Apparently Dashikis Are Popular In (Local) DC Now » VSB

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Apparently Dashikis Are Popular In (Local) DC Now



When I got to Morehouse College in 1997, there were two groups of people on the yard whose geograhic residence was pretty easy to point out: Atlanta and Washington, DC. Atlanta was easy for me for obvious reasons, to the point where it was even fairly easy to distinguish between an East side dude and a West side dude. But DC, those cats were on a whole other plane. DC had some of the most distinctive fashion styles I’d ever seen. Everybody from DC seemed to go out of their way to be as DC as possible, from the cut up t-shirts and bedazzled headbands and HOBO, Madness, and ddtp tshirts. Not to mention the drop socks, love affair for foamposite sneakers and affinity for New Balance, Warner Bros, branded race car jackets, Harley Davidson, and oddly enough, cowboy boots. From 1997-2001, it was almost impossible to NOT be able to tell the people, guys and gals, from DC.

In 2001, I moved to DC for grad school and expected that trend to continue, except I realized something: folks from DC came to Atlanta and went extra hard for their region. Truth is, folks in DC pretty much looked like everybody else when not wearing DC specific attire. Well over time, and as hip-hop and the internet have taken over, the DC culture that I thought was so cool has pretty much all but disappeared. Kids in DC look like kids in LA who look like kids in NYC, etc. And they all look like Lil Wayne knockoffs. It’s not dis, it’s facts only. And as I’ve gotten older I’ve stopped paying so much attention to specific DC stylings as I used to anyway. Because of where I live in the city, I do catch remnants of old DC: lots of New Balance, go-go, and occasionally somebody who still somehow has a ddtp shirt.

Now, I’m a young urban professional in a city overrun by them. Most of the “real” DC has been pushed to the fringes of the city and out into Maryland. This city is so expensive that living around here is a financial burden even for those with a very good job. Prince George’s County, Maryland (or PG as it’s affectionately called) is not only the spot where most of the people you know from the DMV are actually from, but it’s also the most inexpensive part of the entire region. It is ALSO the area with the worst malls known to man. Look, I realize that I’m reaching considering that on almost any given Saturday, I could be found at Greenbriar Mall in Atlanta and it was almost the standard bearer for “fuck-and-run” malls (urban malls with lots of baby clothing store and shoe stores), but three malls in PG County definitely compete.

Iverson Mall, Forestville Mall, and PG Plaza or as it’s now known, The Mall at Prince George’s.

Recently, I took my daughter to PG Plaza because we were killing time after eating dinner at Carolina Kitchen and I figured what the hell, let’s go see what the locals are up to. Never again, b. Every store was playing the explicit version of every Future of Migos song on the radio. Almost as if on cue, each store I went into played some music that made me turn around because I don’t want my daughter hearing that shit. As I walked through the center of the mall, again, almost as if on cue, from a table of three, maaaaaybe 14 year olds featuring two girls and a boy, I hear, “so do you suck dick or not?”

I left. Never will I return there with my daughter in tow. Well, while I was running through the mall and using my hands as earmuffs, I noticed something. Quite a few kids we wearing dashikis. I thought maybe there was some type of afro-centric something or other going on. But then I started paying attention, every single hood clothing store had a mannequin or a rack outfront with dashkikis. And dope ones too. Various colors to choose from, some even had hoods on them. I walked into one store (and then quickly walked back out, kids and shit) to check the prices, and they were on sale for $19.99. Interesting.

I wanted a hooded dashiki by the way, but because I was afraid I’d ruin my child, I figured I’d make that trip to Iverson Mall (nearer to me) to make that purchase because if they had them at PG Plaza, I knew Iverson Mall would.

IMG_5777And I was not disappointed. As soon as I made my way to Iverson Mall, sans child, I noticed a few kids rocking dashikis. I found mine, rolled out, and was happy. As I went to the grocery store near my house, I noticed SEVERAL younger kids and teenagers also wearing dashikis. Apparently, they’re the hot shit right now in DC.

Every so often that’s what I’ll do, head to the hood malls to see what each store is selling. There’s almost always some specific item or type of item that is hot in local DC at the moment. Right now, that happens to be dashikis. Colorful, vibrant, afro-centric dashikis. I have no idea why, or how that ended up as the recent fashion trend, but it is and I couldn’t be happier. As it’s almost time for kids to head back to college to continue their education at whatever bastion of higher learning their test scores and wallets lead them to, I wonder if all the DC kids are bringing dashikis back into the regular rotation. I guess it’s entirely possible that the dashiki is making a comeback nationwide, what with everything going on, a certain Black nationalism wouldn’t surprise me, especially amongst younger, “woke” types, though my guess is that folks rocking the dashikis are mostly wearing them because they’re fly.

Either way, if you’re in DC and you see a teenager rocking a dashiki and you throw up a fist for Black power (because all you want is his freedom) and he or she looks confused? It’s alright. They might not know what they’re wearing it, but wearing it is half the battle.

Black power.

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at

  • Brandon Allen

    Is that Serena or Muhammad Ali in the cut? Also…is that…Lisa Raye?

    • Dee

      I had the same thought, but i think the conclusion is, it’s Serena.

    • Other_guy13


    • Front and center? I think that’s Beyonce.

    • BmoreLikeLA

      I thought Mandela, but I guess it’s Ms Williams. The fact that this is causing so much debate has to be difficult for the artist.

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      That looks more like Kevin Gates than Serena….but..ehh

    • I thought it was Kevin Gates… sans tattoos

    • ChokeOnThisTea

      Lol! I feel like you’re being shady. Serious, but shady.

  • RewindingtonMaximus

    PG Plaza though bro? That’s where teenagers go for fun and adults go to buy drugs.

    I miss my old stomping grounds.

    • blkgrlMAGICALfairydust_glitter

      you can DEF get drugs there…. i mean, like, I’m not ??? but u can def find ????? all up in thru that mall. lol shoe city? yeah the shoes are the cover ????

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        lmao it’s been years since I stepped through that mall but all I needed was my 3 years living behind the mall to figure out the whole drug front situation

  • Alright Panama. Did you already have the hat or did you buy one specifically to match the dashiki?

    • panamajackson

      I had that hat. In fact, my sister custom makes hats with kente print on them and sells them in markets around Oakland, hence the Oakland A’s hats. My youngest sister and brother are from Oakland and still live in Cali.

  • Almost all of the hood malls in Kansas City have closed and I could not be happier about it. There was always some fiiiine women but somebody would get shot every month like clockwork.

  • Other_guy13

    Okay this picture just is not legit to me…I mean…where is Clifton powell? Where’s Oprah? Where oh where are Angela Bassett and Diddy? You put Drake, Zoe S, and Kim K but no Lupita???

    • That’s Beyonce. You can tell because her arms are in formation.

      • Other_guy13


    • Medium Meech

      Do Kenyans wear Dashikis?

      • Val

        Does anyone at all from the Continent wear them?

        • We are all African

          • Val

            Don’t tell Bow Wow that.

        • Medium Meech

          Dunno, the last Meech on the continent got snatched up after his pops held him up to the heavens and said “behold the only thing greater than yourself”.

          • Brass Tacks


        • Mireille

          LOL. Yes, I’ve seen men from Ghana and Malawi rocking dashikis. (Professors and a boss) They do tend to be older men (late 50s and up)

        • That’s 1 thing I enjoy about Instagram. I now see selfies from the Continent! Every Day! A lot of selfies from the Continent! In Dashikis.
          I guess another great thing about social media. What’s in style on one Continent….can quickly spread to the next.

        • Nik White

          Yes – look at Pinterest for African Fashions or Ankara!

        • Blueberry01

          Yeah, they do, but they aren’t called dashikis. I’m not sure where that term originated from.

        • MsSula

          Yes actually. These have been the trend here as well as of late. Trends are now worldwide, so yup. (As a matter of fact, the husbae wore 1 this morning… *smh*)

      • LadyJay?

        Of course.

      • arafat

        Yes. Pretty much every country in Africa has it’s own variant of them.

      • donwade83

        Erm, yeah we do but it’s not really traditional garb like that. The tumblr wave has kinda made it more of a thing lately. It’s almost analogous to the festival flower crown

    • BmoreLikeLA

      Zoe S? If you’re talking about beside Drake, that’s Rihanna

      • Other_guy13

        You sure?

        • Brandon Allen


        • Yo… You seeing Zoe Saldana makes this picture even funnier.

          • Brandon Allen

            His eyes make him see what he wishes to see lol

  • A.G.

    What words did Panama Google to make this picture come up?

    • Janelle Doe

      QTNA! :-)

    • panamajackson

      I saw it on Facebook, courtesy of Dustin.

  • Nikolean

    This was the best line: “Everybody from DC seemed to go out of their way to be as DC as possible…” As a DC Native, who attended undergrad in SC I have to say that what kids wore there was starkly different than what people I knew were wearing back home. I would say that Baltimore definitely gives us a run for our money. I recall a guy I knew who insisted on wearing the long white tee that looked like a dress the 1st semester of college. I haven’t seen this trend but I will start looking for it.

    • BmoreLikeLA

      go down lexington market and you can still see the whole look – the tall tee with the denim pants that are really shorts but they go all the way down to the ankle and stop right there. I’m trying to google a pic but can’t find one

      • BmoreLikeLA

        basically, soulja boy from 2008. it’s still happening here.

        • miss t-lee

          And folks wanna talk about the South.

        • Mr. Mooggyy


        • Lookin like a deranged midget.

      • Jennifer

        Dang! Still with the tall tees? I left Bmore in 2007. *sigh*

    • OSHH

      “The more you try, the less you are”.. usually the try hards are from the burbs.

    • Mr. Mooggyy

      Baltimore is utterly confused sometimes! I remember the long tee fiasco, and the male capries!

      • Blueberry01

        The male capris are making a come back. I can’t get down with it, though.

  • Drake looking by Billy Ray Valentine from “Trading Places.”

  • TJ

    Daishiki’s are definitely hot in DC right now among those native to DC. I’m on the search for an authentic one not made in Thailand now.

    Also, everyone I know hates Carolina Kitchen, but I love it. I effs with it. But I’m also Caribbean and don’t have a discerning palette for soul food.

    I’ve been here 5 years, and just started hearing about the affinity of Foamposites this week. It’s such a cumbersome shoe though.

    The hotep family portrait is about to be my desktop wallpaper now!

    • panamajackson

      I’m a southerner, and so is my family, and they love Carolina Kitchen. whenever my parents come up here they ask to go there.

    • Brooklyn_Bruin

      African design of the robe/shirt + Dutch fabric + Indonesian patterns and made in China

      What a country

    • kingpinenut

      Carolina Kitchen does greens all wrong…


    • Blueberry01

      You may have to go to an African seamstress….but it won’t be $19.99…

  • Ghettoprincess

    I heard there’s a pop up Madness shop in Anacostia. Wouldn’t mind a throw back.

    • panamajackson

      I’ve often seen pop-up Madness shops on the corner of 11th and U, NW next to Lee’s Flowers. Mostly on Saturdays.

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