3 unexpected places to wear your African prints and bright colours

3 unexpected places to wear your African prints and bright colours

We don’t know about you, but the first signs of sunshine bring a fresh perspective on life – and our wardrobes. Everything just feels nicer when it’s sunny, doesn’t it? Even when there’s still a chill in the air.

We’ve been dressed in layer upon layer for too long, and gloomy weather (and gloomy clothes) can make us feel less motivated day to day.

But fashion is a way to express who you are. 

If you’re bold, fun, and full of life (we see you!), your clothes should be, too. It’s proven that colourful clothing can have a positive impact on our mood, and we’re all about those good vibes. 

Prof. Carolyn Mair PhD said to Stylist in this interview, “When we feel good in what we are wearing, we tend to be more confident... When we feel good, we are likely to be perceived as looking good too, as our posture, voice and other nonverbal aspects will be more positive.”.

We’ll take some of that, please.

Yet it’s oh-so-easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the bright, colourful and printed garms hanging in your wardrobe are limited to festivals or days out with your girlfriends. 

Who made that rule? We believe your favourite pieces can be worn to each and any occasion marking your diary. You can dress as bold as you are and hold your head high while you’re at it.

For a dose of inspo, here are 3 less obvious places to strut your stuff in your brightest, boldest prints, for a spring filled with confidence. 

The office 

Whether you’re still WFH or are back at your IRL desk, there’s always space for print and vibrant colour. Gone are the days of grey suits and boring cuts, we’ll power dress our way now, thank you very much.

If your work requires a more ‘formal’ look, experiment with tailoring and mix in a statement jacket, like our Eko Blazer. It’s navy for a subtle nod to colour, but the hand-drawn Adire fabric speaks volumes. 

It can be worn over a blouse, tee, or dress, and will make you stand tall even on the 356th Zoom of the day.

Is your workplace more relaxed?

Go wild with loud, patterned shirts paired with classic jeans or trousers. 

Swap your grey trousers for chinos in spring pastels.

Swipe on a colourful lip, or wear a patterned scrunchie, hairband or gele (a Nigerian headscarf like the one our founder Bola wore on the London Fashion Week catwalk).

We guarantee you’ll get compliments and smiles as you brighten up the *boring* morning debrief. 

A wedding

Wearing loud, colourful African prints is traditional wedding attire for us Nigerians. We’re talking blues, purples, pinks and yellows, as well as plenty of patterns made up of stripes, triangles, and dots.

Weddings are a celebration, and our bright clothes represent joy and community. 

Here in the UK, wedding season is approaching and outfits are often much more classic than those in Africa. But why can’t you bring some cultural playfulness to your look?

Show off your roots and bring fun to your fashion by choosing a statement piece, like our Ikeja Wrap Top, to give off happy vibes. It looks fierce paired with a silk skirt and red stiletto.

Even if you’re not African, you can still bring the bold with striking shapes and lots of colour to shake up the usual florals. 

Look for polka dots, stripes and geometric patterns, and bring your brightest heels to the dance floor.

The supermarket

Let’s face it, grocery shopping isn’t the most exciting activity on our weekly to-do list. But if you’re experimenting with bolder colours, it’s a great place to inject some of your bubbly personality and get heads turning as you grab your dinner essentials. 

Our Ilesa Flared Trousers are practical, easy to move in, and feature our traditional Adire fabric for a punch of traditional pattern. Just add some comfy trainers and a simple tee for an easy everyday look with attitude.

If you’re not ready for head to toe pattern, accessorise. 

Oversized hair bows, statement jewellery and bright-coloured bags are a vibe.

While colour can often have associations with moods and feelings (red can symbolise passion, for example), the most important thing is that what you choose to wear makes you feel good. 

That your clothes make you feel as fearless as you want to be.

Will you bring some vibrancy to your spring wardrobe? 

We’d love to see where you wear your prints! Tag us in your best selfies at @toomeyandkoko and we’ll share our favourites to our Stories. 

Shop our bold and beautiful debut collection, here.
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