Trendy Traditional Fashion Style In The Gambia

Trendy Traditional Fashion Style In The Gambia

The traditional fashion style in the Gambia is defined with the fashion staple of long and free-flowing dresses for men and women. For women, they tend to wear clothes down to their feet as well as up to their wrists that is called a grandmuba which comes with an under garment called a malan which is a couple of meters of cloth that is wrapped around the waist as an underskirt. 

Gambian Wedding Dress

Such traditional apparel tends to come in a multitude of vivid colors, waxes, and designs. The essential point is that such clothing should cover most parts of their body except for the hands and legs.

When out in public, women are more often seen in traditional garb (blouse and skirt from often brightly colored fabric, plus head wraps) than in Western wear, though many businesswomen will wear Western-style dresses with an African flare. As with men, young women and girls are seen in American-style clothing more often than the older ladies do. For special occasions, such as weddings or naming ceremonies, both men and women usually abandon the plain cotton and opt for African clothing made from beautifully colored and embroidered fabric, sometimes interwoven with strands of glimmering threads.


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Keeping in line with the Muslim faith many men tend to wear the Kaftan (pronounced Haftan) which is worn in a very similar way to the grandmuba. It is a full-dress, ankle-length, long-sleeve clothing which is also known as the fataro, jalabe or shabado. A variation of this is the 3 piece suit called nyeti abdu which comes with trousers called a chaya or the waramba. Such dress for men is very often embroidered in elaborate gold-colored thread on the chest area and sometimes the end of the sleeves and back area. This male attire is topped off with a skull cap which is also usually embroidered in an elaborate designs along the rim. 

Wedding dress in Gambia

African men are most often seen in Western-style clothing, especially the younger crowd, but there are some that always wear African style clothing of pants with matching, lengthy top, called a Haftan. Many males wear a Haftan or waramba (a more loose-fitting robe) on Fridays, dressing up for the customary visit to the mosque. One of the most notable things about men’s fashion is the colour of the clothing. While few American males would feel comfortable in magenta or baby violet, clothing for men is perfectly acceptable in any color in The Gambia, pastels and all shades of pink notwithstanding. Before such clothing can be worn it is usually waxed and beaten with wooden mallets to create a stiff shiny cloth.



The Gambia is an African country known for its modesty when it comes to fashion styles and designs. So it is important to ensure the repute of the country in terms of fashion is put to check while representing the fashion styles of the country.

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