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The Iro and Buba is a traditional attire often worn by Yoruba women in Nigeria.

Five-piece attire

The original version of the outfit consists of five pieces:
  • The Iro are long, rectangular, large wrap-around skirts tied around the waist and knotted.
  • The Buba is a long-sleeved, loose-fitting blouse.
  • The head-tie Gele is famously known to be worn by many Nigerian women.
  • The Ipele is a shorter fabric tied around the waist on top of the Iro.
  • The Iborun is a scarf that’s strategically placed on the shoulder.

The evolution of Iro & Buba

The Iro and Buba trend was famous in the 50’s into the early 80’s. In fact the Iro was worn as a mini-skirt back then, as a symbol of the liberation of women. At some point, however, the style became seen by young women as “old”. By 2013-2014 the well-known regalia sprang back into fashion and became modernized into various chic styles. Trendsetters took the garb up a notch by doing away with the Iborun and Ipele. Also, rather than using the common Aso-Oke fabric, chiffon, cotton, or lace fabric are instead used nowadays. Today, the Iro and Buba have a fashionable twist to it as they come in various styles and fabric. From the usual African print fabric to satin and chiffon.

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This article was first published on 27th March 2018


Becky Onoise is a psychologist, chocolate junkie, and puppy lover. A writer who is sorry... not sorry about correcting your grammar. She's a word enthusiast and aims to achieve her goals. Instagram handle @mz_berkey

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