Going Uber Glam At Any Age In Uganda

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Ugandan fashion is taking on a whole new look. What used to be considered “old” and “traditional” is now hot as fire in the Ugandan fashion scene. There are many models who are representing Uganda all over the world such as Kiara Kabukuru and Paul Mwesigwa. The beauty and grace of the Ugandans and their killer fashion designs are generally making waves around the globe. However, although the Ugandan fashion industry is relatively “young”, it caters for all ages and offers plenty of designs that are suitable for women of any age to wear. A look at some of the hottest Ugandan fashion trends will show that culture and age have no boundaries in fashion anymore.

The Kitenge Comeback

The Kitenge is a “traditional” garment worn in Africa in countries such as Uganda, Zambia and Malawi. It comes in different designs and patterns and is often a brightly colored and unique piece of cloth. It can be tie-dyed, waxed, or printed via batik. Of course, it was traditionally worn around the waist, dropping down to the ankles as traditional women’s wear. Not so anymore.

Kitenge fabric is being incorporated into a multiplicity of designs. This is fabulous news for older women who want to celebrate their traditional roots, but also be on-trend at the same time. From jumpsuits to cocktail dresses and long dresses with detail at the bottom, kitenge fabric is everywhere. It is even on bags and shoes. For older women, the longer pieces are suggested to maintain a classic, clean and elegant line of dressing. Sleeveless dresses can be accessorized with chunky jewelry, and simple earrings compliment the sleeved options perfectly. Older women can also get creative by combining the kitenge t-shirts with slacks and a smart jacket or wearing a jacket made from kitenge fabric with jeans and loafers.

No longer seen as “boring” kitenge fabric has a look and style that will suit everyone’s taste due to the wide array of designs. Nothing says “Africa” quite like the kitenge revolution that is overtaking Uganda and ensuring that women can be ethnic and stylish well into their golden years.

Older? Grow With Spunk

Halima Namakula attends the 2017 ASFAs wearing Glitz by Nalu

Fashion is becoming essentially ageless. With the oldest model ever used in a fashion shoot being 100 years old, there is no reason for any Ugandan woman to feel that she can’t be stylish and modern because of her age. Gone are the days where women stuck to traditional garments in their old age. It is a widely held belief that in cities like Kampala, women and men are stylishly dressed. That being said, women do dress a bit more conservatively during the day and avoid mini-skirts. Of course, if you are older you probably know that stylish dressing includes knee-length pencil skirts coupled with shirts, t-shirts, and pumps. Of course, many women still kill the 6-inch heel at 60 and you can too. However, women of all ages are now dressing in trendy jeans, t-shirts and accessorizing with the latest sunglasses, lipstick shade, and jewellery. One thing to remember is that Ugandans are vibrant people. As an elderly Ugandan incorporating colour into your wardrobe is a must. From peacock blue to fuschia pink, let your colours speak for you and forget about grey, black and tan just because you are over 50. Some of the hottest women in the world rock bright colours. So can you!

Cutting Edge Fabrics

A design by Jose Hendo

One of the great things about having access to fashion in Uganda is that there are some ultra-new fabrics that can be accessed and look stylish at any age. For instance, whilst this tradition is hundreds of years old in Uganda, London based Ugandan designer Jose Hendo is using bark fabric (yes, bark from trees) to create super-stylish and avant-garde outfits for the runway and the public. As an older woman (or man) in Uganda, make good use of the stylish nature of bark fabric and allow yourself to be on the “cutting edge” of fashion. There are many older women and men who still experiment with an avant-garde look well into their 80’s and 90’s. Your age should not stop you from experimenting either.

From a new take on traditional garb to bright colours and natural but modern fabrics, older fashionista’s in Uganda have a lot to celebrate in their fashion options. The key thing to remember is that there are no “age limits” in fashion. As long as it is stylish, you can wear it at any age, and Uganda has plenty to offer on the style platter so go out and experiment, no matter what your age.

Cover Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Jenni is a beauty enthusiast!

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