Over the years, Agbada has been a Male-dominated attire. However, this trend changes in the last decade. Nigerian women have embraced the Agbada design and taken it a step further!
Agbada: the King of Boys!
Agbada, a traditional male ensemble, originates from the Yoruba people in southwestern Nigeria, West Africa. It comprises a flowing outer robe (awosoke), an undervest (awotele), long trousers (sokoto), and a distinctive hat (fìla). The agbada gets its name from its voluminous nature. The outer robe is usually a spacious, ankle-length garment featuring three sections, including a lavishly embroidered rectangular centerpiece with wide sleeves, a neck hole (orun) and a sizable pocket (apo) on the left side.
Historically, the Agbada was associated with royalty and the aristocracy, reflecting social status and wealth. The embroidery on traditional Agbada is not just for aesthetic purposes; it often carries symbolic meanings related to Yoruba culture, history, or the wearer’s lineage. The choice of fabric and colours may also have cultural significance. The garment has evolved over time, influenced by cultural and economic changes. It became a symbol of prestige and a way for individuals to showcase their affluence.
The word “Agbada” itself is derived from the Yoruba language, with “Agbá” meaning attire or cloth. The attire gained popularity beyond Nigeria and is now recognized as a distinctive African garment. It has undergone various modifications in terms of style and embroidery patterns, adapting to contemporary fashion trends while preserving its cultural significance.
Traditionally, the preferred fabric for ceremonial agbada is the traditional woven cloth known as aso ofi (narrow-band weave) or aso oke (northern weave).
Agbada for Ladies
Agbada is a Southwestern male attire which is worn to show a person’s wealth and influence. It was reserved for the wealthy- the king of all male outfits, but that would soon change!
The popular saying goes, what a man can do, a woman can do better! Well, Agbada lovers tried to express this saying and made a wonderful discovery, Agbada could also be styled for women! And this, was the beginning of the latest Agbada Styles for women.
53 Agbada Styles for women
The distinguishing feature of Agbada is its flowing garment with wide sleeves. This garment is always patterned with beautiful embroidery designs. It is this embroidery designs that sets the different Agbada styles apart.
All pictures in this article were either gotten from Pinterest or agbada styles on Instagram.
So, without further Ado, let’s get to it.
Agbada made with Plain Material
Ideally, Agbada is made with plain materials. The plain materials are mostly of neutral colour. This way, the embroidery- which is usually brightly coloured- will stand out.
Agbada with Patterned Materials
Women have opted out of the traditional embroidered Agbada. So, they use Adire or other patterned materials to create their Agbada. Most of these designs do not use embroidery but they are still beautiful.
Agbada For Couples
Since the Ankara innovation, couples have been stepping out in Agbada grand style. So, if you want to have an Agbada pair with your spouse, this section is for you
When you are choosing your desired Agbada style, consider your fabric and also the accessories you will use. The beauty of your Agbada depends on them.