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How to Add African Flair to your Professional Style


Adding a little African flair to your professional wardrobe is easier than you'd think.
Adding a little African flair to your professional wardrobe is easier than you'd think.
Karin Dreyer/Getty Images

Widely admired for its bright, rich colors, luxurious silk and cotton fabrics, and feminine drape, African fashion reflects thousands of years of tradition and culture. If you think such attire is suited only to the movies or a safari, think again. Fashions infused with African style are perfect for today's workplace. Depending upon the office and your own style, you can find exotic and appropriate looks that express your personality.

Luxury designers from Yves Saint Laurent to Burberry often look to Africa to find inspiration for their designs, from bold prints to sarong-style skirts. Recently, however, a group of emerging designers from Africa have attracted attention from the fashion world because of their modern interpretations of culture from the continent. Duro Olowu (a favorite of Michele Obama), Idyl and Ayaan Mohallim (twin sisters behind the brand Mataano, which means twin), and Maki Oh are just a few buzzworthy names [source: Oliver].

Modern American designers, such as Tory Burch, Michael Kors, and Nanette Lepore, often incorporate an African influence into polished styles that are perfect for the workplace; think beautiful tunics, embellished skirts, and bold patterns. Bold jewelry and pops of color also help add flair.

African-inspired fashion can be found everywhere from high-end department stores to more affordable outlets like Target and Forever21. You can also find appropriate, inexpensive styles at online boutiques such as Etsy, StylesAfrik and Ashro.

So, if you'd like to learn more about adding African flair to your work wardrobe, read on.


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