Since we’re all from Wakanda now its time we really dress like it.
I remember being in elementary school and being embarrassed when my mom showed up wearing her traditional clothing because I knew the kids would make fun of her. I am so glad that we have come pass the “African booty scratcher” phase and more people are embracing their roots.
African print or Ankara fabric is bold and bright and can be a bit intimidating at times. There is no wrong way of wearing it, just follow standard fashion rules. Many people see it as a formal fabric but it is multi-purpose and can be worn for all occasions. Typically Ankara fabric does not stretch as it is made from cotton "wax" material, so if you want an intricate design then it may be best to seek the help of a seamstress. In this guide I am sharing 5 ways to ease you into showing off some beautiful print. At the bottom of the page, I made a brief list of some of the best places to shop for African print clothing.
1. A Headwrap- Let's take things slow. Start with a headwrap, and add it to a simple outfit. If you are not accustomed to wearing a bunch of colors I don’t want you to be shocked. Ankara print can also be found in black and white or neutral tones so don’t feel forced to go all out if you are not ready. Head to youtube for directions on how to tie it.
2. Accessories- once you have mastered the headwrap, or if none of the youtube tutorials have helped then how about you try a few accessories. Etsy.com is a great place to find earrings, necklaces, bracelets etc. made with cool prints. You can even find a cool wallet. I am doing a giveaway for the wallet pictured below so head to my Instagram (darkerberrie) to enter.
3. A skirt/pants/shirt- Ok now we are ready for some clothes. Start with just one item, whether it is a pair of pants, skirt or shirt, pair it with something basic, such as a pair of jeans or a solid color top. If you are feeling adventurous you can even add some Ankara accessories but don’t get carried away.
4. A full gown/suit/dress- Ok so you made it through wearing one item… can you handle being completely covered in Ankara? Yes, you can! Choose a print that you really love (you have to fall in love with it if you are going to be completely covered in it). Once you have a print that you like the next thing is to make sure it fits you well. Listed below are several shops but because the fabric has no stretch you may need to have it tailored a bit.
5. Mixing prints- Now that you have a Ph.D. in wearing African print you can take things up a notch. Mixing prints can be challenging but when it’s done right it is beautiful. You want to start by finding patterns that are offered in assorted colors or making the sure fabrics are complementary to one another.