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Kenete styles for traditional marriage come in different variations; there are kente for graduation, and kenete for occation.
A kente styles with lace refers to a dresses that has print styles along the front portion of the dress that rests along the forehead and traces your natural beauty
Kente Styles For Occasions
Types of African clothing
Nowadays, there are two types of African clothing. There is traditional African clothing and Modern African clothing usually referred to as African fashion.
As Africa is a big continent made up of different countries, different kinds of people, culture, languages, food, clothing etc, we would cover only the popular African clothing for now.
Traditional African clothing
It seems most of the Traditional African attires we see and hear of today are from the Western part of Africa such as Ghana and Nigeria.
Aso oke: people usually refer to aso oke, as the traditional Yoruba women’s garment. It consists of four parts:
- Buba – Yoruba blouse
- Iro – a wrap skirt
- Gele – head tie
- Iborun or Ipele – shawl or shoulder sash
Aso oke hat: is a traditional Yoruba hat that is made of hand woven African fabric.
Boubou or bubu: is one of the names for a flowing wide sleeved robe. This can be worn by both male and female. It also known as kaftan but this refers more to female boubou.
kaba and slit :This is a long wraparound skirt and matching blouse made from African wax print or cloth. Skirts usually have a pair of strings in the waist which is drawn together to fit the waist but normal zips could be used instead.
Dashiki: The dashiki is a colourful garment for men that covers the top half of the body. It has formal and informal versions and varies from simple draped clothing to fully tailored suits. Some also have beautiful embroidery around the neck area.
Kaftan/ Caftan: is a loose-fitting pullover garment, with an ornate V-shaped or round collar, and tailored and embroidered neck and sleeve lines.
The Ghanaian smock: is a plaid shirt that is similar to the dashiki, worn by men in Ghana. The smock is also called a fugu or a batakari. It is made of handloomed strips of Kente fabric that are three to four inches in width.
Kufi or kufi cap: is a brimless, short, and rounded cap worn by a lot of people in West Africa
A head tie/ gele is a West and Southern African women’s cloth used to tie the head as part of the African outfit
Kente cloth is a type of silk and cottonfabric made of interwoven cloth strips which originates from Ghana.
The wrapper is a colorful women’s garment widely worn in West Africa. It has formal and informal versions and varies from simple draped clothing to fully tailored ensembles. The formality of the wrapper depends on the fabric used to create it. The wrapper is usually worn with a matching headscarf or head tie that is called a gele.
Modern African fashion
With time, African fashion has been merged with European styles to make it an everyday attire. These types of African outfits could easily be worn to work, parties, even as casual everyday wear. These include African pencil dresses, African print skirts, trousers, jumpsuits, playsuits etc. These African outfits are made using African wax prints or Ankara prints but in modern stylish easy wears.
African dresses: African dresses can be made using only African wax print or with a combination of other types of materials. There are long, maxi African print dresses, Short African print dresses or midi dresses.
This is usually made solely with African wax print or a combination of other types of material. Jumpsuits and playsuits come in a form of trousers but is joined to the top, making a one piece outfit.
Clothing in Africa
The people of Africa would have started wearing clothing around 180 000 years ago, most likely due to an Ice Age that gripped the world at that point and developed a need in the people to cover themselves for warmth. These first clothes were made out of animal skins, and took the form of leather coverings and furs, as well as jewellery adornments made from seashells, ostrich shell pieces and feathers.
It is likely that the first kind of cloth on the continent was made from pounded bark fibres. People would peel bark from the trees and pound it with a rock until it was thin and bendable. This produced small pieces of cloth that could be sewn together to produce a bigger cloth to cover the body. This was a widely used practice, and different regions made use of different trees for the bark, with people in Uganda using the bark from fig trees for example. Eventually, they began to dye the bark fibre cloth to produce patterns on it, giving birth to the renowned tradition of vibrant colours and patterns in traditional clothing in almost every part of Africa.
Eventually, by 2000 BC, people have become to weave cloth instead of pounding down the bark fibres. Some wove linen, whereas others wove specific kinds of tall grass. Changes in rulers, access to foreigners and international trade all influenced a number of African countries’ cultures, and by association, their clothes. No matter where on the continent you travelled, however, one thing remained the same: traditional African clothing almost always comes in a variety of styles and vibrant colours and prints. With a history broadly explored, we can now look at a more specific example of different types of traditional clothing in different African countries.
Unlike the other people of the Mediterranean, who traditionally wore one or two big pieces of cloth wrapped around themselves in a number of ways, the Egyptians traditional clothes were nearly always white linen tunics that were sewn to fit them. Barefoot or wearing straw or leather sandals, both men and women wore eyeshadow and lined their eyes with black kohl. The black kohl served to protect their eyes from the glare of the sun. Another important aspect of their dress was gold jewellery, and those with access to it and who could afford it, never went a day without it.
The traditional dress of the Maasai varies both by the age of the person wearing it and by their location. Young men, for example, wear black for several months after their circumcision. In the Maasai tribe, red is a favoured colour. Prior to 1960, the members of the Maasai tribe wore calf hides and sheepskins. Thereafter, these animal skin clothes were traded with commercial cotton known as Shúka, which are traditionally worn wrapped around the body. Wooden bracelets are worn by both the men and the women. Wooden weaving and beaded jewellery are an important part of ornamentation for the women in the Maasai tribe, with variations in the colours of the beads holding different meanings: for examples, white signifies peace, blue signifies water, and red signifies bravery/warrior/blood. This beadwork has held a prominent place in the culture of the Maasai, as a means through which they can articulate their identities and position in society.
The traditional dress of Zimbabwe is colourful and consists of wraparound dresses and headdresses for women. Men don a breastplate made from animal skin. As an added detail, women’s dresses are decked up with beads, and they themselves wear largely sized ornaments – an integral part of their traditional wear which demonstrates the age the status of the woman in her community. Married women wear a blanket, called a Nguba, over their shoulders and a lot of thick beaded hoops of twisted grass called Isigolwani. They also wear copper or brass rings around their arms, necks and legs, called Idzilla. The animal skin breastplate for men is known as the Iporiyana. They also wear animal skin headbands, ankle bands and a Karos around their shoulders. The animal skin is important in Zimbabwean traditional dress as each Ndebele group associated with a different animal, allowing individuals to outwardly convey their allegiance to their own group.
In Mozambique, the way people dress reflects the confluence of different cultures that are found there, as well as the different economic standing of its individuals. In the cities, men wear Western-style suits for work, while women retain the brightly coloured fabrics of traditional wear, albeit in more Western-style designed dresses. In the rural areas of the country, women retain the wearing of traditions, which consists of long strips of fabric wrapped around the body and over one shoulder. The young people in Mozambique almost exclusively wear western clothing styles, although despite this some popular pieces of American and European have not been adopted, including blue jeans and short skirts. Clothing in Mozambique doubles as a market of ethnic identity, with the Muslims in the North wearing traditional long white robes and head coverings, for example.
Traditional wear on this island off the eastern coast of Africa involves wearing the Lamba, which directly translated, means cloth or clothing. This normally consists of two matching pieces of fabric in the women’s case, and just one for the men. In yesteryear, the Lamba was all that was worn, but nowadays it has been coupled with Western clothing. Nearly all women in Madagascar will wear a Lamba in the event of a death or another occasion for prayers to the ancestors. This includes during visits to the hospital or doctor, where it is believed that good fortune with the ancestors will have a direct impact upon their lives. The Lamba is an important piece of traditional wear due to its capability of fulfilling a myriad of functions throughout day-to-day island life.
fashion brands rocking African prints
African fashion has never been more exciting. Here’s ten labels to prove it:1.MAISON CHATEAU ROUGE
MAISON CHÂTEAU ROUGE is a French brand named after the famous black Parisian neighborhood in the 18th arrondissement. The brand uses African wax print in a contemporary way and is a cool mix of African and western culture.
The label is also involved in a social project called Les Oiseaux Migrateurs which supports the development of African SMEs. We love its edgy streetwear feel and the beneficial social cause!
MAXHOSA BY LADUMA is a South African knitwear label created in 2010. Laduma is not only a designer but he’s an artist too and expressing his creativity through his fashion label.
Chen Burkett New York was founded in 2013 by Chen Burkett. With family hailing from Ghana, Great Britain and Antigua, Burkett has used her cultural influences to create a vibrant and ingeniously fashionable aesthetic. Her collections feature rich, vivid African prints framed in beautiful silhouettes that easily work for day-to-day life.
ÒKUN is a menswear beachwear label bringing fun swimwear to buyers around the globe. The prints are vibrant with a contemporary African feel, prints and colours. It’s a must-have for this summer if you want to be noticed.
A merge of African tradition and European modernism, Designer Bernie Seb has put the African print at the heart of his designs but with a modern cut. It’s totally wearable in everyday life with its very graphic and classic cut. Made in Burkina Faso, a part of the profits go to an association for Burkinabé women. Great!
By Natacha Baco is a designer working in fashion, decor and accessories. We love how chic the label is; it’s perfect for more up-scale events. The brand is often worn by Fatou N’diaye the famous French beauty blogger.
Each Bazara’Pagne piece is unique. Made with care by artisans, Bazara’Pagne embraces African craftsmanship to the max. We’re appreciating their unique approach to African print cutting it into contemporary, original shapes.
Selly Raby Kane is a Senegalese fashion designer with unbridled creativity. Cartoonish and surreal, Selly Raby Kane flips and mixes-up Senegalese fashion trends. She’s one of the few designers to really change traditional African fashion clothing in a new way.
Kibonen NY was founded by Cameroonian designer Kibonen Nfi. Inspired by traditional Cameroonian clothing, West African fabric and New York’s vibrant fashion scene, Kibonen brings together all of the designer’s fashion ideals. Kibonen works with delicate and intricate hand-woven traditional fabrics made in the Western highlands of Cameroon in the Toghu. Definitely one of the more luxurious African fashion labels.
Originally from Thailand, Suwannapha studied fashion in Paris then came to live in South Africa. Easily recognisable by the colourful print, his first menswear collection was launched last February in Cape Town. The collection was a huge success, loving the mix of culture, modern African print and bright colours.