Fashion Influence from Trinidad: DIY Head Wraps & Dresses
April 10, 2013 | by
Photo Credit: Alison Forde

Photo Credit: Alison Forde

Over Spring Break I had the oppurtunity to study abroad in Trinidad and Tobago! The people in the Caribbean were so friendly and so colorful! The Island was a hurricane of bright screaming prints and personal style.

My group had a great time learning how to use wrap dresses and head scarves in an instucted course. With this article I am going to give you the secret to care-free beach dress!

Trinidad and Tobago are a blend and mix of cultures and people. Much like back at home Caribean fashion is rich with styles of passed generations and heredity influence. The origins of the islands start with African slaves that brought over these head scarves and wrap dresses.

This care-free, easy style is perfect on the beach to contain those wind swept locks. Use a cotton fabric for a stiff controlled look or chifon for a flowy casual event.

Michelle, our instructer wears one everyday and showed us a few looks! Follow these steps and you’ll be looking Trini at the backyard BBQ in no time!

Photo credit: Alison Forde

Photo credit: Alison Forde

First was the rose bud head wrap. For the girly-girl this wrap is delicate and feiminine.

1)      Take a piece of fabric- the key to any of these looks is having an even edge. When cutting fabric make sure that it is the same length on both sides.

2)      Put the fabric on over the forehead and make it tight, create your own spin by having bangs or a few strands of hair hang loose to curl.

3)      When around the forehead take the two ends, cross them behind the head to cover the back and bring the remaining two pieces back to the front. They should be narrow, decide what side you want the rose bud on. If you want the bud on the left move the fabric to the left side ( or vise versa on the right).

4)      Take the two and wrap around each other tight enough ‘till they sit in a circle. And in three easy steps you have your hair under control in the island way.

The next wrap is a bow for the hippie chick in all of us.

1)      Take your fabric and twist it tight into a tube

2)      Take the middle and put over the forhead – in the traditional hippie way.

3)      The ends of the fabric are wrapped in a bow around the back of the head. You can either curl or straighten your hair for whatever look suits your personal style.


Photo credit: Alison Forde

Photo credit: Alison Forde

Michele also showed us a few dresses that require no sewing, pins, or hassel!  Here are three looks that are so easy you will be smiling all summer.

1)      The green dress is a long square of fabric. Wrap around the body and tie in a knot up at the top. Let the rest of the fabric ends hang for a relaxed and fun look.

2)      The floral dress is actually two pieces on top of one another for a skirt and tank top combination. Take the fabric, wrap around your waiste and tie. The top is a little bit tricky, first put the fabric around your neck. Make sure the rest of the fabric on both sides is even (lay on the front of the body), the neck should be exactly in the middle. Take the left cross it over to the right, the right to the left and pull tight. This creates a collar around the neck and thins out your waste. Tie the ends in the back in a knot so you can tuck them in to the top or tie in a bow for a girly look. In no time you have a DIY halter dress.

3)      The easiest look is the skirt but offers endless possibilites to your outfit. Grab any fabric you like, again wrap around the waist. Instead of being completley even cut the two strands at the top will be used to tie. Just take fabric shears and cut about five or six inches in about an inch down, do not cut away. These two rectangle strands are the tie that keeps the skirt on your waist. Tie the ends in a knot tight so the skirt does not fall down. You can wear a tank top, bandu, or bikini top for a  mix and match beach wear.

Remember Caribean street style is all about color and vibrancy. Deja, a girl we met, always had on bright strips and neon skirts. To look like a Trini go for the bold and never blend into the backgound! The prints that Michele used were livley with folral patterns. Even the fabric in the airport screamed at you to notice. If you want to stand out this summer look to the Trinis! You will stand out easier than you ever have before.

For more on study abroad check out this article:

Photo credit: Alison Forde

Photo credit: Alison Forde

TAlison Forde is a Junior from West Virginia University studying public relations and anthropology. She is an aspiring traveler and magazine editor. To stay tuned to more articles for classy co-eds be sure to follow College Lifestyles on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter

About Author

A Classy Co-Ed in her own rights, the Campus Correspondent is a co-ed who embraces all that is 'classy' and 'chic' about campus life.

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