5 Easy Ways to add Ankara Fabric to an outfit

Hello hello #fashionablehumans, happy Friday!!!!

I hope you guys a stellar week ahead, and hope you had a relaxing weekend! Did y’all catch #Beychella??? If not, please do yourself a favor and find the video because she sntached wigs, edges, and upper lip hairs. Her celebration of Blackness at Coachella was amazing, stupendous, unprecedented, and I am running out of adjectives. Just go watch.

Dafrastar | BeyChella

*Back to regular programming*

Y’all know I am a huge fan of Ankara fabric (as evidenced in a ton of my posts). It is a huge part of my culture (I am from Burkina Faso), and it’s also cute, OKURRRRR?

That said, Ankara is not for the faint of heart. It is bold, bright and loud. The patterns do not always make sense (I personally gave up trying to understand them because WTF), and walking around a Western country wearing Ankara is almost always a conversation starter — even when you are aggressively minding your own business.  It may therefore be intimidating for a newbie to jump into the (lit AF) African fabric life, but fear not! My boos Dorothy Abigail, Louisa from La Passion Voûtée and I are bringing you a few cute ways to pepper some Ankara into your lewks until you are ready to take a bigger leap (…or not. I’d be judging you tho.)

Let’s do this!

Classic Pop of Ankara: the Headwrap

Ankara headwraps are to African outfits what dupattas are to in Indian ones: they just go together. In African culture, the leftover fabric from an outfit is usually used to make a gorgeous headwrap to finish off one’s look. Those great pieces can obviously be (and are) worn alone, and in the latest years, many amazing designers have started selling standalone headwraps at pretty affordable prices all over the web. Ankara headwraps are a cute alternative to a hat on a bad hair day, they can be worn in a variety of styles, come in pretty much all the colors of the rainbow and can be used to uplevel any outfit. I am wearing one by @zoeyandabena here, but you can find gorgeous ones on @grass_fields, @asodara, @maisonpetiteandbold, @thehelmh and a TON of other vendors all over Instagram and Etsy. More inspiration below (post on above look here).

 

 

Example of a full look with headwrap below

 

Blogger Dafrastar discusses ways to add a hint of Ankara Fabric to a look, in collaboration with @Dorothy.Abigail and Louisa Moje from www.lapassionvoutee.com ankara, ankara looks, ankara inspiration, ankara for beginners, pop of ankara, ankara skirt, headwrap, ankara dress, african fabrics, kente, kentekini, ankara swimwear

Utilitarian Pop of Ankara: The Bag

Before I was gifted this bag from @theresacotton, I had already been collecting ethnic bags from all over the world. Now— the fact that I did not have an Ankara one yet is laughable, but I was going to get one, I swear. An Ankara bag just POPS against my (usually dark AF) outfits and is just a simple way to incorporate a cultural piece into a look. Ankara bags have been around for a while, but I am here for their current resurgence in mainstream sartorial habits. I love the work of @suave_ke and  @jistcouture, as well as pieces by @shalomdesign. Again, Instagram and Etsy are your friends to find cute pieces. (Look above here).

Dorothy can actually sew, so she is wearing one of her own creations as a waist bag (DO NOT SAY FANNY PACK). The way the fabric looks against her all-black outfit… Yes Lawd.

Here’s her take on Ankara accessories:

My wardrobe is usually very colorful and  Ankara fabric does the trick every time I want a bold, showstopper of an outfit, but it can be Ankara Fabric can be overwhelming.  A great way to incorporate it into your outfits is by starting with small accessories like a bag, earrings, pins or a headwrap.
Even though I had fun creating a Fanny Pack and a pin for this collab, I’d choose an all Ankara outfit over a minimalistic look any day 😍

SHE SAID FANNY PACK 😂

Blogger Dafrastar discusses ways to add a hint of Ankara Fabric to a look, in collaboration with @Dorothy.Abigail and Louisa Moje from www.lapassionvoutee.com ankara, ankara looks, ankara inspiration, ankara for beginners, pop of ankara, ankara skirt, headwrap, ankara dress, african fabrics, kente, kentekini, ankara swimwear

 

More cute shit below.

View this post on Instagram

Culture and fashion become the iconic @jackieaina as she complements her outfit to the #BlackPanther movie premiere with the #NICKster #FreeKingsKente ✨💫. How will you be dressed to to see the movie? • To commemorate the premiere of the #BlackPantherMovie, #JISTcouture is having a HUGE 20% discount sale! • Visit jistcouture.com to take advantage of this offer 💫 • Code: WAKANDA • The link to have the code plugged directly into your browser, is in our bio! • WORLDWIDE SHIPPING 🌐 • #JISTCouture #JIST #BlackPanther #BlackPantherMovie #LeatherBag #LuxuryBag #Kente #LeatherGoods #Africanmillennials #Luxe #Backpack #Marvel #Wakanda #PrintedLeather #Culture #GoldPlated #CrushedVelvet #WakandaForever

A post shared by JIST Couture (@jistcouture) on

Blogger Dafrastar discusses ways to add a hint of Ankara Fabric to a look, in collaboration with @Dorothy.Abigail and Louisa Moje from www.lapassionvoutee.com ankara, ankara looks, ankara inspiration, ankara for beginners, pop of ankara, ankara skirt, headwrap, ankara dress, african fabrics, kente, kentekini, ankara swimwear Unexpected Pop of Ankara: The Jewelry

(I know, I know, same look as above, but listen — it applies. )

Ankara jewelry is the perfect accessory to safely try African fabric, because (to me at least) jewelry is kinda expected to be whimsical. I wear huge hoops sometimes, huge rings, bangles and other baubles; switching Ankara for metal is just a tiny step, really. IMHO, an Ankara neckpiece is the perfect way to dress up a plain tee and jeans (saw a lot of that when I went to see Black Panther), and a cute set of earrings or bangles add some color and personality to an otherwise simple look.

The earrings above actually came with a matching necklace, but I omitted the latter because it would have been too damn much (I was already rocking a matching skirt.)

Jewelry inspo below.

 

Blogger Dafrastar discusses ways to add a hint of Ankara Fabric to a look, in collaboration with @Dorothy.Abigail and Louisa Moje from www.lapassionvoutee.com ankara, ankara looks, ankara inspiration, ankara for beginners, pop of ankara, ankara skirt, headwrap, ankara dress, african fabrics, kente, kentekini, ankara swimwear

Sexy Pop of Ankara: The Swimsuit

Now THIS is a fun way to wear Ankara!!! I have always been a huge fan of ankarakinis/ dashikinis/kentekinis ever since they became a thing, and the one I am rocking in this photo is from the (now defunct, unfortunately) Olori Swim line. Man, I loved their stuff!

An Ankara print is super non-threatening on a swimsuit because it honestly looks like any other print (*cough* only cooler *cough*). The colors are usually bright, the swimsuits come in a variety of cuts, and this is just a fun way to look cute on the beach or by the pool.

Cool Ankara swimwear brands include (but are not limited to ) BFYNE (I own this one), Ofuure, Ashanti Swimwear (I am in love with the AKUA) and Diarrablu.

Peep more ideas below.

 

 

Stylish Pop of Ankara: The Accent

Arguably the simplest, this approach is also the coolest in my opinion. A piece of clothing with just a hint of Ankara immediately looks different and has a very “haute” look to it. I likely feel that way because, back in the day, many African fashion designers used to approach international markets by using the same strategy.  They would start with very plain and clean designs out of non-Ankara fabrics, but then add fun pops in strategic locations. I see a little less of that approach now that African prints are more mainstream, but it is still a fun way to flex a little 😜.

My boo Louisa styled the look above effortlessly; here is a little bit about it in her own words:

As a millennial living in the diaspora, I have the urge to share a little bit of my African heritage. An appreciation of my culture and the subtle nuances that make my traditions different from another intrigues me. Clothes like this African print peplum dress that is the perfect Yin-yang of two totally different cultures tell my story.

If you’re looking for a trendy yet classy look that infuses a little bit of the African flair, look no further than this SGTC Clothing bodycon dress with an Ankara peplum accent. It is the perfect dress for fancy occasions, and can also be dressed down for a stylish casual look.

Dorothy opted for a cute Ankara button.

Blogger Dafrastar discusses ways to add a hint of Ankara Fabric to a look, in collaboration with @Dorothy.Abigail and Louisa Moje from www.lapassionvoutee.com ankara, ankara looks, ankara inspiration, ankara for beginners, pop of ankara, ankara skirt, headwrap, ankara dress, african fabrics, kente, kentekini, ankara swimwear

Blogger Dafrastar discusses ways to add a hint of Ankara Fabric to a look, in collaboration with @Dorothy.Abigail and Louisa Moje from www.lapassionvoutee.com ankara, ankara looks, ankara inspiration, ankara for beginners, pop of ankara, ankara skirt, headwrap, ankara dress, african fabrics, kente, kentekini, ankara swimwear

 

More cool pops of Ankara below:

 

 

Blogger @Dafrastar discusses positivity in every day life, while rocking a hoodie dress and an Ankara cap from HELMH. ankara, ankara hat, ankara accessories, ankara headwrap, ankara hat, helmh, helmh accessories, ankara accessories, hoodie dress, sweater dress, how to style a hoodie, how to style a hoodie dress, OTK Boots, Stuart Weitzman Highland, Steve Madden Gorgeous

Everyday Pops of Ankara: The Hats and Scarves

… AKA the Ankara versions of your everyday favorite accessories. Simple as that.

Y’all already know I  love my cute baseball cap from Helmh (I talk about it in more detail here). It is a good everyday hat that happens to have dope Ankara fabric on it.

Louisa, on the other hand, needs to bundle up (she lives in Alaska). She took the route of adding color in the form of a bright Ankara scarf. In her words:

Summer is not the only time to rock African print clothes. A great way to add some swag to your winter look is by wearing Ankara accessories, like this handmade Ankara patchwork scarf by Boriah Clothiers

View this post on Instagram

My 𝗙𝗿𝗶𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗺𝗼𝗼𝗱! 💃 "A good laugh is sunshine in the house." 😂 ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ Head over to the blog to find out about the 𝗯𝗲𝗮𝘂𝘁𝘆 𝗷𝗲𝘄𝗲𝗹 💎 that has me excited for fall/winter [#ad]. Hint: It is intensely moisturizing, provides protection and relief & contains SPF30 to promote healing. Think you know what it is? Verify thru this link (http://primp.in/OeyfJ6TPmx) or the link in my bio.⠀ ⠀ ⠀ Also on the blog is this black/blue outfit with some 𝗔𝗳𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗽𝗶𝘇𝘇𝗮𝘇𝘇!🌈 Love my look? I've linked exactly what I'm wearing (or similar) for you incl. the leather jacket & riding boots. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ Shop my entire outfit via the link in my bio [lpvblog.com/shop] or via the @liketoknow.it app. Download the app, like this photo & get the deets. http://liketk.it/2tdPm Easy peasy 😉⠀📸 by @snhphoto ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ #Beauty💎 #Herpecin #myootd #whatiwore #urbanwear #styleaddict #ootdfash #sharingalaska #alaskablogger #fashionaddict #fashiondaily #snowisblack #styleinspo #urbanfashion #amazonfashion #alaskan #winterfashion #winterstyle #sweaterweather #fallwinter #fallismyfavorite #fallweather #fallseason #fall2017 #LTKholidaystyle #LTKholidayathome @liketoknow.it #liketkit⠀ ⠀

A post shared by Louisa Moje, PharmD, MBA (@lapassionvoutee) on

These Ankara additions are super effortless since they are everyday items. Pair an Ankara hat or scarf with any look is super easy, and as seen in the photos — nothing else is needed!

Cute inspo below:

 

I believe this is it for today guys!!!

Thanks so much for stopping by and looking at fun ways to add Ankara to your looks. Any looks that you like more than others? Why? Let me know below!

Until next time,

With Love,

Dafra

 

Blogger Dafrastar discusses ways to add a hint of Ankara Fabric to a look, in collaboration with @Dorothy.Abigail and Louisa Moje from www.lapassionvoutee.com ankara, ankara looks, ankara inspiration, ankara for beginners, pop of ankara, ankara skirt, headwrap, ankara dress, african fabrics, kente, kentekini, ankara swimwear

 

 

Blogger Dafrastar discusses ways to add a hint of Ankara Fabric to a look, in collaboration with @Dorothy.Abigail and Louisa Moje from www.lapassionvoutee.com ankara, ankara looks, ankara inspiration, ankara for beginners, pop of ankara, ankara skirt, headwrap, ankara dress, african fabrics, kente, kentekini, ankara swimwear

 

 

Blogger Dafrastar discusses ways to add a hint of Ankara Fabric to a look, in collaboration with @Dorothy.Abigail and Louisa Moje from www.lapassionvoutee.com ankara, ankara looks, ankara inspiration, ankara for beginners, pop of ankara, ankara skirt, headwrap, ankara dress, african fabrics, kente, kentekini, ankara swimwear

Because we love Ankara: Casual Slay

This post is the first one in a collab series with the awesome @DorothyAbigail. Find her here and on YouTube!.

Sooo this is it, right? The scariest part of actually getting (re)started with this blogging thing?

I have NO idea why I put this off for so long. For years I swore it did not hurt a little when I took a look at my neglected FB page, my now empty YouTube channel, walked past my cameras/umbrella lights/ring lights/ all the lights, and just overall went on with my blog-less life.

Mbong Ankara set from Grass Fields on Dafrastar www.dafrastar.com Ankara set, ankara outfit, african outfit, ankara skirt, ankara top, ankara fashion

Truth is- I got busy. So busy. Insanely busy.

I quit blogging in 2012; started a job, got engaged, left the job for another, got married, moved, started another (insanely busy) job, and… next thing I knew, five years had passed. FIVE. FREAKING. YEARS.

 Dafrastar www.dafrastar.com Ankara set, ankara outfit, african outfit, ankara skirt, ankara top, ankara fashion

I mean it’s not like I did not try and shit. I started CraftyDafra somewhere in the middle of those 5 years, because I felt the burning need to share my (below average) craft skillz with the world. Wrote only one post (albeit very detailed, if I may say so). Lost my way again.

And then one random day, I started feeling the urge to be creative again. I realized I missed a lot of this writing/filming/getting dressed up/shooting process, and I also like cool pictures (who doesn’t?).

Sooooo yeah. I am giving this another good shot, and I have all the intention to stick with it this time around and not sabotage myself. I have been working on this for a few months, a few days at the time; can’t wait to see how everything unfolds.

 Dafrastar www.dafrastar.com Ankara set, ankara outfit, african outfit, ankara skirt, ankara top, ankara fashion, dark skin, melanin

On to the outfit itself! (And can we discuss how @JoyOfodu made these pictures come to life, making me look like I just stepped out of a chocolate fountain? The girl is a magician.)

 

 Dafrastar www.dafrastar.com Ankara set, ankara outfit, african outfit, ankara skirt, ankara top, ankara fashion, dark skin, melanin

What I am wearing: Outfit- Here, bangles- combination of these in copper and old ones in gold, Earrings- here

I caught this super cute set on sale from Grass Fields (I have had my eye on that shop for a while, so score!) The skirt is kind of a pleated skater skirt, and the top is an off-the-shoulder crop top with some laces that seem useless at first, but then surprisingly redeem themselves when wrapped around the waist in a criss cross pattern.

Oh- S/O to the guy who gave randomly me his guitar to pose with because it matched my outfit! I look like I am about to drop the hottest country mixtape of summer’17- if country was made in West Africa, I suppose.

 Dafrastar www.dafrastar.com Ankara set, ankara outfit, african outfit, ankara skirt, ankara top, ankara fashion, melanin, dark skin blogger

The colors are vibrant, eye catching and offer a great contrast with my skin (#melaninpoppin, heyyyy). It is a fun little outfit to wear out for a day party, Ankara party, brunch, date, or for whenever the hell you are in a midriff-baring mood, really. I have worn the skirt with a T shirt tucked in, and it looks pretty good; I also wore very a similar top with high waisted pants on Sunday (namely these – similar style here) and it was a very simple yet put together outfit. So points for each piece working well with other pieces of clothing.

Quality-wise, though, I was somewhat let down. My reasons:

  • The set arrived to my house excessively starched, making it stiff and stubbornly wrinkly. I contacted Customer Service, and their advice was to wash it in fabric softener (meanwhile my shoot was a day later, so nope).  I steamed both pieces, and while the fabric relaxed for a hot minute, it turned back to feeling like paper soon after. That said- I will note that I contacted someone else on Insta with the same set- she seemed to have received a decent quality outfit, so that’s that.
  • The skirt (and the top, actually) are unlined, and the fabric is regular cotton Ankara Fabric. It is not see through, but for a short skirt, I would have hoped it to have at least a bit of lining.
  • The top is very short. If you are busty and need a bra, your undergarments may peek our from underneath it when you raise your arms… or breathe or smile.

 Dafrastar www.dafrastar.com Ankara set, ankara outfit, african outfit, ankara skirt, ankara top, ankara fashion, dark skin blogger

All in all though, I am still happy with my purchase. A good wash, and it should be a solid 6/10. Being African, Ankara is inherently part of my culture and I cannot wait to showcase more of it. This is definitely not top quality in my opinion; I have a few Ankara items I am peeping though, so I trust I will find some faves soon. And for the price I got this set at, I am not about to complain.

Check out my girl Dorothy’s interpretation of a Casual Ankara Slay on her Instagram page! Can you believe she made this herself? Yes, as in- she sewed the outfit. I wish I could sew a napkin.

ankara outfit, african outfit, ankara skirt, ankara top, ankara fashion

So that’s it for this comeback post. I feel happy and terrified- my blog is no longer a little secret, but it will feel good to press that “Publish” button.

See you soon,

D

Photographed by @Joyfodu

 

Bloggers @Dafrastar and @Dorothy_Abigail show ways style an ankara set, in this colorful article on www.dafrastar.com. Ankara set, ankara skirt, ankara shorts, how to wear ankara, how to style ankara

 

Bloggers @Dafrastar and @Dorothy_Abigail show ways style an ankara set, in this colorful article on www.dafrastar.com. Ankara set, ankara skirt, ankara shorts, how to wear ankara, how to style ankara

 

Bloggers @Dafrastar and @Dorothy_Abigail show ways style an ankara set, in this colorful article on www.dafrastar.com. Ankara set, ankara skirt, ankara shorts, how to wear ankara, how to style ankara

 

Bloggers @Dafrastar and @Dorothy_Abigail show ways style an ankara set, in this colorful article on www.dafrastar.com. Ankara set, ankara skirt, ankara shorts, how to wear ankara, how to style ankara

 

Bloggers @Dafrastar and @Dorothy_Abigail show ways style an ankara set, in this colorful article on www.dafrastar.com. Ankara set, ankara skirt, ankara shorts, how to wear ankara, how to style ankara

 

Bloggers @Dafrastar and @Dorothy_Abigail show ways style an ankara set, in this colorful article on www.dafrastar.com. Ankara set, ankara skirt, ankara shorts, how to wear ankara, how to style ankara