Photo courtesy TJ Who.
10 of the Best Nigerian Men's Fashion Trends
When it comes to men’s fashion, these are the trends Nigerian men know work both on and off the runway.
Over the years, the fashion industry in Nigeria has seen and experienced a dynamism that’s ensured it is always offering something new for fashion-lovers – especially with regards to menswear. As more brands come to the fore, and as modernization gives rise to silhouettes of different ranges, menswear brands continue to tap into their origins to produce pieces that quickly become trends.
Thanks to certain mainstream fashion and runway platforms like Lagos Fashion Week, Arise Fashion Week, GTBANK Fashion Weekend, and acclaimed streetwear convention, Street Souk, these trends have reached a wider audience.
Here are ten menswear trends in Nigeria that are remarkable.
Traditionally worn by women as part of formal attire for weddings, church visits and other events, head wraps have become a popular trend in menswear fashion, too. Designers have embraced the head wrap as a versatile accessory that can add a unique touch to any outfit.
Designers like Ugo Monye and newly introduced Oshobor Nigeria by Peter ‘Dawn’ Oshobor, include this during their presentations at Lagos Fashion Week last year. It’s also seen in street-style looks, paired with everything from casual wear to formal suits. Designers have experimented with different fabrics, prints, and colors, offering men a range of options to choose from. The head wrap is also being incorporated into collections by menswear brands, with some creating entire collections centered around the accessory - like who?
Apart from being a stylish accessory, head wraps also offer practical benefits such as protection from the sun or cold weather. They can also be used to manage long hair or as a statement piece to add personality to an outfit. As designers continue to experiment with different styles and fabrics, we can expect to see this versatile accessory continue to grow in popularity.
Sunglasses have been a staple fashion accessory for decades, but in recent times, they have become an even more prominent trend in menswear fashion. With a wide variety of styles, shapes, and colors available, sunglasses have become a staple accessory that can complete any outfit. Cute Saint, for example, a fashion brand by designer Femi Ajose, introduced this functional accessory during their collection at Lagos Fashion Week.
In addition to their functionality in protecting the eyes from harmful UV rays, sunglasses are now seen as a fashion statement that can enhance a man's overall style. High-end fashion brands are releasing their own lines of sunglasses, with many incorporating unique designs and materials into their frames.
Popular styles include aviators, wayfarers, and round frames, with each offering its own unique look. Some men choose to invest in multiple pairs of sunglasses to match different outfits or occasions, while others opt for a classic, versatile pair that can be worn with anything.
As a fashion trend, deconstruction has become a prominent feature in menswear over the past few years. It involves taking traditional garments apart and reconstructing them in a new and unconventional way. The end result is a unique and edgy piece of clothing that challenges traditional fashion norms.
Deconstructed menswear can take many forms, such as shirts with asymmetrical hemlines, jackets with unfinished edges, or pants with exposed seams. Designers are also incorporating unique fabrics and textures, such as denim, leather, and mesh, to add interest and depth to their deconstructed pieces.The trend towards deconstruction in menswear reflects a larger societal shift towards individualism and self-expression. Men are increasingly seeking out clothing that allows them to express their unique personalities and style, and deconstructed pieces – like those seen on the Arise Fashion Week Runway from brands such as Fruché by Frank Aghuno – provide an opportunity to do just that.
This style of tailoring involves taking traditional garments, such as shirts, suits, or jackets, and altering them to create a unique, off-kilter look. The end result is a garment that is both sophisticated and edgy, challenging traditional notions of menswear.
Asymmetrical tailoring can take many forms, such as jackets with uneven lapels or hems, shirts with diagonal button placements, or pants with asymmetrical pockets. Designers are also incorporating unique fabrics and textures, such as velvet or leather, to add interest and depth to their asymmetrical pieces. Brands like JZO Nigeria, founded by duo, Joseph O. Ike, and Ola Akindeinde, have their label premised on this aesthetic. Theirs, and design brands like Fruché, were seen embracing this trend on the Lagos Fashion Week runway last year.
A loose-fitting silhouette and wider leg opening makes this style a trend that’s fast gained appeal thanks to its relaxed and comfortable feel. Wide-legged pants can be dressed up or down, making them a versatile addition to any wardrobe.
One reason for the rise in popularity of wide-legged pants is the increasing interest in retro and vintage styles. Many designers have looked to the 1970s for inspiration, incorporating elements such as flared pants and bold prints into their collections. In addition, the trend towards more relaxed and casual dressing has also contributed to the popularity of wide-legged pants. For their latest collections showcased on the runway at Lagos Fashion Week, design brands like JZO Nigeria and Taju Ibrahim’s TJ Who, had one, two, and three-pieces that featured this staple.
Wide-legged pants show up on the street, too, worn with a variety of footwear options, including sneakers, boots, and dress shoes. They also pair well with a range of tops, from T-shirts to button-downs. Whether dressed up or down, wide-legged pants are a stylish and comfortable choice for modern men.
Statement sleeves have become a recent trend in men's fashion, featuring unique and eye-catching designs that add an element of interest to any outfit. This style is defined by sleeves that are voluminous, oversized, or have unique design features like pleats, ruffles, or cutouts.
One reason for the rise in popularity of statement sleeves is the desire for men to experiment with new and interesting fashion trends. As gender norms continue to evolve and become more fluid, men are embracing traditionally feminine styles and incorporating them into their own wardrobes, and stylized menswear brands like TJ Who don’t shy away from this.
These designers have also played a key role in popularizing statement sleeves by incorporating them into their collections. Fashion houses like Gucci and Balenciaga have featured statement sleeves in their runway shows, inspiring other designers to incorporate the trend into their own collections. Statement sleeves can be paired with a variety of pieces, from jeans to tailored trousers, and can be dressed up or down. They are a versatile and unique way for men to express their personal style and make a statement with their fashion choices.
In recent years, skirts have become a growing trend in African menswear fashion, with many designers incorporating this traditionally feminine garment into their collections. This trend is part of a larger movement towards gender-neutral fashion, as more people challenge traditional gender norms and embrace clothing that is not limited by gender.
In Africa, skirts have a long history of being worn by men, particularly in countries like Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa. The resurgence of this trend in recent years has been driven in part by designers who are reimagining the traditional African skirt for a modern audience. Emmy Kasbit by Emmanuel Okoro, as seen at their latest showcase at Lagos Fashion Week, as well as Adebayo Oke-Lawal of Orange Culture, are part of those resurging this dress sense.
Designers have been experimenting with different materials, styles, and prints to create skirts that are both fashionable and culturally relevant. As African fashion continues to gain international attention, the trend of men wearing skirts is likely to continue to grow, as designers and consumers alike embrace this exciting and innovative trend.
Minimalism has taken its place among menswear labels, with designers incorporating clean lines, simple silhouettes, and neutral colors into their collections. This trend is characterized by a focus on understated elegance and a pared-down aesthetic that emphasizes quality over quantity.
One reason for the rise in popularity of minimalism is the desire for more sustainable and conscious fashion. By focusing on timeless pieces that are well-made and versatile, men can build a wardrobe that lasts for years rather than buying into the fast-fashion cycle.
Minimalism also offers a refreshing change from the bold and flashy styles that have dominated menswear in the past. By embracing a more restrained aesthetic, men can create a look that is both refined and contemporary.Minimalism can be achieved through a range of clothing items, from tailored suits to casual basics like T-shirts and jeans. This trend is a timeless and sophisticated way for men to express their personal style while maintaining a sense of simplicity and elegance – thanks to collections showcased at Arise Fashion Week by brands like I.N Official founded by Ifeanyi Nwune, and Taju Ibrahim’s TJ Who.
Characterized by a fusion of different styles, including traditional African clothing, streetwear, and contemporary Western fashion, the term "alté" is derived from the word "alternative," reflecting the trend's departure from mainstream fashion.
Alté fashion is a celebration of individuality and creativity, with many men using it as a way to express their personal style and break free from traditional fashion norms. The trend is defined by bold prints, bright colors, and unconventional silhouettes, often incorporating oversized or layered pieces.
Social media has played a significant role in the rise of alté fashion, with many young Nigerians using platforms like Instagram and Twitter to share their unique fashion choices and connect with others who share their style sensibilities. Alté fashion is a dynamic and exciting trend that is continuing to gain popularity among African men, offering a fresh and innovative take on men's fashion that celebrates individuality and creativity.
One reason for the rise in popularity of knitwear is its versatility. Knitwear can be dressed up or down and can be worn in a variety of settings, from casual outings to formal occasions. Designers have been incorporating this comfortable fabric into their collections, using a wide range of textures, patterns, and colors.
Knitwear refers to any type of fabric that is created by interlocking loops of yarn, including sweaters, cardigans, and even accessories like scarves and hats. Bloke, founded by Faith Oluwajimi, for example, one of the semi-finalists for the 2023 LVMH Prize Awards, has its aesthetic centered on knitwear in all its glory.
Designers have also been experimenting with new techniques and materials to create innovative knitwear pieces, such as oversized sweaters and knit blazers. Knitwear is also a sustainable choice, as it is often made from natural fibers like wool or cotton. Overall, knitwear is a comfortable, stylish, and sustainable trend that is perfect for any man looking to add a touch of texture and warmth to his wardrobe.
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