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How to Create an Alte-Inspired Wardrobe

This article discusses how to create an alte-inspired wardrobe.

How to create an alte-inspired wardrobe
How to create an Alte-Inspired Wardrobe

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What is Alte?

What is alte?

Imagine a rainbow of Nigerian creativity, where everyone throws out the rulebook and creates their own vibrant style. That’s the Alté movement! Born in the 2010s, it’s all about being yourself, exploring new ideas, and using art to fight for what’s right.

Tired of predictable music and fashion? Alté says, “Let’s get weird! Let’s mix and match, push boundaries, and celebrate the beauty of being different.” Young artists and designers are driving this movement, pouring their hearts into music, clothes, and everything in between, all wrapped up in a uniquely Nigerian flavor.

So, if you’re looking for something fresh, something real, something that speaks to your own unique journey, look no further than Alté. It’s a party where everyone’s invited, and all you need to bring is your imagination.

There’s so much more to explore within Alté, from mind-blowing music to eye-catching fashion

  1. Alternative: Alté individuals fearlessly venture into unexplored ideas and sounds, rejecting conformity in favor of embracing innovative approaches.
  2. Individualistic: Rooted in authenticity, alté encourages unabashed self-expression. Artists and designers within the movement champion individuality, breaking free from societal expectations.
  3. Socially conscious: Alté creators actively use their art as a medium to address social issues, leveraging their platforms to advocate for positive change.

Beyond being a passing cultural trend, alté stands as a burgeoning movement, leaving an indelible mark on Nigerian culture. Serving as a catalyst for creativity, self-expression, and social awareness, alté stands as a powerful force reshaping the cultural landscape with its vibrant and diverse contributions..

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What defines an Alte-inspired wardrobe?

Alte Fashion

Let’s explore the defining elements that bring this style to life:

1: Uninhibited Vibes

  • Mix and Match: Alté celebrates the unexpected. Combining a vintage kimono with combat boots or blending granny chic with futuristic accessories is not just encouraged but celebrated. The focus is on letting your personality shine, not conforming to trends.
  • Gender Fluidity: Alté defies traditional gender norms, inviting you to freely explore both masculine and feminine pieces. Whether it’s rocking an oversized blazer or flowing skirt, the essence is about feeling empowered in your chosen attire.
  • Statement Pieces: Alté loves bold accents that demand attention. Chunky platforms, clashing prints, or a dramatic cape that sways – don’t shy away from being the conversation starter.

2. Playful Layers and Textures

  • Layering Magic: Create depth and visual interest by layering graphic tees under mesh tops, adding sequined vests over chunky knits, or throwing on a patterned scarf.
  • Textural Delights: Dive into a world of textures with velvet, mesh, denim, leather, and more. Embrace tactile contrasts for a sensory and visually rich experience.
  • Accessories Galore: Don’t hold back on jewelry, belts, hats, or bags. Pile them on with a mix of metals, vintage finds, and contemporary pieces. And of course, don’t forget those statement sunglasses.

3. Retro with a Modern Twist

  • 90s Nostalgia: Embrace grunge vibes with ripped denim, plaid shirts, and chunky boots, but infuse it with a modern touch using neon accents or unexpected accessories.
  • Vintage Treasures: Breathe new life into old family heirlooms. Mix vintage prints with sleek silhouettes for a distinctive blend of eras.
  • DIY Revolution: Express your creativity by upcycling, customizing, and personalizing your clothes. Patches, fabric dye, or embroidery—let your creative spirit shine.


  • Comfort Matters: Alté is all about feeling confident and free in what you wear. Don’t compromise comfort for style.
  • Sustainability in Mind: Opt for vintage finds, thrift stores, or ethical brands when possible. Alté can be conscious and environmentally friendly too.
  • Your Uniqueness is Key: Above all, your individuality is the most crucial aspect of an Alté wardrobe. Experiment, have fun, and express yourself authentically – that’s what truly defines this vibrant style.

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Where can I find clothing and accessories for an Alte-inspired look?

Alte Dressing

When it comes to building an Alte-inspired wardrobe, the fun is in the hunt! Here are some diverse options to satisfy your creative exploration:

1. Physical Stores

  • Independent Boutiques: Look for locally owned stores that curate unique pieces from emerging designers, vintage finds, and handmade treasures. Think Lagos’ The Edit by Yewande or Accra’s Studio One Eighty Nine.
  • Vintage Shops: Thrift stores and vintage markets are goldmines for one-of-a-kind gems. You’ll find forgotten trends, forgotten fabrics, and forgotten possibilities—perfect for your Alte remix. Check out Lagos’s Lekki Market or Accra’s Makola Market.
  • Streetwear Stores: Urban apparel stores often carry statement pieces and bold accessories that can add an edgy touch to your Alte look. Explore shops like Streetwear Lagos or Palace Accra.
  • Tailors and Artisans: Don’t hesitate to get creative with local tailors and artisans. They can bring your vision to life by customizing existing pieces or even creating something entirely new from scratch.

2. Online Stores

  • Independent Online Brands: Support small businesses by browsing online platforms showcasing emerging African designers. Explore platforms like Black Owned Everything or The NATIVE’s directory. 9jalist.com is rich in everything fashion and just the right place to find clothes and accessories for an Alte-inspired look.
  • Vintage Online Marketplaces: Sites like Etsy and Depop offer a treasure trove of pre-loved pieces from around the world. You can find hidden gems with a global flavor to add diversity to your Alte mix.
  • Sustainable Fashion Brands: Alté can also be conscious! Check out brands like I Am MAI or Orange Culture that champion eco-friendly practices and ethical production.
  • International Retailers: For specific pieces or inspiration, you can browse online stores like ASOS, Urban Outfitters, or even high-fashion brands like Moschino or Thom Browne that sometimes play with unexpected combinations.

Pro Tips

  • Follow Alte influencers and stylists: Get inspiration from people rocking the Alte vibe! Follow Instagram accounts like @alte_vibes@odunsiii et cetera.
  • Join online communities: Connect with other Alte enthusiasts on forums or Facebook groups. They can share hidden gems, styling tips, and even swap clothing you no longer love.
  • DIY and upcycle: Give old clothes a new lease on life! Embroider a graphic tee, dye a pair of jeans, or add fringe to a vintage skirt. Your creativity is your best accessory.
  • Most importantly, have fun! Don’t be afraid to experiment, mix and match, and express yourself authentically. Alté is all about celebrating your unique style and defying fashion boundaries.

Remember, the best places to find Alte pieces are often the hidden ones. Keep your eyes peeled, explore, and embrace the unexpected – that’s the true spirit of Alte after all!

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What should I not do when building a wardrobe from scratch?

Instagram video of an alte girl

Building a wardrobe is like going on an exciting adventure. Keep these friendly tips in mind:

1. Avoid Impulse Buys

  • Pause and Reflect: Before jumping on trends or sales, ask if it truly fits your style.
  • Emotions vs. Shopping: Using retail therapy? Think twice to avoid regrettable buys.
  • Quality Matters: Cheap deals are tempting, but quality is key for sustainability.

2. Navigate Overplanning

  • Be Open to Surprises: Flexibility is crucial; unexpected finds can become favorites.
  • Check Your Closet: Mix in what you already have for a balanced wardrobe.
  • Lifestyle Fit: Buy for your daily life to keep things practical and stylish.

3. Mind Your Budget

  • No Credit Splurges: Slow and steady wins the wardrobe race, avoid financial strain.
  • Value for Money: Think about how often you’ll wear an item for a sensible purchase.
  • Don’t Forget Maintenance: Include cleaning costs for a wardrobe that lasts.

4. Navigate Style Traps

  • Timeless Beats Trends: Prioritize versatile pieces for a lasting wardrobe.
  • Your Body, Your Style: Wear what boosts your confidence, not just what’s trendy.
  • Comfort is Key: A functional wardrobe should also be comfy, not just stylish.

Building your wardrobe is a personal journey. Enjoy it, be true to your style, and cherish the pieces that truly resonate with you.

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How to Create an Alte-Inspired Wardrobe

Building an alte-inspired wardrobe

Building an Alte-inspired wardrobe is like going on a fun adventure where you express yourself and try new things. Here’s a simple guide to help you in this exciting journey:

1. Find Your Style

Think about what you like: Do you prefer bold prints, vintage vibes, or edgy streetwear? Figure out what makes you feel good.

Look for inspiration: Check out Alte fashion on Instagram, read magazines like The NATIVE, and explore Pinterest for ideas.

Experiment with different styles: Mix and match textures and eras to create your own Alte look.

2. Start with the Basics

Get some simple, good-quality clothes: Invest in plain tees, comfy shoes, and classic pieces like denim jackets and tailored pants.

Check out thrift stores: Find unique items with character that add a personal touch to your wardrobe.

Support local designers: Look for clothes from African designers who share the Alte spirit.

3. Add Some Boldness

Use statement pieces: Elevate your basics with bold accessories, vibrant scarves, or eye-catching prints.

Learn to layer: Try combining different pieces for a unique look, like putting a graphic tee over a mesh top or adding a vintage vest to a casual dress.

Let your accessories stand out: Choose bags, shoes, and hats that tell a story and make a statement.

4. Get Creative with DIY

Customize your clothes: Add patches, dye fabrics, or use embroidery to make your clothes unique.

Give old clothes a new life: Transform vintage pieces into something new, like turning a kimono into a skirt or adding fringe to a denim jacket.

Work with local craftspeople: Collaborate with tailors or artists to create special, one-of-a-kind pieces.

5. Confidence is Everything

Wear what makes you happy: Comfort and confidence should be your top priorities. Don’t be afraid to express yourself in your own way.

Think about sustainability: Be mindful of the environment by shopping second-hand, supporting ethical brands, and taking good care of your clothes.

Enjoy the process: Building your Alte wardrobe is all about celebrating your uniqueness and having fun expressing your creativity.


Alté music is like a cool blend of Afrobeats, hip hop, R&B, and more. What sets it apart? Well, it’s got deep lyrics, experimental tunes, and messages that make you think. Alté fashion is just as unique – mixing African traditions, streetwear, and high-end styles.

Why Alté? It’s a reaction to the mainstream Nigerian music and fashion scenes, often criticized for being too commercial. Alté is a breath of fresh air. The folks behind it – artists and designers – are usually young, independent, and bursting with creativity. They’re on a mission to shake things up, bringing in new expressions that mirror the rich diversity of Nigerian culture. It’s like a rebellion with beats and threads.

If there are any questions, post them below.


Can I incorporate traditional Nigerian elements into an Alte-inspired wardrobe?


How can I make my Alte-inspired wardrobe sustainable and budget-friendly?

You can do this in four ways:
Hit up thrift stores: They’re gold mines for unique, history-packed pieces that won’t break the bank.
Enjoy the hunt: Thrifting is an adventure! The joy of finding that perfect pre-loved gem is unmatched.
Upcycle oldies: Give vintage or old pieces from your closet a makeover. Turn a dress into a skirt or add patches to spice up a jacket.
Choose quality over quantity: Invest in well-made basics for durability. Look for fabrics like cotton or linen.

Are there specific style influencers or brands known for Alte fashion inspiration?

ODUNSI (odunsiii): This multi-faceted artist and designer is a true Alte pioneer. His bold androgynous looks, often featuring statement prints, clashing textures, and unexpected accessories, are a masterclass in self-expression.

Thebe Magugu (thebemagugu): This South African designer’s creations are a stunning blend of traditional African influences and contemporary streetwear. His use of bold colors, intricate beadwork, and unexpected silhouettes make him a favorite among Alte enthusiasts.

Amaarae (amaarae): This Ghanaian singer and songwriter’s style is as eclectic as her music. She rocks everything from vintage kimonos and platform boots to futuristic latex bodysuits and graphic tees, always with an infectiously playful attitude.

Mowalola (mowalola): This London-based Nigerian designer is known for her edgy and deconstructed aesthetic. Her garments often feature raw edges, safety pins, and repurposed materials, giving them a rebellious and avant-garde edge

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