Ever saw a dashiki shirt? Maybe you have. It’s just that you didn’t know that it was called a dashiki shirt. You called it by some other name. Like that multi-colored shirt worn loose that is definitely not from Hawaii. Hey. Hawaiian shirts are often called luau especially when worn with a flower garland. A dashiki shirt on the other hand is already colorful in itself. Adding the flower necklace might overdo the overall look, if you can see where this description is going.
If ever there is one colorful piece of clothing often associated with that headcap worn by Muslims, it’s the dashiki shirt. Then again, it’s the shirt often seen worn with the headcap in the African Islamic community. Besides, the name dashiki is based from the Hausa term that literally translates into “shirt”. It may sound a little redundant but it works when trying to learn what should you be buying. Should you buy dashiki the ensemble or just the dashiki shirt? While some African men are seen wearing the dashiki shirt in some parties, there are versions intended for special occasions.
One kind of dashiki shirt is worn in wedding receptions and other parties where you need to be formal. This is the dashiki shirt that looks somewhat like a tunic. But the design from the embroidery to the weave is undeniably of the dashiki variety. Also, it’s best worn with a matching sokoto. They’re pants meant to be worn alongside the dashiki shirt. If certain women can’t leave home if their bras and panties don’t match, most African men don’t feel like attending the formal parties if the sokoto doesn’t match the dashiki shirt. It’s meant to make these men look good. So might as well get the sokoto matched with the dashiki shirt.
There’s also a practical explanation why this shirts is called dashiki shirt even if the term “dashiki” already meant “shirt”. Remember the confusion mentioned previously in this article? Once you Google the term “dashiki”, you end up seeing some dresses that don the design. Like full suits that get called dashiki outfits. Sometimes, dashiki today has been shorthand for African design. Bright colors, vivid lines and intricate details are spread out on the outfit like some tapestry meant to be worn. It also helped a lot that the cloth often used for dashiki shirts is lightweight. Perfect for going under the sun and strutting your stuff.
Dashiki shirts get worn more often now in the United States as a way for some African Americans to embrace their roots. This is African heritage worn and displayed on a daily basis. It’s the kind of outfit that re-highlighted Africa as an economic powerhouse in fashion. Well, West Africa to be particular about it. In this vein, it attracted a whole new set of demographics and soon, even non-blacks have found dashiki shirts worth wearing.
What would match dashiki shirts if you’re just out for a walk? The skinny jeans would do. Some girls have started wearing the unisex type of dashiki shirts ever since seeing pop icon Beyonce wear an oversized dashiki shirt with some denim cut-off jeans. Because sometimes, all you need is a high profile celebrity wearing some random shirt to elevate it to viral levels. On the other hand, it suits well for fashion enthusiasts of all races and colors. All genders too.