Men’s African clothing styles today have evolved from traditions dating back many centuries. There’s a massive selection of fashionable, quality, African clothing for men in the 21st century, designed and manufactured in a variety of materials, colours and styles. According to ancient traditions, some of the styles are designed specifically for certain occasions and functions.
African clothing styles traditionally feature bold shapes, multi-coloured patterns in bright colours, and striking designs. Read on to find out about the top five African clothing styles for men:
Men’s Brocade suits are tailored from a luxurious, cotton fabric, often with gold embellishment. The trousers and top are designed to denote the African roots of the wearer. The brocade fabric is often made even more luxurious and sophisticated due to detailed embroidery running throughout.
African head wraps have been a big part of African history and culture for many years. It’s said that originally, African cultures used head wraps to enable the men to show off their level of social status and wealth. Today, head wraps, often manufactured from printed wax materials, are used for various purposes, including religious requirements, or as an adornment or fashion accessory.
Men’s Swiss voile garments, fashioned from the finest voile manufactured by Filtex of Switzerland, have a luxurious feel, with woven embroidery and a perforated finish to keep cool on summer days. This particular fabric was widely adopted for tops and trousers in Africa as late as the 1960s. Prior to this, it was popular in Nigeria mainly for underwear hemming and women’s lace blouses. Since the 1960s, it has quickly become part of mainstream culture in African clothing.
Wax printed cloths play an important part in daily life and ceremonial occasions. The fabric is believed to have originated in the Dutch East Indies – now Indonesia – becoming popular in Africa in the mid-19th century. Traditionally, the prints have a communicative value, indicating wealth or status. Clothing fashioned from wax prints is worn for both everyday wear and on public occasions. It’s popular especially for men’s tailored shirts, creating a colourful garment.
The fabrics of Dutch company Vlisco have been in existence since 1846, when the company formed in the small textile town of Helmond. Vlisco’s original mix of Far Eastern inspiration adapted to the west African market by producing bolder colours and patterns. The fabric is fashioned into bespoke garments by tailors in Africa, home of 95% of Vlisco’s sales today. It’s particularly popular for men’s shirts and for formal wear.