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African Colors And Motifs Tops for Women

By definition, a top is supposed to cover the upper part of a torso or at least the chest. Generally, it covers the upper human body starting from the neckline and ending at the waist or a little below that. The sizes and shapes vary. The bottom of the tops can be long or it can be short, which are better known as crop tops. It can also end at mid torso or be as long as mid thigh. Women’s tops come in a variety of cuts and styles and have evolved over the ages. This particular item of clothing can be worn over pants, skirts, or anything that is currently trending as bottom wears. The three basic styles of women tops are the T-shirt, the blouse, and the shirt, but in the hands of the modern designers the tops have gone a sea-change and there are many styles and varieties in the market available today which have shifted considerably from the basic pattern of conventional tops.

In a women’s top, the neckline is the highest point and the lowest happens to be the waistline or the bottom hem of the top. The tops, as mentioned can be of various designs and styles and can be as high as a head covering hood, can be tight around the bust or the waist, may or may not have sleeves, and even can be strapless that is off the shoulder. Also as per the reigning style, tops can have straps around the neck, can be backless, have spaghetti or noodle straps etc. African women tops, compared to their Western counterpart are more traditional in nature and that tradition is being carried forwarded in some areas of the country, whereas in other areas, due to the heavy influence of the Western culture, the tops though having African colors and motifs have undergone considerable changes in their cut and formation.

The first Western influence was brought about by the Nigerian colonists. In the gulf states, there is the Jellabiya which is embroidered in a simple fashion which acts as a top wear for the women. In Northwest Africa, the clothing pattern is far less influenced by the Western culture and hence they have been able to maintain their originality through the ages. The African women tops can be divided into these three or four main patterns, that is, the Dashiki, the Djellaba, Grand BouBou, and the kaftans that are popular amongst the Senegalese tribe. Of all the above-mentioned garment items, the dashiki has had the most influence on the western culture which has started adopting the African motifs, colors, and prints. The Dashiki is a brightly colored top-wear with an ornate V-shaped collar or geometric pattern in the front which instantly draws attention. In contrast, the grand BouBou is simpler though again the Djellaba is a flashy piece of clothing having impressive colors fused together to form interesting designs. There is also the Gomesie which is mainly found in eastern Africa, whereas in Ethiopia, it is the Habesha kemis.

All these myriad styles, and cuts, and colors, motifs, prints, dyes, have drawn the attention of the designers across the world and they have given a new meaning to the African women tops. These tops have contemporary western cuts, but they are infused with the colors and patterns of Africa, the embroideries, geometric patterns, everything have been assimilated in these tops to give them an unique look that is attracting the attention of the fashion conscious women across the globe, who are enthusiastically purchasing them and adding a flash of vibrancy in their wardrobe.