Social History

Fashion In Early Nigeria

Nigeria guys with swag
Nigeria guys with swag

Back in the late 60s and early 70s, the fashion memories of those days were recalled. There are legions of fashion expert and reputable fashion designers, the likes of Ogundero the tailor, Fagbohun the tailor, Lai Olumegbon tailoring services and probably Idowu the tailor, they were all situated around the Yaba axis then.

The hub of fashion then were Lagos and Ibadan with no rival, the other places were just coming up in fashion. These tailors were trained in England and could build you a suit perfectly fitted to your body.

In the early 70s, the teecoming of James Brown and Millicent Small inspired Nigerians to open up to some new styles, they saw the trousers with big mouth he wore and in less than two days, you will find these fellas wearing them. The coming back of Fela from the states also changed the dress code of music lovers, with his “high waisters” trousers and high collar shirts “flying” a la James Dean. People also wear “Bell bottom and “Oxford bags” which is also known as “Obey the wind” or keep Lagos clean”.

The guys left their shirts unbuttoned almost to the waist exposing hairy chests and wore high platform shoes. In order to make it look complete the fashion worms do Jerry curls rave or Afro hairstyle and wore “I swear to God”, a shoe with mouth curving upward.old skul dressing

Cite this article as: Teslim Omipidan. (July 1, 2015). Fashion In Early Nigeria. OldNaija. Retrieved from


  1. Wow. I’m pleased to see the Nigerian fashion of those days. Anyway, I kinda have a question. With respect to fashion, do you think the immoral dresses that flood our streets which were adopted from overseas are more compared to how it was those days? Is indecency higher now than then? Thanks.

  2. Thank you for your question, Mr. Obi Daniel. Indecent dressing has been in existence even before the 40s but on a lower scale. There are certain old school pictures I have that shows ladies in indecent dresses, but the main thing is that it was not the order of the day as it is now. So indecency is higher now than then. Ladies now go pantless and braless and even wear see through dresses, and the spate is really noticeable. Your visit is highly appreciated, Mr. Obi Daniel. Kindly do check back.

  3. Ok..indecent dressing has been in existence long before now, like you have said. In those earlier times, maidens and women do not cover their breast. Leaving the breast open was not frowned upon. Do you also call that indecent dressing?

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