African Dashiki: Traditional African Wear
Most online stores like Etsy would feature African Dashiki with a caption from Wikipedia regarding the origin of this design. Still you would be amazed at the options online for the African Dashiki apparel. From hooded to pleated to hug dresses and even a plethora of options for Nigerian, Senegalese or Ankara designs. It must have been an effort to get these designs distinguished. Then again, it only meant that the demand for African Dashiki is here to stay.
Some online shoppers would expect traditional African Dashiki to be the embroidered type. Others would rather go to in-line stores in malls to verify for themselves if the design is embroidered. This gives online sellers some pressure to live up to the photo captions that they put on their wares for sale. Otherwise, expect non-repeat business. Quite an expensive mistake to commit especially when you are one of the relatively new sellers online trying to make a name for himself or herself.
What made the African Dashiki design distinct from your typical embroidered/printed shirt? It is in the design. Some shirts have a roundneck collar with the design starting from the chest. A line on the chest would be surrounded by other intricate designs. The vertical line across the chest would serve as the framework for these sewn patterns. The embroidered ones would display the patterns sewn into the shirt.
The same embroidered design on the chest would also be seen on the sleeves. Men’s African Dashiki shirts occasionally follows color schemes from the backdrop of the shirt to the type of thread used in the embroidery. The most common color combos are white and brown. Men don’t usually buy the really large African Dashiki shirts. They are so large. The hem practically reaches the ankles. It’s a garment usually reserved for men in charge of the ceremony like ministers.
The formal version of the African Dashiki shirt is one worn by the bridegroom in a traditional African wedding. This should be paired with pants of the same color scheme as that of the shirt. Together, the African Dashiki outfit is topped off, pun intended, with a Kufi hat. The bride would be wearing a grown of the same African Dashiki color scheme as that of her bridegroom’s outfit.
For the informal African Dashiki shirt, it’s one often found online as the unisex type of shirt. It means that either a man or a woman can wear. This also is the kind of African Dashiki shirt that is available on free shirt. Loose sleeves and a loose hem, some hems reach below the crotch. When women wear this kind of top, they’d usually pair it with a pair of black leggings for casual days. It may not always be the roundneck type of shirt to wear. But it’s the design often found with a roundneck or a “V” neck.
For the roundneck kind of African Dashiki shirt, the same vertical line from the neck to the navel is still there. Sometimes, the line just goes below the chest if there are
pockets. The pockets end up having the same Dashiki design as that of the chest and the sleeves. It’s also in the roundneck kind of the African Dashiki shirt where the same design found on the chest is also the same design found at the back.
The African Dashiki shirt with the split neck collar is like the cross between a roundneck and a “V” neck type of shirt. The vertical line from the neck to the chest is still there except that you can see where the split is in the line. Some “V” neck shirts may have a split-neck collar too. But the split neck is more noticeable in a roundneck shirt. The design occupies most of the chest area with a little peek-a-boo going on at the bosom for women wearing it. The rather “decent” cuts of a split-neck collar are found in men’s shirts and dresses for conservative women.
Which African Dashiki shirt would fit your lifestyle best? It would be great to check whether you’d rather have them in formal occasions. Or stock some more for the casual days to be enjoyed.