Ankara in Modern Formal/Work Styles



Hi guys, 

Tie-Dye was initially the most known, loved and used African print on fabric. It came in various types like kampala, indigo, batik and so on. 

Nowadays, widely demanded and used in West and Central African countries, is Ankara, a 100% cotton (poly cotton) fabric. Its texture is so soft it can be used to make basically any style genre of clothing, traditional, formal, sexy, casual you name it. It is also very durable and can be cared for by hand washing or dry cleaning.

You know how the visa rejection letter goes, the bit that states you do not have economic, social and financial ties with the country you are applying from? Well, that cannot be the case for ankara in Ghana where it is primarily produced; and has got such strong cultural importance for them. 🙂

Concord, Star and Shell are various pattern references to Ankara. Hollandis is a copy of ankara with lower quality and generally produced in Holland. Woodin on the other hand is a really popular type of Wax fabric, very good quality, a tad more pricey and making huge waves. 

Successful African designers have also really embraced the ankara fabric; Jewel by Lisa, Tiffany Amber, Odion Mimonet amongst others continually infuse Ankara in their collections.

Last week, our feature, Yetunde’s Sunday look (click here for that post) was an outfit that led me to explaining what aso-ebi was. Well, Ankara is the most used fabric for aso-ebi due to its affordability.

Our lady on her grind this week would show us how ankara can be worn to work. 

Nonye Udeozor

Occupation: C.E.O. KnonyeKouture and HR/Admin Officer in a Construction Company in Maitama, Abuja.

Interests: Fashion, Music, Books, Fitness, Meeting People.




Monday

Top: KnonyeKouture
Skirt: Next
Jacket: LeShop
Shoes: Mascotte
Bag: David Jones
Style – Corporate

Inspiration – My sister. I had series of tasks to carry out today and to report to the Directors so I had to look smart and not appear too laid back on a Monday. I wore a sleeveless Ankara/linen top on a high-waist pencil skirt and wore a little waist-length jacket to make my overall look somewhat serious and official.


 





Tuesday

Top: TopShop
Skirt: KnonyeKouture
Jacket: Charlotte Russe
Shoes: Qupid
Bag: Same as Monday
Style – Formal
Inspiration – Again, my sister. Yes! She’s the fashionista amongst the Udeozor sisters. The HR-Admin Manager had loads of tasks for me to cover in her office and I hope I succeeded in looking professional and not too sassy. The skirt has two bright colours and I was aiming to tune it down a little with the black turtle neck top and black shoes. 

 



Wednesday

Dress: KnonyeKouture
Jacket: Zara
Shoes: Dollhouse
Bag: Local store in Dubai (no label)
Style – Classy
Inspiration – My nail polish. A couple of applicants were interviewed and wrote aptitude tests which were conducted by me. I could’ve gone with the regular power trouser suit to instill the fear of God in the applicants but I went with my combo because of my mission as this week’s feature and I was feeling really dapper today. The dress is a combination of linen and Ankara. I didn’t wanna end up looking too blue so I decided to throw in a

bright orange jacket.







Thursday


Top: KnonyeKouture
Pants: New Look
Jacket: New Look
Shoes: Bamboo
Bag: No label
Style – Formal Street 
Inspiration – Peplums. No major tasks at work today, no interviews and yes freedom. *Whoop whoop*. I went with an Olive green/yellow Ankara peplum top on black pants and a black peplum jacket. A little edgy but not totally laid back.







Friday

Jacket: Zara
Top: KnonyeKouture
Skirt: KnonyeKouture
Shoes: Charlotte Russe
Purse: Hermes
Belt: Random Shop 
Style – Smart Casual
Inspiration – TGIF!!! Last working day of the weak!

Most workers in most Organizations tend to dress down on Fridays and Ankara is always their resort. I was feeling sprightly today so I wore a pink vintage Ankara skirt and plain fabric combo with star 
prints, and a blue belt.






Saturday

Dress: Atmosphere
Sandals: New Look
Bag: Zara
Belt: Same as Friday
Neckpiece: Same as Friday
Style – Simple
Inspiration – Metrogypsie + Aunt’s Birthday Party + Ankara free day! Today is a close relative’s birthday and I was to go help her get set for her guests.  I decided I was going to look Ankara-free today. Happy birthday Aunt Tonia!!!


  












































Sunday

Tankie: Atmosphere
Skirt: KnonyeKouture
Jacket: Dorothy Perkins
Sandals: Atmosphere
Bag: Twice
Hat: No label (Gift)
Neckpiece: Opia
Style – Casual
Inspiration – The sun. It was a really sunny Sunday and a friend had invited me to a sales event tagged: CULTURE SHOCK & LIWHAN so I donned on my favorite gathered-tiger-print skirt.


















There it goes from the tough lady Nonye. Thanks babe for letting us have you on here.

Nonye Designs, cuts and sews all her Ankara outfits for herself and for numerous clients. She’s an upcoming designer who combines business and work for a living and for fun in the F.C.T. 
(Click here) to get to her facebook page. She is really affordable.

Do leave a comment below as usual on your favourite look and if time permits you, create a look of your own inspired by the outfits above.  A winner would be picked by Nonye who would then wear the look in a follow-up post.









“Why change? Everyone has his own style. When you have found it, you should stick to it.” – Audrey Hepburn.





Weekend with Donatella’s Versace + PA Guru

Hi guys,

I have missed you all so terribly.. How is everyone? Haha, what really am I typing?? Anyways, I had an amazing day on my birthday last week. Here’s thanking everyone who wished well, sent gifts and prayed for me. God bless you. I really appreciate your efforts.


On Sunday, yesterday, I was at the Southbank Centre in London for the Day 2 of Vogue Festival. There was a great and inspiring talk from Donatella Versace and then a t-shirt signing afterward. The queue was as long as God knows what, everywhere was so packed in an orderly manner but before one could pronounce Balenciaga, my lady said she was done and had a flight to catch. OOOookay..

Anyhoo, that was such a pity for them ones who came just for the signings, got tees but yeah, had to hear that.
Trust me though, I was amongst the first 10 people on that line.

Here are some pictures..

Donatella Versace



So elated after I got my tee signed. 







With my friend Genevieve. 
Dress: Personal Tailor
Shoes: Vivienne Westwood
Bag: Zara

Genevieve’s dress: Hybrid
Her shoes: New Look
Her tights: Oasis



Alright so, back to the reason we are actually here. Our week’s feature is a lovely lady in the Oil & Gas sector, you know, one of those people living the Nigerian (youth) dream. Lol..

Here..


Yetunde Payne
Occupation: Personal Assistant to the DMD, Oando Plc.
Interests: Shopping, partying, watching movies, hanging out with friends.




Monday

Shirt: H&M
Skirt: Papaya
Shoes: Kurt Geiger
Style – Chill Corporate
Inspiration – Well today is my Day 1 for the metrogypsie feature and that inspired me. You are going to see a lot of heels because that’s how I function at work. I absolutely love high-heeled footwear.






Tuesday

Jacket: H&M
Camisole: H&M
Skirt: Matalan
Shoe: Newlook
Neckpiece: Random store
Style – Corporate
Inspiration – The season in the western world, Spring. I could’t inculcate it so much in my whole outfit because of meetings today so I just did the flowery jacket. I love heels as stated above.








Wednesday

Top: Primark
Inner top: Primark
Skirt: Newlook
Shoe: Risky
Bag: Michael Kors
Style – Business Casual
Inspiration – After-work plans. I had  to look not-so-serious so that I could blend nicely for my evening.






Thursday

Dress: Catherine
Shoes: Newlook
Bag: Michael Kors
Style – Chic
Inspiration – A conversation I had with my mum on simplicity. I decided to have a single dress item without a jacket or belt.






Friday

Top: Kaftan from India
Jeggings: Zara
Bag: Furla
Shoe: Charlotte Russe
Style – Modern Culture
Inspiration – Friday really. Its dress-down day but I didn’t want to wear casual stuff neither did I want to wear Nigerian ‘trads’.





Saturday

Top: H&M
Skirt: Forever 21
Bag: H&M
Sandals: H&M
Neckpiece: Random Store
Style – Smart Casual
Inspiration – Well its the weekend so I have to reflect that by tucking my shirt in. The weekend was my inspiration






Sunday

Embellished blouse: Tailor made
Iro (bottoms): Tailor made
Head-tie: Lagos Market (beautifully tied by my mum)
Neckpiece: Random Store
Ring: Aldo
Style – Nigerian
Inspiration – Asoebi. My colleague was getting married today.





Her Sunday look is so gorgeous. I just feel like rocking this today right now to work.

There it goes from the sweet Yetunde. Thanks babe for letting us have you on here.

Asoebi for those who do not know what it means is act of wearing a uniform fabric at an event like a wedding, birthday party or burial ceremony, to distinguish different groups of people at the gathering usually according to their relationship with the hosts.

Do leave a comment below as usual on your favourite look and if time permits you, create a look of your own inspired by the outfits above.  A winner would be picked by Yetunde who would then wear the look in a follow-up post.











“If a woman rebels against high heeled shoes, she should take care do it in a very smart hat.” – George Bernard Shaw.








A Boss’ Style



Hi guys,

So my birthday is real soon, hence the post’s title, (its not like I am here to give you tips and traits of various star signs), haha. 


Anyways, our feature today has the same star sign so I found it appropriate to use her for this week’s post. Her pictures however were taken in the span of 4 weeks because as a business lady she was up and about so I got shots of her myself the 4 days she was in London for, and then got the last 3 while she was abroad. I am sure you know the saying – can’t remember how it goes – that basically means doing things yourself gets you more immediate results. 


Well, I have the 6 looks now so here..




Amaka Ebubeze
Occupation: Managing Director, Bond Services Limited
Interests: Tennis, Traveling, Watching movies, Gathering Information.

Monday







Jacket – Amaryllis
Dress – Dorothy Perkins
Shoes – Newlook
Bag – Michael Kors
Style: Work Chic
Inspiration: I recently signed new contracts with new supplier and everything had been over the phone, fax, skype and what not, so today I was to meet up with our main supplier in Essex and that was my inspiration. I had a larger jacket over this tweed one above but Steph though it was too much to be featured. I was really excited as well because things have been going really good for my company.





Tuesday






Top – Primark

Jacket – H&M
Skirt – H&M
Gloves – Primark
Shoes – Jones
Bag – River Island
Style: Cute
Inspiration: The snow was definitely not my inspiration considering it was just a bit windy when I was getting dressed and then all of a sudden, bam! Snow. I quickly put the gloves on because I do not joke with cold weather. I wasn’t going too far today anyway, had to meet with our partner company in London for lunch so I was fine and lunch was my inspiration.




Wednesday







Top – H&M

Jeggings – Zara
Bag – River Island
Shoes – Newlook
Socks – Forever 21
Style: Simple chic
Inspiration: I watched a lot of episodes on Flashforward last night and I loved how Nicole (Peyton List’s character) looked, so she inspired me. Today, I have just one more day left in London so I had to make some payment, get some documents I would need for my final trip to Essex before my flight out. I also needed to see a couple people. I thought looking simple would help me run around really quickly then the heels would add some seriousness.




Thursday









Top – H&M

Pants – H&M
Shoes – Republic
Bag – Michael Kors
Style: Funky
Inspiration: London. My last day here on this trip and I thought to look like a ‘Londoner’. :). Great weather today too.





Friday







Dress – Karen Millen

Shoes – Office
Bag – Michael Kors
Style: Classy
Inspiration: I am in a much more tropical region so this is me being inspired by work and just being me.





Saturday



Jacket – H&M
Dress – Dorothy Perkins
Bag – River Island
Shoes – Kurt Geiger
Style: Business Casual
Inspiration: Spring. I would normally wear bland colours but I was feeling all springy this morning.


There it goes from our Manager feature.  Thanks babe for letting us have you here. 🙂

Do leave a comment below as usual guys, on your favourite look and if time permits you, create a look of your own inspired by the outfits above.  A winner would be picked by Amaka and she would then wear the look in a follow-up post.

  



Lastly, for any enquiries message me on stephanie@metrogypsie.org.

  








“Why change? Everyone has his own style. When you have found it, you should stick to it.” – Audrey Hepburn.

How To Style T-Shirts to Work

Hi guys,

So this was supposed to be our tenth blog post but I had to wait for the big people at yNaija to put my article (which was based on this week’s post) up on their site first.

YES!!!! we got featured there.. 
YNaija is the one stop shop for all things young, hip and Nigerian. We are really excited and I feel really honoured to have been featured on that online park. 

(click here) for a link to the article on YNaija.

Wearing T-Shirts (or Tees as they are fondly called) date back to the 19th Century through splitting union suits, which were initially one-piece female undergarments into 2 parts. Tees then became really popular after being issued by the US Navy following the Spanish America war.

Due to its suitability, adeptness and low cost, tees evolved from the default frock adorned by those in manual labor to a fashion accessory which could be styledtowards suiting more than just a casual outing.


This week, I am going to depict various ways a lady can don a t-shirt, using real ladies with real jobs. I am styling with TWP Tees, as this lady behind thebrand, Daks of TWP is one blogger I admire for her consistency and drive. (Click here) for a link to her blog, the actual post for them tees, if you would like to purchase. 

You could make a few tweaks to work for you depending on your job, place of work and your activity for the given day.

One has to be really careful however, for appropriateness when wearing tees to work because you do not want to be celebrating Casual Friday on a Wednesday. Also fit is really important to avoid sloppiness. Luckily, the regular tee does not expose much skin so there’s barely any worry about showing cleavage. Yes, none at all! You are at work. 🙂

Here goes..

#1 Look – Business Casual

Amaka Ebubeze
Job: Marketing Director, Lagos.
Interests: Swimming
Here, the jacket gives the look a whole new meaning.
She works with a privately owned firm luxury firm so thereis no need to look so serious everyday. When there is a meeting with aprospective client at an office, the look on the right is suitable but at amore relaxed venue, the left one is perfect.
(Jacket– Zara, Ankle Pants – H&M,  Bag –River Island,  Shoes – Bebo)






#2 Look – Austere Intern


Name: Ify Mordi

Job: In Between Jobs (Temp.HR Intern), London

Interests: Free education for young women, Swimming,& Listening to music
The heels in this lookgive the outfit some ummpph. With flat shoes she 
would look really casual andmaybe sloppy. Although as an intern one 
is bound to be constantly on her toes,rocking heels and getting your job 
done quickly would make you look a lotsmarter.

(Skirt– Personal Tailor, Shoes – Topshop, Bag – Bally).







#3 Look – Simple Chic


Name: Sasi Ratnaligam

Job: Team leader, London
Interests: Sleep, TV,Family, Friends, Shopping & Eating.

The simplicity of thislook cannot be over-stated. The colors (or lack of) however, add seriousness tothe look. The side pockets of her cardigan also make it a tad more interesting.

(Cardigan – Miss Selfridge, Skirt – MissSelfridge, Shoes – Newlook).








#4 Look – Chilled Statement

Name: Wincey Mok
Job: Finance, London.
Interests: CookingPhotography & Traveling.
This is so damneffortless yet you would notice her. The pleated skirt has this lovely doublegold button detail on the side. I thought she looked very Kanye West.
Again with this look, thejacket gives it elegance and style.
(Jacket – Local Hong-Kong store, Skirt –Zara, Bag and Shoe – Primark).








#5 Look – Job Seeker


Name: Ify Mordi

Job: In Between Jobs (Interview/CVsubmission), Lagos
This look is very trickybecause it totally depends on the job one has an interview for. Some companieswouldn’t tolerate this for an interview so you might want to change the denimpants to suit pants or skirt. Strappy sandals would exaggerate the size of yourfeet if they aren’t slim so covered platform shoes would be fine for those withwider feet.
(Jacket – H&M, Denim pants – , Bag – Fossil,Sandals – Christian Louboutin)











#6 Look – Metrogypsie

Name: Stephanie Okafor

Job: Finance, London
Interests: Music, Music,Reading, TV, Traveling and Music.
This look cannot be wornin tropical regions clearly. What’s 
not to love about this midi skirt, itclings in such a decent way 
and its length is smart enough not to look drab. Itis most 
suitable though with ladies with a bit of curve. Knee length 
boots whenstyled right give a look some emblem of sexuality. 
The heels of these areclassic and almost comfortable that 
even without the crepe jacket, she looksserious. This look 
transcends easily for an after-work, hence ‘metroGypsie’.
(Jacket – River Island, Skirt – Topshop, Shoes–
Dolce&Gabbana, Bag – Forever21)







#7 Look – Edgy Office





Name: Ify Mordi
Job: HR Intern
This look is so classy.Again I am not sure this look would work most commercial bank staff in Nigeria.You could drape a jacket over this as well, but it looks really elegant.

(Shorts- Topshop , Shoes – Kurt Geiger, Bag – Vintage)







#8 Look – PassionateSmart


Name: Chizua Ikwumelu

Interests:

Job: Realtor, Lecceg PropertiesLTD, Lagos.

This look should be easyto relate with. It is really smart with a lot of color. A grey or navy bluejacket would do a fine job as well. The longer strap of the bag tones down theseriousness of the look a notch.

(Jacket – H&M, Skirt – Warehouse, Bag– Michael Kors, Shoes – Newlook, Neckpiece – Accessorize).







#9 Look – Deal Closer

Name: Madalina Ghita
Job: Subject Matter Expert, London.
Interests: Handball, Fitness, Talking to people, Music.
Far from conservative hence this is suitable for those withjobs in events, talent management, fashion, sales etc. High waist shorts arealways really flattering. This pair has a jacket of its own in the same fabricbut I decided to style with something else to show effort. This look would definitelyget you some attention at the work place.
(Jacket– H&M, Shorts – Mango, Shoes – Newlook).


So ladies, refrain from tossing that tee when getting setfor work. Once in a while try one of these looks above. You could also stick to your regular dress pattern and maybe replace your camisole with a tee asappropriate.

By the way, this is our 11th post. Thank you so much my lovely readers for your contribution and time. You are awesome!
Thank you also to Ada and all the other beautiful people at YNaija.

See you next week..xx








“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” – Coco Chanel.




Law School Got Style



Hi guys,

Apologies for not putting up a post last week. The said post has been sitting in my drafts for 7 days you wouldn’t believe it but .. well, I cannot properly explain the reason behind that right now but in due time I would let you guys know. 

So in 2012 both in the S/S and F/W seasons, the black and white fashion trend was so in. The elegance that this look has, cannot be overstated and it is very much achievable with most people’s wardrobes. I don’t know if its because opposite attracts but the monochrome look is one of the simplest and chic ways to look for work.

Icons like Caroline Harrera, Zang Toi and Coco Chanel have proved how graceful and sophisticated the white/black look is. You could do a 5050, lean more towards the black or more towards  white and still rock it gorgeously.

This week, instead of subjecting someone to wearing black/white for 6 days I shuffled down to the Nigerian Law School (where thats the uniform there already) to fish out a lady on her grind for this week’s post.



Itunuoluwa Umar-Lawal
Occupation: Student (Nigerian Law School)
Interests: Traveling, Shopping, Social media, Women empowerment, Natural beauty products.



Monday

Top: Dorothy Perkins
Skirt: Mr Price

Belt – Primark
Bag – Obtained from a friend
Shoe – Primark
Style: Comfortable
Inspiration: I woke up this morning and wasn’t exactly in the mood for school (we all hate Mondays) hence the all black.



Tuesday

Jacket – Miss selfridge

Skirt – Asos
Camisole – Primark
Shoes – Dorothy Perkins
Style: Formal
Inspiration: My Law Dinner. Well we had our law dinner that day so we all had to dress formally compulsorily.



Wednesday

Top – Matalan
Skirt – Matalan
Bag – Louis Vuitton
Shoes: Peacocks
Style: Business Casual
Inspiration: The sun inspired me today. It was a really hot day, needed something light, hence the chiffon blouse.



















Thursday


Shirt – Matalan

Skirt – Matalan
Bag – Boohoo.com
Shoe – Primark
Style: Formal
Inspiration: No inspiration whatsoever. I was fashion lazy today. This is the typical Nigerian law school ‘uniform’ (white collared shirt, black skirt) 80% of us are dressed like this, decided to blend in with the crowd today lol.























Friday

Jalabiya/Kaftan (the long dress) – Tailor made
Hijab (the scarf) – Tailor made
Style: Islamic/Arabic
Inspiration: My Prayers. I needed to wear something I could observe the Friday ju mat prayers in.







Saturday

Tee – My Boyfriend’s Tee  (hmmmnnn)
Shorts – H&M
Slippers – Wuse Market Abuja
Bag – Dorothy Perkins
Style: Casual
Inspiration: Hot Saturday afternoon, doing some running around so I needed to be free and comfortable 🙂

At the Law School they are not allowed to wear prints and patterns even in just black/white so we couldn’t really show so many styles.

Ditsy prints or all over really big graphic prints in black/white would make you look slimmer. Embellished black/white pieces would rarely be over the top so they can be easily rocked by most body types. Colour blocking is really easy to style with these colours as well as print mixing. My favourite black/white look however is like when the whole outfit is black and there’s just a trim in white and vice versa. Extremely elegant.

There it goes from our barrister-to-be.  Thanks babe for letting us have you here. 🙂

Do leave a comment below as usual guys, on your favourite look and if time permits you, create a look of your own inspired by the outfits above.  A winner would be picked by Itunu and she would then wear the look in a follow-up post.  

Lastly, for any enquiries message me on stephanie@metrogypsie.org.













“A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.” – Coco Chanel.