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All You Need To Know About Boubou

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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 Wear Belts During Pregnancy

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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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What You Can Wear Under Your Cap And Gown For Graduation

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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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All You Need To Know About Waist Beads

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All You Need To Know About Waist Beads

 

All You Need To Know About Waist Beads

Waist beads are one of the traditional fashion accessories peculiar to Africa.

Worn typically around the waist, it is an arrangement of ornamental stones, crystals, charms, and small glass beads on a string or wire.

Also known as belly beads, waistline beads, or beaded waist chains, waist beads have been in existence for a very long time.

It has also been adopted by other cultures. In the West, women have been seen wearing waist beads.

Women in West African countries such as Ghana, Senegal, and Nigeria wear waist beads for various reasons that could be spiritual, sensual, or fashionable.

In recent times, however, waist beads are worn by women in Africa and America to enhance their aesthetic appearance and serve other useful purposes.

Here, everything you need to know about waist beads and its significance will be covered.

Why Waist Beads Are Worn

There are different reasons why waist beads are worn by women.

Weight Evaluation

For some women, waist beads serve as weight checkers. Because waist beads don’t stretch, they work well in helping women assess if they’ve lost or added weight. The waist beads sit tighter on the waist when there’s weight increase. When there’s weight loss, they fall down to the hips. Nowadays, there are adjustable waist beads that don’t change based on weight loss or increase.

Sign of Maturity

In certain parts of the world, waist beads are worn to indicate growth into womanhood. In Ghana, babies are adorned with waist beads during their naming ceremonies. As they grow older, the girls retain the waist beads.

In many West African traditions, a pair of waist beads are worn around daughters during their first menstruation. It indicates passage into womanhood.

Also, when a girl grows out of puberty, the waist beads will be different. Hence, waist beads indicate a new stage of life for women.

Intimacy and Fertility

Waist beads are also known to enhance women’s sensuality in different parts of the world. Waist beads may also be closely associated with fertility. Some women wear specific beads during sex when they’re trying to conceive.

Among the Ashante and Krobo cultures in Ghana, larger beads or bells are added to a woman’s waist beads once she’s fertile so she makes noise when she walks to alert potential suitors nearby.

In other cultures, waist beads are worn under clothing for only the wearer and her chosen partners to see, akin to a special set of lingerie.

Special waist beads are also available for pregnant women. They’re believed to provide protection for the mother and growing baby.

Heritage and pride

Although women of all races and ethnicities wear waist beads, this accessory is particularly from Africa. Waist beads are a popular way for Black women in the diaspora to connect to their ancestors and celebrate their heritage and cultural practices.

Today, the usage of waist beads by Black and Brown women in the West has evolved into a cultural tradition of its very own. It’s one that reflects the diasporic experience.

Owing to the transatlantic slave trade, many women in the diaspora don’t have direct knowledge of their West African lineage. Reclaiming waist beads also means Black women can reclaim the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of their ancestors. The beads serve as a constant physical reminder that heritage is never as far away as you may think, and it’s up for personal interpretation.

 

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