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Aso ebi dress style || African and Nigerian Women Fashion


First of all, have you ever seen an aso ebi dress style before ? Have you also, ever seen or experienced the beauty of African and Nigerian women fashion ? Still, do you know that the African and Nigerian women fashion is elegant ? Certainly, African and Nigerian women fashion is glamorous and alluring. Furthermore, it is very colourful. And, it is a beauty to behold. In Nigeria, a particular African and Nigerian women fashion dress style is the aso ebi dress style. Though it is actually a male and female fashion dress style, it is more prominent among the ladies.

Aso-ebi dress style explained

As explained in Wikipedia, “aso ebi” is a uniform dress that is traditionally worn in Nigeria. Though it is worn in Nigeria, it is not exclusively a Nigerian attire. You can also find it in some other parts of west Africa. During ceremonies and festive period, people wear them to show their cooperation and solidarity. Similarly, people wear them to identify with their age mates. In additition, they wear them to identify with their friends. Moreover, they wear them to identify with relatives when there is a social occasion or when there is a funeral.

The rise in demand of aso ebi in Nigeria was as a consequence of the increase in demand of handcrafted traditional attires like “Agbada”. As it were, tailors and fashion designers strived to meet the increasing demand and designs of uniform dressing. Consequently, they sometimes employ the aid of the fashion pages of magazines to make style choices of their customers. As a matter of fact, people who sell local and foreign fabrics have benefitted from the increase in demand of traditional attires. Some textile dealers offer consultation services for the purchase of such fabrics. They also offer bulk rates for the choice and cost of the dress and fabrics.

Origin of the Word Aso-ebi

The word aso ebi is a Yoruba tribal word. The Yorubas are one of the major ethnic groups in Nigeria. In Yoruba language, “aso” means “clothing” while “ebi” means “family”. Literally, it gives us the connotation that “aso-ebi” means “family clothing”. This explains why families dress in aso-ebi dress style during funerals in Nigeria. It is like a norm now.

 William Bascom traced the origin of the dress style to an earlier period when members of Yoruba age grades wear uniform dressing. They wore this to mark fraternal bonds. In the 1950s, members of women organizations or egbes turn out to ceremonies and anniversaries of relatives in the same style of dress, sandals, lappa, smock, and necklace. This culture signifies close friendship. The uniform dressing is a measure of personal affluence. Aso-ebi dressing involves rivalry between various “egbes” or groups. Each “egbe” or group competes to outshine each other in terms of quality, originality and richness of the uniform.

Fabrics Used in Making Aso-ebi

Some imported fabrics used in making aso ebi are the “Lace” and the “George” materials. These were incorporated into making cloths in Nigeria beginning sometime in the mid 1960 and late 1970. Other fabrics used in making it are the Ankara, Kente, Adire, Velvet, Atiku.

In the choice of fabric, many elderly people prefer lace material (cotton or organza). The younger ones or youths like to experiment with fabrics like Ankara, Kente, Adire, sample lace, velvet and soft lace. Most male guest prefer fabrics like brocade, ‘atiku’, polished lace and so on.

Aso ebi dress style could also be used by friends who are rich as a means of showing their wealth. They do this by making traditional attires in uniform style with expensive embroidery. Some add more layers of clothing.

Sometimes, instead of making a full outfit, some people wear a matching top of the aso-ebi. Some others wear a matching head gear or coverings.

Pictures and video

As a matter of fact,  I have been looking for Nigerian women clothing to promote on my website for a while now. Luckily for me I stumbled on this beautiful video clip posted by NaijaGlamWedding on their youtube channel. It is posted below. It contains Nigerian aso ebi dress styles and designs video. For your information, it is an eight minutes video clip.  It shows Nigerian beautiful women, dressed in their contemporary dress fashion for traditional party or wedding. It contains also, a gallery of 100+ pictures of the latest traditional wedding guest fashion outfits. Such of which are seen in high society weddings – with various colours, designs & fabric ideas including ankara, lace & more.

The pictures before the video below are screenshots from the video clip. I know ladies will surely like this. If you are preparing for your wedding in the near future you may find something there you may like. And then, you may be tempted to use it for your bridal train.

Unfortunately, I don’t know the names of the specific aso ebi dress styles. I apologize for that. My bad !!! ha ha. If you know the name of any of them you can share the name with us at the comment section. We and other readers will highly appreciate it.


This tells you I am a novice in women’s fashion. For sure, women’s fashion is fascinating. Also, women’s fashion draws a lot of interest from many people. By and large, women love to change their clothing often unlike men. They also spend a lot of money on their cloths and their hair. And who would object that they spend money too on footwear and hand bag ?In fact, women fashion is a big thing and a serious and lucrative business. Just like it is all over the world, so it is in Africa and especially Nigeria. Aso ebi is one of the biggest lucrative women fashion styles in Nigeria.

Do you have any video or picture of your fashion line you would like us to advertise for you ? Feel free to email it to us on We in will be happy to publish it on our website. One of the reasons we set up this website is to promote Nigerian and African culture. #madeinnigeria, #buynaija.


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