kimonos, sarees, berets, ponchos and Aztec prints are only some cool ideas for your next getup combination. Being multicultural wardrobe-wise is chic - just be careful which items you combine and what attitude you pair them with.


About the Author

Amy Mia Goldsmith is an Australian literature graduate who loves to read and has been writing since she was little. Her passion is beauty and fashion and she loves to spend her free time travelling and of course…. shopping! You can contact Amy on her Facebook page.


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