Merry Christmas! For the holidays, I want to talk about traditional Senegalese clothing. As some may know, Senegalese people (read: women) LOVE to show off their Senegalese Traditional clothing. Other than showing off their clothing, Senegalese people love parties! There is always something to celebrate here in Senegal. There is always someone you know that is going to get married, had a child or there is a holiday on the corner. And even when there is nothing to celebrate, Senegalese people bring out their best attire on Fridays. Just look at this picture! Look at how colorful they are dressed. I definitely think this picture is aesthetically pleasing and super colorful! All in all, there is ALWAYS someone showing off their yéré olof. I’ll share some with you.
Traditional Senegalese clothing
Traditional Senegalese clothing is important to Senegalese because it shows the diversity and of course, their sense of fashion. When talking about fashion and Traditional Senegalese clothing, I need to enlighten you about two words. (1) sagnsé and (2) yéré olof. Both words are in Wolof, one of the Senegalese local languages. Sagnsé pertains to describe someone’s fashion sense. So, if someone ever tells you that you are sagnsé, it simply means your outfit looks bomb! Yéré olof is what we call Traditional Senegalese clothing. Yéré olof is what people wear to weddings, on Fridays and to other religious holidays and gatherings. Meaning that traditional clothing usually does not show too much skin.
What I love about Traditional Senegalese clothing is that you can have it made exactly the way you want to. You can go to local markets like Marché Sandaga, or Marché Gambie and buy the fabrics you want. Then, you go to your tailor and you explain to him what you want. Whether he will make exactly what you want is a question for another day though. That is why women in Senegal really have endless possibilities when it comes to wearing Yére olof. Women can wear skirts, tops, dresses and they can even wear men’s attire.
Traditional Senegalese clothing for men usually consists of pants with a a long top or a grand boubou. Men wear this usually every Friday and religious holidays like Korité and Tabaski or weddings and when children are being named. These are the best opportunities to wear their best clothing. Overall, older men usually wear those daily. All in all, throughout Senegal tailors are super busy with creating great outfits for their customers! Check out some of the pictures in the gallery below :).