Wearing clothes borrowed from the boys has never been so hot. There is something innately chic about channelling masculine style and doing it with a feminine edge. One of the hottest men’s wear trends women have picked up is the Nigerian Agbada. The Agbada is nothing new, as women and men in West Africa have been wearing it for years.
Agbada is the Yoruba tribe name for the flowing wide -sleeved robe, usually embroidered at the front, which is worn through much of Nigeria by important men (and women now), such as kings and chiefs, and at ceremonial occasions such as weddings and funerals. The Hausa name for the robes is Riga.
It is a four-piece attire also won in other parts of West Africa such as Benin. It consists of a large, free-flowing outer robe, an undervest, a pair of long trousers, and a hat.
Agbada is a very sophisticated attire that exudes importance and elegance all at once. And if seen on a woman, this elegance hits unimaginable levels. It is a style our female politicians should borrow as a break from the boring skirt and pant suits. It is also the perfect style to try when you are out to make a statement. Many African women are already wearing this ensemble like a uniform.
How to wear your agbada like a fashionista
This is a traditional attire ‘borrowed from the boys’ so it is important to wear it like a fashionista. Here are a few rules.
Do not wear a hat. Yes, a hat completes the look, but you are woman. Your hair should be your crown to complete this look. And, if you want to wear a headpiece, let it be something feminine like a head wrap. Feel free to do a pixie cut or an updo to add a feminine edge to the look.
Wear heeled sandals. Or basically just shoes that show off your feet or ankles. It could be heels or flat men’s wear shoes without socks.
Do not wear beads. Men usually add a regal edge to their agbada with a beaded necklace. That does not mean you should.
Have your agbada tailored to fit. This an oversized style of clothing that is tricky to wear, especially for a fashionista. The trick is to have the agbada cut to fit your size and body shape.
Accessorise.Feel free to accessorise the look with a wrist watch or anything in a shimmering shade such as gold or silver. Do not over accessorise though, keep it as simple as possible.