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We’ve mentioned this before, but African fashion has taken the globe by storm, showing up on world renowned catwalks, the hottest designer lines, and filling fashionista closets everywhere. Stylecaster, a fashion news and trends website, found that Pinterest searches for African print fashion has gone up 229 percent—so as you can see African fashion is trending and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. So in honor of Africa’s fashion takeover, let’s share a few trending African dress styles for the coming year.

1. African-Print Jackets

We talk a lot about African fashion being exported worldwide, but what we have here is a beautiful fusion of African styles with traditional western/eurocentric clothing—and that’s printed jackets. Popular amongst both men and women, an uprising trend are blazers and jackets (like the one pictured above) with printed African patterns and fabrics, like; Ankara, Kente, Kitenge, Dashiki, Aso oke, and Batik, to name a few. This style is often paired with dark pants or a skirt. Usually worn informally for social events and hanging out, it has become a stylistic choice for the fashionable professional wanting to spruce up their office attire.

Traditional African dress styles will forever have a place in our closets, but this fusion of styles is a beautiful window into the future of our world becoming a cohesive melting pot. As new generations come to age, a new form of working together presents itself. And not to mention, another piece of evidence that African fashion stands tall amongst global fashion giants.

2. Denim and African Prints

You’re probably asking yourself, “wait, why is denim on this list? It's not African.” But that's not totally true. Africans began making indigo fabrics long before the West was settled. And you'll notice that denim paired with African prints is the hot new thing this year. This trend hits both men and women and furthers the point made above about fusing two cultural styles together. Denim is a universal piece of clothing that goes with mostly anything, so it’s not surprising that it works, but it’s interesting how popular it’s become. Another example of a newer generation of fashion forward africans infusing their global influence with their African sensibilities.

For more ideas how to maximize your Afro-denim look, especially for women, a popular style is to take an African print accessory- like the Reversible Poncho pictured above, a headscarf, tie, hat, or purse- and pair it with your favorite denim jeans. Or pair this Ankara print skirt with a denim shirt. And voila, you may be wearing denim but you’re still screaming African made.

3. Print and Pattern Clashes

Maya Tulle Skirt

Now this style may be a bit controversial, but trends are nothing if they don’t get people talking. What really took off this summer was clashing prints and patterns. Essentially taking two unrelated prints and wearing them together. A print top with a entirely differently printed pants. Headwrap different from waist wrap. Hell, go crazy and wear a headwrap, shoulder wrap, shirt, and pants of all different print and pattern styles. Usually, best practices would be a bright pattern coupled with something plain, but this rising trend shines in the boldness of such a beautifully loud combination.

Mix and match to your heart’s content, and be brave with your choices. Check out our Maya Tulle Skirt (pictured above), and pair it with your favorite bright top! Or check out our Paige Dress, a assemblage of two loud prints already paired together!

  • Dec 27
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  • Mariam Garuba