Nowadays, Aso-oke seems to be worn by both the Yorubas and the non-Yorubas. Even the westerners are experimenting with it and some don’t have an idea of where to start from. For many, countless questions abound such as:
- Are my only options the Kente or mud cloth?
- What do African fabrics feel and look like?
- Where do you get them from?
- What are their flexibilities i.e. can I stay chic, sexy and modern even though I want to embrace Africa in my fashion style?
Aso-oke fabric has become more popular even amongst the non-Yoruba people, including West Indians and African-Americans. They are usually kept aside for special occasions such as birthdays, naming ceremonies, funerals and chieftain title ceremonies. It is the preferred garment among the Yorubas for traditional weddings.
How to choose the right colour
Sometimes we are challenged with what colour to choose, there is a particular colour we like but we don’t know the right colour that goes with it. Picking your wedding colours may seem a bit overwhelming but its really quite easy.
Most times, people choose their wedding colours based on a favourite shade or favourite flower. You’ll want to choose one primary and one or two accents. Start off by seeing if there are any predetermined factors:
- Are you set on having a particular flower?
- Have you already chosen your bridesmaid dresses?
- What colours are the families choosing as their aso-ebi?
- Have you already chosen the colours for the reception or ceremony site?
- Does either the reception or ceremony site have strong colours
If so, you’re halfway to finding your wedding colours. If not, start by thinking about the season when your ceremony will take place. Harmattan affairs usually include bright colours such as wine, turquoise and pink. Dry season suggests deep colours like purples, burgundies, grey-greens, and silvers. Rainy season brings harvest tones – oranges, reds, and yellows.
WHAT TO AVOID:
- Black colours – while sophisticated, it can end up looking like a funeral, rather than a celebration. If you love black, balance it out with a bright colour like pink, turquoise, lemon green or lots of crisp white.
- Losing your personality – Don’t just do pastels because I’ve suggested it above. Think about what you wear normally in your clothing and the shades you’ve used to decorate your home. These are probably colours you are comfortable around already.
- Picking too many wedding colours – two are perfect and three will still work, but any more than three wedding colours will end up looking odd. The purpose of wedding colours is to tie everything together, and the best way to do this is to have everything in one of two shades.
How do I care for Aso-Oke
For its longevity, it is advisable not to wash every time you wear the out fit. Wash on the third or forth time you wear the garments. It is best to dry clean these outfits as the machine wash may cause shrinkage or snag the delicate threads. If you must wash it yourself, hand wash and do not iron.