How to Wear African Print Shorts


It’s short season and there’s nothing more exciting than finally getting to bare your legs and embrace the warm sunshine. You probably have plenty of shorts to choose from in your wardrobe, but how about adding some zest into an otherwise lifeless closet full of shorts? You can do this by adding a little African inspiration of course.  The vibrancy of bold printed African patterns is the norm and traditional in most African countries.  It’s only recently that it’s become more popular among mainstream fashion circles.

All you have to do is take a browse through Instagram or Pinterest and you’ll notice there are so many ways of wearing African prints today.  Designers are mixing it into their lines and African designers are finally getting a platform to present their collections around the world.

If you’re used to wearing plain colours you might feel like it’s a big change and pretty daring to wear these prints.  It’s actually pretty easy and you can even get away with wearing it to work throughout the summer (depending on the corporate culture of course).

Here are some ideas on how you can wear African printed shorts this summer.

The Chrissy shorts. Available on
The Chrissy shorts. Available on

1. Wear them with a solid coloured top in black or white.  This is a great way to allow your shorts to be the statement piece.  Great for work environments where being creative in your personal style is encouraged.

Tip: If you work in a more conservative corporate office, wear a solid coloured short that has just a little trim on the hem, cuff or waistband. This give you some colour while staying in line with your office dress code.

jojo abot2. Wear it with an off-the-shoulder top and wedges.  This look expresses a sophisticated yet earthy style. The pattern is more subdued because of the mix of black in the pattern.

shorts and tank3. casual by pairing a pair with a simple t-shirt or tank top. This is a great look for the weekend or a day at the beach.  Layer on accessories to add a little something extra to it.  You can wear a pair of flip flops to keep it simple, or a pair of gladiator sandals. Either way, this is a simple yet bold look.


4. Finally, wear another pattern up top.  Mixing colour and prints has become popular on high fashion runways over the last few seasons.  But this is something many African women have been doing for decades.  Mixing patterns and patchwork prints make a bold statement.  I love how Beyoncé wore the ensemble here, by Boxing Kitten.



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