To say that African women have left their mark on beauty and fashion would be an understatement. In fact, some of the most powerful and stylish women in the world today are African descendants. Examples include Beyonce, Rihanna, Oprah, and many more. They are incredible showstoppers that can teach us a thing or two when it comes to style and good taste. So let’s take a look at some amazing ideas and outfits straight out of the look book of African women fashion which you can wear on any occasion!
African Women Fashion in History
- African Women Fashion in History
- Tips on How to Dress if You Have Dark Skin
- Gorgeous Outfit Ideas in Women Fashion
- Women Fashion Summer Party Outfit
- 50s Inspired Women Fashion
- Beyonce Inspired Women Fashion
- 60s Inspired Women Fashion
- African-American Women Fashion Fall Outfit
- Minimalist Black Women Fashion Outfit
- Fun African-American Women Fashion
- Solange Knowles Black Women Fashion
- What about you?
Before we dive right into the outfit ideas we have prepared for you, let’s take a look at the way African women fashion has changed in modern history. We’ll begin in the early 1900s, after the Civil War, when African American women had a lot more freedom in choosing their clothes and personal style.
African fashion during the Harlem Renaissance
The 1920s and 30s saw what is now called the Harlem Renaissance. Black culture was definitely on the rise when it comes to art and fashion, which encouraged people of color to express themselves and show off their unique styles.
Women in particular chose fashion as a way of expressing themselves. They wore very elegant yet theatrical dresses which they created and often sewed themselves. They would add rhinestones and other such dramatic decorations to these outfits, as well as accessories the likes of silk gloves. The hairstyles of the decade were, of course, the bob and the pixie cut a la Josephine Baker.
African fashion during the Civil Rights era
As one might have expected, during the Civil Rights era, women mixed fashion and politics to send a message across. They started wearing their hair in a more natural fashion so as to show how proud they were of their heritage. As far as African women fashion goes, it tended to reject the standard imposed by the white culture, which led to a real shift in society.
A veritable symbol of this shift was the uniform brought forward by the now famous Black Panther Party. It embraced the idea of being black from head to toe and showcased how much strength that could bring to an individual belonging to this culture.
African fashion during the Motown era
This particular era is important when it comes to African women fashion because it shows just how powerful the link between fashion and music really is. The fashion idea imposed by Motown was truly spectacular. The artists at Motown dressed loudly, boldly, and sharply, in custom-made outfits, of course.
The leading lady of Motown was none other than Diana Ross herself. Alongside her bandmates from The Supremes, Diana wore super sleek dresses that showcased her figure but that also shone with rhinestones and sparkles. The look was completed by bold colors, very heavy eye makeup, and headbands.
African fashion during the Hip-Hop era
When you say 80s you have to say asymmetrical cuts, very chunky chains, and shoulder pads. Not to mention wind breakers, leg warmers, and neon shorts. African women fashion had plenty of that!
But when fashion transcended into the 90s, we began to see more of an androgynous style happening. Huge artists such as Aaliyah as well as the girls from TLC were mixing pieces meant for boys and pieces meant for girls in a gender bending style. They had also began wearing clothes from major designers of the moment such as Karl Kani or Tommy Hilfiger.
Tips on How to Dress if You Have Dark Skin
Here are a few tips that will help you out this season to dress and accessorize if you are a dark-skinned girl. That’s until we can all watch the next Fashion Week!
- The best way to embrace your culture and heritage in modern society is to incorporate tribal prints into your fashion style. Don’t worry, it’s not difficult to do. Just scroll down for some examples!
- Most dark skinned girls believe that bold and bright colors are not for them. That, somehow, they clash with their skin tone. You could not be more wrong about that! Take a leaf out of Diana Ross’ look book and start wearing bright colors right now!
- Recent trends have seen a rise in the wearing of blazers, cardigans, and jackets. Not just for keeping warm, but for aesthetic reasons as well. We’ve got some ideas for fall right down below!
- Don’t be afraid of bold prints. Of course, they could be a little daunting at first, especially when you don’t know how to mix and match. But once you learn how to correctly wear prints that flatter your figure, African women fashion will be wrapped around your little finger!
- Create a good basis of accessories that you can wear with all your outfits. This should include layered necklaces in bold colors that accentuate your skin tone, beautiful bags with rhinestones for a touch of luxury and class, silk scarves, as well as beaded bracelets.
Gorgeous Outfit Ideas in Women Fashion
Putting together an outfit can be daunting. You need to combine today’s trends with your personal style, add a few pieces that show respect toward your heritage and culture, but make sure the entire outfit is flattering for your figure. Not to mention appropriate for the situation and place you will be wearing it in! That does sound like a handful. So we’ve prepared a series of beautiful African women fashion outfit ideas that will inspire you and even get you out of a jam if need be!
Women Fashion Summer Party Outfit
Shine, baby, shine! This outfit is a modern reinterpretation of exactly what Diana Ross and her Supremes would have worn back in the 60s. Of course, every single piece is fit for the end of the 2010s, but you can still see the inspiration of the flower power decade in this gorgeous outfit.
The top has a boat neckline that will cradle your shoulders in a graceful way and elongate your neck at the same time. But it’s the color and sparkles that will draw everyone in! The top is made entirely out of mint green sequins that simply scream freshness and summer in a super theatrical way! Pair it with a metal grey shiny skirt and pumps to match and don’t forget about the 60s flower head band on your forehead!
50s Inspired Women Fashion
Let’s continue with some more vintage inspired fashion! This outfit is straight out of the 50s but you can definitely wear it right now at the office or for a sophisticated Sunday brunch with your friends.
The gorgeous dress has small bouffant sleeves that will make your shoulders appear a little larger than they are. The skirt itself is bell-shaped and has a crinoline on the inside so that it can remain puffed throughout the day. The coral belt will accentuate your waist and, along with the magnified shoulders and skirt will render that coveted hourglass silhouette we all want!
Don’t forget to accessorize with a coral large bag to match and a pair of studded midnight blue pumps that will have you reaching for the skies!
Beyonce Inspired Women Fashion
Let’s be honest for a second. Who doesn’t want to look like Beyonce? Arguably one of the most beautiful women in the world, Beyonce has style for miles. Here is an outfit inspired by the singer’s looks on the red carpet.
Both the top and the skirt are made of the same fabric and follow the same pattern. Of course, this is a lot to take in for the eye. Therefore, we do not recommend this as a day look. This would much rather be a look for a cocktail party or even a wedding ceremony.
Accentuate your waist with a thin, metallic belt and match your open pumps to the hem of the top. Don’t forget to wear your best extensions and put them up in the famous Beyonce ponytail!
60s Inspired Women Fashion
Hello, 60s! Creating a look inspired from the 60s that could be easily worn today is not that simple. Tastes have changed a lot since that decade and women have stopped wearing the bold patterns and colors they used to. Still, it’s not impossible, and if you’re keen on the 60s yourself, we can show you how to do it!
You will have to use a bold pattern, there is no way around that. But don’t place it on the top half of your body. It might become a little too much to take in for the people you come in contact with. Instead, focus the bold pattern toward your pants. Wear a simple, yet matching top and chunky jewelry as a tribute to the brave age of the 60s.
African-American Women Fashion Fall Outfit
Who else loves getting ready for fall? There’s just something about the smell of crisp leaves and foggy mornings when you put on a woolen sweater and a thick scarf. And pumpkin spiced lattes, of course!
This is the fall outfit by definition when it comes to African women fashion. These colors are perfectly blended to crown you the fall queen. The sunflower pants toe the line between summer and fall, reminding everyone that there’s still a little bit of heat in the air, but not for long!
The denim jacket acts like the perfect blank background on which to display the beautiful pieces of the outfit while the oversized scarf is autumn itself thanks to the pattern, colors, and warm fabric. Your gigantic lacquered bag will tie everything together as will a spot of red lipstick that will perfectly match the bag!
Minimalist Black Women Fashion Outfit
You know what they say. Less is more. And in this case, they are right. This outfit proves that if you have a sense of style and understand fashion, you can create a beautiful look with just a simple, black and white dress and a few well-chosen accessories.
The most important thing we need to mention about the dress is just how well it hugs the figure. This is why you need to understand your own body and shop perfectly for your size. The horizontal stripes will give you a voluptuous figure while the long, dramatic necklace will elongate it, coming into contrast with the horizontal lines.
The scarlet fur bag is there to add some dimension and texture to this otherwise two-dimensional outfit. Think of it this way. Without the fur bag, this look would have been like a traditional movie. Once you add the bag, it’s like you’ve put on a pair of 3D glasses. Suddenly everything comes to life!
Fun African-American Women Fashion
Who said you can’t combine pink and red? It’s not easy, but it’s definitely doable. There are a few things you need to pay attention to. For example, choose the perfect shades of pink and red to combine. This is a mix of orchid pink and coral red that have created a sugary sweet, almost exotic look. If your shades don’t work well together, you might end up looking like you’re wearing a costume, not an outfit.
You also have to choose the perfect accessories and makeup. You can either go for no jewelry at all because the colors in themselves are bold enough. Or you can add one single, dramatic piece that will steal the show. It’s entirely up to you. Keep the makeup to a minimum!
Solange Knowles Black Women Fashion
Here is singer and actress Solange Knowles attending the HBO premier of the sitcom Girls in 2013 at the NYU Skirball Center in New York City. She’s wearing a gorgeous two piece silk suit with a harlequin print and black and white sandals. The clutch matches the print but is not as heavy, so as not to create a dissonance. The singer has also opted for a bold lipstick and an afro.
What about you?
Do you feel more confident to tackle African women fashion now after seeing all these examples and tips? Let us know in the comment section below what are your thoughts and questions!