What to Wear to a Traditional African Wedding
By Nomali Cele
Spring sprung a few weeks ago. Warmer weather means wedding season is upon us. There are two important considerations when you’re deciding on your wedding outfit: How much you plan on dancing that day, as this will have an impact on your shoe choice. And the specifics of the invite (white or traditional wedding) which will guide you in terms of what you should wear. If you opened your invite and it’s a traditional wedding…
Nothing says #CoupleGoals like you and yours looking beautifully coordinated.
Sesotho and Xhosa traditional wear lend themselves well to creating coordinated couple looks. Select a traditional print (be it from your culture or not) and carry it through to your partner’s look. If you’re having your outfits for the wedding tailored (it’s the best way to get exactly what you want!), make sure the tailor adds touches from the print on your outfit to your partner’s outfit.
Print is big. If you’ve exhausted the world of print from specific African cultures, there’s still more. From bold Ankara print that dashikis have adopted in recent years to everyday prints such as floral and gingham, there’s a long list to choose from.
Borrow from Other Cultures
Looking to change up your traditional wedding outfit? Wear traditional clothing from another culture you admire. Feel like wearing an umbhaco but you’re not Xhosa? Try it. Be sure to research the culture to see if it’s appropriate to wear it. Stick to African dress to avoid wearing other people’s cultures as a costume.
You can go for an understated dress in a solid colour and pair it with bold traditional accessories. Thinking of wearing a little black dress or flirty green summer dress to the traditional wedding of the season? Avoid standing out too much by adding traditional accessories.
Accessorising with traditional elements is an amazing way to adhere to what the couple likely expects you to wear, but you get to bypass investing in a new traditional outfit.
Tie a turban with traditional print or wear an isicholo.
Add beaded jewellery and customised clutch.
What do you wear to traditional weddings?