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50 Fabulous Modern Ways to Wear African Fabric

Avatar • Jun 4, 2015

Prints are never going to go out of style and a great way to incorporate them into your wardrobe is to use African prints! Here are a bunch of ways to rock African fabric (also called “ankara”, “kente”, or “dutch wax” depending on where you are) effortlessly with items already in your closet. Feel free to go head to toe if you’re really feeling it.

African Print Up Top

Think crop tops, peplum tops, boxy cuts and even blazers! Just wear with a black pencil skirt or your favorite pair of boyfriend jeans for a quick evening outfit.

african print top bustier topafrican print tunic

crop top peplum topblazer

African Print Skirts

Pair a flared, mini, skater, midi or maxi skirt in an African print with a solid tee or button down shirt and you’ve got yourself a perfect brunch, church or date outfit.

full skirt 2african print straight skirt african print skirt ankara maxi skirtafrican print mini skirtkente skater skirt

African Print Bottoms

Similar to skirts, pair African printed pants and shorts in cuts that flatter your shape with basic tops for casual wear that has an element of sophistication.
wide leg pantsafrican print shortsafrican print baggy shortsafrican print denim shortsafrican print pants 2african print pantsafrican print short shortsafrican print trousers
Jumpsuits, Rompers and Coordinate Sets

Turn things all the way up with a one piece African print jumpsuit or romper, or stick to two coordinating pieces for a stellar pant, skirt or short suit.

crop and pants crop and pencil set short setafrican print short jumpsuitafrican print romperafrican print jumpsuitafrican print jumpsuit 2

ankara print jumpsuit 2 kente short setafrican print overallsafrican print crop and short sets

Dresses

The options with dresses are endless — as long as you can find a tailor, you can sew a dress with African fabric in every style imaginable. A‑line dresses work for almost all shapes, but the details (frills, patterns, embroidery, etc) is what makes these dresses stand out from the crowd.

african print day dresskente dressafrican print maxi dressafrican print asymmetrical dress african print dress
open back dressafrican print wrap dressafrican print short dress

Accessorize

If you’re hesistant to wear African print all over, incorporate the style into your accessories, with hats, bags, head wraps, shoes and jewelry fit for a queen.

ankara handbagafrican print beanieafrican print braceletsafrican print fittedafrican print headwrapsafrican print shoe and bag setkente sneakers african print necklaceafrican print bagafrican print umbrellaafrican print clutch

How do you wear African prints?

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About Klassy Kinks

KlassyKinks.com founder and editor, Ijeoma Eboh, is on a mission to change perceptions of kinky textured hair around the world. You can find her on social media @klassykinks.

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@dmalikat
@dmalikat
5 years ago

I love this article! My favs are the peplum top and, I think that’s Style pantry’s pants. I love the diversity of looks from more edgy, to classic, and I love the two bohemian looks. Now how do I get started? Where can I buy these looks or do I have to get these items made? Thanks for an amazing article!

Lisbeth
Lisbeth
5 years ago
Reply to  @dmalikat

Hi you can also visit chichia london website. she designs clothes using khanga (pronounced kanga) material from Tanzania, East Africa. they are just as colourful and cheaper plus they have written messages on them

Dee
Dee
5 years ago
Reply to  @dmalikat

https://www.etsy.com/shop/DiagossaCouture

This company in ETSY has similar items!

Puff
Puff
5 years ago

These are dope, but uh.….…do you have any recommendations on where we can get these pieces?

Gabrielle Joseph
Gabrielle Joseph
5 years ago
Reply to  Puff

Check etsy and even Instagram!

Kumi Mich
Kumi Mich
4 years ago
Reply to  Puff

check this website…they have some gorgeous designs at good prices…
https://www.afriquenaturals.co

J.Nicole
5 years ago

I wish there were links or info on how to purchase some of these items. Especially the accessories!

tammie_FL
tammie_FL
5 years ago
Reply to  J.Nicole

Hi @disqus_WHl9iniPvY:disqus I would check out shopDOKU (http://www.shopdoku.com/african-print-skirts/) they have a lot of african print skirts and clothing from african designers.

Gabrielle Joseph
Gabrielle Joseph
5 years ago
Reply to  J.Nicole

Check etsy! Lots of stores there.

april Guscott
april Guscott
5 years ago
Reply to  J.Nicole

Exactly!

Kumi Mich
Kumi Mich
4 years ago
Reply to  J.Nicole

https://www.afriquenaturals.co
visit this website..they have a very good designs available at cheap prices

Davina916
Davina916
5 years ago

I love these prints, but they’re usually too expensive for me.

Chinye
Chinye
5 years ago

Based on my experience and on the types of clothes featured above, most of us get things custom made. Here is my ankara peplum top for a graduation. Perfection.

https://instagram.com/p/2y3CUJM11U/?taken-by=chinyeloves

TamBam
TamBam
5 years ago
Reply to  Chinye

Very pretty!

TamBam
TamBam
5 years ago
Reply to  Chinye

Did you buy the fabric and have someone make it? If so, where did you buy the fabric?

Corelle Perry
Corelle Perry
5 years ago

Great pieces! A list of the links would be nice, although I know you can find african fabric pieces on etsy. There are a number of them that are expensive though. I think it is because of how the fabric and piece are made…

Kumi Mich
Kumi Mich
4 years ago
Reply to  Corelle Perry

https://www.afriquenaturals.com/
visit this website..they have a very good designs available at cheap prices

Amma Mama
5 years ago

I usually rock a cute skirt or dress. I’m looking forward to getting some more modern things made this summer in Ghana. I have two posts on my blog on where to purchase cute African print skirts and dresses. Links below, I hope they help 🙂
Cute African Print Dresses
http://allthingsammamama.com/2014/07/21/cute-african-print-dresses/

Cute African Print Skirts
http://allthingsammamama.com/2014/09/05/cute-african-print-skirts/

Nubian Hueman Boutique also has some nice African Inspired modern wear and accessories
http://nubianhueman.com/

TamBam
TamBam
5 years ago
Reply to  Amma Mama

Thanks for sharing!!!

Amma Mama
5 years ago
Reply to  TamBam

You’re welcome! 🙂

guest
guest
5 years ago

Im Nigerian and generally you buy the material yourself and give it to a tailor who’ll make it into the style you want.

Ugonna Wosu
Ugonna Wosu
5 years ago

Wow! Great choices, especially halfway Dow. Thanks for sharing!

Alia Adazewa Rami Baitie
Alia Adazewa Rami Baitie
5 years ago

Just a quick correction. Kente is not exactly a print but a certain TYPE of woven cloth from the Ashanti region of Ghana; I think most of the other pictures were print.

Most (West African) prints are indeed called Dutch Wax because this particular cloth printing process was developed by the Dutch over 100 years ago and was brought to West Africa by Dutch traders. Check out this article for more on the interesting history of African Print 🙂

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/design/2012/03/african_fabric_where_do_tribal_prints_really_come_from_.html

Chinye
Chinye
5 years ago

I’m also Naija, so I bought the fabric at a market when I was overseas, and gave it to a tailor.

Adeola | www.coilsandglory.com

great post! you can also check out http://www.tolscreations.com for african inspired bow ties

Nancy Nettey
Nancy Nettey
5 years ago

I second that; great article! Here is my salute to the african print skirt collection ????. Please check out http://www.afriquechique.com for african print clothes with a modern twist!

TJwats
TJwats
5 years ago

Hi TamBam! Check out http://www.shopdoku.com/african-print-skirts/
There are about 7 different African print skirts made by top African designers

Linda
Linda
5 years ago
Debbie Oj
Debbie Oj
5 years ago

beautiful ;post and really creative collections there.

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Corinna Brown
Corinna Brown
4 years ago

Does anyone know where I can but a formal dress in African print?

SaJey
SaJey
4 years ago

Searching for a perfect place to buy this kind of fabrics check out this site: http://www.africandesires.com/

Sara
Sara
4 years ago

Where do you get these shoes?

Theresa
Theresa
3 years ago

Beautiful pics. I’m inspired to dust off my sewing machine and teach my daughters how to make their own clothes.

TamBam
TamBam
5 years ago

I love all of the looks in this post, but I never know where to find anything like them! 🙁

Cosita
Cosita
5 years ago

Beautiful. my credit card is burning a hole through my wallet.

Sabrina black
Sabrina black
5 years ago

I know I’m late. Disques takes too long to upload on my phone. These prints are banging. Cool post.

ss (short & sweet)
ss (short & sweet)
4 years ago

this article gave me life! I wish my sewing machine worked!

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Caroline
Caroline
3 years ago

Does anyone make sewing patterns for African designs?

Dunyiswa
Dunyiswa
3 years ago

Hello I saw something I likebana here so how can I get it?

Kay
Kay
3 years ago

FABULOUS!!!

eriq elikplim
3 years ago

I see most Ghanaian designs in there. Fashion industry is on the rise in Africa.

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DashikiGirl
3 years ago

They’re all so beautiful. Love rocking African Gears. Colorful, vibrant and fashionable.

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Jean A Ricks
2 years ago

Want to know how an African-American seamstress can get involved with making African ‑fabric clothing already being marketed. (Contract with seller) Also interested in children’s line.

shafiq
2 years ago

Dear sir
As I mentioned we are a big supplier of Greige Fabrics and we can provide regular grey fabric qualities for African Market as well
In 100% Cotton, we can mainly offer at very nice price the below Greige fabrics all kind for fabrics

24x24/72x60
32x32/68x68
32X32/82X82
27x27/70x72
40x40/96x96
I will wait your precious feedback about your interest in this or any other kind of Finished fabrics or bed sheetings. Also all kind cotton cvc pc yarn

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