traditional nigerian menswear

In this post, we will review the best Traditional Nigerian Menswear to buy. Our team has researched and reviewed these nigerian mens fashion styles 2020, nigerian traditional wear designs and nigerian mens wear 2020 to help you come up with a better decision. We’ve also put up a shopping guide with the features you can consider when buying traditional nigerian mens clothing.

Traditional Nigerian Menswear

Nigerian traditional Clothes

Woman wearing traditional Nigerian dress
Nigerian Dress

Introduction

On this page of Interesting Africa Facts we provide information on Nigerian traditional clothing. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country, there are numerous tribes and ethnic groups, many of which wear their own style of garb. In many areas of the country, especially the south, men and women prefer to wear western attire. Traditional attire is worn on a daily basis in many areas of Nigeria. In other areas traditional attire is worn only for special occasions like festivals or weddings. The top three ethnic groups in Nigeria are the Hausa-Fulani (the largest ethnic group), Yoruba, and Igbo. The information on this page concentrates on the traditional clothes of these people. This information includes the clothes worn by women and the clothing worn by men.

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Traditional Nigerian Clothing – Igbo

Centuries ago the only reason the Igbo wore clothing was for modesty, clothing was not used for style or to display status. Over time their garb evolved. Today most of the people, especially in urban areas, wear western styled clothing. However in rural areas they often still wear traditional clothing. The traditional clothing for women are wraps, some of which are designed for day to day activities and others for formal occasions. The formal wraps are made of more expensive cloth which is often imported. Men usually wear cotton wrappers, shirts, and sandals for day to day wear. Formal wear for men consist of wraps made from better material than that used for day to day wear.

Traditional Nigerian Clothing – Yoruba

The Yoruba people of Nigeria are known for their exquisite clothing. Clothing serves as an indicator of status and wealth. For special occasions such as weddings and funerals they wear especially beautiful garb.

Examples of Yoruba clothing

  • Gele – This is a traditional Nigerian cloth which women wrap around their heads. There are many variations of how they wrap it.
  • Agbada – For formal events Nigerian men often wear a robe called an agbada over their clothes.
  • Buba – A Buba is a loose fitting blouse with long sleeves and a neckline that is either V-shaped or round. It usually falls a little below a women’s waist. Men can also wear a buba.
  • Iro – Iros are long wrap-around skirts. The rectangular skirt is worn by wrapping it around the waste and tucking it in at the end.
  • Sokotos – Sokotos are trousers that are loose-fitting with a drawstring used to hold them up.

Traditional Nigerian Clothing – Hausa-Fulani

Hausa-Fulani men wear a wide sleeved robe called a babban riga which is a floor-length robe with very long sleeves which have to be folded up to expose the hands. It is the equivalent of the Yoruba’s Agbada. Even though the babban riga is considered a Muslim garment almost all Nigerian men wear one for formal occasions. Hausa men also wear a traditional headpiece, a round cap called a fula. Hausa women wear colorful wrappers (abaya) with matching blouses.

Male Traditional Attires in Nigeria

Change they say is constant. But the beauty, elegance and glamour of Nigerian men in traditional attires never change. It is almost impossible not to describe a Nigerian chap perfectly dressed up in traditional attire as drop-dead.

In Nigeria, the diversity between ethnic groups is easily perceptible due to the assortment of ornaments, embellishments and patterns they employ in adorning their traditional attires to mirror their cultural heritage, history and style.

It’d take more than an article to get into details about all the traditional attires in Nigeria. Therefore, this post will explore five male event attires in Nigeria (in no particular order!)

Agbada

The agbada traditional outfit projects supremacy, elegance and influence. The agbada is basically a flowing gown with foldable wide sleeves. It is usually worn on a two-piece Sokoto (trouser) and buba (round-neck shirt) and a matching cap. The agbada is mostly worn to ceremonies like weddings and burials.

Courtesy @janesvogue
Courtesy @janesvogue

Jalabiya

The Jalabiya is common among the Hausa, Kanuri and Fulani. It is a long gown worn by Northern men and women. It is mostly used by Muslims at religious gatherings and obligations. Today, jalabiya is widely accepted because of its simplicity and comfort.

Courtesy @kings_jalabiya
Courtesy @kings_jalabiya

Kaftan

Another traditional wear emerging from Northern Nigeria is Kaftan. Kaftan is originally worn by the Hausas, but today it has become very popular in Nigeria because of its simple and minimalist style. The Kaftan is a two-piece clothing with a sleeved garment and a long pant. It can be worn to any occasion.

Courtesy @krystalkaftan
Courtesy @krystalkaftan

Isiagu

The Isiagu is predominant in Eastern Nigeria. The traditional outfit is a woven or knitted top or shirt prepared specially for weddings and other important traditional ceremonies. It is often worn with a red hat (for titled chiefs only) and a long piece of fabric tied around the waist.

Courtesy @lekrystal_georgeplace
Courtesy @lekrystal_georgeplace

Etibo

This attire is common in the Southern part of Nigeria. Etibo is basically a round-neck or collared shirt/top with a piece of jewellery attached to the chest buttons.

Courtesy @kinghashthattag
Courtesy @kinghashthattag

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