Monday, September 18, 2006

New dresses

Last Tuesday Marceline and I went to the market to buy some material to make some African clothes. We were served my a very nice man, who was very pleased that Marceline had bought him a white man (they call me white man even though I am a girl, I am used to it now!) It means he will try to charge white man prices, but Marceline soon showed him she was having no nonsense and we will be using black man prices!
Joe and Iget really ripped off when we are by ourselves. We come home and tell Marceline and Genesis how much we paid for something (which to us is usually cheap anyway) and thay say oh thats white man prices we could get it cheaper. We need to learn to haggle. We got quite good at it in the night markets in Bangkok. Nothing should be bought for the orginal quoted price. Even a cheap thing should have 50 CFA (5p) knocked off the price!

Women have a whole variety of outfits in some amazing materials. The younger women have beautiful fitted dresses or top and skirts and the older women wear large flowing dresses. They often have a matching head piece too. A few weeks ago I asked Marceline where people got these amazing outfits with matching head pieces and she told me they get them tailored. So we decided I would get some.

I thought I would be quite reserved so I could wear the clothes again in the UK without sticking out like a sore thumb (maybe!) My clothes are based on things that Shelia and Marceline already had that I liked. The first is a simple top and trousers. They are lovely linen trousers that I wanted a pair of anyway. I then found it difficult to find material for the top as the nice man in the market did not have many colours in a similar material. I went for this light pink. When I first saw the finished item I thought it looked life a dental nurse outfit!! But am warming too it.

For my second outfit we decided to go for a more African print. So I got this fitted skirt and top. I got the head piece as there was material left over - but do not think I will wear that in the UK! There is even enough material for Joe to have a shirt so they are busy making it now.

Marceline and Genesis were also kind enough to buy us some African clothes. This is a Kabba. We got it ready made from the market. Its a flowing dress that I think makes me look pregnant!! But its what they all wear round here. It's nice and cool and I like the neck line.
They tell me I look truly African now with me hair and outfits. They were a bargain it cost 14000 CFA (£14ish) for the material and 8000 CFA (£8ish) for tailoring. The tailoring is fantastic, they fully lined the skirt and top. They added all the zips and buttons and both items were beautifully finished. I was so excited when I got them I started thinking of all the things I could get made. The material man at the market can source loads of different materials. And the tailors can make anything if you give them enough detail. We could get all the latest fashion clothes before we go home for a quarter of the price.

Joe is now having a suit made. He has bought material for two. Getting one done first so if he can have a few changes made for the second if he wants. Its a bargain. Material and tailoring for about £27.

Watch this space for more clothes. Over time I am sure I will fill my wardrobe.

So get your orders in!!

1 comment:

Ann said...

I am VERY impressed! Especially love the designs on the colorful fabrics. And the pants-suit (oops, trousers-suit) is great, too.