Short and long African style skirts and dresses are among the most fashionable trends of today. They are popular in both Africa and overseas lands. Bright colors, fresh designs, interesting lines, and comfort offered by these dresses and skirts have attracted a lot of attention from fashionistas all around the world.

Typical features of African style dresses and skirts

There’s a whole number of styles that are called ethnic or boho. Within this category, you can find Asian, European, Native American, African, and many other styles. They represent certain features that can be found in native attires of these parts of the globe and this is why they are so different from each other. There are certain features that help you tell an African dress from an Asian, and an Asian from a European.

African dresses and skirts have these features that help people distinguish them from other existing ethnic styles and give their wearers a specific African mood.


African dresses and skirts are always bright. Ankara, one of the most popular fabrics for female clothes in Africa, is printed with bright colorful patterns in a very specific way. It’s easily distinguished from European or Asian printed fabrics. Besides that, bright colors look especially attractive against the dark African skin. This is why typical African style attires are bright and sunny.


Skirts and African style dresses 2018 are extremely feminine and attract attention to all the most prominent details of the female beauty. Even though they may be quite long and cover a lot of the wearers’ skin, they can show off the most attractive lines and curves. This is absolutely correct if we speak about wedding dresses in an African style and long skirts of a “mermaid” cut.

Richly decorated

Even bright as they are, African style dresses and skirts can have a lot of decorative elements. Bright patterns can be combined with lace that also attracts a lot of attention, or with big bright jewelry. Decorative elements involve frills, trails, voluminous sleeves, and other details.

Mostly long

Even though the tendency of wearing short skirts has also reached Africa, local women do not show much love to extremely short skirts. The most popular length choices are midi and maxi. Speaking about the width – everything you want is available and acceptable. The dress can cling to you like the second skin or have loose parts – it’s up to you and your liking.

Now, when we know several typical features of this ethnic style, let’s take a look at several interesting designs of dresses and skirts.

Several examples of lovely African style skirts and dresses

A bright pencil skirt. This is a simple pencil skirt, which differs from the western skirts of this type with its color only. It’s made out of bright and colorful Ankara fabric with a geometric pattern. It looks perfect with a matching single-color top or a blouse. It’s also interesting that in dresses and skirts of the African style different Ankara patterns and colors can be easily combined.

A pencil skirt with a detachable trail. A very interesting idea is depicted here. A bright pencil skirt is decorated with a wide frilled trail that can be taken off to give it a more formal look or put on to create a fancy dress-down style. This skirt has a typical luxurious African look.

This long skirt with a bright floral pattern is tailored in one of the most popular African ways. This mermaid style is often chosen for African style dresses for wedding or other big occasions. It’s a great fashion, indeed, to show off the natural beauty of African women’s bodies and their lines.

This is simply one of the typical African style maxi skirts with a high waist and pockets but it definitely has the specific African look due to its colorfulness and the pattern. Made out of Ankara, it has a native ethnic look and offers plenty of comfort. The colors go perfectly well with a denim shirt, creating a pleasant blend of cultures and epochs.

This pencil skirt has the perfect African air about it due to the frills in the bottom part and bright colorful patterns of the fabric. Combined with a bright top, it creates a lovely feminine look and emphasizes the attractiveness of its wearer.

A midi skirt here looks a lot like a traditional African wrapper, especially when combined with a white blouse. Besides that, the pattern that looks like tribal ornaments adds to the general ethnic style of the garment.

This dress looks perfectly African even though the fabric doesn’t look like Ankara or other traditional African ornaments. Still, the bright colors create the necessary mood and the general flamboyant design looks very lovely and ethnic.

This sunny yellow dress with orange patterns also looks typically African. It combines the tightly fitting design with decorative elements like the bottom frill and the band that goes over one shoulder. Even though the cut could have been treated as a western one, the colors and pattern make it totally African

The floor-length bright dress could easily be chosen for a wedding. It’s elegant enough to fit a bride, it shows all the beauty of its wearer’s body, and it has all the details that are often chosen for wedding dresses in Africa: the waistline frill, elegant sleeves, and a mermaid skirt

Another bright African style dress demonstrates a knee-length voluminous skirt with pockets, a tight top part, and the so-called “cold shoulders” openings. The Ankara prints add the ethnic mood and a gele accurately picked to match the style and color finishes the look

This luxurious floor-length dress shows the bold way Ankara can be combined with lace in dresses for special occasions like weddings and others. The bright colors look surprisingly lovely together and create a specific shiny African style

This is one of the most typical examples of African style dresses with lace. A wedding dress is usually richly decorated with lace and embroidery to create a completely festive look and a luxurious appearance.

Now you know well what African styles in dresses and skirts are and how they can be combined. It’s interesting that such typical African ethnic looks only win if you add some accessories from other cultures. Western shoes and purses, fashionable sunglasses, hairstyles, and jewelry will only emphasize the ethnic beauty of your attire.

On the other hand, sometimes items with an African spirit are quite modern, so you can also add traditional Nigerian beads, elegant gele, massive African bracelets and other authentic details.