For several years now, the western world has been accepting African culture as societal #goals (cue the “kardashian” cornrows fad, the obsession with squatting, and the affinity for local “Beyonce” dancing). However, never have I noticed so many different kinds of people rocking the dashiki! This identifiable west african design is making its stamp in our street fashion AND our haute couture.
Maybe you’ve considered being adventurous and trying a dashiki, but don’t know how to style it without losing your own culture and style. Or maybe this is the first time you’re even hearing about them. A dashiki is a loose-fitting, cotton or linen unisex shirt usually sewn from colourful African prints, often with patch pockets and embroidery at the neckline and cuffs. And this tunic isn’t going anywhere anytime soon! So how does the modern woman style this baby without looking like a tourist on a safari?
1. Choose colours that flatter your skin tone
The african girl in me just melts over bright colours. Rocking african prints and textures is an easy way for me to get that fix. These bad boys come in EVERY colour- orange, green, lavender, you name it. With the range of options, finding your perfect dashiki starts with you choosing a colour you know you can rock and feel confident in. If your tan has refused to cooperate this year, work more towards cool blue and purple colours than bright reds and yellows.
2. Dashiki accessories on fleek
Matchy accessories will help keep your look tied together and stylish. Reach for elegant metallics or simple pieces that flow together. Because the dashiki is so bold and patterned, you’ll want to keep your accessories in the background. You don’t want to have too much going on! Aka- if you want to showcase your new tassel earrings with those 4 chokers and 12 bangles and new watch at the same time, don’t throw the Picasso of shirts into the mix…
3. Add some cute heels
A cute pair of heels really does make every look that much better! The same goes for styling the dashiki. Stilettos and pumps will elongate your legs and elevate your look. Be warned that clunky wedges with such a busy oversized top will say less modern fashionista and more “I was in a rush”.
4. Pair it with cute jeans or shorts
I paired my tunic with leather shorts to keep the focus on the dashiki and match with my accessories. Jeans or shorts will allow you the movement and structure that a mini skirt couldn’t for this look. This is a more top heavy trend, so stay sleek and minimalistic on the bottom to avoid being swallowed.
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