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5 Important Things You Must Know Before Wearing Agbada

Years ago, Agbada was a native attire considered exclusive for rich Yoruba men alone. However, it has evolved to become a unisex attire and has long left the borders of Yoruba culture. Men, women and even children of other tribes wear Agbada regardless of their social status. It is one ensemble that evokes class and style in a native way. If you are a lover of Agbada or you intend to get a tailored Agbada anytime soon, in this article are five interesting things you must know before wearing Agbada.

Agbada can be worn to worship centres, traditional marriages or any suitable event. These days, many styles have been incorporated into the attire to give it a must-wear look all the time. To cap it all, every passing day, our fashion designers keep showing us irresistible latest Agbada styles to pick when sewing Agbada. Similarly, our celebrities and influencers have done justice to showing us the latest ways to wear Agbada too all in a bid to inspire us to opt for the attire.

man wearing white designed agbada with cap, sunglasses and a cane

For example, among such innovative tweaks to the modern Agbada is the Agbada-cum-senator design. This particular one gives you the opportunity to wear a senator while attaching the wide-sleeved robe of Agbada to the other sleeve.

A senator attire with one arm styled like agbada
A senator attire with one arm styled like agbada

If you do not have the need to wear Agbada now, one day you surely will. So keep on reading these five important things you must know before wearing Agbada and check out some of the latest Agbada styles for you all in this article.

5 Important Things You Must Know Before Wearing Agbada

man rocking orange agbada with cap and a cane

1. What is Agbada?

Agbada is a Nigerian traditional attire that comprises an open-stitched flowing robe with wide sleeves, a long-sleeved shirt, and a pair of trousers (Sokoto). It is a three-piece attire. The Agbada which is among the native wears for Nigerian men and even women is usually decorated with embroidery in traditional patterns. It is known by various names in different languages. In Yoruba it is called Agbada, in Hausa it is called ‘Babban Riga‘, ‘Darra’a’ in Arabic and ‘Mbubb‘ in Wolof.

2. Types of Agbada

man rocking black agbada with red cap

Among the Yoruba, there are two major types of Agbada:

  • The casual Agbada known as Agbada Iwole
  • The ceremonial Agbada known as Agbada Amurode

The casual Agbada isn’t as voluminous as the ceremonial own. It is smaller and often made of plain, lightweight cotton fabric. This type of Agbada is commonly known as Sulia or Sapara. Actually, the Sapara is named after a Yoruba medical practitioner, Dr. Oguntola Sapara, who in the 1920s asked his tailor to make him Agbada with lightweight cotton while reducing its volume and length because he wasn’t comfortable in the traditional Agbada. That was how the design and name stuck as people began adopting it until this present moment.

man in white embroided agbada

On the other hand, the ceremonial Agbada is mostly sewn with heavy and expensive fabrics. It is also larger and more elaborately ornamented than the casual one. However, the most voluminous and intricately embroidered Agbada is known as Ginike or Agbada nla.

3. Best Materials for Agbada

3 men rocking agbada

Right from time, the most used fabric for Agbada is Aso Oke but these days, people make use of brocade, velvet, damask, etc., to sew Agbada.

The headwear worn with Agbada is called Fila. When choosing the material for your Fila be sure to pick a fabric that doesn’t contrast with the colour of the fabric used in making your Agbada.

Importantly, when choosing the material for your Agbada, ensure you choose a colour that matches your skin tone. And do not make the mistake of choosing an inferior fabric as this will ruin your Agbada outfit. You can as well go for a thick material as this will make your Agbada appear firmer and better. Also, you can starch your Agbada to make it look firm to prevent you from looking tiny inside the robe.

Don’t worry about your Agbada being too hot or stuffy for you because its looseness and adjustable wide-sleeves gives you enough ventilation when you wear it.

4. Accessorising Agbada

Denola Grey in a blue agbada and red cap

You can wear any kind of accessories with Agbada be it beads, rings, bracelets, cufflinks, wristwatch, etc. Your accessories don’t have to be the same colour as your Agbada but they should complement it. Pick your outfit meticulously to achieve a suave look.

Furthermore, you don’t have to wear a belt when wearing Agbada. The trouser is tailored to always fit your waist thus making a belt needless. Some even come with adjustable straps by the side so you can always adjust to fit perfectly. Also, do not wear sport wristwatches with Agbada and any other native attires. You should only wear leather, gold or silver wristwatches. And when it comes to combining shoes with native wears, you can wear sandals or any shoe with Agbada so long as they aren’t lace-up shoes.

5. Latest Agbada Styles

As mentioned earlier, Agbada styles have evolved to include a number of different designs and the embroidery has been modernised to look better too. If you want to make a bold fashion statement to an event, your best bet is to wear one of the latest Agbada styles. The outfit gives you clout and sparks attention capable of making you a showstopper.

Agbada doesn’t even stand a chance of being described as boring as it can be tailored to fit your body type and you can also make use of any material be it flowery or what have you to make your Agbada. It all depends on what you want to achieve with your look.

Curated below are some of the latest Agbada styles to inspire you. When you’re ready to add it to your wardrobe, be sure to go through this list of five important things you must know before wearing Agbada in case you get jumbled along the line.

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Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me.

And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting which I've been chasing alongside my fashion career.

That aside, when I'm not sharing style articles, selling with stories, or creating fashion-forward pieces for Ria Kosher, you'll find me telling wild stories that always come with a twist.

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One comment

  1. Dunno why I found myself reading and laughing at the same time…. beautiful piece and well detailed too.

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