New elegance with African prints


There is something about wearing well-tailored outfits that are made with African fabrics that just breathes elegance and class. Though African prints have been around for many years, there is a new sense of belonging that is attached to putting them on. This could be attributed to the ‘return to root march’ or just that people are finally seeing what our mothers saw in their interwoven, well-spun, richly textured, brightly colored fringe detailed Ofi that were turned to bourgeois outfits for the nightclubs in Lagos and Ibadan in the 60s and 70s.

African fabrics have evolved and are still evolving but the one thing that remains a constant is its undeniable beauty and appeal. African fabric has gone from just being worn on weekends to uniforms for churches, mosques, and Owanbe parties to being worn every day and for all types of occasions. It has gone from occasional wear to the thing that is worn every day and everywhere; heck there are even Ankara and Batik swimsuits now. Well-tailored African outfits can be both haute couture and streetwear; that is its level of versatility. Pairing the right African print outfit with the right accessories can take it from party/streetwear to formal wear. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wore Ankara for her ted talk that has now been watched by millions of people.

African fabric has dominated the international clothing industry in such a way that just by adding a swatch of fabric to your clothing, you have effortlessly added the African vibe to your look. It is now a worldwide trend for both Africans and non- Africans. The best thing about the African fabric is that there is such a wide range of styles and patterns to pick from; from the brightly colored Ghanaian Kente to the multi-patterned Dutch wax fabrics to swirl patterned Yoruba Adire to Batiks from the dyed pits of Kano and all of these can be fashioned into almost any type of outfit for both men and women in the hands of the right designer or tailor.

Though there are misconceptions that the Ankara fabric is dominantly for women, which could not be more wrong because a man that walks into a meeting in a well-tailored Ankara suit will more likely stand out than a person that wore a plain traditional suit. With African outfits, you can create brightly colored and stunning outfits for weddings, burials, holidays, birthdays, dates, official events, and many other occasions that will leave people wowed.

Outfits that are made with African fabrics preserve the native spirit like nothing else. The African fabric to an extent has become a never drying well of inspiration to foreign fashion designers and they draw from the innovations of indigenous African women.

There are absolutely no limit outfits and accessories that African fabric can be used to make; bowties, Ankara handbags, Ankara shoes, Ankara jewelry, hats, wristwatches, belts, bowties, hand fans amongst many others.  One of the best ways to maintain a stylish and elegant yet affordable wardrobe all year round is to incorporate African outfits. African outfits can transform from playsuits to a power jumpsuit with the help of a stylish belt, the right pair of shoes, and earrings; they are so versatile. Putting on African outfits that looks classy and elegant sets you apart at functions and events without you breaking your bank on designer brands.

In my opinion, to be considered truly elegant, you have to own a couple of African-based outfits that you can style in many ways, with many beautiful accessories, and can be worn for different types of events.

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