Posted by Amanda Ibironke on Thursday, January 23, 2014 Under: Fashion, Tradition & Culture
Oleku is back and better! It is the latest traditional attire style trending in Nigeria right now. The style was worn in the 1970s, a common traditional wear amongst the Yorubas in Nigeria. It has been worn from generation to generation till date. The style is IRO (a wrap skirt known as wrapper) worn under the BUBA (blouse/top). Normally the Iro is long while the Buba has long sleeves; It is also made to be big which most young women do not like to wear, but recently the IRO and BUBA has been altered creatively. The Buba is Short-sleeve, but it can also be Long-sleeve, while the Iro stops right above the knees and it is made to fit, which is where it derives its name “Oleku”.
Its smart and sexy outlook would certainly earn you a second gaze (maybe a third...lol) and can be worn by any shape, size, height and/or complexion. A variety of materials can be used to make this style; you can use either Lace, Aso oke, Linen, Ankara, Guinea material (hope I spelt that correctly), etc.
Wondering where you can rock this style to? Anywhere! You can wear it to church, weddings, birthdays, and any social event. You will definitely stand out.
Here are a few tips on how you can use Oleku style:
You can mix and match different materials like lace with Ankara, make the Buba with lace and the Iro with Ankara then Aso oke as “Gele”. For the ladies like me who aren’t big fans of gele, the style can be worn without gele and it will look just as good as you want it. Another way is to make an embroidered Guinea Buba with Aso oke as Iro. And if you do not want to go all out to make the style from a new material, you can recycle your old Iro and Buba. You can wear the Buba but use the scarf (luckily our tailors use almost a yard to make the scarf) as the Iro. It usually falls right above the knee or just a little below the knee, so, find a matching gele- maybe Aso oke and you are good to go!
If you love bright colours, you can also do the colour blocking style by wearing Red Ankara as the Buba, Yellow Ankara as the Iro with Blue shoes (you can match the colour of your gele and bag); You can also mix different Ankara prints if you are the daring type. This style can be worn with any kind of bag, works better with a clutch purse though; and Shoe, just make sure your shoe is at least 4 inches high to get the elegant look.
Accessorize with some vintage pieces; neck-wear, earrings and wrist wear. Have fun rocking this classy style, Ladies!
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