Africa is the world’s second largest continent with 54 countries so fashion trends are diverse and vary from coast to coast.
Traditional African clothing, such as dashiki and kaftan, and modern African print clothing are different styles compared to other parts of the world and are often inspired by: culture, languages, wildlife, nature, food and music.
There are also many general trends used in African fashion that are also popular around the world. They often re-emerge from season to season including florals, African print fabric and bright colours.
While African fashion has always been bold and beautiful, this blog will explore African clothing trends for 2020 and how you can incorporate African clothing into your wardrobe.
AFRICAN WOMENS WEAR TRENDS
Adding statement puffy sleeves, such as bell and trumpet shapes, to dresses and blouses are fun, chic, elegant, girly and sophisticated.
They are a great way to get noticed and make a fashion statement if you go for a loud and dramatic sleeve like large frills and ruffles. For a more simple, softer and feminine look go for bishop style sleeves.
When wearing statement sleeves it is recommended to keep the rest of your look minimal and classic so that you do not attract attention away from the sleeves and look overly fussy.
Off The Shoulder
The ‘off the shoulder’ look was a popular trend in the 1980’s and is a style statement that is here to stay in 2020. It can help make a simple outfit look more attractive by adding more glam and elegance. This unique and versatile design is very easy to style and is popular with long length dresses and tops.
Side slits are a well liked trend and stunning feature for long skirts and dresses. They can help to elongate your silhouette making you look taller.
The kimono traditionally comes from Japan but perhaps due to the hot and humid climate of many African countries this cool, floaty and comfortable garment style has become fashionable.
They are suitable for both casual and eveningwear (depending on the design) and can also be worn on their own as a dress instead of a separate layer of clothing.
AFRICAN MENSWEAR TRENDS
Bold animal prints are popular in men’s African fashion including cheetah spots and zebra stripes. It’s best to wear a small amount at a time instead of from head to toe for example, the hem of a t-shirt or a short sleeve shirt. Wearing animal prints can portray confidence and they look great when worn alongside bright colours.
Blue and grey suits are the most popular colours as they are traditional and versatile. However, casual, relaxed and less formal suits, in a variety of different colours, are becoming increasingly popular for men who prefer to stand out in a crowd and get noticed.
For those who are more adventurous try pastel colours including pink, green and blue shades. Instead of a shirt try wearing the suit with a plain t-shirt and trainers for a more casual dressed down look.
The kaftan is a traditional long and loose garment commonly worn in West Africa and also parts of Algeria and Morocco. They are often worn for special occasions but can also be worn casually.