Okay, allow me to start by saying that if you are a young lady, and you haven’t at least a wrapper attire among your dress collection; you really are on a longggggg (sic) thing (lol).
Now, without feeling like that proverbial character who lives at a glass house and yet throws stones, l can proudly say that within a few months, l became a proud owner of a couple of the ‘iro’ attire for the first time during my life.
Well, for those reading this and are like, ‘’so what’s all these fuss on the wrapper about’’, please, allow me to explain….
The ‘iro’, also known as the wrapper, is a Yoruba name given to a piece of long cloth/material sewn straight without a joining, and it’s basically tied around the waist. It’s one of the most common African dress styles. Women tie it around their waist over a blouse or ‘buba’. Men also sometimes dress in the ‘iro’ some tie it around their necks, and some others, around their waist.
Bottom line is, the ‘iro’ has been an indispensable part of African fashion, which have thrived and remained in relevance over the years. Most tribes in Africa have the wrapper as one of its indispensable attires, such as in Nigeria, the Yoruba, Igbo, Benin, also Ghana……
However, over the years, due to westernization, modernization or what have you, the African wrapper gradually lost its pride place, particularly among the younger folks, who don’t seem to appreciate the attire like the older folks. For a long time, young folks would rather opt for other ‘popular’’ and ‘tush’ styles to wear with our blouses, like a skirt, trousers or even a gown. So many couldn’t think of being caught dead tying the wrapper; for them, the attire was just too stressful, as well cumbersome, too dressy or even called local and of course, not to talk of the attire not being trendy, at the time.
Our mothers, fathers and other elderly ones felt otherwise though, they just couldn’t understand why any young lady wouldn’t be proud of the traditional wrapper. I can’t count the number of times my mother tried to talk me into owning at least one wrapper attire, to no avail. My mum like many of our elderly ones believes even passionately that the wrapper attire would undoubtedly make any lady look good, mature, beautiful and of course responsible. (eyes rolling)….lol. However, for a long time, we just failed to see any potential in the attire.
Thankfully, the only time a young person gets to wear the wrapper attire without too much ado, particularly for the ladies, is usually during their traditional marriage rites.
However, it is almost a year now and still counting, that the good old wrapper finally won the battle, and found its way back even into the hearts of the younger folks.
Now I look around and see the ‘iro’ on people, both young and old ladies, creatively worn, in different sizes and lengths, some as ‘Oleku’ (knee length tied wrapper), with different materials, lace, Ankara, velvet, chiffon, Aso-Oke, George, etc. There is also this newly introduced wrapper tie style, called the Tulip style or Oleku twist, you should learn it for variety.
And guess what- it’s amazing, the ‘iro’ attire now look so stunning and beautiful on people. I’m sure our mothers are the happiest with this new trend…lol
So, ladies, it’s time to make mama proud, go get a wrapper attire, don’t miss out on the fun. And believe me, it sure would be beautiful on you. I promise….on Girl’s Scout Honor….lol.
I got to run beautiful people; another time is almost here.
Continue to stay creative and stylish.
By Ajayi Tolulope D.
Photo Credit:Bola Akande, weddingfeferity.com, pinit.
About Ajayi Tolulope D.
Tolu might not think of herself as a fashionista, but from her childhood, she’d always loved being creative, and learning to do things on her own, with her hands, most of which fortunately, coincidentally, now have become fashion – she sews, makes hair, makes customized jewelries, shoes, bags, beads, and bakes (well, that may not be part of fashion…lol).
She loves with passion, her career as an Advertising a