Many individuals tend to think that African dresses are attires that are meant to be worn during cultural ceremonies only. On the contrary, African dresses are outfits that can be worn on an array of occasions such as to make a political statement, as a gear to show one’s identity as an African, to make a cultural statement and to make an economic statement. More importantly, the African dresses are used on many occasions as a fashion statement and as a cultural outfit.

What are African dresses?

When the term African dresses are brought up the first thing that we want to comprehend is what makes these clothes African. The word African dresses are used to define the modern attires that have a connection with the African continent. The African dresses can be divided into categories based on the part of Africa they originate from such as West African dresses or by the country they hail from such as Egyptian dresses.

What makes African dresses aesthetic?

African dress is a term that did not exist about fifty decades ago. The modern-day African attire was initially adopted by the members of the Islam religion in Africa. After a while, even other individuals outside of Islam embraced the clothes and it is then that they became Africanized. The Africanized dresses became popular during the colonial period as many individuals continued to welcome them. There were still a few individuals who failed to embrace the African dresses but instead opted to wear the “Mbeki” which was the term used to refer to European dresses.

There was a small population of African Muslims who did not embrace the African dresses but instead wore the Umaru Yar’Adua. The African dresses gradually penetrated a broader community of individuals globally and became acknowledged as attires that illustrated the awakening of the African continent. An excellent example of an African dress that has shifted from just being embraced as an appropriate dress in one community to a universal dress is the Kufi hat. The Kufi hat was initially identified as religious attire for one particular religious group, but over the years other diverse communities with different cultures have embraced it to the extent of it being worn in the diaspora.

Trends in the African dresses

Today African dresses are used for many functions such as making cultural, political and fashion statements. There is a widespread trend of using African dresses to correspond with the politics of a party. For instance, the West African clothes can be exported to South Africa designed with colors and motifs such as shields that make them custom made for South African ANC members.