can a white person wear African print clothing

Our lovely Customer Jeanne looking gorgeous in our best selling African Print Onome Midi Dress


African print clothing, also known as Ankara or Kitenge, is a vibrant and expressive form of attire that is deeply rooted in African culture. Traditionally, African print clothing has been worn by individuals of African descent, serving as a visual representation of their heritage, identity, and cultural traditions. However, as our world becomes more interconnected, the boundaries of fashion are expanding, and the question arises: can a white person wear African print clothing?

The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. It requires a nuanced understanding of cultural appreciation, respect, and the avoidance of cultural appropriation. The beauty of embracing diversity through clothing lies in its ability to break down stereotypes, foster inclusivity, and promote cross-cultural exchange. When approaching the idea of a white person wearing African print clothing, it is important to consider these factors:


Appreciation and Cultural Respect

For a white person to wear African print clothing, genuine appreciation and respect for the culture behind the clothing are essential. It is crucial to understand and acknowledge the rich history, symbolism, and significance of the patterns and fabrics. African print clothing is more than just a fashion statement; it carries stories, traditions, and the creativity of African communities. By taking the time to learn and appreciate these aspects, one can approach wearing African print clothing with the proper understanding and respect it deserves.

white woman wearing African Print

Avoiding Cultural Appropriation

Cultural appropriation occurs when elements from a marginalized culture are adopted by a dominant culture without recognizing or respecting their cultural significance. It is crucial to avoid appropriating African culture when wearing African print clothing as a white person. This means refraining from treating it as a mere trend or fashion statement without understanding its roots and historical context. Instead, opt for embracing African print clothing as a way to celebrate and honor the culture, rather than appropriating it for personal gain.

To avoid cultural appropriation, it is essential to educate oneself about the cultural significance behind the clothing, support African designers and artisans, and acknowledge the contributions and history of African communities. By doing so, one can wear African print clothing authentically and responsibly.

white woman in African Print Dress

Supporting African Fashion and Economy

By embracing African print clothing, white individuals can play a role in supporting African fashion and promoting diversity within the industry. The fashion industry has long been criticized for its lack of representation and cultural appreciation. However, by actively choosing to wear African print clothing and supporting African designers, individuals can contribute to a more inclusive and vibrant fashion landscape.

Furthermore, wearing African print clothing can serve as a conversation starter and an opportunity for cultural exchange. It allows individuals to share their appreciation for African culture, spark discussions about traditions and craftsmanship, and bridge gaps between different communities. By engaging in these conversations, white individuals can contribute to a more interconnected and understanding society.



In conclusion, the question of whether a white person can wear African print clothing is not a matter of restriction but rather one of responsibility, respect, and education. Fashion is a powerful tool for self-expression, celebration, and unity. When approached with cultural appreciation, understanding, and support for African designers, there is no reason why a white person cannot wear African print clothing.

However, it is crucial to always be mindful of the cultural significance behind the clothing and to avoid appropriating African culture. By approaching African print clothing with respect, supporting African fashion, and promoting diversity within the industry, we can create a fashion landscape that values inclusivity and celebrates the richness of different cultures.

So, if you're a white person who appreciates the beauty and significance of African print clothing, go ahead and wear it with pride, while also embracing the responsibility that comes with it.

We have a trendy collection of African Print Clothing at MYTRIBENG . Shop the collection HERE

1 comment

  • African Stars

    Great to read about the African Print Clothes

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