What Kind of Clothes Do Africans Wear?

The types of clothing Africans wear varies by the region. According to All African Clothes, men and women usually sport clothes that are brightly colored and loose-fitting. Common fashion choices include head-wraps, hats and shawls. Men and women also wear colorful shirts called dashikis, an item of clothing that has become popular around the world since the 1960s.

Africa Styles notes that African fashion may reflect thousands of years of cultural and historical ties. The intricate patterns and designs found in African clothing typically comprise artistic and cultural values that are passed down to each generation. The two most important elements in African clothing are tie and dye and resist dye. Tie and dye is the process in which various designs are either tied or stitched into the fabric using threads or cotton. Resist dye normally involves drawing patterns on the cloth with candle wax or paste and dipping the clothes in vegetable dye. Universal imagery that is often depicted in African clothing includes animals, plants, proverbs and artistic designs. Embroidery and contrasting colors are also important styles. African fashion may be rooted in local traditions, but influences from other tribes or ethnic groups is also common. Arabic letters and Roman numerals may be found on clothing as well. More Africans are wearing western clothing, but they normally choose native attire for special events, such as weddings.