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One trend I am LOVING this season is the full midi skirt (those of you who follow me on Facebook already know this). However, I don't have the budget to afford one from Tibi or another designer. When I see a trend I love that I think can be easily recreated, I don't go to Forever 21 or Zara, I head to Etsy. This way I know that I am supporting a small business or independent artist while getting the designer look for less. While I was desiring a solid color, I found this gorgeous wax print print skirt from buythedress. Even better, this Etsy seller lives just a few towns from me!
And I know some of you are thinking… what is this white chick doing wearing Ankara? Actually, some of you may just find it to be a pretty print. Many mass retailers these days are taking Ankara, also known as Dutch wax print and silkscreening it on all types of fabrics and all types of garments and calling it a “floral” or “tribal print.” It's hard in the land of fast fashion to always know what exactly you are wearing and if it's cultural appropriation. Ankara has gained popularity in the past seasons, and has been seen far more often on celebrities and runways so here's a few links providing the history and origin of Ankara:
- MuseOrigins: The Origin of Ankara
- National Museum of African Art: Yinka Shonibare MBE
- Beyond Victoriana: “African Fabrics”: The History of Dutch Wax Prints
- The New York Times: Africa's Fabric is Dutch
- Slate: The Curious History of “Tribal” Prints
Ruth Barzel says
This outfit looks incredibly amazing on you. The skirt is a perfect fit! (For that matter, so is the shirt.) I’m always scared to buy handmade clothes because I’m afraid of weird fits, but this is making me think I should take the plunge and try it.
I’ve been thinking a LOT about ethical clothing lately, and I’ve been struggling to find affordable, local, ethically-made clothing. I never thought to go to Etsy! Thanks for the idea!
I’m glad you brought up cultural appropriation as well. I’m really bothered by the mindless consumption of “tribal” prints, moccasins, etc. I personally don’t choose to purchase these things, but I don’t mind if people do research the background of such items before they buy them. I appreciate your links for the history of Ankara!!
Glen Coco says
Longtime reader/lurker, first time commenter here! Thank you for presenting a well-rounded, thoughtful post that hits on a number of topical issues (fast fashion, mass retailers AND cultural appropriation – wowza).
In what often feels like a vast internet-sea of shopping blogs masquerading as style blogs, its refreshing to see someone approaching the medium with intelligence. You’ve made some posts recently about your struggles with balance and the effort it takes to be a good blogger. I say keep on keeping on – your content is appreciated!
I love this look! You make me want to wear a colorful print skirt. As I have gotten older, I shy away from prints and wear a lot of solids, but this looks great on you. I love the crisp white shirt.
Whitney 'Nic' James says
I am loving the vibrant colors in the skirt. Great fit and styling!
OMGoodness! Soo pretty. Going to Etsy now…
Really love the outfit, would have liked to have seen it with more interesting shoes though… can’t remember what you have in your wardrobe but something that picked up one of the colours in the print would have been amazing! 🙂
Lovely, lovely skirt, and very becoming, too. I’ll join the chorus of those who appreciate the way your discussions are rounded out with information like this, and with a wonderfully open and frank attitude that shows self-respect and respect for others.
Back in the day, a “full midi skirt” was simply a gathered skirt, about the length you show here, and worn not only by Audrey and Grace but by us ordinary folk. The gathered skirt was our second project in seventh grade home ec (after the flat apron). It was made without a pattern, on our own body measurements: two lengths of cotton for a sort-of-full skirt, three lengths for a really full skirt. We learned to make even gathers, construct a placket (zippers were introduced on the next project), and attach a waistband. Those skills don’t go away, and they can be used on inexpensive cloth or the most luxurious of fabric. Hmmmmm……now where can I……
McKristie Mannan says
I love this skirt, the look, the entire aspect of it – you inspire me with everything you wear…….
OK.. I NEED this skirt! I love Ankara! Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’m Black and all I could think when I saw this post was that you look great! It’s very flattering (colors and fit). You made a very good point about cultural appropriation though. Maybe that’s why your blog has so much appeal. It’s not one dimensional.
You are totally channeling Audrey Hepburn/Grace Kelly DRAMA in this look and it is giving me life! Love love love it, wish I could dress like this every day!
(Sorry if this is a dupe comment, Disqus ate my original one!)
I love, love this whole look! What a beautiful skirt and thanks for providing the background and context.
1) You look so tall, usually I think midi skirts might make us petite ladies look shorter so I’ve avoided them but you rock it!
2) I like that you advocate buying local 🙂
3) I LOVE that you brought up cultural appropriation. I didn’t even think about it when I looked at this outfit, and I don’t think you’re culturally misappropriating the designs either, but the fact that you even mentioned it when most of the fashion industry shies away from that conversation is what makes you one of my favorite bloggers.
sweet perfection + your makeup is pretty!
Hey Alison, I just discovered your website and can I say what a breath of fresh air you are! A REAL woman who has SERIOUS taste as well as who really knows fashion rules – THANK YOU!!!
Grace Mitchell says
Oh my. I LOVE this. Headed to the Etsy shop right now.
That print is gorgeous! I love it with the crisp white shirt. Very classic.
I’m a big fan of the midi skirt too and I love the colors of yours!
Wow, I love the historical aspect you brought to this! This is one of the many reasons I love reading your blog.
I really love how that looks on you. All those pretty colors match your smile and the twinkle in your eye.