A lifelong lover of dressing up, the author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie admits to changing her appearance and pretending not to care about clothes when she wanted to be taken seriously as a writer. Now that she is taken seriously, the award-winning author has reverted to wearing what she likes: vibrant colourful dresses, full skirts and feminine jackets, often accessorized with bold jewellery and heels. Something that her twin 20-year-old nieces hadn’t failed to notice when they persuaded Adichie to open an Instagram account. Which I’ve just started following @chimamanda_adichie.

There’s a lovely feature written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, on style, designing her own clothes and supporting the Nigerian fashion industry, in the FT HERE. On returning to wearing the clothes that she loves, Adichie mentions how disillusioned she’d become with the lack of pockets, sleeves and ‘dresses assuming the absence of non-flat breasts.’ Going on to add:

‘My greatest gripe was with the word “modest”, used to describe clothes for what they were not — short or body-baring — rather than for what they were. “Modest” brought a moral, frumpy taint to what was often an aesthetic choice. I loved midi lengths because I found them sexy, sleeves because they were more flattering, higher necklines for their air of confident chic.’

22 thoughts on “Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on Instagram

  1. Can I say that I think she looks more beautiful and more confident than ever! I now covet that jewel-like first dress and the magic of her writing, always. I really look forward to your posts Alyson and they keep getting better.

  2. Wow, now I want to see her winter style. Though I’m a bit of a Puritan (definitely a Roundhead rather than a Cavalier) in my own style I really enjoy flamboyant looks on other people and Chimamanda does it so well.

  3. I love Chimamanda’s style and the comment on dresses. Unfortunately the link takes you to a subscription-only page so I can’t read further, sadly.

      1. Hi Alyson. Just tried it again and it says to read article subscribe, with a selection of payment plans. Just googled it though and it takes me to the article. Very odd.

      2. I have the same problem. I cannot read articles without subscribing. However, I can listen to her video by pasting the name of the article into the search function and then clicking on the video.

  4. She’s wonderful, isn’t she? Raised my awareness of Black Hair issues in “Americanah” with which I was totally gripped. Then I watched Chris Rocks film “Good Hair” (you can find it on You Tube) prompted by his very young daughter asking “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair” I had no idea of the pressure on Black women to wear wigs, weaves or to have their hair straightened (involving, time, money, chemicals and pain). Love her clothes too, of course.

  5. These wonderful pix fill me with total joy – style is knowing yourself and being true to yourself and this is one wonderfully together lady!

  6. I also “altered” my style for many years to conform to the work place customs. When I was younger in my 20 and 30’s, my work uniform consisted of trousers and a blouse of neutral colors. However now that I’m 45 , established & more confident, I express my true self everyday with handmade dresses and skirts in bold colors.
    Thank you for introducing me to Chimamanda.

  7. I had the same problem. There was an invitation to subscribe to the Financial Times at different price points. On the other hand, what a beautiful, smart, and vibrant woman!! Those outfits were amazing!

  8. It’s kind of odd but one of my favourite things to wear is a dark denim apron when I’m at home doing something messy. I fantasize about having a wardrobe of linen aprons to wear as a daily accessory. You know, change up your outfit instantly like a scarf.
    Anyway, I see a stylish outfit here featuring an apron-like second layer!
    I’m so glad this woman feels free to dress as she pleases. She looks beautiful. I wouldn’t want everyone to be sparrow-like (my preferred look!).

  9. I had the same experience as Moira. If anyone knows how to access the article without subscribing, please share.

  10. Where do I find a wonderful striped dress like this, it’s flirty and sensuous, with out being sexual, love love love it.

  11. You know, she is beautiful, but this is my issue with colourful dressing as someone also from the tropics who lives in a cold, cold city: it’s just a little bit of a cliché. I’d like to see a version of tropical style that is more subtle and understated. As a result of tropical style being associated with bright colours and wild prints, tropical dress comes to be equated with holiday costume, in contrast to the sober “western clothes” that we wear in our normal lives.

  12. I love these shots. She is a beautiful woman because she is herself.
    Embracing who she is has made her a force. But she conveys fun and enlightenment in her dress.
    I want her clothes!!!

  13. The pressure on black women to wear wigs etc to appear professional is massive. Natural hair is deemed unseemly and inappropriate from such a young age. Chemicals and self hatred often follows. I have had natural hair for the past 30 years but in the face of family disdain. I now operate between a shaved head and dreads. Both styles make me feel powerful as fu*k!

  14. Hmm…the link takes me to the Financial Times. Perhaps if I read the FT I’ll invest well and be able to afford more gorgeous clothes?

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