Popular Holiday and Celebratory African Fashions
Leftover stew has been stored in the freezer and every morsel of jollof rice has been gobbled up. Looks like the holidays are officially winding down. Now that we’ve spent quality time with friends and family it’s time to get dressed to the nines and ring in the new year. While you’re busy getting ready to look your best, it’s a good time to reflect on celebratory and holiday African outfits. Seeing as how the holidays are the most festive time of the year, let’s see what stylish Africans wear for parties and events.
1. Gorgeous Headwraps
A beautiful accessory widely worn by women, headwraps have become an iconic staple of African fashion. Its history is old and its significance evolves with its people. Originating way back in ancient Egypt, at that time worn by both men and women. Through the centuries it became a female article of clothing, signifying social status, often marital status, simply by which direction the knot was pointing. Also, practiced in some christian churches, women are obligated to cover their heads during active prayer, making headwraps quite useful. In these modern times headwraps are more of a glorious accessory added to enhance an African woman's outfit. Something that has been picked up by the global stage but will forever stay an African original.
Just for a bit of trivia, headwraps have different names in each region of Africa. South Africa and Namibia they are called a Doek. Botswana, a Tuku or Tukwi, Malawi and Ghana, a Duku. Zambia calls them a Chitambala, in Zimbabwe a Dhuku, and Nigeria a Gele.
The Agbada is a flowing wide-sleeved pull-over robe traditionally worn by men of Hausa nobility in West Africa. The garments were adopted by various ethnic groups throughout the ages, taking on different names in each place. In Senegal, it’s called the boubou, in Tuareg the “gandora”, and in Wolof the “boubou.”
The Agbada, or Kaftan, is usually decorated in rich embroidered patterns, and worn on special religious or ceremonial occasions, such as weddings, funerals, and holy festivals.
Westernized “kaftans” have been popular throughout the fashion world as brightly colored swimsuit cover-ups, or free-flowing dresses for women.
Sometimes you don’t feel like being subtle. And that’s where this trending style with an African twist comes into play. A chic and elegant look, statement sleeves are sleeves, of different lengths, bell-shaped, ballooned, puffed or ruffled. They are tastefully loud, hence the name, and a great way to leave your fashionable mark.
These are just a few of what your fashionable African brothers and sisters are wearing to celebrate the holidays and just look good at parties. 2018 has been a year to remember with African styles setting new fashion trends. So let’s raise a glass when the clock strikes zero for 2019 to be another year of African fashion domination. Cheers, and Happy New Year.