Ankara Tops with Jeans. Ankara prints are a big part of West Africa’s cultural identity and heritage. The distinctive patterns with bold colors are often hand-made. The prints carry significant meanings known to the designer and are often a means of communicating ideals, messages, and personalities.
Ensembles made with Ankara prints are worn on special occasions like weddings, family reunions, and parties. The prints have been in existence since the 1880s but only became popular outside of Nigeria in 2010. Since then, African fashion designers have blessed us with a wealth of exquisite Ankara printed outfits. These outfits have been showcased internationally during Fashion Weeks, and this is how the world is now head over heels in love with Ankara prints.
How To Wear Ankara Tops with Jeans
Among African Ankara fashion styles, Ankara tops worn with denim pants are trending. It’s the most approachable and affordable outfit style where you only have to worry about the top while using old jeans. You can make or buy several of these tops in various cuts and prints and still wear them over the same old pants. How amazing is that?
There is a variety of fabrics in Africa, patterns, and prints specific to different groups. Here’s a brief look into the types of clothing that comes from the African people:
- Ankara: Ankara originates from Nigeria, West Africa. It was initially manufactured by the Dutch. Due to its tribal designs and patterns in garnered immense popularity in the people of West Africa.
- Shweshwe: This is a dyed and printed clothing that has geometric patterns. It originated from South Africa. It used to be produced in only browns, reds, and blues, but the trend has changed.
- Kente: This type of woven cloth is indigenous to Ghana, West Africa. It’s made of interwoven strips of cotton and silk. It’s mostly in yellows and greens.
- Baoule: This type of fabric is made in Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa. It’s made up of woven strips of cloth, like Kente. It’s thick in texture and is used to make bags, shoes, and men’s shirts.
- Chitenge: It’s worn in East Africa, West Africa, and Central Africa. It’s a brightly colored cloth that is usually worn either as a headscarf or as a sling for carrying babies.
Brief History of Ankara
Ankara prints are also called ‘Dutch Wax Prints.’ These are made with Batik printing technique that is based in Indonesia. Cultural significance is the reason for the vast production and consumption of the prints with an estimated annual sales volume of 2.1 billion yards.
Dutch merchants learned batik printing techniques during the Dutch colonization of Indonesia. They attempted to replicate this technique with machines to reduce the labor-intensive method, but the prints they produced didn’t take off in Indonesia. Instead, the people of West Africa showed a keen interest, which is how Ankara came to Nigeria.
Where to Buy African Clothing
You can find many great stores online for buying African clothing but certain websites sell only African goods, and we think that’s a great place to look. What better way to support Black fashion, designers, and creators than buying from a website that specifically deals in all things, black?
On Afrikrea, you’ll find not only outfits and jewelry, but bags, accessories, supplies, home decor, and even wellness products. It’s a leading marketplace for all things African.
↓ 20 – Monochrome Symmetry Top
Peplum tops with denim jeans are super popular in Ankara prints. Peplum tops are short dresses with ruffled hems. These can be sleeveless, with off-shoulder sleeves or bell sleeves. Women with hourglass figure rock this top, but it looks equally beautiful on skinny and plus-sized ladies too. Here we have a peplum top in monochrome in a geometric, illusion-type pattern. These two things make it look elegant, classy, and suitable to wear on all occasions.
↓ 19 – Bubbly Ankara Peplum Top
This gorgeously colored peplum top is bubbly and cheerful. It has a zipper at the back to facilitate putting it on and off. It’s umbrella-shaped, and the sleeves are made in the same way. The great thing about umbrella ruffles is that they look effortless and smooth because the cutting allows them to be so. The same effect is hard to achieve in ruffles that have been created by sewing pieces together. The bow-belt at the waist is aesthetically pleasing as well.
↓ 18 – Ankara Top with High-waist Jean Style
High-waist jeans are relatively less worn than regular jeans. It’s a style preference, that is all because there’s no way high-waisted jeans don’t look stunning. Such jeans make you better appreciate your curves and love your shape the way it is without feeling insecure. Embrace your inner fashionista with this magnificently bright top with a fold at the shoulder, tucked into snugly fitted jeans. We recommend wearing high heels with this outfit.
↓ 17 – Peplum Top with a Bow Tie
Peplum tops are so much fun; we’re beginning to understand why they have such a significant presence in African fashion. This is the usual cut and sewn top, but what distinguishes it from other tops are: a) the pattern and b) the bow at the neck. There are two sides to African prints: they’re either funky, squiggly, or random, or they are picture-perfectly symmetrical with geometric patterns. This belongs to the latter category. The dark shades only bring out the crispness of the design more.
Fallen in love with Ankara fashion? Explore more about it Best Mother-Daughter Ankara Outfits
↓ 16 – Digital Ankara Patchwork Tee
Now, there’s something you don’t see every day! While hand-printing Ankara patterns via the batik technique is still very much alive, this is the digital age. Digitally printed fabrics don’t have the hand-made aesthetics to them, true, but they are flawless because computers don’t make mistakes. We love this tee because it’s a mix of a bunch of Ankara patterns contrasted with black, and they look magnificent.
↓ 15 – Off-shoulder Top with Layered Frill Sleeves
The model wears it with black fitted shorts, but you can comfortably wear this with denim jeans. It’s quite futuristic looking. We suppose the lavender hair and the metal choker promote the image, but it is still an impressive piece. It’s a crop-top and is off-shoulder, two styles you’ll find are pretty dominant when it comes to Ankara tops styles. You can either wear high-waist jeans with this top or bare your belly and wear low-waist jeans. The top is beautiful enough to fit with either.
You’ll like reading more about Ankara trends here: Latest Ankara Outfits For Ladies To Wear
↓ 14 – Off-shoulder Ankara Top with Bell Sleeves
Off-shoulder: check. Bell-sleeves: check. Ankara: check. So what’s new? Why, the mid-waist jeans, of course! There’s something for everyone in African fashion it seems. The inclusivity is probably why it’s fast gaining fame and acclaim across the globe. Accessorize this outfit with hoop earrings and high platform pumps. Avoid using floral accessories; there’s no need to go overboard. A sparkling eye-makeup will win you the remaining style points.
↓ 13 – Off-shoulder Peplum Top with Slit
If there was a Black Wonder Woman (fingers crossed!), we know with certainty she would wear this top. It has all her colors: red, blue and gold, and looks badass to boot. The ruffles artfully part at the front to show the slightest amount of skin, which is then partially covered by high-waisted jeans. What this outfit needs finally is accessories. To complete the superhero look, we recommend wearing gold jewelry! Gold earrings, head-band, and gold armbands. Then go out and kick some butt!
↓ 12 – Summer Ankara Crop-top
Looking for Ankara outfit ideas for summer? Look no further, ladies. The colors are chirpy and vibrant, summer personified, and the crop-top is ideal in the heat. With tanned skin and an hourglass figure, you’ll break hearts. With any other skin type and body shape, you’ll do the same. Wear light makeup, use a rosy blush, and wear spunky jewelry.
↓ 11 – Ankara Crop-top with Matching Head-piece
Such a festive print, worn in an equally jovial manner! You’ll look years younger in this outfit, that we guarantee you! The model is wearing shorts, but you can easily visualize how denim pants would look with this top: exquisite, that’s what. The headpiece is a nice touch. In our previous Ankara articles, you might have noticed how African people make matching headpieces with the same print. It’s a stylish practice that has zero negative points. It only adds to your overall look.
↓ 10 – Sleeveless Gown-length Shirt Top
We’ve also noticed a rise in this type of top trend. They call it a ‘long tee top.’ It’s a super long shirt with hip slits on both sides. It provides an excellent opportunity for your chosen print to shine as it is on maximum display. The jeans are only visible at a side pose, but they look appealing, nonetheless. The long tee can have bare shoulders, full sleeves, or half sleeves. Regrettably, this style doesn’t have much room for adding ruffles. It’s straight and sharp, and we like it this way.
↓ 9 – Ankara Top for Plus-sized Women
Oo la la! Didn’t we say it’ll look glamorous on all body shapes? Yes, yes, we did! And here is your proof. It’s a peplum top. The colors on the pattern are light and fruity. We think blue denim pants would look better, but ultimately it is up to you. The black looks great, and we suspect the white would look amazing as well. A high and tight bun, killer heels, bright lipstick, and funky nails will complete your delicious fruity look.
↓ 8 – Gorgeous Top with White Pants
A top that is short at the front but has a long train at the back? Sign us up! It’s a daring look, quite hard to pull off usually, but you know what they say, confidence is the key. The hijab-type head-wrap is what makes it look genuinely African. Without it, with a high-bun or a ponytail, this is quite similar to a western style. Don’t forget the hoop earrings! This is the fourth picture we’ve seen them paired with Ankara tops, so you can see it’s quite the trend.
↓ 7 – Black Tee with African Print Side Strip
This is one of those modern+tradtional merging styles we hopelessly adore. It’s a great way to show devotion to your culture while keeping up with the times. It’s an eye-candy, a winner casual-wear. If you can’t find the likes of it anywhere, here’s an easy DIY tutorial. The first thing you’ll need is your favorite plain-colored tee. Second, get your hands on some Ankara print, or any funky and colorful print. Cut a strip of the size and shape of your choice. If you’ve got sewing skills, sew this patch on your shirt; if not, hot glue will do the trick. Ta-da!
↓ 6 – Multi-colored Dress Top
By now, you’ve probably memorized all the trends that go with Ankara tops and jeans. We’ll reiterate for your ease: high-buns, gold accessories, big hoop-style earrings, and tops with ruffles and frills. This is a glamorous boss-lady look. Go to work, but with style!
↓ 5 – Shapely Top with Dark Shades
This is another take on the back-train top style, but this time, it’s in dark, sensual shades. Colors are capable of drastically changing looks. You can see how the blue style above differs from this one. The credit goes to the color and print. You must wear black denim with this top. Blue jeans or jeans in any other color will just not produce the same effect.
↓ 4 – Funky Ankara Hoodies
Jumpers, tees, and now hoodies! Remember our DIY tip and stylize your own Ankara hoodies! Be artful and subtle in the way you add those patches, though, this is important. The prominent features of a hoodie are the hood and the pocket at the front. These two are the places where you should add Ankara patches. A side strip like in the tee style above won’t look bad either.
↓ 3 – Geometric V-neck Top
It’s an excellent and smart way to achieve an hourglass figure. The shape of this top encourages that. It’s a recommended style for skinny girls looking to add some curves to their figure.
↓ 2 – Long Ankara Shirt with Side Slits
Another long shirt style. Unlike the first style, this one stops a couple of inches above the ankles, and it has half-sleeves. We love the hat!
↓ 1 – Love Their Smiles
Twining with your partner never looked so good! Go to dinner or attend a business meeting together, we guarantee heads will turn!
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