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”).
Consider These Before Wearing Ankle Bracelets
Ankle bracelets are a stunning jewelry piece to own. Anklets can take just about any casual outfit and bring it up a few notches. If you have a few anklets already in your jewelry box to choose from, then you’re in luck.
If you don’t already have a few anklets on hand, then you’re also in luck because this means you have even more of a reason to purchase a few for yourself.
However, wearing an ankle bracelet does come with a few dos and don’ts. You can’t throw an anklet bracelet on with any outfit or for any occasion.
Before you rock your beautiful anklet bracelets, be sure you know a few tips on how to wear them. Doing so is the best way to get the most out of these gorgeous jewelry pieces.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about wearing anklet bracelets!
CHOOSING THE RIGHT OR LEFT ANKLE
One of the main questions people seem to have about wearing anklet bracelets is wondering which ankle to wear the anklet on. This is a common question people wonder about for several different jewelry pieces.
For example, the wedding ring is worn on the left hand to signify marriage. Single earrings that are worn on the right or left ear would signify sexual preference at one point in time.
There is some discussion about the anklet bracelet as well. Anklets were also once a gift given by the groom to the bride. Wearing the anklet on the right ankle symbolism those girls being call girls.
However, in today’s world, there is no significance behind which ankle you wear yours on. The decision depends on which one you prefer.
POSITIONING THE ANKLET
Once you decide which ankle you like better for your anklet bracelet, you should then pay attention to the positioning of the anklet. You never want to place your anklet on top of anything but your bare skin. This includes pantyhose as well.
Choose to wear your anklet on bare legs only. You can, however, opt to wear your anklet under a pair of jeans or other pants. As long as you don’t place the bracelet on top of the pants, you’re doing it the right way.
Some people decide to wear the bracelet loosely on their ankles, letting it rest gently on the tops of their feet. Others choose to keep a more snug fit and have it placed tightly around their ankles. The choice is ultimately yours.
Gold anklets are the perfect accessory for mature women. Golden anklets are most commonly worn for more formal settings and occasions. This is due to the fact that gold is commonly seen as a luxurious jewelry material.
Add special stones, diamonds, or even rubies to make the anklet even more sophisticated.
Beaded anklets are another great option. Keep in mind that for each kind of anklet, there’s a time and place or it. When choosing to wear a beaded anklet, you might consider throwing on a pair of casual flip flops to match it.
Beaded anklets are the perfect accessory to match with your casual outfits or for a day at the beach or pool.
Silver anklets are a good choice for a bit younger ladies. As the gold would be for a more sophisticated setting, a sterling silver ankle bracelet would be for a more laidback setting. This is the best choice for young girls or teenagers.
You can pair these easily with summer sandals. Decide on a cute pair of flat sandals or even a pair of heeled sandals.
There’s no specific way to wear charm anklets. You can wear these ankle bracelets with just about any outfit that you can imagine. Just keep in mind whether the bracelet itself is either gold or silver, as this might make the difference when selecting the right outfit and occasion for it.
Charm bracelets on their own, however, are becoming more popular. You can find charm anklets with feathers, teardrop pendants, and so much more. Choose one that suits your style, and you’re good to go!
When wanting to switch things up a bit, consider doubling your anklets on the same ankle. This is a cute way to add a bit of personality to your anklet. The best way to do this is to double up on thin anklets rather than thick ones.
If the anklets are thin enough, you can even consider wearing several anklets that overlap one another.
COMMON ANKLET RULES
Remember to stick to more casual wear when wearing an anklet unless it’s a gold anklet. When wearing an anklet, be sure to have your feet and toes groomed properly. Wearing an anklet draws attention to this area, so you’ll want to have nice-looking feet to show off.
You should also consider wearing your anklets only when you’re not at work. Anklet bracelets might be too casual even if gold ones to wear to your job depending on where you work. Take these few tips into consideration when deciding when to wear an anklet and what type of clothes to wear it with.
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-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.
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.
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.
This skirt is best worn in the evening at formal occasions, with a fitted top.
It is best worn by apple-shaped ladies.
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.
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.
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.
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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