Every weave has a story to tell. The stories usually talk about the artistry of the weaver or the craftsmen, how the art has been passed onto generations and kept alive and how it makes for a fashionable choice no matter what time we live in. Africans in particular use art and fabric to express their culture. The fabrics are either woven or printed and carry unique patterns.
The designs of the Ankara are a symbol of nobility. It was popular because of its affordability and texture. It is pure cotton that is tightly woven in plain weave with designs and motifs printed on it. Traditional dying techniques are used to add bright hues to it. It is lightweight, absorbs moisture easily and also dries quickly. Worn by the elderly of the family historically, Ankara has come a long way from being the fabric of just comfort and respect. One can say that the fabric has proliferated through various ways of its adaption. One can see generations come together in threads of Ankara with the beautiful contemporary designs available.
Here are some of the best creative ways you can wear the Ankara:
Ankara dresses for summer
Several designers are coming up with inventive dress designs for Ankara that make for a beautiful fashion choice for summer. From halter necks to cold shoulders and formfitting to flared ones, Ankara dresses are the new cool! Touted to be once worn only on special occasions, Ankara as a fabric is now multifaceted and worn as casual dressing and formal dressing. Because of its extensive print structure and colors, Ankara dresses are often flattering.
Formal dress codes
Ankara pantsuits and skirt with jackets make for a smart office attire. Not only are they fashionable to look at but are also comfortable. While conservative Ankara dresses would look good for a Friday dressing, the pantsuits and fitted skirts are business formal. You can either team a contrast Ankara style or print for bottom and top, or wear the same print/color for bottom and top. If you do intend to go for the latter, we suggest you break the monotony with a plain belt or a plain shirt/top under the jacket.
Ankara for weddings
Weddings are a great time to play dress up. The trouble is when one wears a particular dress after spending a bomb, one really can’t repeat it too many times. Instead, why not go with a style that is great on the eyes as well as your pocket. You can go in with a puffed skirt in a dramatic print and make it fluffy with the use of cane-cane, or just simply go with a maxi. Depending on the function and the time of the day it is going to be held in, you can choose the print and the colors. For a daytime affair, bright hues in pinks and yellow would work great and for a night time function, blacks and blues are always classics.
Same print top and bottom
Wearing the same print for the top and bottom can do two things for you: 1) You can style the outfit to make it look like a separate or a jumpsuit, 2) It is flattering and stylish. Trending this season is wearing the same print in top and bottom instead of a contrast bottom and top.
Jackets and Shrugs
Jackets and long shrugs are comfortable for the chill, yet add the pizazz to your outfit. In the chill of the monsoon or the beginning of the winter, they make for a good choice as the 100% cotton of Ankara will also keep you cool in case the weather changes.
Why restrict Ankara to just clothes when you can add them to your wardrobe in more than one way? A popular style making its way into the culture is the use of an Ankara as a headwrap. However, you can go beyond that by using accessories made out of Ankara. Whether it is a handheld clutch of a print in contrast to your outfit, or a bag or even a headband, Ankara weaves make for beautiful accessories that add the extra glamour to any outfit you wear.
We really hope you pass on the tradition of Ankara to the generation next. A part of tradition should always live forever for good reason and adding a contemporary touch to it just ensures we are a tolerant generation. Not to forget, stylish!