Outfit of the Day: Cultural Accessories

What do you do when you get that one, awesome, dope, meaningful, stand-alone accessory? The one that is so good, there’s no point wearing other accessories because they will be clearly shunned and outshined by this one, divalicious piece? You give it what divas want–all the attention. The easiest way to do this is against a monochromatic backdrop. Keep your clothes simple: one hue, simple shapes, subtle patterns, and a stage for your accessory to get the oooohs and aahhs it deserves.

atembe african chief necklace

cameroon chief necklace african fashion

atembe cameroon african necklace burgundy sweater dress

My necklace is from Cameroon, where my family is from. This necklace is worn there by people of high esteem, including chiefs, and usually by men. However, my uncle explained women are gaining more and more positions of power and respect, so we get to wear our power around our necks, too. Booya, boys.

It’s one thing to have a stand-out accessory in your outfit; but when it has so much cultural meaning and history behind it, suddenly it feels like the only thing your outfit needs. It almost turns your look into your interpretation of a power suit. I feel great in this look–strong, proud, and beautiful. And that’s what this whole fashion thing is all about!

The Negro is the child of two cultures – Africa and America.  The problem is that in the search for wholeness all too many Negroes seek to embrace only one side of their natures.

–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Embrace every part of you, and wear your heritage proudly.

burgundy short sleeve sweater dress with african necklace

dark red oxblood wine burgundy sweater dress

west african fashion necklace accessories bone tooth necklace

red snakeskin alligator skin crocodile skin heels fashion

Here are some places where you can get similar looks. I included interesting African accessories, but that part should be unique to you and your heritage. If you like this look, create your own look and share it with me on Twitter or tag me on Instagram!

Burgundy sweater dress: Dillards (with print scarf); Kohls; Charlotte Russe; LuLu’s

Red heels: ShoeBuy.com; Jessica Simpson; Macy’s 

Accessory (all found on zuvaa.com): Cosmic Charcoal Necklace by Beads by Aree; Handmade necklace by WildChild Dzigns; Mudcloth painted earrings by Wild Child Dzigns

About Atembe

Atembe is a Cameroonian-American who is exactly 27 years old (because saying "20-something" is SO 2016) and currently teaching kiddos art and English in South Korea. In her free time she's dancing, drinking too much celebrity tea, living vicariously through characters in her favorite TV comedies, or [sometimes] letting her husband Eric beat her at Wii. Catch her on Twitter or Instagram via @sothisisfate, and for a faster response, tweet her a "TAR!..."

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