If you’re looking to re-energize your signature look with Africa’s trendy bold prints, you don’t need an extravagant shopping spree or even an extreme makeover of your “modern” wardrobe. Investing in a few high-quality pieces will do the trick.

To get great functional mileage from your African-inspired style investments, here are seven fashion tips to use.

1.     Use thick neutral-colored belts.

At times, African colors and prints can look quite busy and you just want to tone all of that down for a more polished look. A thick brown, white or black belt can take care of that. The belt will break up the pattern, and at the same time, it will provide better structure to the shirt or dress.

2.     Use African-inspired pieces for layering.

Do you have a little black, brown, or white dress? Spicing that up is easy if you have African-inspired pieces – a shirt, a denim jacket, or even a kimono-type open maxi dress. It will provide a splash of color, structure and texture.

An oversized boyfriend style shirt on top of a plain dress is super trendy. Knotting the hem of the shirt in the front, the side, or the back will instantly accentuate your figure. You can glam up a short mini dress by topping it with a colorful open maxi dress. You’ll look like you’re walking the runway.

3.     Use an Afro dress as a top.

A babydoll dress, a modern Abaya, and an open maxi dress will look great with leggings, dark denim jeans, or a long pleated skirt. Such dresses can achieve that boho-chic vibe that’s quite a popular wear for music festivals.

4.     Wear bold prints under a blazer.

If you feel like your newfound love for bold prints and ethnic-inspired dresses is limited to special events, you can make these pieces look fresh and smart if you add a little structure to them.

For the modern Abaya dress, wearing a plain and tailored blazer with it will actually make the dress work-appropriate.

5.     Try print on print.

This used to be a big fashion faux pas, but it’s now a top fashion “do.” Professional stylists say it’s all about finding similar components in items of clothing. Say, you have an animal print top; you can pair that off with a tribal print skirt as long as they have similar colors, or the print on one clothing item is way smaller than the other.

The idea here is to not be afraid to experiment. Pattern on pattern or print on print can definitely work as long as you understand proportions and color principles.

6.     Get your head in the fashion game.

Keep your clothing casual, but jazz up your entire look by trying an African headwrap. This has become an “in” thing to do, with Alicia Keys incorporating it into her somewhat minimalist lifestyle, and YouTube makeup sensation PatrickStarrr wearing a turban all the time.

It’s such a fun way to level an outfit up or even just to deal with a bad hair day. The thing about trying an African headwrap is that it looks fashionable – glamorous, too, if you would consider old Hollywood styling – yet it’s a simple integration to any modern ensemble.

Other Hollywood celebrities to take inspiration from are Sofia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Solange Knowles, to name a few.

7.     Use African-inspired pieces as standout items for classic ensembles.

Don’t ever be afraid to use them as replacements for certain pieces of your classic ensembles. Say, you have a pantsuit. You can wear it like you normally do, but perhaps consider changing the usual white silk blouse you wear under the jacket and replace it with an African denim tunic.

This single item you change up will automatically give your modern pantsuit a new flavor.

The above tips are not the only things that you can do when it comes to mixing and matching African-inspired clothing with modern pieces. After all, when it comes to fashion, you’re only limited by your imagination.

Just make sure that you’re always investing in good quality African-themed clothes. This way, you can make a strong impact with your look without losing an ounce of refinement.

AUTHOR BIO

Ethiopian-born and Dubai-based fashion designer Feiruza Mudessir discovered her curiosity to mix the traditional with contemporary at a young age, and this has become the trademark of her designs today. When you slip into one of Feiruza’s creations, you can almost hear the rhythms of Africa, the beats of India and the vibrancy of Dubai – this distinctive and colorful mélange is just what Finchitua is about.