Folk clothing style & the Western trend

June 16, 2021 5 min read

folk clothing

Somewhere between the Wild West and the boho look, the folk style is a true trend in the fashion world this year. We love the tassels, the boots, the patterns and the suede fabric : let's play cowgirl !

Among the major trends of the boho fashion, the folk clothing style and its country influences are back in force for several seasons already. Fashonistas and stylists already took possession of the key pieces. This inspiring fashion that reminds us of the 70s hippies, brings us straight to the American West at the time of the cowboys 🤠.

What are the folk clothing style codes and how to adopt this look on a daily basis, without overdoing it? Focus on one of the most popular boho trends!

So, what is the folk style?

Derived from the word folklore, the folk style refers to a musical genre inspired by traditional folk music. This US protest movement emerged in 1930 under the influence of singer and guitarist Woody Guthrie. However it was Bob Dylan who immortalized the folk legend in the 60s 🎵.

boho folk look

Credits: Marie-Michèle Bouchard

In terms of clothing, the folk style is a return to tradition with the use of natural fabrics. Cotton, leather, suede, (fake) fur, wool, velvet or linen are used in order to achieve a casual look. It is a hippie-chic fashion trend that is both comfortable and ethnic and in which we will embrace loose and flowing clothes with exotic influences.

The folk clothing trend is a smart mix of western and boho pieces. It is enhanced by neutral and warm colors such as brown, caramel or beige, with shades of white (ecru, ivory, cream) and pastel tones. Regarding fabrics, folk clothing features a variety of tassels, prints and embroidery, without forgetting lace and crochet, which are key elements of the style. Lastly, to spice up a folk look, complete the outfit with ethnic-inspired jewelry and accessories.

Key pieces and must-have accessories

Among the must-have folk style clothes that you should definitely include in your wardrobe: the flare jeans, the boho maxi dress, the flowing tunic, the folk blouse, the lace top and the patterned sweater. Also, do not forget about the boots, jewelry, scarves and ethnic handbags to accessorize your outfit.

folk fashion women

Seen on Pinterest.

  • The flared jeans

A pair of high-waisted pants in raw canvas / Flared jeans in flare or bootcut style.

  • The long and flowing dress

A lightweight boho style dress with floral or ethnic prints / A long skirt with ruffles.

  • The boho tunic

An embroidered tunic / A white or pastel colored blouse with ruffles.

  • The folk blouse

A Western style gingham or denim blouse tied in the front.

  • The lace top

A pretty white lace top to pair with a suede skirt or denim shorts.

  • The knitted sweater

A white wool sweater or vest with an Amerindian pattern.

  • Ethnic jewelry

Leather or wooden bracelets, creole earrings, pearl necklaces, feather pendants, bohemian rings...

  • Leather boots or sandals

Suede boots with fringe for winter / Leather sandals or spartan shoes for summer.

  • The scarf or headband

A scarf or a headband in the hair to remind the 70's hippie fashion.

  • The ethnic handbag

A hand embroidered shoulder bag / A leather bag or a handbag with tassels.

western folk style

Seen on Pinterest.

How to adopt the folk clothing style in everyday life? 

Today, the folk clothing style is less extravagant and colorful than it used to be. These last seasons, the look is returning in a more chic and refined version.

So, to adopt the folk style in everyday life, we recommend mixing neutral pieces with some folk clothes and accessories. Avoid overusing ruffles, fringe, patterns and colors, as this can lead to excess. Consider small details such as floral embroidery or fringe on a garment that are sufficient for bringing a country touch.

You can go for this floral boho maxi dress with some leather sandals and a plain colored knit cardigan.

Similarly, this boho chic top (or this ruffled white blouse) with a suede skirt will be very much in the folk spirit, especially if you add some suede ankle boots.

farwest style

Seen on Pinterest.

Want to take it a step further? Go for the Western trend!

If you fully assume your cowgirl soul, or if the Wild West 🌵 is calling you, the Western style is made for you! Inspired by vaqueros (cowboys) and popularized by Hollywood movies with successful titles such as " Once Upon a Time in the West ", the Western spirit now also seduces fashion designers. This trend has become the rage on the catwalks of the biggest fashion shows. And for good reason: it adds some audacity to your look.

The key pieces and essential accessories

For a Western look, once again, leather and denim are the key fabrics. In addition to the lightweight and flowing clothes of the boho-folk style, it will be necessary to add one or two iconic pieces of the Far West such as a fringed jacket, a western t-shirt, a poncho, cowboy hats and boots.

western trend

Seen on Pinterest.

  • The fringed jacket

A leather jacket with fringe or a suede jacket in brown or camel tones are iconic pieces of the Wild West and can be worn with a dress for example.

  • The Western t-shirt

A basic vintage t-shirt, with a western print to match with a pair of jeans or a flowing skirt.

  • The Mexican poncho

A large wool poncho with checks or stripes / A fringed cape with Navajo prints.

  • The cowboy boots

A pair of simple, studded or fringed leather or suede cowboy boots. With their pointed toes and beveled heels, they will add the ultimate cowboy touch.

  • The cowboy hat

A hat with a wide curved brim and a high, hollow cap / a felt or leather fedora / a straw hat, to be matched with a sober outfit.

  • The large belt with buckle

A large belt with a big buckle to mark the waist.

Western look for women

Seen on Pinterest.

How to adopt the Western look in everyday life?

In 2021, the western trend rhymes with subtlety 👌. It seeks a balance between elegance and audacity. Avoid the total Far West look at the risk of appearing disguised and opt for just one or two iconic pieces in a modernized version.

You can, for example, combine a fedora or cowboy booties with this long white dress for a very trendy boho western look.

Another option is a western print t-shirt with a suede skirt or shorts. Also, know that a fringed jacket can easily be worn with a pair of modern jeans.

Lastly, you can match a boho dress with a big buckle belt and a fringed bag. As you have understood, it is all about the right balance!

Now that you know all about the folk clothing style and the western trend, you're ready to conquer the world, free as a bird, with that totally irresistible look and your cowgirl spirit 👩‍🌾 !


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