Arbitrary Criticism

Is Fringe Fashion's Most Dangerous Trend?

Trying and failing to resist the hypnotic power of fringe.

By Catherine Martin February 24, 2015

Avoid car chases with a purse like this.

Image: HighKey

I first heard the news in December, as my high school best friend and I finished up our Christmas shopping at our hometown mall. He weakly lifted the strap of a tacky, fake leather purse. “I think fringe is going to come back into style,” he murmured, hypnotized by the swaying strips of highly processed fabric base.

“That’s just here in Waco,” I promised him. “In Houston we’d never do anything like that again.”

“It’s not so bad,” he said with a shrug. “If you do it right.”

Promptly I dissolved the longest friendship I’ve ever had, and I left him stranded in the mall to Uber home. I couldn’t stay in the presence of someone who thought fringe was “not so bad.” What kind of treason is that?

Why would anyone ever wear fringe anyway? It seems to me that there are myriad reasons why fringe should be avoided. The tassels can get caught in moving gears or trapped in closing doors. You may have noticed that James Bond and Tom Cruise never wear fringe. There’s a reason for that, beyond the fact that it’s tacky and neither one of them are cowboys. If Goldfinger even managed to close his fingers around even one strand of fringe, everyone’s favorite British agent would be gold-plated. Action heroes, please stay away.

The gentle sways of fringe can have an entrancing effect on those that see it, as well. This certainly accounts for why so many seemingly responsible adults are wearing this horrific trend. They were bewitched into it. However, think of the potential hazards of having such a powerful force sewn into your jacket. What if you find yourself driving off the road because you are staring too hard at your own chest? “Fringe groups” – yeah, maybe you’ve heard of those in the news – are known for using the power of this trend to establish mind control over their followers. If you’re wearing fringe, you’re just asking to be sucked up by a Manson family member. Enjoy spending Thanksgiving visiting them in prison!

Recently, however, I saw something that changed my mind. An open toed bootie, the ankle strap covered in a slender line of fringe. It was delicate, feminine, and sassy. The strands of fringe caressed the top of my foot with each step. These shoes were actually flirting with me! And I liked it! Action stars could wear booties to the casino, when they’re doing the more seductive spy work, I told myself. Top-of-the-foot fringe can get caught in a closing door just as easily as purse fringe or jacket fringe, but really, if you’re already wearing heels, the added danger is negligible.

My friend was right – fringe isn’t so bad, if you do it right. I better swing back by the mall and see if he still needs a ride home. 


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