Have you heard of a dashiki but aren’t sure exactly what it is, where to find one or how to wear a dashiki? Don’t worry, we’ve got it covered for you. Whether you’re looking to find out more about this beautiful African clothing. Read on to find out everything you need to know about this beautiful African garment.
What Is A Dashiki?
The dashiki is a loose, colorful item of clothing that covers the top half of the body. It’s mostly worn in West Africa but in other parts of Africa is sometimes called a kitenge. A variation of the dashiki is worn in East Africa, Tanzania, Kenya and Somalia as well as in West Africa.
The name ‘dashiki’ comes from Yoruba and is translated to mean ‘shirt’ or ‘inner garment’. This means that its appearance can be a little varied, and can be anything from a tailored suit, a mini dress or a simple, draped item of clothing. There are formal and informal versions of the dashiki, depending on the situation or individual.
They’ve been around since the 12th century, so they’re an important part of African history and daily life. As well as being worn in Africa, it’s also worn by communities in the African diaspora, particularly in the US, where it has a rich cultural heritage all of its own.
Where To Wear A Dashiki?
A dashiki can be worn in many different situations. It may be worn for day-to-day tasks, as any other garment would be or it could be made into a dress, suit or something else entirely. The informal dashiki is the one you’ll usually see worn in everyday life and usually comes with a traditional print or as an embroidered dashiki.
You’ll also sometimes see a dashiki worn in a formal setting, such as a wedding or a funeral. There are three types of formal dashiki: the dashiki suit (also known as the dashiki trouser set), the Senegalese kaftan (or the long dashiki suit depending on the length of the shirt) and a grand boubou or an agbada. You’ll also find a lace dashiki suit that’s often worn by women, which goes by the name of ‘Angelina’ in Ghana and the Congo.
Why Should You Wear A Dashiki?
Dashiki are versatile, colorful, comfortable and easy to wear. They can be worn in many different ways and situations. They also connect with a rich cultural heritage that links back to Africa, but also has its home in the US.
Because they can be tailored to any style, body shape or occasion they can be a flattering fit when you want to match heritage, style and comfort. You can get a plus size dashiki dress or women’s plus size dashiki if you want to add another layer of versatility to your dashiki look too.
They can be made in different fabrics and colors too. Gray is the traditional color for some West African weddings, for example, whereas other couples choose white, non-traditional, purple or blue. Purple and lavender are the colors of African royalty so are often a popular choice. Black and red are the traditional colors of mourning, and are often worn at funerals.
Different Ways To Wear A Dashiki
When we say that anyone can wear a dashiki, we really mean that anyone can wear a dashiki. You can even get baby dashiki so that you can mix and match with your little one for a super-cute coordinated look. The whole family can wear dashiki however they want, whether they’re attending a formal event or heading somewhere more casual.
Let’s take a look at some of the different ways to wear a dashiki and the different styles for men, women and kids.
Dashiki For Her
Dashiki for women are probably the most versatile type. You can find dashiki in so many colors and styles - from purple dashiki that are reminiscent of African royalty right through to more unusual, non-traditional colors. You can even get short dashiki, t-shirt dress style dashiki or long dashiki style midi skirts, depending on the look you want.
They’re also extremely inclusive when it comes to sizing. A plus size dashiki dress or women’s plus size dashiki can be a beautiful, flattering and regal look that works for any occasion, but they really work with any body type and shape.
Dashiki For Him
There are lots of different styles of dashiki for men. Whether you want a long-sleeved dashiki, a dashiki t-shirt, formal dashiki wear or more casual styles to fit with your day to day life. The color and style all have different meanings so it’s important to brush up and make sure you’re on track when it comes to style.
You can get a tailored dashiki, longer-length dashiki that reaches your ankles or a dashiki suit set. Tailoring is a great choice if you want something that’s truly made for you or you find it harder to find clothing off the rack that fits well.
A baby dashiki is cute, traditional, comfortable and versatile for babies and toddlers. You can get them in any color and a variety of styles to help your little one connect with their heritage, and look beautiful doing so. You can even find dashiki onesies that are perfect for younger babies and toddlers.