Ankara turban: why, when, what and how


"Every time I design an Ankara piece, I try to make sure I have scraps of fabric left to use as a turban, scarf or head wrap. It doesn't always work out that way since it depends on how much fabric is needed for my design. Why do I care so much about saving scraps? Because I know that every extra piece of fabric would make a huge difference with whatever I choose to wear it with.

I love turbans, but I've always had a special thing for Ankara turbans. I highly recommend them, and here are a few things you need to know first. 

Why: Every turban, especially Ankara turban, is a major statement piece. Think about it for a sec. Any lady is bound to get noticed in a regular turban, and we all know Ankara print is a head turner. So imagine an Ankara turban - that's a double edged sword right there. It'll transform your outfit and elevate it to the Nth degree. You would definitely make a fashion statement.

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When: When to wear an Ankara turban is totally up to you, but I'll recommend wearing it in cooler temperatures (Fall, Winter, Spring, or a cool Summer day). I don't think anyone will be comfortable wearing one in 90-degree temperature. Personally, Spring is my favorite time to wear an Ankara turban. The colorful Ankara print is perfect for the blossoming flowers and the temperature is just right.

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What: Hey, this is the easiest part. You can wear an Ankara turban with any outfit. I believe it works with everything because Ankara (including headties) is considered a formal attire in Africa since it's part of the culture. So feel free to dress it up or down. You can wear it with jeans, a pant suit, a short dress, even a long evening gown and it will totally work.

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How: This is the tricky part. I can't show you how to tie one, but I'll do my best to explain. First, you should know that the methods used to tie a turban varies. I like to wrap the Ankara fabric around the back of my head all the way to the front. Then I proceed to knotting it as many times as possible. I prefer to wear one when I have voluminous hair, such as braids, to make it more pronounced.

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So are you convinced? I hope you are because nothing says cool more than an Ankara turban. Which is why I'm rocking it on this cool sunny day with my ripped jeans, booties and long blazer. If you're a New Yorker then you totally get this look.

Feel free to enjoy my favorite Ankara turban looks from the past - see pictures below. 

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Photographed by my New York fashion partner in crime - Bloggie.