Let’s Debate Dresses

Follow my train of thought real quick: Valentine, flowers, chocolate ( hmm… chocolate), LOVE, dating, proposal, marriage, weddings, wedding drama, owanbe jollof, wedding gowns, wedding dresses…wedding dresses and there’s our stop.

For most of us marriage is still an affair of the distant future say 5-7 years or more and so it isn’t something we think about so often, for some of us though the affair is pretty close and is therefore a constant thought. No matter how near or distant the affair may be, I’m sure that in one way or the other we’ve pictured how our wedding day would look like and we women in particular have probably spent a ludicrous amount of time imagining our wedding gowns. For some, the imagination even dates back to as early as childhood. I lingered above and came to a halt on wedding gowns because of a tweet I saw recently by instablog9ja, which said, ” Lady rocks Ankara wedding gown to her white wedding. How una reason am?” I’m here to ask you the same question but let’s weigh the pros and cons first.



  1. Culture : Going through the replies and comments to the tweet, a lot of people supported this style simply on the basis of culture. Ankara fabrics with their lovely colours and idiosyncratic designs and patterns give a real sense of rich cultural meaning and have been worn traditionally for special events such as family reunions, burials, weddings, and so on.

    White wedding gowns on the other hand were pioneered by Queen Victoria when she married in 1840 and quickly became a trend and part of the western culture and so we also imbibed this culture since they were our colonial masters. The rave reviews and comments seemed to praise this Ankara wearing lady for dumping the western culture instead celebrating the African culture on her special day.

    They called her innovative, stylish and some women even said they would also follow her footsteps. It seems to me that this lady could be analogous to the late Queen Victoria of 1840. It is left for us to see if indeed Ankara wedding gowns will become a trend.

  2. Reusability: Another advantage that would come out of imbibing the Ankara wedding gown is that you can actually wear it again for another occasion. It is Ankara after all and we all know it isn’t quite the same for the white wedding gown unless maybe you completely alter the style and even then it can only be worn to say a white party or some other extremely glamorous event or the dress wasn’t exactly glamorous in the first place and can pass for a LWD ( little white dress).


  1. Culture: Still on the grounds of culture, I have to ask: “Don’t we already do traditional weddings where we actually wear our traditional regalia?” The ensemble is even more cultural than an Ankara gown if you ask me, I mean that Ofi, aso oke, the george wrapper, Gele head tie, the beads, the stones! Permit me to ask what else we are looking for. We might as well abandon shirts and ties, skirts and jeans all in the name of embracing culture. Let’s go all out, shall we?

2. Religion: We all know that Christianity might not, in fact, will not buy into the idea for a long time. Not that the Holy book said anything specific about it but because overtime the white wedding gown has come to symbolise purity, virginity and peace which are all important virtues concerning marriage, just as those in the Eastern part of the world wear red due to their belief in its auspiciousness. It shouldn’t be a big deal though, after all blue was formerly the colour connected to purity, faithfulness and the virgin Mary and the white dress started as a trend. However, when it comes to a change such as that of wearing Ankara for weddings instead of a white gown, you can be sure there will be rigidity in acceptance on the part of religion.

3. The special feeling: The white wedding gown actually confers some kind of special feeling to the bride. She’s the star of the occasion, she glitters and glows and nobody else shines like her. Fashion magazines even advise that when attending a wedding you shouldn’t wear white so as not to upstage the bride but when it comes to Ankara,well, everyone has it and most people will definitely wear ankara or lace and so it seems to me that the special feeling of wearing a white dress and standing out would be gone.

These are the only points I can think of for now but I’m really interested in your thoughts. Do you know of any more pros or cons? Are you for the motion that Ankara wedding gowns should be adopted by Nigerian ladies or are you against it? Can you actually picture yourself wearing an Ankara wedding gown and do you love it? For the men reading this, would you love to see your bride to be in glamorous white or glamorous Ankara on that day?, Perhaps you would sport an Ankara tux on that day too rather than a normal one?

Well if you are the diplomatic type, I’m sure you are thinking of how you can actually combine both attributes probably by making the gown a combination of white and Ankara, more white with a touch of Ankara if you are more inclined to support the white wedding dress ( exhibit A) or more Ankara with a touch of white if you are leaning towards the Ankara side like the pioneer lady.
Do well to let me know your thoughts on the subject in the comments. Thanks for reading and Happy Valentine! Send me chocolates

Lots of love,

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