Colorful + casual cotton tunic with leggings

Last month in my budget adventures post, I shared that I had bought a colorful tunic from a local vendor during our local street fair. I wore it the next weekend to a visit a local farmer’s market, followed by a friend’s BBQ.

I kept things simple and bold, layering the tunic over leggings and my criss-cross black sandals.

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic

This cotton tunic is known as a dashiki, which is a garment with roots in West Africa. This dashiki has such a simple, classic design, the colorful printed cotton folded over and stitched down the sides (leaving room for armholes), with elastic stitched along the middle to give it shape. (I’ve seen other dashikis with ties along the middle to cinch in the waist.)

The dashiki became popular in the U.S. during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, as a symbol of black pride and culture. It then also transitioned into part of the hippie counter-culture movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. You can read more about the dashiki and its political and cultural significance here and here.

To be open and transparent, I have to admit some reservations that, as a white woman purchasing and wearing a sartorial symbol of African culture, it would be interpreted as cultural misappropriation. But please know that is not my intent. My intent is to celebrate and honor culture and diversity — and all different kinds of style. Everywhere I have lived, including overseas in the Middle East, it has felt natural to incorporate bits of local style — perhaps even as a way to remember people and places I have lived and loved.

I bought this gorgeous garment because:

  • I was drawn to the vibrant and colorful print, and y’all know I’m not afraid to wear color!
  • I had a lovely conversation with the vendor, who is herself an immigrant from west Africa. She seemed thrilled and supportive of me buying the dashiki — and actually wanted me to wear it right then and there, to promote it at the fair! I felt like I had her blessing to wear it.
  • I seek ways to support local artisans and small businesses.
  • It is an external expression of my support of ethnic, cultural, and sartorial diversity.

You can see the shape of the dashiki better in the twirling pics below:

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic

We visited the farmer’s market at Point Ruston, and we’ve taken pics along this waterfront view before, as seen recently here and here. It’s just a stunning backdrop of the Sound, so I hope you don’t mind yet another series of pictures along the Ruston waterfront.

Oh, and I spiked up my pixie even more so today, which was fun for me! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic, closeup

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic, closeup of print, leggings, and sandals

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful + casual tunic

Weather:  Sunny and breezy

Where:  Weekend BBQ at friend’s house


  • Cotton tunic:  Local street fair, new
  • Leggings:  Spanx via Macy’s — exact pair still available!
  • Sandals:  Lands’ End, old (and sold out)

Please note that I get commission for clicks made through affiliate links in this post. This goes toward covering my website and file storage fees, so thank you for helping support this blog!

Shop my outfit:

brightly colored tunic  //  exact leggings  //  similar black sandals

Librarian for Life + Style | Colorful tunic + leggings outfit collage

Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday#iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsStyle With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy WednesdayWhat I Wore WednesdayI Feel Pretty WednesdaysWeekly Wednesday Fashion Linkup,  Whatcha Wearing WednesdayTop of the WorldThursdays Fashion FilesThursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for FashionFun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFancy FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp


4 thoughts on “Colorful + casual cotton tunic with leggings

  1. Jennie

    This tunic is pretty, bright, and colorful! Definitely a statement piece and I really like how the black anchors the entire look. Thanks for linking up, Jen!


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