Monday, August 23, 2010

Native Attire

When I was growing up, you couldn't catch me dead in traditional Nigerian clothes. I don't know what it was: the pattern of the clothes, the contrast between them and the American clothes I wore everday, or the oversized styles my mom would sew for us. Either way, I never wanted to wear native attire. It's not like my mom wanted us to wear them to American events. It would only be when we were going to some Naija event or our old Redeemed church that she would want us to wear native, once in a while. But with so few options and so much struggle, we rarely did.

Over the years though, a transformation happened. I think it started in the 9th grade when we had to do a project on an African or Asian country, and I of course rushed to sign up to do Nigeria. The day of the presentation I wore one of my mom's big robes and the headscarf to match.

Since then I've worn traditional clothes to fashion shows, presentations at school, and Naija events. Most of the clothes are big on me because they're my mom's. But I've really come to appreciate the beauty of traditional Naija/African clothes. Before the year is out I want to get some dresses and skirts made so I can be styling and profiling in native gear that fits me really well.... Hehehehe..... ;)



  1. Oh, I feel you! On the odd occasion that family members would send my sister and I back clothing sewn for us, because I'm a big girl, they'd send me shapeless, mumu-like garments so I never wore them because I thought they did nothing for my body shape except make it look bigger.

    I always encouraged my parents to wear their well-sewn and nice fitting garments though (not that they needed any encouragement), and I have to say that Canadians love to see outfits of other never feel conspicuous when you're dressed in your native here!

    When I went to Nigeria in 2008, one of my goals was to come back with nice fitting garments. I got a few but um...they were made to fit my "Naija" body...which means about 5-10 pounds lighter than my regular weight so they are um...a little snug now. ;)

  2. PS - you look great in traditional!

  3. Lol.... Your "Naija" body....That's funny, but I know what you mean. And thanks for the compliment. It's kinda fun wearing traditional to events with lots of non-Africans in attendance. They're always so fascinated. You start talking about the clothes and the culture and it turns into a mini-lesson. It's like you're a cultural ambassador..... :)