African Style Report | 5 ways to style African wax prints
African prints have continued to rise in popularity throughout the last few decades. Gaining global appreciation, they are now found dotted around popular culture and upon the bodies of well-recognised celebrities. The vast range of colour, patterns and textures creates a world where standard garments transform into ones of exceptional beauty. Pencil skirts find themselves emblazoned with rich blues and swirling patterns. Silk blouses become celebrations of earthy leaves and dense foliage. African prints allow the modern woman to transform her wardrobe into something unique and elegant.
Although many methods exist when producing African prints, here at Sika'a, our focus lies on the highest quality wax prints. During this ancient process, wax patterns are transferred on to the chosen fabrics (for us, primarily 100% cotton). Only then are the coloured dyes applied in a step-by-step process to create patterns, colour and designs of strikingly unique beauty. African wax prints have a durability to withstand repeated wear and become firm staples within wardrobes. Their pigmented finish is strong and bold – the ideal choice for modern African women and those who aspire to be as such.
Throughout the years, notable celebrities and icons including the former First Lady of the USA, Michelle Obama, has been spotted introducing these eloquent prints into her official wardrobe. This trend hasn't escaped the eye of the music industry either with Bajan singer, Rhianna, regularly spotted celebrating the roots of her culture.
For many, colour forms a staple feature in their wardrobe. For others, monochrome and neutrals are their fall back. For all women, African wax prints are a versatile, wearable and much beloved wardrobe option. Styling these show stopping designs into your wardrobe needn't be daunting. By introducing them as staple pieces, you are able to build outfits around the bright colours by interjecting other classic items and creating a unique style. Our Sika'a stylists are here to guide you towards a personal style that is classic, elegant and unlike that of your fellow peers. Here, they've pulled together their top 5 pieces from the Sika'a range and explain how each piece can be styled effortlessly.
A personal favourite, the Makepe is a striking example of African patterns at their finest. Florals in African print capture the rich vibrancy of this continent while also gliding easily into your existing style. Here, our stylists have paired it with peep toe strapped heels to elevate the hem and elongate the model's silhouette. By knotting a tie at the centre, the dresses exceptional tailoring is heightened and the model's curves appreciated to the fullest. The muted mustard colour is versatile; ideal for all four seasons and suitable for every event. Our stylists were particularly drawn to the thick bands of green and navy that wrap around the hem – allowing you to be flexible with the colour of your shoes and bag. With it's high, collared neck ,accessories need only be kept to demure stud earrings and a structured bag.
A piece that no one could avoid from our new collection. The Mabote is a versatile option for women looking to branch into African print in a demur manner. Across the yellow background, peacocks, zebras and tropical plants dance together. Here, it has been styled for a formal event or for professional wear. A demure strapped heel gives the model height while a loosely fitting silk pussybow shirt sits well within the tailored waistline. Similarly, the dress has such a versatile design, it can be worn with plain t-shirts in colours picked out from the exotic print. Pair with a statement clutch; again, this offers the chance to pick out your preferred colours from the print. And, when it comes to accessories, statement earrings transport this garment through all events.
Co-ords continue to gain their own degree of popularity, primarily due to their versatility. Each piece can be styled together or worn separately to suit the look you're going for. Here, the Mora is a statement example, with a rich green, gold and black circle African print throughout. If styled together, this outfit needs minimal extra dressing, with the pattern itself taking centre stage. Paired with a heel to bring the hem off the ground, the formal collar neckline and tapered waist line affords you an hourglass figure. When worn separately, the tie waist cropped topsits well with tapered formal black trousers or fitted pencil skirts to further enhance your silhouette. The African print maxi skirt is equally versatile; the perfect accompaniment to a classic white-t-shirt or tucked-in silk black shirt.
African wax print outerwear serves up the chance to make a statement throughout the entire year, even when walking to your next meeting. This green tench coat is the perfect example from our Sika'a range. Richly pigmented, exquisitely made and finely tailored, it flatters all figures. For a complete, pulled-together look, pair with similar toned loose-fit trousers such as these olive examples on our model. Strappy heeled sandals or pointed Mary Jane's offer up a professional look while chunkier kitten heel allows this look to be worn for casual events too. Accessories pick out the accents of yellow, black or green – picture a structured black bucket bag or smaller gold clutch bag.
If there is one thing that African prints do without fail, it's make a statement. The structured silhouette of the Bamena does this and more – creating a style that is unlike anything else. A tailored bustier hugs on to feminine curves while the draped detail visually elongates the appearance of the model. By pairing with tailored navy blue trousers, the cut of the bustier is allowed to take centre stage. Add a statement necklace, slick hair and open toe strappy heeled sandals for a show stopping and elegant look.
African wax prints will find their way into your style easily. Where colour was once absent, it can now become a staple feature in your wardrobe. The range of wearable Sika'a garments are each designed and constructed to find their way into the style of strong, powerful African women.
Discover more about Sika'a here.