Traditional African fabrics, such as Ankara or wax prints, are most well known for their use in dresses, shirts and head wraps. However, there is so much more you can do with African cloth. All it takes is a little creativity, and you can combine beautiful African style with modern pieces for a fun look.
Ankara skirts and dresses can be beautiful and eye-catching, but try mixing it up with some ladies’ trousers. The look is both smart and powerful, with clean lines and vibrant patterns. Or you can keep it more casual with a pair of leggings; these work especially well during the summer, at festivals for example.
To really take things up a notch, consider a pair of dungarees made from African fabric. Dungarees are bang on trend right now for a retro look, and combining this English stalwart with African style makes for a unique twist.
Shoes and bags
Usually, shoes and bags come second to an outfit, designed to complement and enhance a beautiful Ankara dress. However, high heels or a clutch made from a bold wax print can make a big fashion statement on their own! These are great for combining with a minimal outfit, immediately attracting the eye and adding a fabulous pop of colour. When you have matching Italian shoes and bags that compliment your attire, you’ll really be rocking the African style!
Ankara fabric is traditionally used for head wraps, but this material is much more versatile than you might think. It can be used to make chunky jewellery such as necklaces and earrings, or to make a funky belt. Like shoes and bags, this works well as a statement piece that adds to a more subdued outfit, but you can also mix and match clashing pieces to create a really out-there look.
For the men out there, consider jazzing up your suit with an African print bow tie; it will liven up any formal attire, and is a great conversation starter. Again, you probably won’t want to pair this with a similarly bold shirt, but adding one to a plain white Oxford shirt and smart jacket will bring English and African styles together beautifully.
These are just a few ideas for what you can make with African cloth, but let your imagination run wild and you’ll soon discover that these fabrics work well with just about anything!