Nigeria is perhaps the most fashion-conscious African state. Many of the top fashion designers in Africa come from Nigeria, and many Nigerian brands are beginning to make waves in the international fashion scene. Through innovation and exposure to fashion sectors in other climes, the fashion landscape in Nigeria has slowly evolved. A lot of traditional fashion wears and approaches that were once considered as ridiculous or even abominable, have slowly moved from being ridiculous to becoming acceptable, and have even started trending. A notable instance of this is seen with the Yoruba traditional attire called Agbada. In the past, Agbada was regarded as an attire strictly for males. The females had their complementary attire (Aso oke) which they made into Iro and Buba. It was unimaginable for a female to not only desire the male Agbada, but to also wear it. However, this day, the status quo has changed: females now wear Agbada attires alongside males, and there’s definitely more to come.
Nonetheless, despite the evolution in the use of Agbada, it is still widely associated with men. Since the infusion of innovation into fashion, one major thing – among many – has changed about the Agbada for men; that is, the kind of styles being made. Today, trending Agbada styles are characterized by breathtaking tailoring styles, colourful embroidery and ingenious patterns to make the users stand out at any occasion. The fabrics used for making Agbada also varies. Some people prefer to use the local Atiku fabric, others prefer to use the Gini brocade, while others just stick with lace material. In fact, there have been cases of men making Agbadas with local Ankara material. This is a sharp contrast from what was obtainable in ancient times, when Asó oke was perhaps the only material used for making Agbada.
Trending Agbada Styles for men are nearly limitless. Every day, many more styles are churned up by fashion designers, and each new one seeks to improve on the old. Top trending styles have the following features in common:
- Beautiful embroidery: This is the part of the Agbada that makes a statement. The embroidery is so important to the design of the Agbada that most times, tailors often charge customers a separate amount for embroidery. There are many definitions of the right embroidery for your Agbada. Some opine that the shape, size and orientation must correlate with the shape and features of the customer, while others just design it moderately. Either ways, today no Agbada is complete without an eye-catching embroidery design on the front. Trending styles also have small embroidered designs on the cuffs of the inner shirt, to complement the main design on the front/chest area.
- Beautiful colour contrasts: Fashion designers have begun to employ innovative colour combinations, in order to make dresses more appealing. For instance, in the past, it would likely be considered as inappropriate to make golden/yellow-coloured embroidery designs on royal-blue-coloured-Agbada. However, today, that is nearly the norm! People now combine different colours with several other colours, to various degrees.
Trending Agbada styles are classy, elegant, and matured. Agbadas can be worn by boys, young men, and the elderly. Nigerian men sure know how to slay in their Agbadas!