Nigerian Fashion Trends

Last updated on March 8th, 2018 at 02:09 pm

Like Rachel Zoe said, ‘style is a way of saying who you are without having to speak’. The fashion trend in Nigeria is quite unique with a rich and colourful pattern you wouldn’t miss. The fashion industry in Nigeria has always been different mirroring its various lifestyle, ethnic groups, religions and cultures. The Nigerian fashion has really grown with more exposure, standards and styles. In the midst of growing western influence, The industry still stands to blend these two creating wearable and everyday style. A lot of people now work in this fashion industry from clothing designers, fashion stylists, fashion photographers, makeup artists, hairstylists as well as fashion journalists. Fashion weeks (Lagos Fashion and Design Week, GTB fashion and Design week etc.) have emerged in the Nigerian fashion scene. Fashion retailers, fashion enthusiasts and influencers, as well as headliners, attend these shows.

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Traditional Clothing

There is a clear difference between traditional clothing and western clothing in Nigeria. Nigerian traditional clothing reflects the culture of the different ethnic groups. In pre-colonial times, Nigerians wore their traditional garb all the time. Now, many Nigerians wear ‘trads’ for special occasions like weddings, work on Friday, religious gathers ‘Church or Mosque’ and so on. The local fabric includes Ankara fabric a 100% cotton filled with vibrant patterns and African motifs. This print is also called Dutch wax or Holland wax, African prints or African wax prints and has become internationally accepted.

Ankara fabrics are made through an Indonesian wax-resist dyeing technique called BATIK. The fabrics come with an imprint of the quality/product on it. You can make the ankara fabric into jumpsuits, dresses, skirts and blouses or even used as an additive.

Ankara Dresses For Women

Whether to religious events, dinners, weddings, social outings and events ankara serves daily fashion purposes. Different people with different taste came about with stoning, beading and even adding embroideries and frills to their ankara dress styles creating modish looks.

Worn to weddings as ‘aso-ebi’ the ankara styles can be simple, elaborate but definitely fashionable.

Rock ankara skirts, simple dress, shorts or rompers for social events and gatherings paired with sneakers, teeshirts or jeans.

Ankara For Men

The men not left out as they wear ankara fabrics as trousers, embroidered tops, shorts, suits and even as full outfits.

Notwithstanding former limitations, the fabric serves as an important accessory to men as well. They use it as ties, cufflinks, lapels and even bags.

Ankara as Accessories

With innovations and needs to make the Ankara fabric more useful and trendy, accessories like bags, shoes, pieces of jewelry and so on came about.

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Ankara Jewelries

People have become really innovative making Ankara into pieces of jewelry like necklace, bracelets, earrings as well as rings. This has created a job and skill acquisition opportunities for lots of women and men alike. It also this colorful print an acceptable piece in the international fashion market.

Ankara Bags and Shoes

Clutches, handbags, cross-bags, tote bags and even backpacks and shoes made from ankara fabrics have become fashion statements. To make it more stylish and chic, women use stones, beads, frills and embroideries to sew their ankara fabrics.

Ankara Swimwears

The vibrant colors of the Ankara prints make it interesting and fun when made into swimsuits and wearing them has become really popular.

Other accessories made with ankara includes phone cases, book covers, pillowcases and glass cases.


Laces come brightly coloured, long-lasting fabrics and are in vogue especially for events, weddings and the likes in the  Nigerian fashion scene.


Asoebi means ‘Cloth for the Family’ in Yoruba, worn in a uniform manner at ceremonies like weddings, Funerals, birthdays and other festivities. It represents union as well as common interest. Mostly, events like this choose lace as the common or family fabric. Each person chooses and sews different styles and designs.


Dashiki: A loose brightly coloured tunic or shirt worn by men and women alike. It took over as a street style paired with shorts, trousers and on the other hand, can be worn as a dress or alone.

Off-Shoulders And Dramatic sleeves: The off-shoulder, cold-shoulder and one shoulder styles made its impact in the fashion world since 2017. It has become a must-have for anyone that loves to stay in trend. Worn as dresses or tops.

Bell Sleeves: This dramatic sleeve made its way into the market and has stayed over a year now because of its chic look and feel. Whether as a dress or top, this sleeve is amazing and playful.

Parody Fringes Or Frills: Fringes or frills have been around since the 18th century and are still relevant with a flirtatious character to it. Asides from attaching them to the end of dresses or skirts, their placements are not limited.

Kimonos: These jackets or vests have become wardrobe essential and act to transform plain outfits into something striking for a church, work, school or even a night out.

Agbada Styles: Long and free-flowing rope with wide arms. This style is associated with the elite and helps build the confidence and admiration. The common colours seen include full black, white, shades of blue, red, cream, beige etc.

Nigerian fashion pays attention to vibrant colors, chic and sophisticated styles blended into the traditional fabrics.

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Nigerian hairstyles

Like clothes, shoes and other fashion accessories, Nigerian hairstyles has evolved through the years. With the Nigerian fashion industry growing like wildfire, hairstyles have become a fashion statement.

Nigerian drinks

Nigerians are known to be heavy drinkers, party-lovers which makes the locally made drinks very much appreciated. A good number of these Nigerian drinks are found to be refreshing as well as nutritious. Drinks like Palm wine, Zobo, Kunu etc.

Ethnic groups in Nigeria

Nigeria is truly a fascinating country with 36 States and a Federal capital territory. It has over 300 ethnic groups and over 500 Spoken Languages, the official Language in Nigeria is English.The largest, most populous and politically influenced ethnic group in Nigeria: Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Ijaw, Kanuri, and Ibibio. Within these groups, there are minor groups with different languages, culture, and lifestyle.

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