African fashion has gone beyond the shores of the continent and successfully transitioned into a must-have piece in every fashionable girl's closet worldwide.
They are no longer seen as just pieces that your mom and aunty wear to attend cute parties and events but have also become cool street wear, classy work wear and appropriate attire for any kind of high profile event. They are so versatile and chic with colorful designs, styles and their ability to be beautifully combined with other fabrics like lace, chiffon, leather and even silk.
The last few years have witnessed some of the most radical yet stylish designs from both local and International designers all coming up with ingenious ways to wear the trend such as making accessories like bags, belts and even footwear with the fabric. Paired with a high heel, delicate flats and even sneakers, your looks are seamlessly transitioned from day to night, casual to formal and easy to chic all without the fabric losing its authentic, rich African heritage.
In my own personal closet, I've over the years amassed loads of styles and designs that it would simply be impossible to show them all. However, I have selected a few of my favorite pieces and styled them in a few different ways for today's post.
Here in the U.S, there are tons of brands that design, sell and sew custom African/Ankara pieces that flatter all forms and one of such brands is Masidas Clothings located in Frisco, Texas. This bright and colorful loose top is called the 'Oreke' clearly reflective of its richness in colour and beauty. It is cut short enough to be worn as a top yet long enough to also be worn as a dress which is how I chose to wear and style this piece.
I dressed it down by pairing it with my trusty white sneakers and used my red pashmena as a head wrap. You could also dress this up with black heels or wedges and a simple clutch for an evening out.
The colors on the top are lustrous and bright and so could equally be paired with other similar bold color shoes.
The next look I put together was this co-ord top and pant set that I styled 2 other ways which you will see below. This male inspired style was a huge trend a few years back at home and saw lots of fashionista babes going all out to set their designs apart.
Ladies would rock similar looks to events like weddings and on red-carpets and would always stand out in the crowd. Pretty soon, couples jumped in on the trend making his and hers versions of the style.
I chose to accessorize with black not to compete with the blue and grey design scheme of the fabric but a red lip is always one way I like to introduce color to the look when worn as a complete set.
Obviously the best part about a co-ord set is the ability to wear it as separates and here I paired the top with these orange pants from H&M.
I kept the blue head wrap and switched out my black flats for sneakers. I guess you could call this street chic and would possibly have done well as 'Street Style' at the LagosFashionWeek currently taking place back home. Minimal accessorizing with silver hoop earrings, some bangles and the look is complete.
Then I took the pants, paired it with a grey sweater top and switched out my jewellery for a more casual friday work look.
For a more polished silhouette, you could also opt to tuck in the shirt and accessorize with a structured work bag, throw on a blazer for extra polish and swap the flats for a more sleek pump. The versatilty of a co-ord set can't be beat so if you currently dont have one, you need to get one because that's automatically 3 outfits for the price of one and who doesn't love that?
This halter neck dress is one of my absolute faves for multiple reasons; it's a maxi (and you all know I live for a maxi dress), it shows off my shoulders and is a mix of rich blue and gold colors.
I like to wear it with this black dress belt that breaks up the look nicely and if I'm going someplace I know will be a bit chilly, I either wear a sweater or throw a nice shawl over it and immediately get a different vibe.
Last but not least is another co-ord set but this time, it's a top and a mini wrapper that also used to be hugely popular back at home a few years ago. This particular style was called "OLEKU" which translates to mean "hot to death" loosely. You could use different colors annd prints to make the top and bottom like I have here or use one for both.
You could make this outfit with other local fabrics and it became very popular for bridal parties/bridesmaids. I show you three different types of footwear that go with this look and I think you will agree that each looks equally good.
Wearing white sneakers with african clothes were made fashionable about 2 years ago and is still the more popular way to style a look.
Then of course, wearing heels with anything is a no-brainer so I went with these blue ones I've had since forever.
Pink, yellow, black and even red heels would do very nicely with this look as well.
And again, the beauty of a co-ord means I can style with other pieces which is what I did with this red pencil skirt and ankle boots.
I could also tuck the top into the skirt and cinch in my waist with a belt or wear with a pair of jeans to switch up my look completely.
Happy Halloween guys! Even though I'm not exactly sure what the point of this celebration is but when in Rome I guess......
Enjoy your weekend my loves. Till Next week....