Search the hashtag #dashiki on Instagram and you’ll find over 100K posts featuring this worldwide favorite print. It’s one of the most universally recognizable designs, and probably the most internationally famous African print. The dashiki takes the cake for recognizability! We get asked over and over again, "What do I wear with this?" So here's a quick guide to the dashiki and 3 ways to style your new dashiki top.
Run that back! A Little History of the Dashiki
The word dashiki is derived from the Yoruba word danshiki. Who knew right? The danshiki is essentially a short tunic worn by men under larger robes. The work garment was made popular in America in the late 1960s during the heat of the Civil Rights movement and the dashiki, as we know it was born. Sometimes spelled dishiki or daishiki, the typically loose-fitting tunic style is a unisex garment cut from printed fabric with a kanga print - usually with a rectangular bordered print and a colorful, symmetrical motif in the center. This is the dashiki we know and love, and it became a symbol of Afrocentrism and the “Black is Beautiful” movement in the ‘60s, and not to mention a mainstay in hippie culture as well. Up until a few years ago, the dashiki was the go-to African outfit in the US. During the Civil Rights movement, some tried to associate the dashiki with militancy, but that never really took root. How could it when not just militant members of the Black Panther Party, but also peace-promoting followers of MLK who just wanted to represent their own Afrocentrism, wore the dashiki shirts? Everyone from militant Civil Rights activists like Huey Newton to more peace-promoting activists like Jesse Jackson wore the dashiki - loud and proud. Not to mention the hippies at Woodstock.
Where we at? The Dashiki Now
Fast forward to the current political climate in the United States and the resurgence of Afrocentrism in fashion and you’ve got the perfect storm for the dashiki to hit the scene again. Remember that Instagram search that gave us 100K+ posts? And don’t forget a search for the beloved dashiki on Google will return another 3 million results, too! It’s an easy to wear silhouette and you can find anything from a fitted long sleeve version, to a dashiki dress, to that classic loose fit these days. Here at A Leap of Style, we were feeling bold and wanted something a little different. As always, we want our take on African prints to be bold yet classic – we want you to take your Afrocentric self from brunch to the boardroom with ease. We know you can buy a dashiki online a ton of places now, but we wanted something more.
All hail the Queen! The Yellow Dashiki Victoria Top
The Victorian Era is having a moment in fashion. Think high collars, ruffles, and exaggerated sleeves. Yassssss, Queen! Speaking of queens, we were totally inspired by Queen Bey in the Lemonade feature as well as the looks she’s been sporting on the Formation World Tour. They are this awesome nod to the antebellum south rocked while she’s delivering this message of racial equality - we’re here for the message dichotomous message
We want to keep you on top of the trends in women’s fashion, but always with a classic and classy angle and always filling your need for modern African clothing. That’s where the Victoria Top comes in: she’s one part Afrocentric fashion, one part Victorian-inspiration, and all parts Queenin’. Check out 3 ways to wear this new beauty for work, play, and everywhere in between brought to you by our style intern, Reshundra! Bonus: most of these looks will work with a regular dashiki top as well, but uh, who wants to be regular when you can take A Leap of Style?
The Yellow Dashiki Victoria Top Takes the Boardroom
It’s all about the wine with this look! Not the kind you drink (yea, don’t take that in the boardroom), but the Bordeaux on your lips, in your structured tote or briefcase, and the face on your watch. The Yellow Dashiki Victoria Top is perfection tucked into your favorite high-waist black trousers and paired with a yellow pump. Top the look off with a bun in the back to show off that high neckline, and keep the look polished. This look would also work for church, “Amen?”
Brunch with Victoria
Another trend we absolutely love is the addition of pom poms to our favorite accessories. We totally love the look stylist Marzi came up with using pom poms and one of our wax print skirts in Local Houston Magazine. For the look above, add some pop and fun to a straw fedora and a lace up open toe chunky heel. Pair your new Yellow Dashiki Victoria Top with a white midi length pencil skirt and bright shades. Your girls won’t know what hit them when you roll up in this outfit for Sunday brunch. This look also makes a cute date night outfit when you're not sure what to wear on a date.
Basically, Everywhere Else in the Yellow Dashiki Victoria Top
So you got your new top, and it’s your new favorite. And you wore it to work, and out for brunch, but you’ve got errands to do and you just want to reach for it again! We’ve got you! Throw on a pair of distressed denim shorts to lighten up the look and grab your favorite sneakers. We chose Addidas for this look, but we love our Chuck Taylors, too. You can also think of black and white as one colorblocked neutral. Don’t be afraid to wear black and white accessories with your African prints. The black and white striped bag, hat, shoes, and shades give this look a sporty feel that takes a little edge off of the girliness of this top with its ruffles and high neckline. Oh and don’t forget to channel your inner Beyoncè in the “Boy Bye” fitted cap.
Get the Victoria Top now!
Love these looks? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to tag us in your new piece with the hashtag #aleapofstyle on Instagram and Twitter!