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All You Need To Know About Boubou

All You Need To Know About Boubou

All You Need To Know About Boubou

The boubou is no stranger to many Africans.

The classic Senegalese robe is worn by both men and women all over West Africa and also in West African diasporic communities of Europe and the United States.

It is sewn from a single piece of fabric. And the boubou is usually 59 inches (150 cm) wide and of varying lengths.

The grand boubou is the most elegant style. It is often sewn from a piece of fabric 117 inches (300 cm) long that reaches to the ankles.

The boubou is customarily made in workshops by tailors. They fold the fabric in half, fashion a neck opening, and sew the sides halfway up to make flowing sleeves.

For women, the neck is large and rounded; for men it forms a long V-shape, usually with a large five-sided pocket cutting off the tip of the “V.”

When stiffly starched and draped over the body, the boubou makes the wearer look elegant with a majestic height and presence.

Men wear the classic boubou with a matching shirt and trousers underneath. Women wear it with a matching wrapper or pagne and head-tie.

Fabric, Embroidery and Dyeing of the Boubou

Tailors who specialize in making boubous invest their skills in the art of embroidery. The fabric for these embroidered boubous is cotton damask, which is called basin in the francophone West African countries.

Although the fabric can be bought in colors, it is preferable to buy white cloth and hand it over to women dyers who hand dye it in rich hues.

Available in market stalls in several grades of quality, the damask at its most expensive comes from Europe, while cheaper imitations come from Asia or Nigeria.

After the fabric is dyed, the tailor creates the embroidery design with a small sewing machine, either electric or pedal driven.

The embroidery was usually white or beige. However in the 1970s, tailors in Dakar, Senegal, introduced colored embroidery. And in the early 2000s, they vie with each other to create intricate, multi-colored designs in vibrant hues for women.

Men continue to wear white or beige embroidery. Sometimes, they opt for threads which are the exact color as the damask and it is usually dyed deep purple or green.

The exception for men is a white voluminous boubou with gold embroidery. This is the special costume of El Hage, the Muslim who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca. It signifies prosperity, repute, and holiness.

As with the fabric, the high prestige embroidery threads are silk and come from France. Polyester imitations are imported from Asia.

A brief history of the boubou

The word “boubou” comes from the Wolof mbubbe. (Wolof is the main African language of Senegal.) This therefore means that the boubou is a traditional Senegalese outfit that is different from the acquired dress styles such as the Arab caftan and the European suit.

It was after the World War II that the elegant grand boubou for women became fashionable. By the end of the twentieth century, young women would sometimes adopt a hip-or knee-length boubou as a fashion alternative and for more casual wear. The boubou à la française also returned as a high-fashion item and it was renamed the mame boye (Wolof for “darling grandmother”).

 

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Fashion

How To Slay In Different Skirt Styles

How To Slay In Different Skirt Styles

Skirts come in a wide variety of lengths and types. This comprehensive guide explains the differences and how to wear them. As with all apparel, skirts can be made in a variety of different fabrics — which typically determines if the skirt is casual, professional, or suitable for evening wear.

Short Skirt Styles

Nothing showcases a great pair of legs like a short skirt. These hit above the knee, but they still come in several shapes and fabrics to suit almost any occasion (except maybe school or work).

Mini-skirt

Mini-skirts can be paired with a variety of different tops, depending on the situation and one’s personal style. For a night out with friends, a tighter, more fitted top would be appropriate; for a more casual day out, it would be best to wear a more conservative top – long sleeved, with a looser fit – to balance out the shortness of the skirt.

The mini-skirt is best worn by younger women with either an apple-shaped body type or boyish shape.

To pull off the mini-skirt style in a more modest way, pair the skirt with leggings or tights for a stylish look that doesn’t show extra skin.

Mini skirt

Skater Skirt

This casual skirt is extremely versatile and can be paired with fitted tops to contrast with the flared shape or even looser tops tucked into the waistband. It has become trendy to wear skater skirts with a fitted cropped top, showing off a sliver of skin.

The skater skirt comes in a variety of lengths, and is universally flattering for all body types.

Longer skater skirts can be worn by women of all ages; shorter skater skirts should be worn by younger women.

Bubble Hem Skirt

This skirt is best worn with a fitted top to balance out the rounded shape of the skirt.

This style is best suited for younger women who have apple-shaped body types.

Bubble skirt

Knee-Length Styles

Knee-length styles are versatile enough to be casual, work-friendly, and also work in more formal settings. As the name suggests, these are a modest length without being too long.

Bell-Shaped

This skirt is best worn in the evening at formal occasions, with a fitted top.

It is best worn by apple-shaped ladies.

Pleated skirt

Traditionally associated with private school uniforms, the pleated skirt has become ubiquitous in recent years. The effect varies based on size of the pleats.

For example, thicker pleats are more reminiscent of schoolgirl days, whereas thinner pleats are more contemporary and on-trend.

The pleated skirt can come in a variety of lengths – mid-thigh (mini), knee-length, calf-length (midi), and even maxi. A more modern take on the skirt is using fabrics like leather or chiffon, as opposed to the more traditional wool-blend.

This type of skirt is best worn with a top tucked into the waistband.

Pleated skirts can be worn by women of all body types and shapes.

Pleated skirt

A-Line skirt

The A-Line skirt, when laid flat, forms a triangle shape where the skirt flares out gently from the waistband.

The A-line skirt is traditionally knee-length, making it an appropriate choice for most occasions.

This style is perfect for pear-shaped ladies as it emphasizes the waist and does not cling to the hips.

Pencil skirt

The pencil skirt is a staple for many professional women closet – and rightly so. This style is cut straight down, and when laid flat, forms a rectangle.

Often paired with a suit jacket, the pencil skirt is best worn in professional environments.

A pencil skirt in a suiting fabric is appropriate for business formal dressing, and an appropriate top would be a formal button-down shirt or a silk shell to be worn under a suit jacket.

Pencil skirt

 

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Fashion

How to Wear Belts During Pregnancy

How to Wear Belts During Pregnancy
How to Wear Belts During Pregnancy

How to Wear Belts During Pregnancy

Wearing belts during pregnancy can be easily pulled off and isn’t as hard as you thought it’d be. Belts are one of the accessories that you can easily use to style your maternity outfits.

But bear in mind that adding a belt to your outfit while you’re pregnant will be slightly different from the normal way you use it.

The belts should go above your baby bump. You can also place a belt on your hips beneath your baby bump if you’re wearing long tops or tunics. This will help you in avoiding a ‘parachute’ look.

An important tip on how to wear belts during pregnancy is to make sure to pick the belts you’re using to accessorise wisely. It should not be too tight or else you’ll be irritating your baby bump. Thin and stretchy belts are the best choice. This is because of the comfort they provide despite you pulling off a stylish look.

How to wear belts during pregnancy 

Coats with belts 

The easiest way to rock a belt over your baby bump is wear a coat with a belt, like a cute trench coat. Just gently wrap the belt over your belly and enjoy the comfort and chicness.

For a night out

If you’re dressing up for date night or dinner with the girls, you can add a belt to switch up your look. You can wear a thin belt with gold detailing or any other interesting design with a dress or printed style kimono.

For everyday looks

Most maternity clothes are usually plain, and you should use accessories to spice them up. That’s where belts come in handy for everyday casual looks, to give shape to your maternity wardrobe and define your body. Sweaters are a good idea here as well because they’re comfy, cozy and easy to style.

For your sweater dresses too

Sweater dresses will probably be your winter best friend. They’re so chic and can be dresses up or down. Flatter your baby bump by adding a belt above your tummy, it will accentuate the slim area under your bust.

Blouses and shirts

Who doesn’t love a good blouse and shirt? If you want to give some structure to the shirt and definition, you can throw on a chic belt.

Don’t overlook shirt dresses too

These are so versatile and comfy. You will find it hard to resist wearing them everyday. You can wear them at home, during the day and even dressing up at night. A belt will give it more edge and definition.

The ‘going out pajamas’ 

This cannot go out of fashion. It’s really comfortable for expectant mothers. It is also a cool way to pull off a cute, stylish look. Aside from the silky smooth feeling all day, an attached wrap around around belt with define your beautiful bump. Just be gentle and don’t wrap it too hard.

 

 

 

 

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Fashion

What You Can Wear Under Your Cap And Gown For Graduation

What You Can Wear Under Your Cap And Gown For Graduation
What You Can Wear Under Your Cap And Gown For Graduation

What You Can Wear Under Your Cap And Gown For Graduation. Christine von Raesfeld via Unsplash

After putting in the work and burning the midnight oil, you definitely need to show off your efforts.

Your graduation is approaching and you want it to be as memorable as possible, right? But you are lost for ideas on what to wear and you definitely need some help.

Whether you’re receiving your degree or you have finished high school, here are the best outfits for you to rock on your graduation day.

All you need to do is get out your camera, cap, and gown, and own the spotlight as you slay.

Graduation Outfits 

High School Graduation

High school graduations are all about having a great time. This is why you need to prepare well for it. To celebrate the end of your secondary education, go for a short dress that reflects your personality.

Whether you prefer bright colors or something dark and monochromatic, rock something that you can comfortably wear to a party or dinner afterward. Depending on the weather, you can choose an outfit with long sleeves or none at all.

Middle School Graduation

Before you enter your final years of secondary education, you have to graduate from middle school. There’s no better way to prepare for this occasion than with a gorgeous outfit that you’ll look back and smile on.

A high-low dress with frills or a crop top and A-line skirt are great options that are youthful but look stylish and flattering.

Go for bright and summery colors to make yourself shine, and rock a pair of kitten heels so you can add a bit of extra height.

In terms of accessories, delicate pearl earrings or a simple gold bracelet is all you need to look like a princess for a day.

College/University Graduation

Whether you’ve finished Law or Liberal Arts, show off your degree in one of these stunning dresses.

A tight-fitting bodycon looks very nice with a cap and gown, and a flowing wrap skirt will make you want to party all night in celebration.

You can also feel free to add some sparkle and glamour to your outfit –  after all, this is a once in a lifetime experience, so you need to make the most of it. Go ahead and be a star.

Graduation Party

This is where you let your hair down and catch some fun. Wear something glamourous at the graduation party.

Flaunt your pins in a mini dress or let your hair down in an off-the-shoulder gown. If you’re going straight from the stage to a party, opt for a midi bodycon frock that shows off your curves and is super stylish.

Dark colors look fantastic at one of these events and you can add a bit of sparkle with a pair of glittery heels or a snazzy clutch.

After all of the hard work you’ve done for the past few years, you deserve to have a great night out and celebrate!

Graduation Ceremony 

Stand on the stage and feel proud of yourself in one of these stunning outfits.

If you don’t want to wear a traditional dress on your big day, rock your cap and gown in a pair of palazzo pants and a chic top in a bold shade.

If you want to go all out, why not wear a jumpsuit? They’re comfortable, stylish, and are a timeless option for any graduate!

Graduation Dinner

Finish off the perfect day in a stunning outfit at your graduation dinner. From casual gatherings to a semi-formal event, you can’t go wrong with a classic midi dress to show off your curves.

For a laidback feel, opt for a perfect A-line silhouette with a pair of pumps, completed by a subtle set of accessories like a necklace or drop earrings.

If you’re heading straight to a party afterward, it’s best to wear something versatile such as a slinky pencil skirt with a crop top or rollneck. These options look great at any time of the year and are a fantastic way to look timeless in your photos.

This way you’ll stay warm and toasty throughout the whole event while looking comfortable and oh-so-stylish. If all else fails, the key is going for a smart casual dress code. No matter what you wear, you’ll do your children proud and look fantastic in all the family photos!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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