R6041/1-3 Aso-oke bridal outfit

woman's aso oke outfit on mannequin

This aso-oke outfit was worn by the owner, Funmi, at her London wedding reception in 1995. Aso-oke, which translates as ‘top cloth’ or ‘high status cloth’ is a formal textile, traditionally woven by men. It is primarily made from cotton or silk, woven in long narrow strips which are sewn together and then tailored into garments. For Yoruba women, aso-oke outfits customarily consist of an iro (long wrap skirt), buba (blouse), pele (shawl) and gele (head wrap) worn as a matching outfit. Collected as part of the Fashioning Africa project.

Creator: unknown

Place: Nigeria, West Africa, Africa

Date: 1995

Funmi describes how she came to wear this particular style at her wedding:

“…aso-oke is the most highest kind of clothes you can wear in Yoruba culture. It’s the – like if you are going to visit a king or your wedding day, that’s the sort of thing you wear. And gold because obviously it was a wedding and usually people choose gold or silver for their wedding and then any other colour and I tend to favour blues so that’s why they had the dark blue on it. I didn’t actually see this outfit because my mum and a very close friend of mine chose it, because I was in England and they just brought it over to me. But she’d taken photos of it and shown it to me and I’d said, ‘Yeah, that’s fine!’ I knew she would choose something on the glamorous side.”

a young Black couple wearing aso-oke dance at their wedding
Funmi and Dotun at their wedding reception, 1995

See more of Funmi and Dotun’s wedding looks:

a man's blue and gold aso-oke cap with two triangular flaps on a mannequin head
This abeti aja (aso-oke hat) is part of a groom's outfit, made in Ibadan, Nigeria and commissioned by the owner Read more
blue and gold aso-oke agbada robe
This aso-oke agbada (robe), and sokoto (trousers) are part of an outfit that was commissioned for the owner, Dotun, to Read more
stripwoven aso-oke fabric in stripes of gold white and blue
This aso-oke gele is an elaborate Yoruba headwrap, part of an outfit that was commissioned by the owner Funmi for Read more