African-Style Clothing For The Church – An Emerging Trend
Fashion is not only about wearing something stylish and making a style statement, but it is also about a person’s identity. As a matter of fact, our personal styles make us who we are and how people see us. Although fashion constantly evolves, and a person’s clothing preferences continue to change from time to time, individual sense of style remains an integral part of a person’s identity.
Sometimes, fashion is also highly influenced by culture, and when clothing items are culturally aligned, they strengthen a person’s sense of identity and their relationships with specific cultures.
Speaking of cultural influence in relation to fashion, the latest trend of African-style clothing for churches in America has become quite popular over the years. Even though African-American churchgoers have a strong sense of American identity, they also love to retain their African heritage and feel proud of that. This sense of pride is reflected in the latest trend of clothing where both men and women have started wearing vibrant colors and African prints to the house of the Lord.
In the past, dressing up soberly and in plain colors – mostly blacks, whites, and greys – was the norm on Sundays, but the phenomenon of globalisation has influenced people on a micro level, and now people are ready to embrace changes, even in matters of faith. As a result, we now see many people dressed up in vibrant and colorful, African-style outfits when they are going to the church.
Let’s look at some of the latest African-style clothing items which have recently become popular among churchgoers in America.
1. African print coats
With beautiful colors and traditional African prints, these coats have become exceedingly popular among female churchgoers in America. The coats could be sleeveless or with sleeves and can be worn over plain white or black dresses. Because of the large and colorful prints, one can go with minimal accessories and look extremely stylish and elegant. These coats are perfect for an early-morning service.
2. Kente Palazzo Pants
Kente is a brightly coloured cloth which is made by stitching separate strips of clothes together. It is a speciality of Ghana but has now become popular across the world. Many women these days are spotted wearing beautiful Kente palazzo pants to the church. Since kente contains a combination of colors and is bright and eye-catching, it is best to pair it with plain shirts in black or white so that the outfit looks decent and not too gaudy for the church.
3. Traditional Kangas
Kangas are pieces of printed cotton fabric which are usually wrapped around the waist to form a skirt. In Africa, Kangas are worn by both men and women on different occasions. The best thing about kangas is that they can be used in a variety of ways. For instance, they can be used a skirt, a head-wrap, or even a scarf. Women usually wrap these stylish kangas around their waists and pair it with plain button-down shirts, while some women use it as a headgear to give an authentic African touch to their attire.
4. African print maxis
African print maxis not only look extremely chic, but they are perfect for those ladies who do not prefer to wear short skirts to churches. These elegant prints have become quite popular among church-going African American women and owing to the popularity of these unique African print maxi dresses, they are surely here to stay in the fashion scene.
Dashikis originate from West Africa and are brightly coloured loose shirts or tunics. They can be worn by both men and women. Wearing black or white dashiki with a pair of black pants has become very popular among churchgoing guys, whereas women are usually seen wearing a knee-length dashiki which they pair with high heels. Dashikis are not new to America, as the outfit became popular among the African-American population during the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power Movement. Many celebrities also wore dashikis to represent counterculture values. While many African-Americans still like to wear dashikis to reinstate an African sense of identity, others just wear it for fashion. But no matter what the motive behind wearing a dashiki is, it simply looks stunning and adds a sense of elegance to everyone’s style.
6. African bead necklaces and bracelets
Just like African outfits, wearing traditional African bead necklaces and bracelets have become the latest rage among ladies. Many people do not like wearing vibrant and bright colors during daytime, so they do not wish to wear dashikis or kangas to churches. Instead, they like to adopt a more minimal style and like wearing plain black bodycon dresses with stunning bread necklaces from Africa. These necklaces are not only made of beads, but sometimes they also contain materials like ivory, carved stones, wood, glass, amber, and even bones and animal teeth. Traditional African bead necklaces are so stunning that they enhance the look of any plain outfit and makes one look simply elegant.
7. Different African hats
There are many kinds of caps and hats that originate from Africa, and the design and color of the cap depend on specific countries or regions. Kente kufi hats and mudcloth kufi hats have recently gained a lot of popularity among churchgoing men in America.