4 Tips for Mixing Vintage & African Style with Ankara & Lace

Flashback Summer: 4 Tips for Mixing Vintage and African Style with Ankara & Lace

Our world is increasingly global, and we have the glorious opportunity to buy clothing from designers hailing from all over the world!  Whereas our foremothers were relegated to buying such fashions only if they could afford to go to resorts and buy a vacation wardrobe inspired by local aesthetics, we now have the chance to incorporate the beauty of diverse designers into our own wardrobes at a single click!  Today I'm partnering with Ankara and Lace, an African fabric subscription company, to help explore how to do this.

Back in the day, many fashions inspired by Africa were stereotypically kitschy or, at worst, downright racist.  Most of us modern people are uncomfortable wearing these styles, yet we still admire the aesthetics coming from Africa and want to wear them in a vintage way.  Happily, there are ways to incorporate these aesthetics into your vintage looks in a more respectful way than those attempted in yesteryear.

But how to go about it?  Western vintage and modern African styles don't seem to naturally "go" at first sight.  The bold prints of African textiles may be difficult to visualize in a vintage outfit.  However, it's not impossible!  There are ways to work them together in ways that feel effortlessly chic.  Here are my tips for making it happen:

1.  Start small.

If you love looking at African styles but aren't sure about wearing them, start with something small.  Buy a pair of earrings made with ankara fabrics or beaded bracelets from the Maasai.  Style them with your normal vintage and see how they feel!

Flashback Summer: 4 Tips for Mixing Vintage and African Style with Ankara & Lace

2. Try a topper.
If you're up for it, an easy way to begin to integrate African style into your look is through silhouette, namely, a headwrap!  You guys know I'm a huge fan of these, and it's a staple in the wardrobes of many Africans across the globe.  Even if you aren't up for an obviously African print, try a solid fabric and wrap a turban with your next outfit.  Pair it with earrings and lipstick for a style that mirrors both African and vintage looks.

3. Go bolder and try a garment.

There are several shops that sell African-style separates.  While the prints may seem bold for some of you, the silhouettes are often easily paired with vintage.  Try a blouse and layer it under a cardigan with a solid-colored skirt.  Get a classic pencil skirt in a wax print and wear it with a vintage blouse and shoes.  (Check out my list of African fashion shops here.)

4. Sew it up!
If you are feeling creative or haven't found quite the item you're looking for, consider making it yourself or working with a seamstress!  Ankara and Lace has a lot of fantastic, authentic fabrics you can get at quite good prices for your projects.

This outfit was a collaboration with my friend Esther, and I'll be sharing more photos and details in my next post!

Flashback Summer: 4 Tips for Mixing Vintage and African Style with Ankara & Lace

My Experience with Ankara and Lace
Ankara and Lace is a fabric subscription company, and I tried it out to be able to give you guys a proper review.  The company offers a huge selection of kente and ankara prints that can be mailed right to your door monthly or quarterly, as you choose.  They will also send from 3 to 18 yards of fabrics!  

The fabrics they send you are based on the results of your style quiz response.  It narrows down the kinds of prints you like, colors, etc.  Then you are sent a tube of fabric all ready to use!  

Flashback Summer: 4 Tips for Mixing Vintage and African Style with Ankara & Lace

This is the fabric I received. I was quite happy with it, and I rather like the challenge of getting a surprise fabric.  It makes me get out of my typical box and work with something different.

Flashback Summer: 4 Tips for Mixing Vintage and African Style with Ankara & Lace

I highly recommend the services of Ankara and Lace.  The fabric is a good quality, and the designs varied and beautiful. They took the results of my style quiz and sent me a fabric I did indeed love!

I know I've talked about African and vintage fashion a lot on this blog, but have you gotten the chance to intertwine the two?  Have you had any successful (or even unsuccessful) attempts?  What do you think of Ankara and Lace's fabrics?

Photos by Your Best Image

I received this fabric for free from Ankara and Lace in return for this review post, but all opinions are my own.  To learn more about my collaboration policies, check out this page.


  1. Very cool outfit! Love the bold blue colour! :)

  2. I always love to see what you create with these fabrics and this creation is AMAZING! Love the pantsuit and all the prints.

    1. Thank you so much! It was my friend's idea to do a jumpsuit, and I love them!