The Nigerian Ethnicity: Igbo Sense of Fashion

Hello Fashionistas, Kedu ka ị mere? which means, how are you, in Igbo? Yeah guys, remember we started on one of the fashion senses of the ethnic groups in Nigeria and we started with the Yoruba people’s sense of fashion. Today, we move further into another one of these numerous ethnic groups in Nigeria.

Igbo Sense of Fashion 1

The Igbo people, who surround most of the states in the Eastern part of Nigeria are mainly known for their enterprising, independent, and adventurous nature and are also popular for their variety of food, dance, music, musical instruments, festival, and culture. But instead, we’ll be discussing their traditional Attire.

IGBO TRADITIONAL ATTIRE FOR WOMEN;

Igbo Sense of Fashion 2

The Igbo women are popularly known for their beauty, however, every tribe is beautiful (I should know cause I am, beautiful, lol, right?) Yeah, so, their beauty also comes from their cultural outfit. The Igbo women’s outfit makes them stand out so much that you will have no choice but to know that, it’s them immediately. The common Igbo women’s traditional attire consists of; Short blouses or wrapper blouses, Skirts or wrappers, beaded headgear, and jewelry coral beads for ankles, wrists, and neck.

However, the Igbo women also pride themselves, on the different styling of their attire. Some of which are:

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TWO-PIECE WRAPPER ATTIRE STYLE:

This style is the typical Igbo women’s dress style of tradition and it consists of a two-piece wrapper of any fabric, or material, in which one wrapper, is used to cover up the chest area in any stylish manner, while the other, is tied, around the waist to just below the knee level. This style is commonly worn by brides as their wedding attire as it represents the Igbo culture (I actually love their style). However, just as the wrappers can be used in two ways, it can also be worn as a one-piece long wrapper that is tied from the chest area in whatever style, deemed fit, till it reaches below the knee or sometimes, the ankles. This style is worn mostly by the old women, of the Igbo tribe in their villages. One other thing to note is that their outfits are never complete without their signature, beaded headgear and beads for the neck, wrists, and ankles, and sometimes, waists.

Igbo Sense of Fashion 3
Igbo Sense of Fashion 4
Igbo Sense of Fashion 5

TWO-LAYERED WRAPPER ATTIRE STYLE:

Yeah, it may seem like this is the same as the first style, but let’s not get confused, there are slight differences. While the two-piece wrapper style is worn, as shown above, the two-layered wrapper style, consists of two wrappers of any fabric or material, where one is longer than the other and is typical, worn with a blouse. The blouse can be any style, but one of the other things that make the Igbo women, stand out is their choice of off-shoulders, sleeveless or armless blouses. The two-layered wrapper style is worn as such; The longer wrapper is tied from the waist up to the ankles, all the while, the legs are spread apart to ensure walking comfort, and then the shorter wrapper, is tied, also from the waist till it reaches the knee. Now, guys, remember, their dressing is not always complete without their signature beads.

GOWN STYLES:

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This or as I like to call it, the various degrees of gowns. One thing I’ve noticed about the Igbo women is the fact that they can make anything look like a style, and one of them is Gowns. Now, we know that every tribe, can wear a gown sown of their traditional fabric, and just like that, the Igbo people, have their own different type of fabric. The Yoruba people have their own fabric, called ASO OKE, while the Igbo people use the George fabric, Isi-Agu amongst many others. Their gowns are mostly sown into off-shoulders, sleeveless or armless styles, detachable sleeves, or tube gown styles. And sometimes, their gowns, are heavily beaded and still worn with their normal traditional beads.

WEDDING ATTIRE:

The Igbo women’s attire is known mostly for their beads. It is an important piece of jewelry worn around the neck, wrists, waists, and ankles as it symbolizes, culture, unity, and bond.

 

IGBO TRADITIONAL ATTIRE FOR MEN

The Igbo men are what I like to call, entrepreneurs… they know the real meaning behind hustle but have the natural knack for business. Now, the Igbo men also take a bit of pride in their attire as it showcases their culture more than anything else. The common Igbo men, attire consists of the Ishi Agu shirt over wrapper or trouser, Etibo over wrapper or trousers, plain sleeved or sleeveless round neck over wrapper, walking stick, beads for neck and wrists, and cap.

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Now, let’s check out some of the Igbo men’s outfit styles:

ISHI AGU TOP OVER WRAPPER STYLE:

The Ishi Agu is one of the common Igbo male fabrics, that is used to make any top or shirt style according to the preference of the man. The Ishi Agu top, can either be sown into a long or short-sleeved kind of top or shirt and worn over a Wrapper of either the same material or a different one. The style is always complemented by the traditional cap.

ISHI AGU OVER PLAIN TROUSERS:

Just as the Ishi Agu top can be worn on the wrapper, it can similarly be won over plain trousers. The attire is adorned with traditional beads and a cap.

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ROUND NECK STYLES:

This consists mainly of a white round neck top or a sleeveless white singlet worn over the wrapper of any kind of fabric. This is mostly worn in their villages, however, you can always sight one or two Igbo men by the way they wear their clothes in your neighborhood. Now, what makes this style stand out aside from the wrapper is also the cap adorned on the outfit. While some men would go for the normal black senator’s cap, some others will go for the falling over the cap, which is almost like a head warmer, except, it falls to the side, and has a feathery tip.

ETIBO OVER WRAPPERS:

Etibo is a simple plain short or long-sleeved shirt made from any fabric of choice. It looks like a senator’s attire, however, it can also be sown with lace materials. It is worn over wrappers, in either matching form or different fabric. Never forget that the Igbo dressing style is never complete without their cap and beads.

WEDDING STYLES:

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The Igbo men are not partial when it comes to wedding attire, and as such, they can wear whatever style is chosen by their preferences. However, the most important thing in any Igbo wedding attire is the beads. The beads symbolize culture and unity amongst themselves, so, it is worn over their outfits to showcase the real Igbo traditions.

There are many more styles from the Igbo tribe that blow the mind away, but these few are enough to water your taste buds for now.  And again, guys, never forget, the one thing the Igbo people do not joke with is the beads on their attire. So, what do you guys think? Can you sew any of these styles and take a picture with it and then send them under your comments?

How was the Igbo tribe? I wanted to make a lot of jokes but I just saw that the word count is past 1000 words. So, again, I gotta scram guys, It’s time to eat one of the Igbo people’s delicacies, guess which one?

Later Fashionistas…

Photo sources: google.com

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By Oluwatoyosi

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