With the conscious understanding of Africans that they are indeed Africans and will need to protect their cultural heritage from extinction, men and women across the continent have developed a keen love and new interest in traditional attires – especially attires that bring out their African nature or attires that are inherently African by nature.
One of such attires (that is loved and appreciated across the length and breadth of Africa) is the Agbada traditional gown – notoriously famous with African men and guys.
But, first things first…what is (an) Agbada?
What Is (An) Agbada?
Agbada (or an Agbada), refers to a large, often overflowing gown worn by men in Nigeria and some West African countries.
The large overflowing gown is sewn in such a manner that (constant) effort is required to keep it steady on the shoulders of the wearer.
Usually worn by men, it is normally sewn, designed and embroidered in a three piece manner, complete with a pair of trousers and an inner, more fitting shirt.
It is used (almost) exclusively at formal events and its use is a sign of affluence, prestige or authority.
Latest Agbada Designs & Styles for Men
Below is our collection of long Agbada styles. If you’d prefer short ones, click here to see our collection of short Agbada styles.
See Also: Ankara Blazers for Men and Guys
Why And When Do Men Wear Agbada?
As already indicated, the Agbada traditional attire is worn mostly to formal events and occasions. However, on rare occasions, it is also worn to semi-formal and completely informal events – especially by the elites and the political class.
As to why men wear Agbada, you’ll be pleased to understand that, the reason is not far-fetched from the paragraph immediately above: men wear Agbada largely because of the fact that it makes them feel powerful and influential while at the same time, appearing native and very African.
Talk of killing two birds with a single stone and you wouldn’t be very far from both the truth and reality of the issue on the ground here.
Common Fabrics Used For Agbada
The Agbada traditional attire is one that is taken very seriously and its wearer treated with both respect and dignity.
Accordingly thus, very expensive and durable fabrics are used for both its design and finishing.
However, the most common fabrics used for the Agbada traditional attire remains the lace material and george. These materials are usually expensive, durable and to a large extent, have been the favoured agbada fabric from time immorial.
Different Agbada Styles
There are varying styles that are currently deployed when sewing or designing the Agbada attire by Nigerian men. Below are the most common and popular:
Matching Outer Gown, Inner Shirt And Trousers
This is by far the most common Agbada design favoured by men in Nigeria today. Here, the outer gown, the inner shirt and the trousers are all made of the same stock or material – with matching embroidery as the need arises. This is usually worn accompanied with matching shoes and cap as the occasion actually demands.
‘Two Piece’ Designs
The traditional Agbada design is sewn in a 3 piece fashion with an outer big gown, an inner shirt and a pair of trousers to match. However, because of the tropical weather (or personal preference), some wearers of the attire opt to completely eradicate the fitting inner shirt and instead, make do with a simple inner vest.
This ‘two piece’ design is popular amongst younger men and is mostly worn in informal or semi-formal settings.
The Short Sleeved Agbada
Normally, the original Agbada design is long sleeved. However, a variation of that original design today sees to it that the outer garment (and in some cases, inner shirt) are trimmed to size, reducing its original bulk and importantly, rendering the overall length of the gown to stop at the knee level instead of the traditional ankle length.
This design too is common with the younger generation and favoured at parties and other informal events.
The ‘Mismatched’ Agbada Design
The Agbada is known the world over as being designed and sewn in such a way that all its three pieces match. When the color (or type) of the material for any of the component pieces becomes different from the others, the design is said to be ‘mismatched’.
The most common instance of the mismatched Agbada design is an instance where the inner shirt and trousers match while the outer garment remains completely different. However, it is to be noted that all manner of variations are possible and in the context where they are designed and worn, may be permissive.