Fashion

How to Wear Ankara Prints for Work or Play

September 12 2014 | CeCe Olisa

When I was a little girl, my aunts would send me the most beautiful clothes from Nigeria, where we are from. I remember loving the fabrics but feeling like the outfits weren’t necessarily styles that I could wear every day. I always craved trendy clothing made from African fabrics. When I had more time, I would make Ankara pieces for myself but these days I’m too busy. Thankfully, the internet has come to my rescue and now its pretty easy for me to purchase plus size Ankara clothing in trendy/modern styles.

I’ve been mixing and matching my new African Wax/Ankara Print pieces into my wardrobe at work and on the weekends and here are some tips on how to wear African Ankara Prints anywhere!
How to Wear African Ankara Prints For Work or PlayPeplum is a great silhouette for the office in any print. I purchased this Ankara peplum top because I knew it would work well with a simple pencil skirt. This look is chic, professional but still lets me rock my Nigerian girl style!


Plus Size African Ankara Print Peplum TopPlus Size Black Pencil Skirt Here | Plus Size Ankara Peplum Here | Wide Pointy Flats Here

 I wore this Ankara maxi skirt during the NYCurvyCloset Sale this past weekend. I paired it with my favorite plus size denim chambray shirt. The denim gave me relaxed look that still felt put together. This skirt also has nice deep pockets so I was able to keep my phone and other essentials close to me while meeting some of my awesome readers 🙂

Maxi Skirt

Plus Size Denim Chambray Shirt Here | Plus Size Ankara Maxi Skirt Here | Necklace Similar Here

Remember the other week when I was rocking vintage skirts and Tshirts? Welp, that rule easily applies with African prints. A simple black T-shirt let this tea length teal Ankara skirt speak for its self! Again, this skirt had pockets so yay!!

Tea Length Teal

This skirt was actually part of a two piece mixed Ankara set that I ordered for under $100. I snatched up the two piece set quickly because I can tuck the top into a plain skirt too (maybe a long black maxi? or even my black tutu!), that gives me at least three different ways to wear this set… winning! This look got me featured in Ebony‘s “5 Plus Size Women Killing it at Fashion Week” round up!
CeCe Olisa Ebony Ankara Plus Size Fashion

Plus Size Two piece Ankara set Here | Bag (similar) Here

Keep in mind that the pieces I ordered were hand made and most of them came from West Africa, so it took about 4 weeks for them to arrive… but it was sooo worth it!!

What do you think? Are these looks that you could see yourself rocking?

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27 responses on “How to Wear Ankara Prints for Work or Play

  1. Ellen

    I love abstract geometric patterns and bright outfits, and love ankara prints (although I didn’t know the name until now – thanks!) But do you think it’s possible for whiter-than-white-bread women to wear ankara prints without being gross and culturally appropriative?

    1. CeCe Olisa

      Hey Ellen! I love you for being aware enough to ask that question <3 I've heard both sides of this argument and for me when it comes to things like that I just hold to the "if you have to ask, then you probably should avoid it" rule *shrugs*

  2. nexttimetakethetrain@gmail.com

    I love abstract geometric patterns and bright outfits, and love ankara prints (although I didn’t know the name until now – thanks!) But do you think it’s possible for whiter-than-white-bread women to wear ankara prints without being gross and culturally appropriative?

    1. nycece@gmail.com

      Hey Ellen! I love you for being aware enough to ask that question <3 I've heard both sides of this argument and for me when it comes to things like that I just hold to the "if you have to ask, then you probably should avoid it" rule *shrugs*

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