By Joy Ehonwa
I find myself looking forward to Nasco Moments every week, because I always come away more knowledgeable after each episode. Since I started following the show at 7pm every Thursday evening on City 105.1, I have learnt a whole lot!
This week, we were treated to vital fashion tips for Nigerians, thanks to Joy’s savvy guest, Ezinne Osuagwu. One of Nigeria’s most promising fashion writers, Ezinne writes for happenings.com.ng, and her thoughts on fashion are fresh, fun and smart! Here’s what she had to say:
The basic fashion requirements for every Nigerian woman’s wardrobe include fashion staples like the classic white shirt, the little black dress which makes the transition from night to day effortlessly, and flat shoes for walking around in, instead of slippers. Last but not least, a nice pair of jeans that fits is timeless. Oh and if you’re thinking your favourite fashionista Victoria Beckham would never advise you to buy flats, just remember that this is Nigeria and while Posh is jumping from limousine to private jet, you have to do a bit – or a lot – of walking.
The percentage of your income you should spend on fashion depends on what kind of buying you’re doing, Ezinne says. If you’re getting a few things for special occasions, you can just go out and do that, but if you’re overhauling your wardrobe, it’s best to set aside 20% to 30% of your income this month. Buy dresses this month, skirts next month, tops the following month, and so on. Soon you’ll be done, and then you can channel those funds elsewhere.
Are you buying things off the top of your head just for fashion sake? This is one of the fashion excesses you should curb. If you can’t match it with anything in your wardrobe, don’t buy it. Of course if you’re like our host Joy Isi Bewaji, you don’t have to worry about not being able to mix and match bloused and skirts or tops and pants. You can just do gorgeous frocks and dresses; once you love a dress, you love it, and you get to show off your lovely legs!
Some Nigerians live in rundown projects yet they have trunks full of expensive clothes. It’s almost as if it’s an investment. Is it ever that serious? Ezinne thinks it comes down to choices. There are buys that are worth it, and those that aren’t. The good news is, there are actually inexpensive outfits and accessories that are really good. You can get pretty, good quality clothes, shoes and bags that may be “nameless” but won’t break the bank.
Should you follow trends? Experts don’t think you should, because they go away as quickly as they come and you’re left with tons of stuff that are no longer fashionable to wear. Watching trends slip away can be very annoying – except for those who have the courage to keep wearing them long after they’re no longer in vogue, or are creative enough to convert them into a different look. The most important thing is to build fashion confidence. Fashion confidence is about discovering your style and being comfortable with it. Don’t go about copying others blindly; choose what you’re comfortable in and make that your style. Comfort births confidence.
The men were not left out. Ezinne and Joy think the average Nigerian man doesn’t even care about fashion, and sadly the few that do are labelled gay or effeminate. Still, what should be in a Nigerian man’s wardrobe? A classic white shirt also, plus a pair of plain jeans without rips, a pair of good leather shoes, and a classic suit or classic blazer – even if it’s just one. And Joy just had to add, cologne and deodorant! In our tropical environment, it’s very easy to smell, so this is not one you want to take for granted. We love our Nigerian men and we want to go on a date and see that a man took his time and made the effort to look good for us.
Finally, when you have an interview, speaking engagement or meeting, it’s always best to stick with something tried and tested as this is not the time to experiment. The same applies for first dates; you need to be comfortable, not self-conscious and shifting about awkwardly. So, what should a woman wear for a first date? The little black dress is always a good choice. Not too short, not too long, the LBD is a go-to any day, and good accessories can take it from bland to interesting!
Trivia question for this week: Where is the NASCO Head Office located? Send your answer to 08033286604 or tweet it using the hashtag #NascoMoments. As usual, the winner gets their goody bag delivered to them anywhere in Lagos. Go for it!