African Grandmothers Tie Wrappers; No Trousers Allowed

Call this culture shock, if you like, but when I came to live in the US, I noticed this thing: Older (or should I say "elderly") women wore trousers.  And even shorts.  *gasp* Now, let's put this in context.

My grandparents were born in the '30s or thereabouts.  So, people from that generation had very strict ideas about clothing.  I would say the rules are more relaxed with each new generation, but people from that generation tend to be very conservative.  Given the era that they grew up in, modesty was the rule.  More importantly, I think the aversion towards trousers was heavily influenced by both culture and religion.

I don't believe I ever saw either of my grandmothers wearing trousers.  Shorts ke? Abomination! They usually wore iro (wrappers) and buba, skirts and blouses or dresses.

I am not saying that all African/Nigerian grandmothers wear wrappers or gowns all the times, but I believe most of them do.  Or better yet, I would say you are more likely to find an American or European grandmother wearing trousers, than you are to find an African grandmother doing the same.

Have you seen Nigerian/African grandmothers wearing trousers/shorts? Do you think its odd?

*Image Credit

I am Zimbabwean and I agree with you. Growing I never saw a woman that was my grandmother's age wearing trousers let alone shorts. I think even now its frowned upon. Things are changing however because so many people are travelling abroad and the culture is slowly being diluted.


Women in the western world started wearing pants (as in trouser, not pata lol) as a result of the World Wars and due partially to the feminist movement. During the World Wars when women took on men's jobs particularly in factories and such, it didn't really make sense (nor was it safe) to wear skirts and dresses. And the thing just carries on from there. But even still, dresses and skirts are still the default for women though we don't have to adhere to that (see: feminism and equal rights things)

Lady Ngo

Grandma wearing shorts?? Def not mine but my mom (who is now a grandma) wears shorts and capris :D


Shorts, absolutely not...haha. Even the thought of it makes me laugh. One of my grandmas wears trousers though. I think it's considered less strange nowadays.
Although there are still many Nigerian churches that frown on it.

Vegan Nigerian


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