Fashion has always been an integral part of the Nigerian experience.
From time immemorial, Nigerian men and women have always been lovers of Fashion. They strove to be fashionable in their own little way, making fashion statements with their clothes, beads, hairstyles, caps, etc.
The Yoruba’s have been especially known as lovers of fashion. The people of this tribe loved to adorn themselves in clothes, pieces of jewelry, and also their unique hairstyles for the women. They design their bodies with tattoos, henna, bead, and cowries.
Every tribe and cultural community has its traditional ways of dressing that underline its uniqueness. The traditional clothes of the Yoruba’s are called Aso Ibile. Clothing in this culture is gender-specific. Men and women wore different dress styles and never use each other’s clothes.
Yoruba people made their clothes from woven fabric called Aso oke. They take immense pride in their cultural attire. Yoruba men wore buba, esiki, and sapara as undergarments and combined them with overwears like dandogo, agbada, gbariye, and suka. They wore kembe, gbamu, sooro, kamu, sokoto elemu as trousers to match the undergarment and overwear. To complete their dressing, Yoruba men wore caps. They believed their dressing was not complete without the cap. Their caps ranged from tinko, to abeti-aja, alagbaa, oribi, onide amongst others.
Yoruba women, on the other hand, wore iro and buba. They tied their gele in different styles as a way of adding elegance to their dressing. They also have a shawl traditionally known as iborun and also ipele which are long pieces of fabric usually left hanging on their left shoulder.
Yoruba people loved beads so much. They wore different types of beads, necklaces, and bangles to add beauty to their dressing. Beads were also used to indicate royalty and chieftaincy. They are worn by chiefs, kings, and people from the royal families.
Hairstyles were a very significant part of the culture. The women plait and weave their hair in beautiful hairstyles like shuku, kolese, kojusoko, ajanloso, ipako-elede, and many more. They adorned their hairstyles with beads and cowries. The men pruned their hair neatly.
Another integral part of the 80s Yoruba fashion was the inscription of tribal marks on their faces. These marks were believe to add to their beauty. They also signify clearly what part of the Yoruba land an individual hails from. The marks were made with blades or knives on the cheeks at infancy.
Yoruba people believe in modesty. They do not go over the top. Some of these 80s fashion items are still very much in vogue to date. Some have been improved on to meet the standard of the century’s fashion scene.