If you’re looking to stand out this season, African print clothing may help set you apart on the fashion front. These usually brightly colored textiles come in a variety of geometric patterns and shapes. While the colors are often eye-catching they can also range into the neutrals. Black designers continue to honor and pay homage to the prints so many of us have known since childhood by reimagining the textiles in new and fun ways. It seems retailers have noticed as the prints can be found in a wide range of styles at big name stores. We’ve compiled a list of 8 African prints that will have all eyes on you this season.
Elisamama Lala Dress
Bold patterns and colors combined with comfort and quality are hallmarks of the Elisamama brand. Nigerian Native, Fisayo Che, has poured her heart into the clothing line that offers women and children a joyful and functional style. The Lala dress is a perfect example of that. It features a gorgeous blue and red color combination and 100% cotton construction. The little details were not overlooked. The dress has a pleated collar and front button closure. There’s also an adjustable belt at the waist and side seam pockets. The dress is available in a range of sizes from small to xx-large. While fashion and style are always important, this brand has a deeper meaning behind it. Every item is handmade in Nigeria by a local team of artisans. Che points to a staggering statistic when explaining why she decided to run her business in this way; 50% of Nigeria’s population is either unemployed or underemployed. Che hopes her well styled pieces will help be a solution to that problem.
The Oula Company Tie Front Kaftan
This vibrant dress features green, blue and red hues that will surely turn heads when you wear it. Created by the Oula Company, the dress lives up to the owners goal of trans-seasonal contemporary garments. The tie-front kaftan can be worn in the summer with sandals or in the fall and spring with booties. The bell sleeves and adjustable tie waist make sure this 100% cotton dress will flatter a variety of body types. While all the Oula Company’s garments are hand cut and sewn in the United States, it sources its African wax fabrics from around the globe. Many of their pieces are limited runs, small batch productions. Consider these dynamic pieces as wearable art that just so happens to be wrinkle resistant, easy to travel with and even easier to wear.
The Oula Company Puff Sleeve Crop Blouse
The Oula Company makes our list twice with this puff sleeve crop blouse. It’s perfect when paired with denim and can easily be dressed up or down. Don’t be intimidated by the crop style. You won’t be bearing much midriff in this 100% cotton top. Its flattering cut hits right at your waist and would look great with a high waisted bottom. As part of Oula’s limited-edition releases, only 100 of these hand sewn tops were created in this silhouette. Talk about exclusive!
Diarrablu Seur Tilo Print Maxi Wrap Skirt
The Seur Tilo wrap skirt is elegant and extremely wearable. Like several other picks on our list, it comes from a company with a vision. Diarrablu’s goal is sustainability while highlighting Africa’s rich colors and unique patterns. What makes this brand even more interesting is that each piece is designed using mathematical concepts or algorithms. The wrap skirt is inspired by traditional West African styles and features an effortless tie around the waist.
Batik Print Dashiki
This brightly colored dashiki jacket is a major statement piece. Handmade using 100% African wax cotton, the top comes in sizes ranging from small to 4x-large. It includes an adjustable belt to help make sure the jacket fits just right. Reviewers caution that the cotton fabric has no stretch so pay close attention to sizing instructions before purchasing.
Wide Leg Multi-Way Jumpsuit
Think of this wide-leg jumpsuit as several outfits in one. The top of the piece can be tied in several different ways including halter and off-the-shoulder. The bright pattern is great for parties, concerts and weddings. The delicate material, however, must only be hand washed. Reviewers say they don’t mind. The extra effort is worth being able to rock this bold jumpsuit.
D’IYANU Men’s Dashiki Shirt
Go a step beyond basic with this men’s Dashiki t-shirt. The 100% cotton shirt is expertly cut in a flattering style. The pattern on the arms and neckline makes this top stand out and is the perfect complement to the primary color of the piece. The shirt is produced by D’IYANU, a brand founded by Nigerian born Addie Elabor who says its designs are a celebration of African culture but not just meant for those with African heritage. It’s all about expressing yourself, whoever you are.
Men’s Dashiki Short Set
Rock this Dashiki short set for a casual and pulled together look. The traditional print is featured on the arms and across the chest of the shirt and runs down the side of the shorts. The bottoms have a drawstring making them adjustable and comfortable to wear. The set is perfect for vacations or a low-key day out running errands. Reviewers share that the material is soft but the set runs small so consider going up a size.
Arielle Clay is a contributor for 21Ninety.
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