Thursday, January 19, 2017

The pillars of Senegalese Ethnic Wear (Woman)

Hello y'all!
It has been a while since I posted in this blog. I am starting to think that having two (three) different blogs is not necessarily a good idea.
Anyway, I have been working on this post since I moved back home in April 2016. Everywhere I went, women were dressed in Senegalese ethnic attire and I could not help but (re) noticing its beauty. I wanted to talk about it more on the blog. However it would be hard to showcase the latest trends in Senegalese ethnic wear without introducing the basics, the core of it all.

Over the years, Senegalese traditional or ethnic wear has been largely influenced by Western, Indian and Middle Eastern fashion. However, there are still some basics to it all, what I call the pillars of Senegalese traditional wear, the core which the entire fashion industry gets its influences. Here there are:

Boubou (Grand Boubou)

The Boubou is an oversized kaftan that arrives below the knee or is floor length. It often comes with a wrap around skirt and a scarf. Those two elements can match the Boubou which means that they are cut from the same cloth or they can come from another fabric altogether. The "Grand Boubou" as we call it,  is often made from fabrics such as Bazin, (Getzner being the trend now)) that can be used as they are or died. The Boubou is a style that older women favor for it camouflages all body flaws. Moreover, it has a certain elegance that only mature women can pull off. But anybody can rock it. I own a simple Grand Boubou died in rainbow color with a pink wrap around skirt and matching scarf.

Singer Titi in her painted Boubou

Dyed Boubou or Thioub

Embroidered Boubou 


The Ndocket or Taille Mame or commonly known as "Robe" these days is a type of empire waist or cinched waist maxi dress. It can also be worn with a matching skirt and scarf. Nowadays the trend is to have it really fitted to show all the curves. But back in the old days there were loser. I really do like this style because it does suit anyone from young to old. Furthermore, our designers are so creative that you can find all kinds of styles on the streets recently. They even became the outfit of choice for events.

Taille Basse

This one is by far my favorite for it just personifies women's sexiness. The Taille Basse is a peplum top with a matching skirt or wrap around skirt. When I was a kid, the Taille Basse came with a top, a skirt and a matching scarf that you tied around the waist. The top was also off shoulders or Xapati in our local language. Now, the style of choice is to have the skirt in mermaid style so as to show all the lower curves. It is also stylish to mix fabric and pattern for the top and bottom part. If I was not so self conscious about my curves, I would own several Taille Basse by now for they are so elegant and sexy.

Bustier style Taille Basse worn by singer Aida Samb

Singer and dancer Oumou Sow with her pink and golden Taille Basse

There you have it. All three pillars of Senegalese traditional wear. Anything else you may see on the streets, is just a variation of these three.

Photo sources:

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Holiday gift guide

Well, the holidays are approaching at a fast rate. Soon you will be dragged to office parties and family get together. Are you ready for it all? But more importantly, have you bought all the gifts for your loved ones?

I am here to help you find that special something for the ones you care about be it family or friends.

Gifts for her:

Maybe because I am a woman, I find it very easy to shop for women. They enjoy clothes, accessories, perfume. If you have daughters, or nieces, I am sure they will fall in love with any doll you give them. I saw some with African printed clothes at a toy store the other day. You can also think outside the box, and offer them toys that can push them to use their creativity like jewelry making sets or their brains like society games. Older women will enjoy yards of fancy fabrics to make themselves clothes or a piece of delicate jewelry. I know my Mother will fancy a nice pair of red mules to match her red tote bag (she already told me). And this following advice is for the men out there: your woman will always give you hint of what she would want for Christmas, so pay attention to what she says in the coming weeks, please.

Gift for her

Gifts for him:

People think that it is hard to buy gifts for men but it is actually very easy. I usually gravitate towards books, watches, ties and perfumes depending on the personality. I may splurge on video games or the latest technology if I know he enjoys that. As for younger boys, if they are like mine, they all like cars, trains, Legos and super hero figurines. 

As for myself, I really enjoy making something for people. It could be something simple like a card or sophisticated like a beaded necklace. It becomes special with that personal touch. Therefore if you are creative and have the time, I suggest you make something to give. The person will appreciate it way more.

I hope this was helpful. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!


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