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dashiki clothing

A Bit of History into the African Dashiki Clothing

If you are into diverse clothing styles, you may have heard of the dashiki in African print clothes. 

In its most popular form, the dashiki is a colourful, loose-fitting pullover with an elaborate V-shaped collar and fitted and embroidered neck and sleeve lines used chiefly by women and men in West Africa.

Dashiki shirts have been increasingly popular as streetwear items in the last several years, and celebrities have been photographed wearing them. 

An array of outerwear options are available to go with the gown dashiki and the blazer and jeans dashiki. Whether you're going for a retro appearance, slaying, or embracing your African ancestry, the multi-coloured dashiki is the best option.

This article will run you through everything you need to know about dashiki!

Clothing with Some History

The name "dashiki" is derived from the Yoruba word dashiki, a loose-fitting pullover developed in West Africa as a practical work tunic for men. Dashiki is a Yoruba term derived from the Hausa word dan ciki, which means shirt.

Toon van de Manakker, a Vlisco textile designer, designed the classic dashiki, known initially as Angelica print, based on a 19th-century Ethiopian noblewoman's garment.

Jason Benning, Milton Clarke, Howard Davis, and William Smith founded New Breed Clothing Limited in 1967, coining the contemporary name "dashiki" and mass-producing the dashiki-style garment.

The dashiki symbolises affirmation and a return to African roots for most people. African-Americans have worn the dashiki shirt to celebrate their African history and promote Black pride since the late 1960s. Many men and women wear the dashiki as a unisex item during Black History Month.

How It Used to Be Worn

The dashiki is an article of traditional African clothing worn by African males. Dashiki was once reserved solely for men; women were not allowed to wear it. However, this has changed in recent years, and dashikis are now tailor-made and worn by men and women.

You can even find them commonly in the women's clothes section.

Formal and Informal Versions

Wearing dashiki has a lot of different aspects. Both a formal and an informal version are available. Unlike in the past, when men wore draped dashikis, the current fashion is now going with fully tailored suits.

The African dashiki comes in both basic (casual) and formal variants. The casual dashiki has only one kind, but the formal dashiki has three. The traditional print is embroidered on the casual dashiki. 

There are three formal versions: Sokoto, Senegalese Kaftan, and Grand Boubou. 

The Sokoto consists of drawstring trousers and a matching kufi. Dashiki Suit is the name of the outfit. The second formal dashiki style is the Senegalese Kaftan, consisting of an ankle-length shirt, a Sokoto, and a matching kufi. The third type, known as a Grand Boubou, is a mix of a dashiki and matching pants with an agbada.

The Variety of Dashiki

The dashiki is no longer just for Africans; it has a global following. Apparel stores have a variety of dashiki to choose from. The name of a dashiki is determined by the shirt that comes with the set.

Thanks to the current dashiki fad, dashikis may now be made out of almost any material. People make dashikis from the lace of Guinea, Kampala, and other convenient ordinary materials.

Dashiki has evolved over time and continues to do so. There's no reason to believe it'll ever go out of style.

How Dashiki inspires our designs

There's no doubt about it. Dashikis are an iconic African piece. It is cultural clothing that has managed to make its way into the fashion industry. Dashiki is a beautiful way to show African heritage.

The popularity of dashiki inspires us to design African print clothing that can be integrated in your day to day outfits.

African print t-shirt collage for summer

Are you looking for clothing for women in the UK? Nkiti African Clothing specialises in casual high-quality African wear. Check out our collection today!

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