Ndebele people are called AmaNdebele, and they are a Bantu-speaking ethnic group in South Africa; however, they can also be found in Zimbabwe. These people are known to have a very rich cultural heritage, especially when in art. They are known for their unique patterns, colors, and shapes. In ancient times, they used animal hide for clothing, but as civilization brought about change, the Ndebele people now have their fabric, which carries their unique patterns.
With this fabric, you can see different styles of dresses. If you have a traditional event coming up soon, like your lobola payment or traditional wedding, then you will find this article on classy Ndebele traditional dresses for ladies beneficial, as we have compiled a list of some of the best with images.
Trendy Ndebele Traditional Dresses For Classy Ladies
When a lady is choosing a dress, some of the things that she should consider are her comfort, her body type, and the event to which she would wear the dress. With all these in mind, we have compiled a list of 45 classy Ndebele traditional dresses for ladies.
Ndebele Bridesmaid Dresses
Although the bride usually looks more glamorous than her bridesmaids, they are also supposed to look attractive. Here are some elegant and beautiful Ndebele bridesmaid dresses you should consider.
1. Two-layer Knee-Length Mermaid Gown
This two-layer knee-length mermaid gown is simple and beautiful. With this attire, you do not necessarily have to worry whether or not it will give your bridesmaids a nice fitting. Almost any lady can look good in this gown. However, this bridesmaids gown is best if most of your bridesmaids are slim, curvy, or chubby. This outfit is best rocked with sandals or high heels.
2. Below-The-Knee Flare Gown
This is another stunning Ndebele bridesmaids attire. The fact that the upper part of the gown is made of Ndebele prints and the lower part is not makes this attire a nice blend of traditional and modern fashion. This style is perfect for almost all ladies, irrespective of their size. Bridesmaids can rock this attire with high heels, low shoes, or white sneakers. However, high heels will make them look elegant.
3. Knee-Length Peplum Gown
The knee-length peplum gown is perfect for almost all body types. It is also a simple but gorgeous outfit for bridesmaids. The red gown is a modern attire, but the belts around their abdomen make the whole look a traditional look. If you want the attire to look more traditional you can play with the Ndebele fabric a little more. This attire can be rocked with high heels, low shoes, and sandals. While all these shoes will look good, high heels make the outfit more elegant.
4. Off-Shoulder Flare Gown
The off-shoulder flare gown should be nice on any lady; however, it looks better on slim and/or curvy ladies. To make the attire more cultural, you can rock it with beaded accessories around your neck and hand.
This outfit can be rocked with high heels, low shoes, sandals, or sneakers, but sneakers should be your preferred option for a more traditional look.
5. Singlet And High Waist Pleated Skirt
As a bride, if you want your bridesmaids to look cultural, and you want an attire that is very similar to yours, but with noticeable differences, then you should consider this outfit. The beads around the neck of the bridesmaids do almost the same job as the animal skin around the bride’s neck, but you can still spot the obvious difference in the look.
To make this attire more cultural, the bridesmaids should use as many beads as they can get and wear white sneakers. This attire can also be rocked for a photoshoot and Heritage Day.
6. Strapless Top And High Waist Skirt
This strapless fitted blouse and high waist pleated skirt is also a great idea for bridesmaids. It is a very simple look, but also elegant. It is best adorned with beaded accessories around the neck and hand to give the attire a more cultural look.
This outfit is best for slim and/or curvy ladies and may not look good on plus-sized ladies. You can rock this attire with white sneakers or high heels; however, for a more elegant look, you should consider high heels.
7. Below-The-Knee Sleeveless Flare Mermaid Gown
This cape around the chest of the bridesmaids adds a lot of details to this dress and attracts lots of attention to the lady’s chest. You should consider this outfit if your bridesmaids have nice necklines and shoulders to show off.
Depending on the preference of the bride and her bridesmaids, the gown can be shorter. This attire can be rocked with sandals, sneakers, or high heels. If you wish to rock your outfit with sneakers, you should consider making it shorter.
8. Yellow Off-Shoulder Flare Gown
This off-shoulder flare gown may look more stunning on tall and slim bridesmaids; however, if sewn to fit, average height and chubby ladies can also look good in the gown. Plus-sized ladies can also rock this attire, seeing that the flare part of the gown does not expose any body folds.
This attire can be rocked with sneakers, sandals, or high heels, but high heels will be a good option for the best look.
9. Off-Shoulder Flare Gown
Bridesmaids can also look good and comfortable in this off-shoulder flare gown. This style is perfect for all ladies and looks decent but also attractive. Before selecting this style for your bridesmaids, you want to be sure they all have nice necklines because much attraction will be drawn to their neck and chest. However, this attraction can be diverted using those cape-like beads around their necks.
This outfit can be rocked with sneakers, sandals, or high heels. If you want your bridesmaids to feel very comfortable and easily perform some traditional dance moves, sneakers will be a better idea, but if you want them to look more attractive and elegant, high heels may be better.
10. Off-Shoulder Pencil Gown
This Ndebele bridesmaids’ attire may not look good on all bridesmaids, especially those who are plus-sized, because of how fitted the gown is. So, if your bridesmaids are all slim curvy or chubby, you can consider going for this outfit.
Bridesmaids can rock this off-shoulder pencil gown made with Ndebele fabric with white sneakers, sandals, or high-heeled shoes. After the wedding, they can wear this outfit to work and on dates.
11. Off-Shoulder Mermaid Gown
This off-shoulder mermaid gown is best for slim, curvy, and/or chubby ladies and is an excellent idea for bridesmaids. The double-layer at the lower part of the gown gives it a more detailed look. This outfit is also rocked better with beaded accessories around the neck, hands, and legs.
You can rock this attire with high heels, sandals, or sneakers. Rocking the attire with high heels will give you a more elegant look, while sneakers will give you a more traditional look.
12. Maxi Flare Gown
This bridesmaids’ attire is a good idea because it is not selective. It is also a modern traditional attire that fits different shades of skin. This particular style is armless; however, you can modify it. But if you go for the armless style, consider using these cape-like beads. You can also use beads around your hand.
This outfit is best with high heels, but it can also be worn with sandals. After the wedding, the bridesmaids can use the outfit for other events.
13. Armless Pencil Gown
A Ndebele bridesmaid can also rock this beautiful armless white gown, and just like every typical pencil gown, it is best for slim, curvy, and chubby ladies. Chubby ladies may need to use a corset to give the attire a better look. However, if you must use a corset, ensure that it is not too tight.
The white gown without the Ndebele beads can also pass for a modern attire, and considering that it is an armless gown, this type of cape-like beads is just perfect for it. You can also wear accessories on your hands and legs. This attire can be rocked with white sneakers, high heels, sandals, or low shoes.
14. One-Side Flare Gown
For a traditional wedding ceremony where the bride wants her bridesmaids to look stunning, attractive, and comfortable, this attire should be considered. It is comfortable in the sense that it allows the bridesmaids to perform their dance steps.
You can rock this attire with white sneakers, high heels, low shoes, and sandals. If you want the dress to have a longer length, then you can ask your dressmaker to modify it. It is noteworthy to add that when it’s shorter, sneakers will look better.
15. Peplum Blouse And Pencil Skirt
Bridesmaids can also rock this peplum blouse and pencil skirt at a traditional wedding. Although the attire is best for slim, chubby, or curvy ladies, it still looks good on every lady. You can rock this attire with low shoes, white sneakers, or high heels.
This outfit can also be accompanied by beads around the neck, hands, and legs. After the wedding, this will be a suitable outfit for church services and a day at work.
Best Ndebele Traditional Attires For A Bride
As a bride, you want your wedding outfit to look stunning and gorgeous in such a way that you attract as much positive attent6 as possible. Here are some lovely Ndebele traditional attires for a bride that you can consider for your big day.
16. Four-Step Maxi Gown
Although this is more like a modern traditional bridal look, it is still similar to the core traditional look, in the sense that the bride’s hair is covered as a way of showing respect to her elders. And every part of her body that should be covered is covered appropriately.
This attire is best for slim brides because of how full it is. It can also be worn by chubby and plus-sized ladies; however, it will make them look fuller. To look elegant in this attire, you should consider rocking this with sandal heels, and since it’s going to be your big day, you need comfortable heels. You can also consider adding beaded accessories to your neck and hands.
17. Cape Dress
This cape dress is a modern attire because, without the belt around her abdomen, it can pass for a modern-day dress with no traditional significance. But the beaded belt and decoration around the cape of the dress give it a traditional touch.
The cape is similar to the tartan blanket Ndebele women wear; the belt and design around the cape is made of unique Ndebele art patterns and design. This makes that dress a traditional attire that speaks so much about Ndebele’s rich cultural heritage. This attire is best for slim or chubby ladies and should be rocked with high heels. After your wedding, with or without the cape, you can rock this dress to other events.
18. Three-Step Armless Gown
The design and patterns on the upper part of this three-step armless gown say a lot about Ndebele art. And the fact that the gown has three steps makes it a perfect bridal outfit for slim ladies. Curvy and chubby ladies will also look good in this outfit. Although the attire is full, it may be more comfortable to wear because, unlike most fitted bridal attires, you will not need a corset to rock this dress.
You should consider wearing this gown with sandals or slippers for the best fit. Plus-sized ladies can also rock this attire, but they may look fatter than they are because of the volume of the gown.
19. Sleeveless Mermaid Gown
A slim and curvy Ndebele bride can rock this attire. The beaded cape around her neck performs the same function as the tartan blanket. If you do not have a flat tummy, this gown may not have a nice fitting on you; as such, you may have to consider using a corset to attenuate your shape.
This attire is best rocked with high heels, and even after the wedding, the Makoti can wear this gown for a photoshoot or any other classy event.
20. Sleeveless Two-Layer Mermaid Gown
This mermaid gown is best for ladies who have a flat tummy, however, if you don’t, you can employ the use of a corset, or if you are comfortable with your tummy protruding out, then you can also rock this attire. The way the Ndebele fabric is used to design the white gown shows the high level of creativity of the dressmaker.
This outfit is best rocked with high heels, and even after the traditional wedding ceremony, the makoti can also rock this attire for a photoshoot and as a wedding guest.
21. Black Gown Designed With Cowhides
Before civilization, the Ndebele people made their clothing out of animal skin. So creating a modern Ndebele traditional outfit with cowhide is a nice blend of tradition and modern fashion. The cowhide can be used to design practically any attire, but when used on a black gown like this, it is best for slim ladies.
To give this attire the elegance it deserves, it is best you wear it with high heels; the cowhide design can also be made to be detachable so that you can wear the black gown with or without it after your traditional wedding.
22. One-side Sleeveless A-Line Gown
A curvy bride who wants an attire for her traditional wedding that shows off her beautiful body shape should consider this one. It is simple, elegant, beautiful, and befitting of a bride. To attenuate your shape and make your tummy look flatter, you can use a corset; just make sure it is not too tight.
Consider using beads around your neck and hands to add more details to this look. This outfit is best with heels. Considering how stunning it looks, you can also wear it for a photoshoot.
23. V-Neck Long-Sleeve Mermaid Gown
This mermaid dress made with Ndebele fabric is absolutely befitting for a bride, especially if she is curvy. However’, slender ladies can also rock this dress.
The long sleeves and V-neck add many details to the dress, and the way the V-neck looks, you don’t have to worry about any part of your breast showing. The attire is best rocked with high heels. You can also wear it for your lobola payment ceremony.
24. Strapless Three-Step Mermaid Dress
This attire is a good option for ladies who want to look youthful, sexy, and elegant at their traditional wedding ceremony. However, if you are uncomfortable with a good part of your back being open, you can modify the style. This outfit is best for slim ladies.
Although most mermaid gowns are usually nice in chubby and curvy ladies, this one may not be a good idea for such ladies because of the three-step at the lower part of the dress – which makes the attire look too full below. The outfit is best rocked with high heels.
25. Armless A-Line Dress
Slim, curvy, and chubby ladies will look good in this attire. The fact that the dress is armless attracts a lot of attention to the lady’s chest, and as such, using beads around your neck will be a good way to divert that attention.
Depending on how creative your dressmaker is, you can play with the Ndebele fabric more around the dress. Plus-sized ladies may want to avoid a dress like this because it may attract attention to some parts of their body that they may not be comfortable with. This outfit is best rocked with high heels.
26. A-Line Cape Dress
The cape on this dress should be detachable to give the attire different looks because even after the traditional wedding ceremony, the bride can still rock this attire to other events.
This A-line dress is perfect for all body types except plus-sized ladies. The outfit is best worn with high heels; however, sandals can also be used if the bride wants to feel more comfortable.
27. Mermaid Cape Dress
This mermaid cape dress makes the bride look like royalty, and just like a typical mermaid dress, it may not look good on plus-sized ladies. You can design it to make your cape detachable to give your dress two different looks.
This attire is best with either sandals or high heels. You can also decide to rock this outfit for a photoshoot and a church service.
28. Armless Ball Gown
This outfit also makes the bride look like royalty, and it is perfect for all ladies, including those who are plus-sized. It also looks very good on slim ladies. You can beautify this look a little more by wearing beads around your neck and hand.
This outfit is best worn with high heels; aside from your traditional wedding ceremony, you can also rock this attire for a photoshoot.
29. White Blouse And Mermaid Skirt With Red Cape
This is another attire a Ndebele bride can wear for a traditional wedding without worrying about whether or not it will fit her body type. This is because this style can go well on almost any lady, as long as it is made well.
Aside from your traditional wedding, you can also rock this attire for a photoshoot and a worship service, as a makoti, after your wedding. This outfit is best rocked with high heels, but you can also rock it with sandals. Consider wearing beads around your neck and hands for your traditional wedding to make the attire more cultural.
30. Maxi Two-Layer Gown
If you are a chubby lady, who does not want to go through the stress of wearing a corset on your traditional wedding day, and at the same time, you want to look stunning, then you should consider this attire. It is perfect for ladies of any body type; however, it may give chubby or very slim ladies a better fit.
The best show for rocking this outfit is high heels. Aside from your traditional wedding, you can also wear this attire to any classy event as a wedding guest and for a photoshoot.
31. Sleeveless V-neck A-line Dress
A bride with nice body curves and a nice neckline can consider this attire for their traditional wedding. The V-neck attracts a lot of attention to the bride’s chest, which the Ndebele fabric around the ‘V’ does a good job to divert. The beads and design around the lady’s waist and thighs also add details and the signature cultural look to the dress.
This outfit is best with high heels. You can also wear this outfit for a photoshoot with your groom, as a married couple. This can also serve as a complementary attire to a matching attire with your groom. Using a headband around your forehead will also be a good idea for your traditional wedding.
32. Armless Corset Peplum Fish Tail Dress
If you carefully look at this dress, you will observe that it is a corset dress. This gown is perfect for any body type. Chubby ladies or those who do not have flat tummies do not need to wear a corset because this attire does not need it. You can rock this outfit with high heels or sandals; however, high heels should be s preferred choice for your Traditional wedding.
Ndebele Outfits For Bride Price Ceremony
Ndebele outfits for bride price ceremony or lobola payment should be traditional and decent, and here are some ideas befitting for a makoti.
33. Off-Shoulder Pleated Maxi Gown
This outfit is perfect for bride price payment; it is beautiful, simple, and comfortable to wear. Although the fact that it is off-shoulder makes it a modern fashion attire, the hair tie and traditional design on it give it a traditional look.
Another fantastic thing about this attire is that it is suitable for ladies of any body size. For plus-sized ladies, if you are not comfortable with it being off-shoulder, you can modify the design. The outfit will look best on high heels, but you can also rock it with a lovely sandal or slippers.
34. Sleeveless Pencil Gown And Tartan Blanket
On your lobola payment day, if you want to look beautiful, simple, traditional, and fashionable, this attire should be considered because it is almost similar to the core Ndebele traditional attire. You can choose to rock this attire with high heels or sandals, but to give it a more traditional look, white sneakers should be considered. Another amazing thing about this attire is that it goes well on any lady, irrespective of her body type.
35. Tartan Blanket And Flare Gown
This is another attire for Ndebele lobola payment, perfect for all ladies. It is simple and comfortable to wear. The hair tie around her head signifies respect for her elders, and the tartan blanket shows motherly protection. The attire is also decent, which is why it is suitable attire for a soon-to-be makoti. Depending on what you want, you can rock this attire with high heels, sandals, or sneakers.
36. White Singlet, High Waist Skirt, And Tartan Blanket
Like most of the other Ndebele outfits for bride price ceremonies on this list, this attire is also suitable for ladies of any body type. It is also simple, cultural, and beautiful. After your lobola payment day, you can rock this attire as a Makoti for a photoshoot and Heritage Day. You can rock this attire with high heels, sandals, or sneakers. For a more elegant look, high heels should be the preferred option, but for a more traditional look, white sneakers will do the job better.
37. Tartan Blanket, Apron, And Beads
This is a core Ndebele traditional outfit for traditional events. If you want to uphold Ndebele’s cultural heritage, without adding a touch of modern fashion to it, during your lobola payment, this outfit will be a good consideration. Aside from the fact that it is a core traditional look, another thing that makes it a great idea is that it looks amazing on every lady. This outfit is best worn with white sneakers.
38. Singlet And High Waist Pleated Skirt
This attire is very similar to the tartan blanket and apron, but it has pieces that have important significance. The transparent cape around her neck is similar to the tartan blanket, and the pleated skirt is similar to the apron. The animal skin around her neck makes the outfit even more cultural. Like most core traditional attires, this outfit will look good on almost any type of lady. And for a core traditional look, it should be rocked with sneakers. This attire is also nice for a traditional wedding and Heritage Day.
39. Off-Shoulder Flare Gown
This off-shoulder flare gown can be rocked by plus-sized ladies (ladies with other body types will also look good in it). The attire is simple, cultural, and also decent. It is also a comfortable outfit for your big day. To make the attire more cultural, consider using as many beaded accessories as required. This outfit can be rocked with sandals, high heels, or white sneakers; however, high heels make it more elegant.
40. White Blouse And Maxi High Waist Skirt
This is another lovely lobola payment ceremony attire for ladies that can also be rocked by plus-sized ladies. Although the skirt looks full, it has a way of concealing the lady’s body. Very slender ladies will also look good on this outfit because it makes their bodies look fuller. Although the skirt represents Ndebele’s rich cultural heritage, adding bead accessories to the attire is an excellent way to make it look more cultural. You can rock this attire with white sneakers, sandals, or high heels.
41. Sleeveless Peplum Blouse And A-Line Skirt
This peplum blouse and A-line skirt is nice for all ladies. It is also a very comfortable attire, seeing that it does not require that you wear a corset to attenuate your shape. Although ladies of all body types can rock this outfit, it is best for curvy, chubby, and plus-sized ladies. To add to the beauty of the look, you use beads around your neck and hand. You can rock this attire with sandals or high heels.
42. Ndebele-Inspired Polo and Black High Waist Skirt
If you want an attire that is simple and cultural in which to grace your lobola payment ceremony, then you should put this one into consideration. The pattern and design of the polo make it a cultural attire. Consider using bead accessories around your neck, hands, and legs to give the attire details.
This outfit is nice for all ladies; however, it will likely look best on plus-sized, chubby, and curvy ladies. You can rock this outfit with high heels and white sneakers. You can also wear this attire as a makoti and during Heritage Day.
43. Above-Ankle-Length Flare Gown And Tartan Blanket
For your lobola payment, you want attires that are decent, traditional, and beautiful, and this is one attire that meets all these criteria. Thankfully, this attire is not selective, as any lady can look good in it. The tartan blanket and hair tie are all important pieces of fabric in this attire because they have cultural significance.
While the hair tie denotes respect, the blanket signifies motherly care. You can rock this attire with white sneakers, low shoes, sandals, or high heels. For a core traditional look, sneakers will be a better option, but high heels will be better for a more elegant look.
44. Maxi Sleeveless Flare Gown
For your lobola payment, if you what an outfit that does not look 100% cultural, shows off Ndebele’s rich cultural heritage and attracts a lot of attention to you – all at the same time, then this maxi sleeveless gown will be a good option. One thing that makes the dress stand out is that it is a good idea for all women, irrespective of their body size and type.
You can wear this attire with a hair tie and even with a tartan blanket if you desire to use one. This outfit is best rocked with high heels; however, for your lobola payment, you can also use white sneakers to look more cultural. To enhance your cultural look, you should wear beads around your hands. You may not need beads around your neck because of the style of the dress.
45. One Sides Armless A-line Dress
If you are curvy and about to become makoti, you should consider this attire for your lobola payment. You can wear a tartan blanket over it; it also gives room for you to add bead accessories around your hands. You can also consider using beaded belts below your bust. This outfit is best with high heels; however, you can wear it with low shoes or sandals.