Monday, May 1st, 2017

Wearing Your Heritage on Your Sleeve

Wearing Your Heritage on Your Sleeve

Heritage: Featuring an orange and gold headwrap, a nude bodycon scoop dress and chunky necklace

I’m a first-generation American. My family immigrated from Zambia, and I was the only one born here. Being first-gen gives you an interesting perspective on culture as you try to navigate both spheres. There were plenty of things I loved about it, such as the wealth of inside jokes I’ve got with nearly every West African I meet from growing up around a lot of Nigerians. However, I also struggled with reconciling my parents’ Zambian standards for me with the American ones I was growing up around. Both the joy and struggle of being first-generation have shaped who I am.

Now, I live in the DC area. I’m far away from the plates of nshima and the loud prayer vigils I grew up with, but there are parts of the culture that have stayed with me. Most of all, it inspires my fashion choices! My love for bright colors and prints is rooted in the memories of the chitenges my mother used to wear around the house. Bold, colorful accessories and jewelry remind me of the regal geles my aunties used to wear. It’s a small way for me to remain connected to those memories and to the heritage I hold dear, especially since I still can’t make nshima myself. Which, as my mom always reminds me, even seven-year-olds in Zambia know how to do.

Heritage: Featuring an orange and gold headwrap, a nude bodycon scoop dress and chunky necklace

Heritage: Featuring an orange and gold headwrap, a nude bodycon scoop dress and chunky necklace

So for this look, I featured a headwrap given to me by one of my aunties a long time ago. Much like I do in my real life, I incorporated a distinctly African item into a modern, American silhouette. I matched the bold headwrap and necklace with a simple, neutral bodycon dress and mocha gladiator sandals. Even though I often feel far away from the activities and food that made my childhood uniquely Zambian, I’ll always carry a little part of it with me.

Heritage: Featuring an orange and gold headwrap, a nude bodycon scoop dress and chunky necklace

Heritage: Featuring an orange and gold headwrap, a nude bodycon scoop dress and chunky necklace

Heritage: Featuring an orange and gold headwrap, a nude bodycon scoop dress and chunky necklace

Dress from Forever 21
Sandals from GoJane

How does your own heritage inspire you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments, and remember to subscribe or follow me on instagram for more #styleinspo!

Lots of love,
Abigail


2 responses to “Wearing Your Heritage on Your Sleeve”

  1. norma says:

    This post is everythingggggggg

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