African attire for women: African fashion has always been extremely unique and the patterns and prints that they possess have always reflected things like tribalism, history, or symbolism. They also have a lot of variety in them and come from various African cultures.
In the contemporary world, people have gotten into the African style deeply because of its uniqueness. African fashion comes from various parts of Africa like Kenyan, Nigerian, Ghanaian, Senegalese, Rwandan, Ugandan, Egyptian, Kitenge, Lace, Leso, Gele, Iro, Isiagu, Kanzu, Kalasiris, etc.
African patterns and prints have some of the most amazing and distinctive essences in themselves and after seeing the options you’re going to fall in love with them just as I did during my research on these patterns. If you are also someone looking for unique African outfits or someone who wants to try something new, then you’re at the right place because I will be giving you extensive suggestions for your wardrobe’s African or latest side which will give you the perfect wardrobe upgrade.
How to Wear African Outfits?
Because of the fact that the Africans have their own special unique kind of fashion sense and style, so you will also need to have some special tips to dress up:
- Get some trendy headwraps to go with your African outfit.
- Try finding some traditional African jewelry to go with your African outfit like animal tooth necklaces.
- You can also wear a Kufi which is a traditional West African hat.
- Iborun or Ipele which are shoulder stashes or shawls can also be used to enhance your look.
- A matching headscarf or head tie is known as Gele can also be used to have the perfect African outfit.
Also, have a look at 21 Stylish Short African Dresses For Weddings And Parties
10 – Gomesi
Most popular in Uganda, the Gomesi is a vibrant, floor-length dress worn by women and it is distinctive because of the pointed, triangular shoulders. For women of the villages, it is an everyday dress but in the cities, it is considered a dress for special occasions.
9 – What to Wear With Dashiki Skirts?
Dashikis are usually clothes that are used to cover the upper part of the body but I am showing you a Dashiki skirt because it is something very different and not something that is seen very often. You can wear this long beautiful skirt to different ceremonies and formal or informal events. Also, have a look at How To Style African Skirts For Plus Size Women.
When to wear Dashiki?
Dashiki is a unisex garment worn by both men and women, and especially in pairs having that perfect twining vibe. You can wear the dashiki with a pair of blue denim jeans or even straight checkered pants. Wearing along with some beaded bracelets with it would give you the perfect look. It is an informal garment, so you can wear it whenever you want.
8 – How to Wear the African Kaba?
Kaba is one of the most trendiest and formal African attires. It is basically a blouse with a matching skirt and has the same Kaba pattern or print all over. The skirt is basically a wrap-around piece of clothing. There are either zip or a pair of strings present on the waist to pull back and adjust the fitting of the skirt.
7 – Kente
Kente is a Ghanaian print that is basically made of interwoven cloths of silk and cotton. It is a very formal cloth which is why using it for formal dressing would be the best option. You can wear it in the form of bodycon dresses to have your perfect and absolutely flawless formal look. You can wear it to your office, meetings, or even bridal showers and all your girly parties. Pairing it with high-heeled pumps or high block heels would enhance your look even more.
6 – Boubou
Boubou is a very pretty long dress. It is basically a kind of dashiki that is worn with a matching pair of pants and covered up with a long robe over it. You can wear it with high block heels and black sunnies for a much hotter look. Wearing heels along with it is a good option because of its long robe. You can also carry a small handbag beside it to have the perfect trendy look.
5 – Yoruba
Yoruba is a very elegant African outfit that is mostly worn by the bride and groom at African weddings but even if you’re a person who is going to wear it other than as a bride, then consider wearing it at someone’s wedding, bridal shower, or engagement. There is a lot of symbolism in Africa for matching dresses that is why you may find a lot of unisex African dresses, Yoruba is one of them because most men and women wear the same outfit for their wedding which would have completely same patterns.
Yoruba is basically an outfit that has four pieces. It consists of a hat, a Buba, embroidered pants, and a flowing Agbada. An African Bariga is also part of the Yoruba which is an African Dress that has a long-sleeved shirt, a hat, embroidered pants, and a flowing Buba.
4 – Spandex Kaftans
Spandex Caftans or Kaftans are very alluring long dresses that could be worn at weddings. It is beautifully designed and embroidered and is fitted from top to bottom, unlike other usual kaftans, because normally caftans are loose. You can wear all your gold jewelry with this spandex caftan because it has that perfect royal look that goes very well with gold jewelry.
3 – Ankara Jumpsuits
Ankara is one of the most common and widely used patterns all across the globe from African fashion. Ankara clothing possesses a wide range of animal, patterned or floral prints on itself. This is also the reason that it is widely used around the globe because everyone can use and choose it according to their own preference. The Ankara prints usually come in form of pants and shirt combination.
This is also one of those dresses that is worn by couples together on many occasions in Africa. So, if you are searching for something to twin with your better half then this Ankara print is your go-to because it’s very fashionable and trendy.
Whereas an Ankara jumpsuit is concerned, it is a beautiful outfit in which the upper and lower part of the fabric are attached to each other having Ankara prints all over it.
2 – Ankara Maxi Gown
This Ankara maxi gown is one of the best African outfits one should go with because it has the perfect formal essence because of being a maxi gown and also possesses a different fashion sense all together because of its Ankara print and patterns all over.
An Ankara maxi gown is something that you can wear on formal occasions with stiletto heels as your footwear and trendy accessories to go along with it like a thin elegant diamond necklace with diamond stud earrings and a fancy clutch.
1 – Ankara Shoulder Dress
The Ankara shoulder dress is a really cute mini dress which has off-shoulders and Ankara patterns and prints all over it. You can wear it with black sunnies, a classic clutch and a pair of high-heeled pumps to go along with it. You can also wear a large dial watch with it to look more fashionable and trendy.
You can wear this dress to all your kitty parties or even at your office parties because it possesses a formal as well as informal vibe, both, that is why it goes well with all kinds of events, may they be formal or informal.
Also, have a look at the most amazing African American Clothing Brands.
Where to Buy the Best African Outfits?
Lion Cloth and Ashes
About: Lion Cloth & Ashes is an African-based fashion and design as well as lifestyle brand that investigates a present-day, useful, and pertinent plan approach with a neo-African viewpoint. Looking at modern classics in alluring prints on essential things, they make looks that are made to last past a season.
They combine a few conventional strategies and modern procedures to create exaggerated shapes while exploring mixed fabrics. Applying a subtle structural quality that pays tribute to their rich natural habitats and history whereas making a modern, warm visual. The best part about Lion Cloth and Ashes is that it gives a contemporary touch to the exact same centuries-old pattern of the African attires that you have chosen.
Price Range: 1000ZAR – 8000ZAR
About: Orange Culture was established by Nigerian born designer Adebayo Oke-Lawal. The brand needs to earn worldwide approval for its hermaphroditic fashion and readiness to thrust boundaries. All pieces are fabricated in Lagos, from ethically-sourced fabrics from neighborhood Nigerian texture creators.
Oke-Lawal established Orange Culture in 2011, and the self-taught Lagos-based creator has pushed his brand forward to become one of Nigerian fashion’s greatest names. The charismatic, polychrome soul of Oke-Lawal’s collections has seen him categorized as a menswear creator, in spite of him championing closet androgyny and a de-codified representation of manliness. But, apart from that he also has a great collection of African garments for women.
The approach has been a tough fight, he explains there were indeed death dangers within the early years but he still managed to bring his brand name up.
Price Range: $350 – $1200
About: Ohema Ohene is a British designer brand, practicing in African motivated designs. It was founded in 2008 by British-born designer Abenaa Pokuaa. Established in London, the title of the brand means Queen & King within the Ghanaian dialect of Twi was in reference of her Ghanaian legacy and plans to form a brand for both Men and Women.
After effectively completing a degree in Fashion design technology surface fabrics at London College of fashion. Abenaa at that point went on to work within the industry creating her specialized and commercial understanding.
A lot of the rich prints are specifically sourced from Ghana, utilizing true conventional themes mixed with more modern symbolism. The brand gives the wearer a sense of allure, incredible quality items which are fashion-forward, wearable and socially influenced.
Their main motive is to thrust the boundaries of African motivated design and pay tribute to the excellence of Africa which make the brand more prestigious. A taste of colors, impacts, prints and ideas which are prestigious to Africa with a center on Ghana. Ohema Ohene is sharing with her customers a touch of Africa which is positive, advanced, phenomenal and basically out of this world.
Price Range: £55 – £200
African outfits have their own very specific sets of jewelry to go with the outfits. There could be heavy or light jewelry according to whatever you prefer. They wear different types of jewelry but if you want to wear something light then try wearing something like the blue beaded necklace in the picture below.
What I most love about the African style is their extreme uniqueness in everything. This cloth neckband or necklace is something that you do not often see but is one of the trendiest pieces of jewelry in terms of fashion. It goes perfectly with most African dresses.
Personally, this silver African jewelry is my very favorite and it looks even better with the head wrap. It seems to be heavy but is the perfect match for all kinds of African outfits. It is extremely beautiful and flawless. Wearing it with your dashiki skirt would be the best decision.
Best Makeup to go with your African Outfits
Makeup is another very central component of African fashion. You can wear any type of makeup while dressing all African but the best makeup choice would be either nude makeup which should seem to be flawless just like your outfit or dark makeup with red or maroon lipstick to give you the perfect hot chick look.
Best Footwear to Match with Kente
If you’re wearing your Kente in the form of a frock or anything else then it would look more informal, so the best footwear to use with it in an informal style would be either these Ankara printed pumps or Kente slippers like those shown below.
These pumps or Ankara flat shoes are really cute and comfortable to wear and in addition to that, they are also purely of African fashion sense and the same is the case with the Kente slippers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What clothes do people in Africa wear?
In East Africa, the kanzu is the conventional dress worn by Swahili-speaking men. Ladies wear the kanga and the gomesi. In Southern Africa, particular shirts are worn, just like the long dresses they wear. For example, South Africa is known for the Madiba shirt, while Zimbabwe is known for the safari shirt.
Q: What does African clothing symbolize?
The quality and color of African materials are an expression of riches and knowledge in society and a sign of social order. For instance, the development of Kente cloth within the Ashanti or Ghana outlines how the utilization of cloth separates individuals by status and fine Kente cloth symbolizes administration or ruling.
Q: Why is African clothing important?
Wearing African clothing could be a brilliant way for numerous people to celebrate the social legacy and to commemorate the magnificence of their homeland.
Q: What are traditional African clothes called?
The dashiki is a colorful piece of clothing worn for the most part in West Africa. It is called Kitenge in East Africa and has been a prevailing wear in Tanzania and later Kenya and Somalia.
Q: Where do African patterns come from?
African fabric is customarily outlined and made by Europeans in European manufacturing plants for trade to West Africa and the designs are determined from designs that European creators adapted from traditional Indonesian batik.