What are ideas for stylish but appropriate traditional African/ Nigerian-style outfits for men to wear to a wedding or special occasion? If you’re asking this question, I guess it’s because you’re not a regular at weddings or you’re not a Nigerian (and are invited to a Nigerian wedding). Worry not, I’ve got your back! In this post, you will see pictures of the top 7 types of appropriate male wedding guest attire to wear to a Nigerian wedding – English wear and Nigerian traditional menswear. Our featured men’s asoebi styles are what Nigeria’s most stylish men are wearing to special occasions, so you’ll like them. Scroll down to check out the latest Nigerian-wedding-appropriate male guest fashion and styles… After the pictures (below), you will find information on types of fabrics that are used to sew Nigerian men’s occasion wears.
Men’s Nigerian Wedding Guest Attire Ideas: Native Wears (No Suit) and English Wear Options Guide
First things first, you want to check the invitation card and see if there’s a dress-code. If there is, then stop reading this post and go get something along that – or scroll down to get ideas from below. BUT if there’s no dress-code, follow our guide below to know what type of outfit to wear whenever you are invited to a Nigerian wedding (in Nigeria or abroad). Now, here’s our ultimate guide to what a male wedding guest can wear to a Nigerian Wedding:
#1. Senator Suits / Nigerian Native Suit for Men / Senator Style Native Wear
#2. Agbada / BabaRiga Styles for Men – Short or Long Sleeve Agbada, your preference…
ALSO: 50 More Agbada Styles and Sesigns for African Men (click here)
#3. Kaftan (Caftan aka Atiku Style) for Men: Short- or Long-sleeve Men’s Kaftan
#4. Dashiki (Danshiki) Styles for Men
#5. Etibor Designs aka Resource Control Men’s Native Suit (Niger Delta Traditional Menswear)
#6. Igbo Traditional Men’s Wear + Red Cap (Ma’zi-Style Attire)
#7. Men’s English-Wear (the Classic Men’s Suits, Safari Suits etc.)
A long-long time ago, Nigerian men wedding guests wore suits and tie and other types of English wear, but today you’ll see none or very few show up at a wedding in suits. Unless you want to be the odd one, you are better dressed up in any of the above traditional attire for Nigerian men – don’t worry, most male-outfit tailors do a neat job at sewing those styles.
Fabrics Used to Sew Men’s Traditional Attire (Male Wedding Guest Outfit)
So, you like the Nigerian men’s traditional fashion styles above, and are wondering what types of fabrics they are made from. Here goes:
- Agbada / Baba-Riga: Fabrics for men’s Agbada include lace, guinea brocade, atiku material, aso-oke, ankara wax. Guinea brocade, — usually sold by Hausa men, in any Nigerian market. With the atiku styles, the detail is in the embroidery design , as usually they are all cut and styled in a similar way (apart from the colour, only the embroidery differentiates each).
- Senator native wear: Generally, people call the fabrics for this style ‘trouser material’ or ‘senator fabric’ – they’re commonly available in Nigerian markets and easy to find at fabric stores, with those names. Other types of fabrics that tailors and fashion designers use for this men’s native styles, include linen, atiku material/ fabric, trouser material/ fabric, English cotton, these types of trouser materials (cashmere/ Casmir 180, casmir 220, Italian wool).
- Kaftan (Caftan): Guinea brocade, linen, atiku fabric, lace, ankara wax print (Dutch wax or any, wooding, daviva, hitarget etc.)
- Igbo Mazi-Style: Isi-agu (a special, velvet fabric with lion-head printed as a design) and any trouser fabric (certainly not denim).
- Dashiki (Danshiki): Guinea brocade, atiku material
- Men’s English wear (men’s suits): I guess you (and everyone) already knows where to buy men’s suits – online, offline – there are loads of them on Amazon.
NOTE: If you live outside Nigeria, you can find most of these fabrics in African fabric stores (offline or online) – just ask your African friends (if you’re not Nigerian).
Traditional Attire for Male African Wedding Guests: How and Where to Get it Sewn or Buy Ready-to-Wear
If you read up to this point, you already know about the fabric types used in the featured pictures of African / Nigerian native styles for men. So, if you’d like to get yourself one of those ethnic / tribal styles, read on…
For ready-to-wear or tailor-made men’s traditional outfits, if you don’t know anywhere to start looking, start from any big Nigerian market – there are many tailor-shops there, some amateur, some big ones and some not-so-good. You can always ask a few people around and also see their works on display.
Tailor-Made Men’s Native Wear
The usual way to get any outfit, especially Nigerian native wear, here in Nigeria is to buy some fabric and take it to a tailor to have it sewn for you. You’ll be required to show the tailor a style you like (from a magazine, website or his phone or pictures from previous ones he has made) or trust him to sew any good style for you. We fondly call this process ‘çut-and-sew’. Haha. The downside of this cut-and-sew process is that it could take several days, sometimes weeks, for a tailor to finish sewing your outfit. This is because they had other customers on queue before you – and may not complete making your clothing before the promised date.
Most tailors accept ‘express’, a special higher price if you want them to give your fabric(s) a priority over the customers before you. But for some street-side tailors, that is not a guarantee that your traditional wear will be ready on the promised date – it will, on your lucky days. Well, that’s just the way Nigerian tailors roll. But some high profile tailor-shops deliver over 80% of the time – because they have plenty tailors to distribute jobs to.
So, here;s my advice – if you want to sew your Nigerian-style men’s traditional occasion wear, hand it to a tailor weeks or a few months in advance, before your occasion or wedding – you know, to avoid disappointment.
Men’s Traditional Styles by Fashion Designers: Ready-to-Wear and Cut-and-Sew Men’s Native Wear
However, many indigenous fashion designers like Yomi Casual and Mai Atafo have since been making these men’s wedding and occasion traditional outfits in ready-to-wear forms, that you can buy any men’s traditional attire ready-made – see what you like, try it on, pay for it and go home with it. The downside(?) of buying ready-made traditional wear is that they cost more than cut-and-sew, and even exorbitant if you buy from a known fashion designer. The good thing is that most known designers’ have a better finishing and even if you do cut-and-sew with them, you are not likely to be disappointed.
Bottom line: To Use a Tailor or a Designer to Make Your Men’s Traditional Attire?
It’s true that most designer-made outfits have better finishing, but that does not mean that everyone that says they’re a fashion designer will give you what you expected – just be aware. Some who simply go by ‘tailors’ are very good, sometimes better than some ‘fashion designers’ (for instance, Aba-based tailors are awesome).
Whether you want to use a tailor or fashion designer or buy ready-made, it’s better to ask friends where they bought from or which tailor made their outfits you like. Or ask someone on Instagram where they got that outfit made or bought from – let them know you want to buy same and ask them to refer you. 7 out of 10 times, you will get a positive response.
Which of those Nigerian Men’s Native Wears Do You Like Best for a Wedding Guest Look?
Now you know how stylish Nigerian men dress up to weddings – hope you like the featured styles? Some of the styles are worn across other African courtiers by men, such as the Danshiki/ Dashiki, agbada and kaftan (aka atiku style); besides they make great summer wear if you travel or live abroad. The senator suit style is also gaining a lot of love from young stylish and professional men in and outside Nigeria because it’s such a smart and fitted outfit. By the way, when I was making this post, my sister said to call it “aso ebi bella for men” (does Bella Naija have that series?). Haha.