Let us face it. African fashion has seen an increase in popularity this past couple of years. Fabrics like Ankara, Leso, and Kitenge are headlining major fashion shows. African accessories are selling like hot cake and African hair and skin products like the African Black soap and natural hair products are being sought after by renowned personalities all over the world. African hairstyles, dress patterns, and jewelry styles are being talked about by fashion bloggers and writers all over the world. Look at the head wrap for example. This was for old African women in the past. Right now, everyone who knows fashion is rocking a head wrap or a turban.
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Up until a few years ago, Africans did not know that they were sitting on a gold mine. Ankara (famous in the Nigerian fashion scenes) Kitenge and Leso (famous in the Tanzanian market) were mostly worn at traditional African ceremonies. The bold colors and amazing patterns were not as valued as western outfits. Women had given up their kitenge skirts and Ankara dresses for jeans and chiffon. African fabrics were associated with village women and they only made shawls and simple dresses to be worn to church or other major events. Modern women never wore Ankara or kitenge outfits.
The Future of African Fashion
What does 2018 have in store for African fashion? This is a question you might ask yourself if you are a fashion enthusiast. The future definitely looks bright. If you are a lover of African modern fashion, you can put a smile on your face because things look bright.
When public figures like Michelle Obama, Beyonce and her sister Solange started spotting African prints in their outfits, fashion designers; both African and from overseas started putting in their creative juices and African fashion as we know it today was born. A modern aspect was added to African creations and this created great fashion pieces like Ankara pencil skirts, formal jackets, skater skirts and dresses, shirts, pants, jumpsuits among other creative pieces. African prints are being seen on the red carpet, at weddings, in the workplace all over fashion shows.
When we talk about beauty and hair, African styles and creations are making magazine covers and fashion news headlines. African makeup lines and skin care products might not have hit it big like the African fabric but they are on the way. African hairstyles are famous and everyone is nowadays proud to wear their textured hair without straightening it. YouTube is full of natural hair care tutorials whose target audience is women of African descent. Most of the products used in these tutorials are made in Africa or by Africans abroad.
Future has a lot in store for modern African fashion. The African print is being incorporated into not only clothes, but shoes, bags, jewelry, and many other fashion items. Men are not left behind. The African print is nowadays being worn by all genders and all ages. African Fashion is being used as information for Gucci or Fendi and other designers who have incorporated the fabric into their lines know that there are greater things to come when we talk about African fashion.
How to wear African fashion
As well as being trendy these days, African fashion is a great way to bring something different to your wardrobe with colors and patterns that are great to combine and easy to adapt to any wardrobe. Whether you choose to only wear one piece inspired by the traditional african fashion or to make it your whole outfit, here are a few ideas that will help you get african fashion and styles into your everyday wear.
One of the most beautiful pieces of African inspired clothing are the dresses. They come in different shapes and styles that will help you find the one that fit you best no matter what your usual style is. You can wear a sleeveless dress that is close fitted at the top and has a pencil skirt at the bottom. The good thing about these type of dresses is that you can wear them every day or keep them for a special occasion.
With the same pattern but with a different twist, you can wear a dress that is close fitted at the top but with a skirt that is more loose with a longer length at the back and a shortcut at the front for a sexier look. This shape suits everybody and puts into relief the beautiful pattern of the dress. You can wear it as it is for a day to day look or add a blazer for a more sophisticated night look.
If you prefer long dresses, you could go for a maxi long dress that is great for an evening out, with a sleeveless top and long skirt that loosen up below the knee for a more comfortable look. The color makes it easy to wear for any occasion and keep the patterns simple and elegant.
Now if you want to spice up the African dress game, you can go for a one shoulder dress with a design on the waist that is a great modern dress with a beautiful African pattern. It is a very elegant dress that is great for a party or a dinner.
If you are not into dresses, you can go for skirts which are easy to combine with any outfit. Pick a colorful skirt, flare or close fit, and wear it with a nice top. You can wear a white tank top or shirt, or add a jacket to make it more elegant or a black long sleeve shirt to put the emphasis on your skirt.
African fashion is a great way to add a bit of color to your wardrobe. Dresses, skirts, pants, there’s always something to fit your style.