You don’t need a lot. You just need a few great pieces that can serve you in multiple ways. This is a piece of fashion wisdom that can benefit everybody immensely.
Indeed, a wardrobe of high-performing and quality pieces is the ideal way to go. The key here is to be creative. As long as you’re creative, you can easily prevent your style from going stale even if you’re only working with a few pieces.
So, if you are in the process of building a wardrobe that can provide you with great functional versatility while staying true to your African tribal fashion preference, here are seven pieces that deserve to be included.
1. Afro-Retro Baby Doll Dress
The wonderful thing about this piece is there are just so many ways that you can wear it. You can pair with all kinds of bottoms – pencil skirts, maxi, skirt, jeans, tights, and even shorts.
Likewise, you can wear it as a layering piece during the chilly months. Wear a turtleneck under it or wear a longer and looser dress over it. For this piece, you are only limited by your imagination.
2. Menen Kuchi Dress
Another dress to include in your African fashion-inspired wardrobe is a Menen Kuchi dress. This billowy piece can transcend seasons, and there are many styling options for it. Since it’s rather shapeless and big, you can cinch at the waist, knot the bottoms, wear a sash from the shoulders to the waist to make it look like more than one piece.
It’s also a fantastic pairing item for pants and skirts. Take a cue from the gorgeous comedienne Zainab Johnson who has a penchant for wearing loose and long dresses with skinny or wide-legged pants. You can also take the French street fashion route and pair the dress with a sheer fitted skirt. Or, achieve a boho chic vibe by wearing a cropped leather jacket over the dress.
3. Granddad Collar Shirt
This shirt is something both men and women can use. Therefore, it’s a perfect addition to your wardrobe. This shirt is loose and long, plus it has a flattering neckline and a high-low hem. If you’re a petite gal, you can wear this shirt as a mini-dress. Another thing that you can do with it is to don it like a cardi or kimono, belted on the waist for a more polished look.
And like most shirts, you can pair it with any bottom you have in your wardrobe, be it bell-bottom jeans, drawstring linen pants (which are very popular these days), stretchy mini skirts, poofy tulle skirts, leggings, and even 90s-inspired cycling shorts.
4. Kuchi Bisht Denim Dress
This kimono-style dress, which opens in front, is an essential piece for African-inspired fashion. You can wear it no muss, no fuss as a layering piece over a shirt and jeans ensemble. Or you can close it in front with a sash like a wrap-around dress.
You can also take a cue from fashionable African women who enjoy wearing this style of dress over a single-colored jumpsuit. It makes for a chic and sophisticated ensemble with a strong African flavor.
5. Ethnic Print Head Wrap
African head wraps are colorful and made with thicker material. They are gorgeous, whether they are covering your head or worn a different way. It’s worth noting that just as a head wrap, there are infinite ways for you to style them – just check out social media influencer Jackie Aina’s video with Halima Aden; it’s rich with head wrap styling tips.
But, if you want to get playful with it, you can wear it as a sash, a bandeau top, a skirt even, a neck scarf, a dress, and you can also turn it into a bag. This large piece of beautifully printed cloth is full of possibilities, and you can challenge yourself each day on how to use it to elevate any look.
7. High-waisted Wide-legged Ethnic Print Pants
These pants can instantly turn any look from drab to fab. It’s colorful, and it goes well with any style of top. You can wear it with a nice and crisp classic white blouse or a long-sleeved black turtleneck if you prefer a more casual look, sport a crop top.
And, don’t be afraid to mix patterns with these pants. Experiment with stripes, florals, polka dots, and even paisley. You’d be surprised by how the overall appearance looks fun and high-fashion, and not at all busy.
These seven pieces are so fashionably versatile that you won’t regret including them even in a wardrobe as small as a 10-item one. The even better thing about these pieces of African clothing is they go well with each other beautifully, whether you’re creating a casual day look or an elegant night-time ensemble.
Ethiopian-born and Dubai-based fashion designer Feiruza Mudessir discovered her curiosity to mix the traditional with contemporary at a young age, and this has become the trademark of her designs for Finchitua today. With her unique style standpoint, she served the VIP Color Forecast Panel 2017 for Al Jazeera Paints Company and VIP Color Forecast Panel 2019 for Asian Paints Berger. Ms. Mudessir is a shortlisted nominee for the prestigious Fashion Scout London 2018.