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Proper way to wear Yoruba native cap (fila) 

In our everyday life we see men wear their traditional cap as part of their native outfit to workplace and for special occasions. This way of dressing have become a routine that there is the need for our men to master the proper way to wear it . Although the native style keeps evolves but the Agbada and Fila cap are still the same as many years ago.

In the next two weeks, we will be discussing about dressing. We will consider the proper way to wear our native outfit in combination with fila, shoes, and what to wear for official purposes. This week we will look at how to match our fila with our native outfit properly. It is not just to wear something, it is important to master how best to wear them.

Dressing in Nigerian traditional fashion styles are not complete without a matching cap. It is a unique part of the outfit that makes every man wearing native looks dashing.The fila is an essential part of every native man’s outfit.

Yoruba native caps are popularly known as ‘Fila’ which is the Yoruba name for the cap. Yoruba caps are made of different types of material. They are mostly sewed or hand woven from Aso Oke fabric, velvet, cotton or damask. Yoruba caps are worn as head attire to complement native attires such as Agbada, different types of Ankara designs, etc. This have always been the best option for men to grace occasions irrespective of gender and age for years.

The first rule to consider when wearing a native cap is that it must match with the other clothing you are putting on. You need to ensure that the cap style and designs matches, each time you are getting dressed for a special event like a wedding. In such a situation, it is better to choose a cap that has a matching color with your main attire. If you are wearing agbada with trousers of a contrasting colour, you have to choose whether your cap will match with the Agbada or the native trousers. Although, there are no  standard rule of wearing a certain cap style with a particular attire type. This is up to you to choose what to wear for each situation as long has they match.

Another  important thing about wearing  fila is the style or the design. The style of the cap has to match your look and must have good fitting for your head and face.Caps that are worn for weddings and other events look great if they are decorated with embroidery. It is especially stylish if the embroidery of your Agbada or buba and suro, and your cap are of the same style. It is more attractive if, for instance, your Agbada is embroidered with black on the white background and your cap has the same embroidered pattern but made in white on a black background.

This is very important when wearing native cap, the top loose part of your Fila cap is slouch to one side. If it is slouched to the left, you are telling the people around you that you are single. If your fila is slouched to the right, you are saying that you are married . So the next time you put on your cap be conscious of the way you place your cap. You do not want others to get a wrong idea, also these will assist people around you to know how to address you properly.

Some take it farther than an indication of marital status to express how they feel. If a man’s cap is lifted up, it shows pride, if it is turned to the front, and if turned to the back, it indicates a man who does not care.

However, except the above, there are no special standard of wearing a native cap in a special way. You can do it as you like and in a way that it enhances the natural attractiveness of your facial features. Some men prefer  their caps  settle lower towards their forehead and eyebrows while others like it more when their caps are moved towards the crown of their heads. This depends sole on your choice.

For men who love to wear Abeti Aja cap( dog ears cap), you can arrange its pointed triangular, the “ears” as you like depending on your mood or  situation. You can wear them straight pointed upwards or slightly folding like real dog’s ears. The latter option is popular with guys and if you are wearing such a cap for a wedding ceremony, it is probably better to have the “ears” straight and accurate.

There are many interesting ways to wear traditional native caps. It is impossible to say that some of them are better than others. The style you choose is up to you, your preferences, your sense of comfort, and your taste in combining them. What is important is to consider these few rules we have stated to make it perfect. Enjoy your outings.

Owena Press Limited (Publisher of The Hope Newspaper), Akure

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