Nothing says I’m african like the distinct bold and colorful headwrap. It still stands as an African staple in fashion and has resisted the influence of the outside world.
Very common in West Africa the vibrant headwrap is called « Gele » in Nigeria. Rarely will you see anyone under the age of 25 wearing one.
Due to their size, they make a powerful statement, and can enhance an entire outfit. This is not for the faint of heart if you happen to be living outside of Africa where even a traditional hat is nowadays hard to come by having been traded in for the common cap.
They are made of different fabrics and suit short hairstyles the best since they need to hold on tightly to the head and the excess hair loosens up the grip. They are colorful and have african print patterns. Plain solid colors are also used. They can match the print of the outfit and make a woman stand out in a room.
Gele can be worn everyday and not solely for special occasions. The quality of the fabric dictactes the prices therefore it is important to look within one’s budget. Some can range from $200 but most are affordable and with the cheapest being $3-$10.
To get this look, you will need :
- A cloth of sturdy material cut of 3 inches by 36 inches in a rectangle shape to hold the shape it is tied in.
- A mirror to see what you look like.
- scissors to make minor adjustments if needed.
Mariam Ali on the Daytime show in an interview in Toronto gives an explanation on the gele fabric while showcasing the various styles in which it can be born and the occasions that accompany it :
Here is a tutorial showing how to make and wear a Gele from beginning to end :
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