A Helpful Guide to Sporting Tribal Clothing

clothing
Bold and colorful clothing



 A Guide to Sporting Tribal Clothing

Tribal clothes represent a certain region’s culture. They’re an essential part of a country’s history. Every tribal cloth has intricate details, and each of these may symbolize one thing or another. Wearing tribal clothing at a religious ceremony is common for their natives, but it’s another thing when people wear them at parties or special events. It’s frowned upon by some cultural groups because they’re misrepresented or sometimes turn out to be an insult. Many people were called out on cultural appropriation, and celebrities weren’t spared.




In 2013, Katy Perry depicted a geisha during her performance at the Video Music Awards. She was accused of Japanese cultural appropriation. In 2016, Beyonce caused a stir when she wore traditional Indian clothing in the music video Hymn for the Weekend. 


In 2017, the famous lingerie company, Victoria’s Secret, was criticized for cultural appropriation when one of their models wore a feathered headdress that is supposed to symbolize bravery and respect among Native Americans.


If celebrities get backlashes from wearing items that are from famous tribal clothing lines, what more for normal people? If you’re attending an event and considering going tribal, you need to be aware of how to wear it responsibly.


Tribal Clothing for women
Tribal Clothing for women

When is it okay to wear tribal clothing?

People have their own styles when it comes to fashion. They can turn something ordinary into an extravagant one with just a simple tweak. 


But will this be acceptable? Wearing a henna tattoo or a turban might seem normal to some, but others will see it as offensive. Wearing complete cultural attire might mean respect for some while others may view it as demeaning. So when is it okay to wear one?


Should you stick to your region’s style of clothing? 


Should you follow what your ancestors tell you about how to properly wear one? 


Can you not wear something inspired by another country and make it your own? You definitely can. You just have to be sensitive about it.


Fashion styles for women
Fashion styles for women


You can wear a traditional outfit to any event, as long as you’re familiar with its history. Do your research on its history and meaning, how it is properly worn and how to accessorize it, without it coming off as offensive. Don’t wear a symbolical item when you know it’s not appropriate for the place. Make it your own without sacrificing your style, and give credit where credit is due.


Keep this in mind, if you’re wearing it to show appreciation to the culture, it’s totally fine. But if you’re wearing it for exploration or experimentation, think again. Although there aren’t rules that state what traditional clothing you can and can’t wear to parties, you should still be responsible and sensitive enough to know if you’re appreciating or appropriating.


If you’re attending a tribal-themed party, it would be good to ask the host if it’s okay for you to participate. Ask them which piece of clothing would be appropriate for the event and how to wear it the right way. Don’t put on clothing or jewelry just because you feel like it.


Fashion
Tribal clothes have become a staple


Understanding tribal clothing

In mainstream fashion, tribal clothes have become a staple. More and more designers continue to explore various cultural histories and represent them through their clothing lines. The common stuff sported on the runways are beadings, prints, headwear pieces, and other accessories,, to name a few.


Beadings are very common in tribal fashion. If you want to make a statement, beads are the ones you should be reaching out for. They can be in various patterns and colors of whatever accessory you can think of. Beaded jewelry has different meanings, depending on their tribes. In Africa, they denote power, strength, warriorhood, and more. Whenever you sport a piece of beaded jewelry, be well aware of its meaning and share it.


Fashion
Beautiful jean material with printed pattern


Prints are almost found in any type of clothing, whether they’re gowns or mini dresses. They’re also featured in handbags, shoes, and other accessories. The most common types of prints creating a buzz in the fashion industry are African, Chinle, Ganado, and Ikat prints.


Fashion trends
Make a Fashion statement

African types are bold and colorful. They feature various patterns and shapes to depict nature. Chinle types are more known for having alternating patterns or shapes. Their interchanging designs are what make them recognizable in the market. Ganado types are geometrical in nature. They feature patterns like crosses and diamonds. Ikat types have repetitive patterns, going up and down.


Head wear pieces
Headwear pieces

Headwear pieces can be feathered headdresses or royal crowns. They can be headband fits or fruit-laden bands. Accessories include bangles, belts, brooches, chokers, clips, earrings, shoes, and watches. They are either made of beads, bones, feathers, ivory, or wood. They have delicate styles and are created in various sizes as well as layers.


headdresses
Headdresses symbolize bravery and strength.

For the Native Americans, headdresses symbolize bravery and strength. They’re worn by the most influential tribe member; therefore, making a headdress was also an honorable deed. Only those who earned it can wear it. Remember these when deciding whether to wear a headdress or not.




Contributor: Feiruza Mudessir 


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