5 Stylish Ankara Designs For Grandmothers

5 Stylish Ankara Designs For Grandmothers

Ankara classic designs for the stylish grandma.

When you think Ankara fabric, think warm colours, authentic patterns and identity. The African fashion identity. Talk about Ankara styles and be embarrassed by a wealth of it. Ankara styles for grandmothers, mothers, fathers, and children in abundance.

Africa is indeed famous for Ankara prints. Even though it did not originate from Africa but faraway Indonesia. It was West African slaves and mercenaries conscripted into the Indonesian Army that saw the print and brought it back on their return home.

Nigeria, Ghana, and Senegal were the countries that brought Ankara to the fore and made it popular. When the Indonesian prints failed to impress in Indonesia and the rest of Europe, the producers turned to Africa, where better versions with better patterns were already being produced by Africans. 

As the years went by, Ankara fashion tradition kept evolving in style. Stylists continued to come up with sophisticated designs that are fit to be worn to any occasion. You saw these designs wherever you went. Vibrant designs that could turn a frog into a king or queen. Hence its suitability for every gender and age group. 

Ankara styles for grandmothers 

It requires some level of fussing to select a classy yet simple style for much older women. Unlike the younger ones, older women may be more concerned with all-round comfort of the style. Below are Ankara styles for grandmothers. 

  • Ankara kaftan

Ankara Kaftan Ankara styles for grandmothers

Ankara kaftans are generally loose and free-flowing. They are elegant and can be rocked by old guards from both genders. Plus, it is suitable for any occasion. Historically, North African sultans acquired a reputation for wearing them. But as the style got adopted into the African fashion world, it evolved in styles that came to suit everyone, including grandmothers. Why it is particularly fitting for grandmothers is that while being elegant and classy, it allows freedom of movement. Body parts can easily move. 

Additionally, with the style's versatility, grandmothers can choose. Ankara kaftan can be styled in three ways: long, short, and medium. If grandma is not interested in exposing her legs or hands, she could go for a long kaftan with long sleeves. And while she's at it she could ask her designer to add a collar to give her a stylish look. 

  • Ankara peplum gown


Ankara styles for grandmothersGrandma would love this for its freedom, simplicity, and versatility. Ankara peplum gown is trending among mature women. If you are not acquainted with Ankara peplum gown as a fashionable mature woman, perhaps it's time to ring your designer. What makes it a peplum gown is that extra material is added around the waist area as the highlight of the style.

Ankara peplum gowns can be styled in different variations. Either with an off-shoulder, long sleeves, or short sleeves. Also, grandma's designer can design it as a free-flowing gown, or a short gown.

  • Ankara skirt and blouse

skirt and blouse ankara

You might have been expecting this one on this list. Many Ankara designers and their designs have come and gone into oblivion, but Ankara skirt and blouse have stood their ground like a house on a rock. This style has been so dominant that it seems to have been ingrained into Ankara enthusiasts. To the extent that when they visit their designer, the designer has to take upon his or herself to change their mind. That's how loved the Ankara skirt and blouse is.

Furthermore, this style offers grandma so much in one package. It can be modelled and remodelled until it suits grandma's fashion taste. Also, whether she chose to accompany Ankara skirt and blouse with a small or big headgear makes no difference. Both will look absolutely gorgeous on her.

  • Ankara blouse and wrapper

Ankara styles for grandmothers

If you've ever heard of the Nigerian joke about Igbo mothers who make the family late for church on Sunday because they've been fussing with their wrappers, Ankara blouse and wrapper style birthed it. As a matter of fact, in the Nigerian scene, this style is almost perceived as a stamp of maturity because it has come to be associated with older Eastern Nigerian women like grandma. With this style, while spreading her legs grandma ties one wrapper first underneath her blouse. After that, she can then proceed to tie another on top of the blouse. 

  • Ankara boubou style

bou bou style

This style is otherwise known as Bubu to some Africans. The style draws its name and history from Senegal. Grandma can wear it the more traditional way. A wrapper tied at the waist, the flowing robe, and then the head tie. But the style has evolved in recent times and can be worn more simply without the wrapper. Grandma can ask her designer to design the Ankara boubou in such a way that it hugs her body modestly or to make it loose-fitting. Both will surely look elegant on her.


As with a lot of things in life, one can experiment with fashion. Ankara prints are versatile and their different patterns make them bold, gorgeous, and adaptable. So feel free to let your designer try something new. 

Read more: Ghanaian Maternity Dresses: Defining Your Style In Pregnancy


Written by

Lydia Ume