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?

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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43 Comments on "50 Fabulous Modern Ways to Wear African Fabric"

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eriq elikplim

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

Kay

FABULOUS!!!

Dunyiswa

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

Caroline

Does any­one make sewing pat­terns for African designs?

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Theresa

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

Sara

Where do you get these shoes?

SaJey

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

Corinna Brown

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

ss (short & sweet)

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

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[…] 50 Fab­u­lous Mod­ern Ways to Wear African Fab­ric […]

Debbie Oj

beau­ti­ful ;post and real­ly cre­ative col­lec­tions there.

Linda

My friend makes these real­ly real­ly awe­some African fab­ric back­packs: https://www.facebook.com/sarah.brown.18294/media_set?set=a.10152954067912120.1073741830.667357119&type=3&pnref=story

TJwats

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

Sabrina black

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

Nancy Nettey

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!

Adeola @ The Mane Captain

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

Chinye

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

Alia Adazewa Rami Baitie
Alia Adazewa Rami Baitie

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

Ugonna Wosu

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

guest

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

Cosita

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

Amma Mama

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

Thanks for shar­ing!!!

Amma Mama

You’re wel­come! :-)

Corelle Perry

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

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

TamBam

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

Chinye

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

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

TamBam

Very pret­ty!

Davina916

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

J.Nicole

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

Kumi Mich

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

tammie_FL

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.

april Guscott

Exact­ly!

Gabrielle Joseph

Check etsy! Lots of stores there.

Puff

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

Kumi Mich

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

Gabrielle Joseph

Check etsy and even Insta­gram!

@dmalikat

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

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

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

This com­pa­ny in ETSY has sim­i­lar items!

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