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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Tips on Dressing for the Harmattan Season

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That season is here once again and everyone is geared up for the cold, dryness, dust, harsh whether, extreme heat, and dehydration that comes with it.

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Getting dressed during the harmattan season can be pretty challenging because the mornings are characterised by extremely cold whether and the afternoons can be terribly hot so you want to dress to suit both temperatures.

Asides the extreme heat and cold you also must consider the effect of the dry air on the skin. There is a chance you’ll battle with dry or cracked skin of you not protect yourself appropriately.

This article will help you plan your harmattan wardrobe in such a way that you dress up feeling protected and looking as classy as possible.

1. Clean out your closet

First of all, only a few people shop for fresh clothes specially for the harmattan season which means you have to make do with those from the previous year.

Whether you got new cloths or you want to repeat, it is vital that you rearrange thought closet so that the harmattan wears become easily accessible. Put away those extremely light and revealing clothing and make the thicker and more comfortable ones reachable.

Clean your shoes and neatly iron clothes from the previous year, fold, or hang them as necessary so that the harmattan dust doesn’t make them look dull.

2. Long sleeve clothes

Whether it’s rainy or dry season, long sleeved clothes are a must have for both genders. These kinds of clothing are perfect for the fluctuating whether and they protect your skin from direct sunlight or contact with dry air.

However, it is preferable that you opt for sleeved, jackets, sweatshirts, or blazers instead of shirts so that you can take them off easily when it gets hot.

To rock a head turning look with a long sleeved jacket, you need a collection of good looking camisoles, t-shirts, or sleeveless tops that you can put on as an inner wear.


3. Dresses and skirts that fall a little below the knees

I understand that the dust and dry air that characterizes this season can make you want to dress fully covered from head to toe. However, unless you are going to a religious ground or for a ceremony, you just might look funny wearing a very long dress or skirt to the office or some other places where you have to dress smart.

Besides, the harmattan dust might settle on your clothing as you walk and that will leave you looking dirty, so something a little below the knees is not a bad idea. If you’re bothered about your legs turning white because of the harmattan dust, you can invest in some pantyhose stockings.

3. Invest in thick fabrics

During the harmattan season, you want to make sure you are protected from cold as much as possible.

Therefore, it would be unwise for you to put on materials like nylon or silk that might irritate your skin because of the dry whether and still expose you to cold. Go for fabrics like pure cotton, wool, velvet, and any other thick stuff in can find.

4. Invest in oils and lotions

Let’s face it making use of lotion in hot weather can be very uncomfortable because of how much the heat would make you sweat. However, when it comes to harmattan you have no choice.

Left without oil, your skin is definitely going to appear dull and dusty. Worse still, you may begin to notice cracks on your skin as a result of dryness.

Also, you do not want to be nicely dressed and still look like you didn’t have a bath before leaving home. Shea butter, coconut oil, petroleum jelly, or any other good body lotion is what you need to keep your skin looking good in harmattan.

5. Hats, hoodies, scarfs and head gears

Your scalp is an important part of your body even though you won’t be exposing or for people to see. During harmattan, your scalp can become very dry and you may begin to notice flaking or dandruff.

To prevent this, ensure to always have your scalp properly oiled as you oil your hair in the mornings and also make use of head coverings as appropriate.

If you’re putting on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, you can pair it up with a nice baseball hat or even a scarf depending on your mood and where you’re going. head gears are very common these days and they come in a variety of colours.


You can try one on when you are going for an occasion like a wedding or a birthday party. Hoodies are also a wonderful option; they not only prevent you from getting cold, they also give you a very chic look.

One advantage of having your hair covered during harmattan is that it prevent your hair from getting dry. A dry or dull hair never looks good and doesn’t tell well of a person.

6. Sun glasses

If you don’t want your eyes turning red or dust settling on your lashes then you’ll need a pair of sunglasses for the harmattan besides it gets sunny in the afternoon and you would need to protect your eyes from direct sunlight so having a sunglasses serves multiple purposes make sure to go for sunglasses that fits the shape of your face.

When shopping for sunglasses, make sure to try several on until you find the one that looks perfect on you before you make the purchase also there are certain sunglasses that look better on ladies than guys if you’re finding it difficult to figure out which is perfect for your gender, go for a unisex design or ask for help from any of the shop attendants.

7. Foot wears

You are never fully dressed workout the right kind of foot wear. I am a huge fan of sandals and flip-flops, but in harmattan season I have to let them go for all the right reasons.

It is best to go for sneakers and nicely covered shoes during this period if you want to keep your feet dust free and healthy. If you must put on an easy foot wear, ensure to pair then with a dark colored pair of socks.

These are only a few of the things you can do to look your best during the harmattan season.

Reminder, it is best to balance out big volumes when you are dressing up (like wearing a tight top when using a bulky scarf). And for the ladies, it’s not a bad idea to flaunt your shape even if you have to do so with a tiny waist belt.

Remember to stay warm and safe from all the worrisome conditions that come with the season.

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Emmanuella Ekokotu
Ekokotu Emmanuella is a sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and fashion model who lives in Benin city, Edo state,Nigeria.

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