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Let’s Steal The Dera

Wearing a Dera feels like a dip in a hot tub after a long day, with a mojito in hand and a dude in your brain. This is one item I picked up in one of my many travels that landed me in La Costa. I was resistant to it at first though. See, the Dera seemed to me very simple, decent and comfortable, and being the errant young adult I was; simple, decent and comfortable sounded like something my mother would approve of, so I wrote it off without as much as a second thought. Eventually I had my moment of confounded realization. And now it is safe to say that the Dera is truly God’s gift to women. This shit is awesome I tell ya!

The Dera, for those of us who don’t know, is that long, Somali dress that’s common among Muslim ladies. No, not the buibui; Deras are those colorful ones worn with matching hijabs. They are traditionally made of cotton, but there are more tricked-out versions made of chiffon, linen and even silk. The Dera is quite practical, considering most of its wearers live in the coast. The dress is usually designed to fit loose, giving ample room for aeration and movement. Among other perks, the Dera is also authentically and undeniably feminine. You can never put on a Dera and not feel all kinds of woman about yourself. Aaaand… I think this is the part where we tell our Muslim sisters – sorry lovelies, but we’re stealing your look.

So let’s talk Dera, for the non-Muslim woman, shall we?

 

bikozulu

Little Girl
Like I said, you can never put on a Dera and not feel all kinds of woman about yourself. To begin with, the Dera makes you feel like a little girl. Maybe It’s something to do with the coverage, but a Dera always gives you that feeling of safety. It’s the overprotective big brother that shoots stern, warning looks at anyone who dares look at you wrong, or a second too long. It’s your full body armor that defends your innocence while you do everything wrong. When I want to play up that aaaaaw! – look, I wear my Dera with nude makeup, sandals and a huge, butterfly hairclip on my head. (Sweeet!)

My lady
If you’re tired of the ratchet, sick of making vacuous statements and are looking to redefine your femininity, the Dera is your redemption. Its long hemline gives you that vibe of maturity, subtlety and sensuality that allows you to stand out without even trying. The Dera does not judge either. It understands that fries are tempting and the gym is nobody’s mother, so it doesn’t go all Njoki Chege on you when you let yourself go. I normally put on the Dera when I feel like self pampering. It is gentle and kind. It’s the doting mother that tells you you’re beautiful and that you matter; and you believe it because you know it comes from a place of love. The Dera defends your honor and protects your dignity, and we could all use a little more love in the world, couldn’t we? So keep your head up, my lady. Get yourself a Dera in linen or chiffon. I have one in linen that I sort of altered; I gave it a low-plunging v-neck and gathers under the bust. I like to wear it with my hair short or tied up in a bun, then work I it up with a pair of sleek heels or wedges. For the extra glam I normally strap on a metallic bracelet and put on a ring or two. Then I complete the look with bold makeup and a pair of sunglasses for a chic, mysterious uuuuuh! look.

Your Grace
Put on a long-sleeved Dera in a solid grey, black or blue. Make it silk or chiffon, and preferably one with an interesting neck detail. Slip on a pair of solid pumps and some shiny dangly earrings. Let your makeup be minimal and then let your hair down and you’re royal baby! That right there is the look of a goddess. So graceful and majestic that every time I’ve worn it, I swear I must have heard a few halleluiahs chanted my way. So pamper yourselves with Deras this coming warm season lovelies, after the El Nino has washed away. It’ll do you as much good as a day in the beach.

Image Source: Costume Planet

52 Responses
  • Penzi
    09.11.2015

    It should be stolen and shared the world over. I like you. Your writing I mean.

  • Esther
    09.11.2015

    Great piece. I should get myself a dirac.

    • kim
      11.11.2015

      i have just been schooled! lol!

  • Nava
    09.11.2015

    Hmmmh, Dirac, thanks for that. I think it’s what women are calling dera?

  • Magunga
    09.11.2015

    I quite like the writing. And now the people who wanted pictures now have them.
    http://www.magunga.com/

    • Kalashnikov
      09.11.2015

      now that i have stumbled upon you goon here then let me say i love your writing over there at The magunga. when i grow up (i’m older than you) i want to be like you 》kalashnikip.wordpress.com

  • DENNIS NJIRU
    09.11.2015

    At some point i thought Jackson was the one wearing the dirac

  • Maureen
    09.11.2015

    so it’s dirac?? huh!!! I thought it was dera

  • feli
    09.11.2015

    Hi,now we are getting there .I am intrigued ,a Dirac I
    i should get one.Keep up the pics are good

  • Miss Dee
    09.11.2015

    This is definitely your best piece so far.

    • Miss Dee
      09.11.2015

      Thank you for incorporating pictures.

  • mandy
    09.11.2015

    Dera is the swahili name for dirac. Im from the coast and have a bazillion of them, both for chilling in the house, hosting guests and for outdoors. I like that you put pictures. Waaaaaayy better read!

  • Chichi
    09.11.2015

    It’s called dera

  • Naomi
    09.11.2015

    For me this is your most beautiful piece so far! It’s unique and one can hear your voice in it. You have convinced me to get a dirac! Nice.

  • Annie
    09.11.2015

    Hey, you’ve just gave an idea for dressing during my sis ruracio…dirac i must have. Thanks.

  • abdullah omar
    09.11.2015

    wow now on to derac !defines your femininity within the perimeters of decency.truly a decent read!

  • Faith
    09.11.2015

    I love this piece. Very improved writing and the category should be ‘fashion’ I think.
    Now is there a way you can recommend possible shopping spots for this. I
    I loved this piece. Keep it up fashionista

  • Jane.Shee
    09.11.2015

    Mama…. mia…wow! Clear. Detailed. Powerful. Shopping it is….

  • Sonia
    09.11.2015

    Hooray for the dera!!! It’s my absolute must have. Thanks for the new and refreshing ways to glam it up. I have 5 pieces in my wardrobe in many vibrant colours.

  • Megrachel Nyakio
    09.11.2015

    This is all we have been talking about..Thumps up!!

  • Megrachel Nyakio
    09.11.2015

    This is all we have been talking about..Thumbs up!!

  • Bernard Ong'are
    09.11.2015

    Must have not

  • nyamunjeri
    09.11.2015

    ohhh I miss the days when high school was all about the world from biko’s eyes……..older gang members know what i mean,,nice writing though

  • abdullah omar
    09.11.2015

    i see a beautiful woman without sex a beautiful piece without sex

  • ayak
    09.11.2015

    i love the piece, n the pics, or is it the damsel in the pics hmmmmm…..indeed, beauty in the confines of decency…perfectly simple, thnx 🙂

  • Anne N
    09.11.2015

    haha I thought so too. I was like.. is there a dira for men?

  • Hellen
    09.11.2015

    I fancy a blue one

  • Jeff
    09.11.2015

    hahaha…the gym is nobody’s mother, absolute truth!!!

  • Wanjuhi
    09.11.2015

    I will def try this look, I love how it look in pictures

  • Mutegi Ben...
    09.11.2015

    Nice read…

  • Faceless Piranha
    09.11.2015

    Much better writing this week. Thanks for the pics. At least now I can visualize what you are saying. Never thought about wearing a dera but now that you mention it…

  • Najma Idy
    09.11.2015

    In my language we call it a dirai, but it’s essentially the same thing. I’ve several of them and I can attest that they are the best investment I’ve ever made in terms of clothing.

  • Bashinski
    09.11.2015

    Lovely read! #Dirac For those asking where you can get them,they are sold in Eastleigh.I would trade my Pjs for a cotton Dirac anyday.As for the silk/Chiffon Diracs,Those are only worn at weddings/parties.Beautiful photos @Biko

  • caroleG
    09.11.2015

    Good job on this piece, way to go!

  • kioi
    09.11.2015

    I’ve always loved that garment but I Neva knew its name the photos worked .wonderful piece.great read though.

  • Raha
    10.11.2015

    It was stolen sometime back and those who stole it made some modifications on it…the modification, darts running from armpit all the down and returned it to the shops for ladies endowed with big behind/hips

  • Brenda
    10.11.2015

    Awesome read. You are getting there love. When talent is honed and nurtured with rigor, and presented with the right opportunities, it leads to extraordinary results. Kudos biko. Now we need a LIKE button for us shy readers

  • Amoury
    10.11.2015

    Thumbs up!

  • Wavinya Kimeu
    10.11.2015

    Yipeee! photos. Thanks for taking note

  • Patrick Mkenya
    10.11.2015

    Its dera

  • Ythera
    10.11.2015

    I have 1 dera. I want a gazillion. Beautiful writing.

  • Abesh
    11.11.2015

    You were right the first time round…its dirac not dera…pronounced thee.ra’aa

  • Edna
    11.11.2015

    Lovely piece. Now more than ever i need a dirac.

  • winrose
    11.11.2015

    love this piece, got myself one already

  • Cee
    12.11.2015

    “The Dera does not judge either. It understands that fries are tempting and the gym is nobody’s mother, so it doesn’t go all Njoki Chege on you when you let yourself go. ”
    spoken like a true friend ,thumbs up to the Dera

  • nancy
    12.11.2015

    I had to scroll back up to ensure it isn’t a fashion blog I’m reading. Nice piece though.

  • Mutegi Ben...
    13.11.2015

    I love the piece…

  • Esther
    14.11.2015

    Wow!! Where have I been? Am sold!
    Dera here I come!

  • Yours Truly
    14.11.2015

    I love this!!

  • eddie
    19.12.2015

    Very nice.’..full body armor that defends your innocence while you do everything wrong.’
    Entertaining, practical and forward moving.

  • Katy
    11.02.2016

    Throughout the great pattern of thgins you get an A for effort and hard work. Where you misplaced me was on all the specifics. As people say, the devil is in the details And that couldn’t be more correct at this point. Having said that, permit me reveal to you just what did work. The article (parts of it) is certainly incredibly engaging which is possibly the reason why I am making the effort in order to comment. I do not make it a regular habit of doing that. Second, even though I can see a jumps in reason you come up with, I am definitely not sure of just how you seem to connect your details that help to make the final result. For the moment I shall yield to your point but trust in the future you connect your facts much better.

  • Julian
    30.03.2016

    Awww dera nation right here. It should be our national dress. I have several pieces and given how cheap it can be, I always get two or three diracs for my housies/nannies (uniform nini nini)

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