Every weekend bustles with weddings and other happy ceremonies for you to grace and as usual, there’s always a uniform – the Aso ebi – you’re expected to slay in. If you are like me, you’re probably addicted to getting style inspirations from Instagram on how to wear your Aso ebi and the Aso ebi styles for you there leaves you gasping for more.
All your life, you must have heard the term ‘Aso ebi’ most especially when wedding bells begin to ring. Before we go already to see the Aso ebi styles for you, let’s remind ourselves of the genesis of Aso ebi, shall we?
Aso ebi is the Yoruba word that describes a uniform dress usually worn in Nigerian and other West African cultures to show solidarity and camaraderie during social occasions. Going by the literal Yoruba meaning, aso means cloth while ebi means family. So Family cloth explains why Aso ebi is usually worn by family, friends, relatives and associates during ceremonies.
Although the popularity and affordability of the Ankara fabric has made prominent the idea of uniform dressing in Nigeria, Aso ebi isn’t restricted to Ankara alone. Ever since lace fabrics and George materials found its way to the Nigerian market in the 1960s, they have become popular items for Aso ebi. If you go back to the days when fashion catalogues were your best bet for style inspiration, you’ll see that a majority of styles that beautified the pages of those catalogues were Aso ebi. For instance, a page may have many women rocking the same fabric in different styles. This helped ease the work of tailors in feeding their clients with a variety of choices on what to sew.
Aso ebi today is not exclusive to the Yoruba culture alone; other West African cultures now imbibe the uniform dressing culture to spice up their social occasions. And guess what, its purpose now goes beyond self-identification with age mates, relatives or friends during social occasions or funerals. Aso ebi now stands as an indicator of affluence, colourfulness and stylishness in occasions as some blend theirs with expensive embroidery and extra layers of cloth, while others add matching tops and head coverings to spice up their look.