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Native American Clothing Patterns in Modern Day Fashion

Native American Clothing Patterns in Modern Day Fashion

Did you know that many of today’s looks are inspired by ancient Native American fashion? Check out this list to learn more!

From leather goods to beaded jewelry, ancient Native American fashion has shaped today’s fashion market.

Before appearing in your local mall, many clothing styles and items belonged to the native peoples here before us. Over time, fashion designers like Ralph Lauren took inspiration from these ancient designs and created contemporary looks for the modern consumer. Stay culturally aware by learning about the ancient Native American fashion trends that shaped today’s styles.

Here are five Native American-inspired fashion trends we see today.


The leather vest or shoes you love took inspiration straight from Native Americans. Before modern technological advances, Native Americans made everything with resources from the land. White colonizers only took the meat and hide from animals like cows or buffalo, while the natives used everything, including the bones. They used leather tools, shelter, and clothing. The colonizers then learned how to create these leather pieces from the Native Americans. Through the years, designers have adapted and created modern pieces out of leather.


Native Americans knew how to accessorize — so much so that it influenced today’s fashion. Beaded, turquoise, and abalone jewelry all took root from Indigenous aesthetics. Like crystals, beads and stones helped to protect Native Americans from ailments, war, and more. Once the colonizers came, they used these jeweled pieces for bartering and trading. Now, these pieces are popular in country or Southwestern shops.



If you’ve ever owned a pair of moccasins, then you’ve worn a Native American style. Indigenous moccasins were created from tanned deer, elk, moose, or buffalo leather and adorned with designs crafted from porcupine needles. The shoes protected their feet from nature and the elements. Today, moccasins are worn more for comfort or style than functionality.



With more and more people heading toward spiritual healing, crystals are popping up in modern trends. However, Native Americans wore crystals way before you bought that crystal necklace from Urban Outfitters. They believed specific crystals brought different benefits — healing, wisdom, happiness, and so on — and wore them for protection. Crystals are now worn for many of the same benefits, but also as accessories to an outfit.



Are you a fan of woven fabrics or Southwestern designs? Thank Native Americans for influencing contemporary designers! When the Spanish conquistadors moved around North and South America, they introduced different weaving techniques and patterns to the Indigenous peoples. The Native Americans, especially in the Southwest, took these designs and made them their own. Now, designers use these techniques and designs in many clothing items and blankets.

These were just a few ways ancient Native American fashion influenced modern trends. Do you own any Native American-inspired clothing pieces? Show us some of your favorite finds on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter today.


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