The KOBI KOACHMAN Guide to Men’s Native Wears-What to Wear & What Not to Wear

Inspired by a very good friend of mine a stylish lady who loves native wears.

“The true definition of native wear is a piece of cloth, worn by a native bushman for hunting activities” — Xi (the bushman who thought that coke bottles were evil gifts from the gods)

Xi was the title character in the movie — “The Gods must be Crazy” and was portrayed by — Nǃxau Toma. Ok, Xi may not have made that quote exactly as it is above, but I’m sure that’s how the English men interpreted the thong he wore throughout the movie — as a “native’s wear”.

Xi at end of earth wearing his native wear and holding a coke bottle

Over the years there have been huge improvement from what “native wear” was back then and what it is now. See what I mean below…

Some of the trends which were in existence back then are coming back now with a bit of refinement in design. Things like the popular Agbada have been in existence since the 1800s and they are coming back in style today.

Kaftans [with length almost sweeping the floor] were also popular in the 90s, but they are back in vogue, more refined to lengths just below the knee and with a bit of English touch to it such as the use of double cuff design in the wrist section such that it can be worn with cuff-links.

Considering this trend, who knows, a few years from now Xi’s native wear style could be back in vogue for men as an outer garment. You can be sure that I will never rock that but if this should happen, then know ye that we are gradually heading back to the time of creation — Garden Of Eden.

Back then the character Xi wore his own native wear without any footwear or sandals, but today we have all manner of foot wears available for us to choose from namely loafers, boat shoes, moccasin, boots, dress shoes etc.

The negative side to this is that the Foot Wear brands do not give advice on what clothes are appropriate for certain kind of shoes they make.

As a lover of native wears, a Brand Ambassador of African Fashion Week Nigeria and an advocate of African Fashion, I hope to give a few style advice with this article on the appropriate foot wears to put on when rocking your native wear.

After I posted my last article on Guide to Men’s Shoes [read here], I was having a chat with my buddy Oge, and she mentioned some of the fashion faux pas she sees men make when it comes to them not knowing how to wear their native wears appropriately and what to wear it with. She asked me to write about it, so here it is…

RULES THAT APPLY WHEN WEARING NATIVE WEARS

The General Rule: Ensure the trouser length is reaching just on the top of the shoe and not sweeping the ground when you walk. To be safe, ensure your tailor’s measurement of your trouser length stops just at your ankle. Not before your ankle (unless you choose Jump-Up Style) and certainly not after (irrespective of what you choose).

WHAT NOT TO WEAR

FOR FOOT WEARS

#1. Avoid wearing your simple native wears with dress shoes or any other form of Lace-Ups Men’s Shoes

#2. Avoid wearing socks with your shoes when wearing native wears, there is no excuse for this even if you live in Antarctica or Iceland. Some people might be wondering, how are they going to survive all the sweat, stink and perspiration without socks, I would say go for “Half Socks” [NOT Ankle Socks]. There are several no-show socks brand in the fashion market that place a big emphasis on comfort and style. Find them and buy if you must wear a socks.

#3. Avoid wearing your native wears with Canvas shoes, Running/Sports shoes for men, no matter the type, we frankly don’t care about the Brand or how expensive it is, it just doesn’t work.

#4. Avoid wearing native wears with Leather Slippers for special occasions or events such as Wedding, Cocktail Parties, Grand occasions etc. But you can wear this if it’s for a simple look or casual business or when hanging out for drink or any other leisure activities, just make sure you are wearing a classic one.

#5. Avoid wearing native wears with Rubber Flip Flops or any form of bathroom slippers, even in an emergency situation..I don’t care if you are rushing to the scene of an accident, simply change to Shorts and Tees if you must wear the rubber flip flop in an emergency.

FOR ACCESSORIES

#1. Avoid wearing native wears with sports wrist watches, same way sports watches should never be worn with a suit. It is frowned upon by many a fashion expert so try to avoid making this fashion faux-pas.

#2. Avoid wearing native wears with belts. It doesn’t matter if you are trying to match your shoe and belt color, the rule just doesn’t apply here. The trousers are supposed to fit to your exact waist size or made with adjustable strap on the side.

WHAT TO WEAR

FOR FOOT WEAR

#1. For all types of natives, you can wear loafers, moccasins, boat shoes, and all other shoes that are not dress shoes (no lace-ups). See below images.

#2. For some special kind of native wears such as Senators, Agbadas and long Kaftans, you can wear any nice shoe, so as long as it’s not lace up. Some examples of these shoes include Single or Double Monk Strap Leather shoes and other simple non-lace up Dress shoes with or without Tassels.

#3. You can wear Sandals [Nice Leather Sandals] with your native wears, this especially fits Agbada, Dashiki and Kaftans.

#1. You SHOULD wear your native wears with ONLY leather wrist watches (preferably) or nice gold or silver wrist watch. Never with a Sports wrist watch.

#2. You SHOULD wear your native wear with bracelets. Fill up your wrists with different types and colors to match your outfit. Just make sure the wrist bracelet complements with the color of your native wear. Some example are metal bracelets, nautical trend bracelets, Beaded Bracelets, Leather & Woven Bracelets. This is a trend very popular among the modern stylish gentlemen these days.

#3. You CAN wear your native wear with nice and simple beaded necklace or normal chain necklace. Avoid the very bold ones though as much as you can especially for serious event.

BONUS PICTURES OF FEMALE ON NATIVE WEAR

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, I hope I have been able to share some of my knowledge on native wears with you, what not to wear and what’s appropriate to wear.

Thanks as always, for reading. Please feel free to drop your comments and contributions here or write me — mrkobi@kobikoachman.com if you have inquiries or you are interested in any of our products or services. Your feedback helps us improve and serve you better.

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Till you hear from me again, Continue to Do Well. Live Well and Dress Really Well! Stay Classy!

Yours in Style,

Kobi O. Mbagwu (Mr. Kobi)
Founder, MrKoachman.com
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Originally published at mrkoachman.com on August 19, 2015.