Tswana traditional dresses are mainly made from a cotton fabric known as shweshwe. The fabric is used for making traditional wedding dresses, lobola attires, as well as regular outfits. Aside from the aforementioned occasions, shweshwe Tswana traditional attires can equally be worn for other traditional celebrations. Interestingly, the fabric is not only used by Tswana people, (who are also known as Batswana) but commonly used for traditional Southern African clothing. The cotton fabric was initially dyed indigo but now, it has many color variants and diverse printing designs as well.
As part of the Tswana traditional attire, newly married women in the Tswana tribe, who are referred to as Makoti, are also identified by their own attire commonly called makoti attire. These dresses are made with shweshwe fabrics and are sewn into skirts, gowns, skirts, and blouses. The Batswana people boast a rich cultural inheritance which is widely seen in their unique traditional attires. Due to the latest trends in fashion, there have been several modern shweshwe traditional attires for weddings or lobola and they look absolutely gorgeous!
Modern Shweshwe Tswana Traditional Dresses For Wedding
Batswana wedding celebrations are usually glamorous due to their colorful and stylish traditional wedding attires. There are numerous modern shweshwe Tswana traditional attires for wedding occasions and below is a good number of them to choose from if you and your partner are planning for that special day.
1. Tswana Inspired Long Gown with Blown-Out Base
On our list of modern shweshwe Tswana traditional attires for weddings is this stunning Tswana-inspired long gown with a blown-out base. This wedding gown will definitely satisfy any bride that wishes to express the Tswana cultural heritage in a unique style. The upper part of the outfit is fitted and has a slightly open chest.
Then on one arm is attached white net material while the other is off-shoulder. Also, the shweshwe wedding dress is designed with a peplum style at the waist region and the lower part has a blown-out base made of plain white material. The gorgeous outfit can go without jewelry as the style already has a classic look.
2. Tswana Inspired Shirt and Trouser (Male) Tswana Inspired Long A-Line Gown (Female)
Here is a gorgeous combination of shweshwe fabric and plain white material. The dressing style is ideal for couples’ traditional weddings and can equally be worn to traditional celebrations. The groom is simply rocking a Tswana-inspired white shirt as the blue and white shweshwe fabric is used to design the chest region.
The trouser is completely made with white fabric. Whereas, the bride is wearing a beautifully designed long A-line gown. The shoulder of the dress has overlapping layers of loosely pleated white material that has its edges trimmed with tiny bands of the shweshwe material from which the waistband is made as well.
3. Tswana Inspired Suit (Male) Shweshwe Off-Shoulder Flare Gown (Female)
This is another eye-catching shweshwe modern Tswana traditional attire that every couple would like to wear on their special day. The groom is quite stylish. He is wearing a Tswana-inspired green suit. The bride’s gown is quite charming as well, designed with an overlay of green lace material on top of the shweshwe fabric at the upper part of the dress.
The lace material also joins to the lower part of the gown that is flare-styled and runs from the waist to the toe tip. The beautiful attire is perfected with a matching headscarf made from the green and white Tswana print and a hat designed with the Tswana material also.
4. Tswana Inspired Suit (Male) Off-Shoulder V-Neck Ball Gown (Female)
Ideal as traditional wedding attire, this off-shoulder V-neck ball gown made with shweshwe fabric for the bride and a Tswana-inspired suit for the groom can make a wedding ceremony look glamorous. The bride’s dress, which is a full-length ball gown, has off-shoulder arms made with a floral patterned lace material.
The design is further used to create a waistband and then extends to the lower part of the dress. The lace material is additionally used to beautify the headscarf that is made of the shweshwe fabric. The groom’s outfit looks fabulous as he is rocking a Tswana-inspired deep blue suit.
5. Suit With Shweshwe Print Inner Jacket (Male) Tswana Inspired V-Neck Long Tail Gown (Female)
Sensationally blending the native style with western style, this modern Tswana outfit explicitly showcases class and beauty and can be rocked as a Tswana wedding dress. Here, the lady’s beautiful attire is a short sleeve long tail gown, with deep blue and white floral pattern designs.
The upper part and the long tail attached by the sides are made with shweshwe print while the lower part is completely made with a plain white linen material. The man’s outfit is a fitted deep blue suit with an inner jacket made of the same shweshwe print, thus, forming a perfect blend with his partner’s outfit.
6. Tswana Inspired Long Sleeve Gown With Blown Out Base
With a blend of western and native styles, this wedding attire makes a remarkable fashion effect. The outfit is perfect for a traditional wedding, as well as a white wedding celebration. It is made from a combination of blue and white shweshwe fabric and plain white material.
The upper part of this amazing wedding dress is fitted down to the waist region which becomes free and blown out to the ground. It also has long sleeves made from plain white fabric and the blown-out base is further made of the same plain material. The outfit additionally goes with a headscarf made of the same shweshwe material.
The maid of honor, on the other hand, is also rocking the same combination but with a different blue color of shweshwe fabric. This style can be adorned with pieces of jewelry and can go with a flat sole shoe or high heel shoe.
7. Tswana Inspired Suit and Trouser (Male) Long Strapless Ball Gown (Female)
This shweshwe modern Tswana traditional attire for weddings looks dazzling. The amazing combination of shweshwe fabric with plain white wool material showcases the rich cultural heritage of Batswana. The bride’s outfit is a strapless ball gown.
While the upper part is made of a combination of shweshwe fabric with plain white material, the lower part of the gorgeous gown is made of plain white wool fabric all through. The outfit is further beautified with an attachment of a heavy floral design on one side of the bust.
The groom, on the other hand, is wearing a white suit designed with the same Tswana fabric and plain ash trousers.
8. White Shirt With Royal Blue Trouser (Male) Off-Shoulder Ball Gown With Long Side Slit (Female)
Looking for a simple and stylish attire to rock on your traditional wedding day, this dressing style will definitely leave you and your partner with a lasting memory. With a touch of western style, the attire is quite simple and classy and at the same time showcases the richness of Tswana cultural heritage.
The groom here is rocking a white shirt with deep blue plain trousers. The pocket band is made of the same shweshwe print his lady is wearing. He further perfected the style by placing a folded Tswana fabric on his shoulder.
The bride’s gown is very stylish as it has floral pattern designs and a long slit by the side of the dress. The attire can be worn with white sneakers, high heels, or flat shoes.
9. Tswana Print Inspired Shirt and Trouser (Male) Shweshwe Sleeveless Mermaid Gown (Female)
Created from a charming combination of multi-colored shweshwe print and plain black fabric, this style is a true definition of beauty and elegance. Here, the bride is wearing a sleeveless mermaid gown with overlapping layers made from a combination of the shweshwe fabric and black net material.
The tightly fitted gown has an open chest that runs down to reveal her cleavage. The attire can be complemented with a black scepter which is to be held by the bride and a black hat as well. The groom’s outfit equally looks amazing as he is rocking a Tswana-inspired Kaftan and trouser that is solely made with the same multi-colored Tswana fabric.
10. Tswana Inspired Mermaid Gown With Overflow
In this particular outfit, the combination of shweshwe material and the plain deep blue fabric has a dazzling fashion effect. It will definitely gain strong admiration from guests when worn on her traditional wedding day. This shweshwe modern Tswana traditional attire is a Tswana-inspired mermaid gown.
It has one arm designed with floral patterns embroidered with beads that run from the shoulder down to the knee level. Then the other arm and the neckline are made with shweshwe print which is also used to beautify the mermaid design that has strands of Tswana fabric around the edge of the dress.
11. V-Neck Sleeveless Wedding Gown
With a touch of a western-style, this amazing wedding gown is another unique and elegant shweshwe Tswana traditional dress for a wedding celebration. The full-length gown has sleeveless arms designed with an attachment of tiny strips of fabric, giving it a fabulous look. It is tightly fitted and has an open chest with a V-neckline.
The top of the outfit is made with a multi-colored shweshwe print. From the waist to above knee level is made of plain white fabric while the lower end has a mermaid tail made with milk color net fabric and has loose pleats. Full jewelry can be worn to perfect this dressing style.
12. Tswana Inspired Off-Shoulder V-Neck Gown With Blown-Out Base
This gorgeous shweshwe modern Tswana traditional attire gives beautiful brides the opportunity to express their value for Tswana culture in a unique and classy way. The off-shoulder V-neck gown perfectly blends the western style with the native style. The fitted upper part is made with a blue lace fabric heavily embroidered with beads and floral patterns.
The lace overlays a plain nude material, giving it a fantastic look. The lower part of the gown, which is made with a deep blue net fabric, features a two-step layer blown-out base with its rim trimmed with bands made of blue and white shweshwe fabric. This style can be rocked with custom earrings.
13. Tswana Inspired Shirt and Trouser (Male) Tswana Inspired Sleeveless Mermaid Gown (Female)
Here is another shweshwe modern Tswana traditional attire for a wedding that features a beautiful combination of three different materials. The stylish attire can be worn by couples on their traditional wedding day or better still to social events.
The bride’s outfit is made from a combination of a multi-colored shweshwe material, orange lace fabric, and orange net material. The dress is sleeveless and has a three-step mermaid design at the lower part.
With the upper part of the dress and the last layer of the mermaid design being made with orange lace material and orange net fabric respectively, the style has an elegant look. The groom, on the other hand, is wearing a shirt and trousers made with plain blue material and designed with shweshwe fabric.
14. White Shirt With Shweshwe Print Trouser (Male) Tswana Inspired Sleeveless Ball Gown (Female)
This shweshwe modern Tswana traditional attire boasts a simple but classic look. While the groom is wearing a plain white shirt and trousers made of Tswana print, the bride’s outfit is a combination of the same green and white shweshwe material with plain white fabric.
The Tswana-inspired sleeveless gown has one arm made with shweshwe fabric and the other made with a white floral pattern. While this attire looks western in nature, it has a touch of Tswana fashion blend. The style can be rocked with any nice shoes or sandals.
15. One Arm Tswana Inspired Fishtail Gown
While maintaining a touch of class and elegance, this fabulous shweshwe modern Tswana traditional attire for weddings portrays the uniqueness of the cultural inheritance of the Tswana people. The lovely wedding gown is Tswana-inspired as it is made from a combination of shweshwe fabric and deep blue linen material.
The style has one arm made with folded layers of the two materials. While the gown seems to be almost made with linen material, it is decorated with bands made of shweshwe print at the bust. It additionally has a fishtail design at the lower part and a long overflowing tail attached by the side.
Tswana Traditional Attires For Lobola
Lobola, also known as dowry, is the custom in which the family of the groom pays the family of the bride for her hand in marriage and is widely practised in Africa. The lobola custom has been an integral part of the Tswana culture and tradition. As a result, shweshwe Tswana traditional attires are worn for such celebrations.
16. White Shirt With Shweshwe Print Trouser (Male) One Arm Short Mermaid Gown (Female)
This is a unique shweshwe Tswana traditional attire for lobola. While the groom rocks a white shirt and shweshwe print trousers, the bride looks stunning in her one-arm short mermaid gown. Her gown is completely made with a blue shweshwe fabric.
It has one arm that is designed with a flappy sleeve and tiny strands of milk and pink colors are used to trim around the edges of the short sleeve, as well as the slanty neckline and the edges of the layers of the short mermaid tail design. The dressing style is well perfected with high heel shoes and jewelry.
Additionally, the man looks simple in his dressing style as he is beautifully rocking a shirt made of plain white material and a trouser made with the same blue shweshwe print. He completed the outfit with white sneakers.
17. Tswana Inspired Shirt and Trouser (Male) Long Fishtail Gown With Pleated Flappy Sleeves (Female)
Couples can be sure to catch the attention of guests when they rock this fabulous shweshwe Tswana traditional attire on the day of their lobola ceremony. Here, the groom is rocking a plain white shirt designed with a shweshwe print while the bride is wearing a fitted full-length fishtail gown.
Her dress is completely made with the same shweshwe fabric worn by her partner. It is further adorned with plain yellow fabric attached to the pleated flappy sleeves and the three-step fishtail design as well. The headscarf is also made of the Tswana print, thus, perfecting the style.
18. Short Tswana Ball Gown
This is a fabulous style for beautiful brides to rock for their lobola ceremony. It expresses the cultural value of the bride in a simple way. The gown is below the knee level and has a three-quart sleeve. It is made only with shweshwe fabric and further adorned with a mogagolwane blanket that matches the outfit.
The dress is body-fitting from the top to the waist where it has a bold waistband. Then from the waist downwards is free and has loose pleats. It is further beautified around the neck region with tiny strands of white bands running in parallel form. The design is also repeated at the tip of the gown where it terminates.
19. Mogagolwane Blanket-Designed Shirt and Trouser (Male) Mogagolwane Blanket-Designed Long Gown (Female)
Even though this Tswana traditional attire is a bit western in nature, it has a touch of Tswana fashion as it is made with a mogagolwane blanket which fully expresses the richness of Tswana culture and that’s what the shweshwe Tswana traditional attires stand for.
The man’s outfit is much of a western-style but it blends with tradition as it is designed with a mogagolwane blanket on one part of the shoulder. The same mogagolwane blanket is also used to make the top of the lady’s long gown adorned with a pronounced V-neckline and embroidered with beads.
20. Tswana Inspired Shirt and Trouser (Male) Strapless V-Neck Mermaid Gown (Female)
Looking for an outfit that best expresses the cultural endowment of the Batswana? This gorgeously styled attire can do justice to that. The groom is wearing a Tswana-inspired white top. it is designed with bold bands made of shweshwe fabric at one side of the shirt and the neck region as well. The trouser is equally made from the shweshwe fabric.
The bride, on the other hand, is wearing the same shweshwe material made into a strapless V-neck mermaid gown. The V-neckline drops down to the cleavage and the fitted upper part of the dress is designed with tiny bands made of plain yellow material which is also used to create three layers of the waistband, giving the outfit an amazing look.
21. Short Tswana Mermaid Gown
This short Tswana mermaid gown is a perfect shweshwe Tswana traditional attire for lobola. With a lovely Tswana fashion blend, the style is made with blue and white shweshwe material and deep blue net fabric. The upper part of the outfit is made with net material and is covered with a white wool blanket that gives a full expression of Tswana culture and tradition.
The gown is body-fitted and has a short mermaid design created with two-step layers of net fabric adorned with a shweshwe band at the tip of each layer. The attire can be worn with high heel sandals or shoes.
22. Shweshwe Print Shirt and Jeans Trouser (Male) White Shirt With Short Shweshwe Flare Skirt (Female)
Just like some of the shweshwe Tswana traditional attires on our list, this outfit boasts a lovely blend of Tswana fashion with western style. During lobola ceremonies, most Batswana brides prefer to cover themselves with a mogagolwane blanket as part of the traditional attire.
This bride’s outfit is simply gorgeous as she is wearing a white shirt with a short flare skirt made solely with a blue shweshwe fabric. Whereas, the groom’s outfit is a short-sleeve shirt made with the same shweshwe print and jean trousers. The style can be matched with black shoes or shoes of any other color.
23. Tswana-Inspired Shirt and Trouser (Male) Tswana Inspired Long Ball Gown (Female)
Here, the lovebirds are wearing nicely styled outfits designed from the same green and yellow shweshwe fabric for their lobola ceremony. The man’s shirt is Tswana-inspired as the chest region is designed with shweshwe fabric while the remaining part of the shirt is made of plain white material. The trouser is also made of plain material.
The bride’s outfit is quite classy and amazing. The fitted upper part is mainly made with plain green material. It has off-shoulder arms embroidered with beads and designed with tiny strands of deep green fabric. The V-neckline is further created with plain green material embroidered with beads which gives the outfit a touch of elegance.
The gown additionally has a bold waistband made with the shweshwe material of which the lower part, from the waist region downwards, is made. The outfit already looks gorgeous and can go without jewelry.
24. Tswana-Inspired Shirt and Trousers (Male) Shweshwe Peplum Blouse and Skirt (Female)
This is a beautiful shweshwe Tswana traditional dress for lobola that fully expresses the cultural values of couples. The attire is made of the same shweshwe material but combined with plain white fabric for the groom and light-brown material for the bride.
While the man is wearing a Tswana-inspired shirt with plain trousers, the lady is rocking a well-designed skirt and blouse. The blouse is fitted to the waist region where it features a peplum design. From the shoulder to the bust level is adorned with a floral pattern embroidered with beads.
The skirt is made with a plain light-brown material and the outfit is complemented with a headscarf made of the same shweshwe print.
25. Tswana-Inspired Kaftan Styled Top and Trousers (Male) Tswana Skirt and Blouse (Female)
Here is another gorgeous shweshwe Tswana traditional lobola attire with which couples can spice up their special day. The man is wearing a Tswana-inspired kaftan-styled top and trousers. The front side of the top is mainly made with a plain material designed with tiny bands of the same shweshwe fabric. Then the trouser is made solely with plain fabric.
The lady’s outfit is a skirt and blouse. The blouse has a V-neckline and is fitted from the top to the waist where layers of loose pleated shweshwe material are attached. the skirt is fitted from waist to above the knee level and this area is made of plain white fabric. The lower part of the skirt has a mermaid design made with white net linen material.
Tswana Makoti Attire
Mainly made from shweshwe fabrics, newly married women in the Tswana tribe wear makoti attires to wedding celebrations and other social gatherings. Here are gorgeous shweshwe Tswana traditional makoti dresses you can choose from.
26. One Hand Off-shoulder Long Makoti Ball Gown
This makoti attire is made from a combination of three fabrics, producing an eye-catching fashion blend. The top of the full-length gown is fitted and made of plain white material. It has a one-hand off-shoulder and the rim of the puffy three-quart hand is lined with a plain deep blue linen material from which the waistband is made.
The lower part of the outfit is loose and flows to the ankle length. It is made with shweshwe material and has side pockets. The stunning attire fully expresses the culture of the Tswana people and can be worn with flat sandals, flat shoes, or high heel shoes.
27. Short Makoti Ball Skirt With Bold Waistband
Suitable for social events and special outings, this beautiful makoti attire is a short ball skirt made with shweshwe material. The skirt is tight at the waist region where it has a bold waistband made from the same Tswana fabric. The lower part is loose and has side pockets.
The skirt runs from the waist to the knee level and can be rocked with a plain white three-quart shirt that is tightly fitted or fitted short sleeve shirts of any other color. This lovely makoti dress can be matched with a light brown high heel shoe or flat shoe and a handbag of the same color.
28. Straight Cut Makoti Short Gown
Arguably, shweshwe material looks extra stunning when they are made into tightly fitted dresses as they bring out your real shape and curves. Here, the makoti attire is made from a combination of two materials – shweshwe fabric and deep blue material. The style is classy and on the same hand, showcases the uniqueness of Tswana cultural heritage.
The beautiful dress is designed with the deep blue plain fabric at the shoulder region and is also used to make the almost three-quart hand, while the remaining part of the outfit is made with the shweshwe fabric. It is tightly fitted from the top to below the knee level and the dressing style can go with nice black shoes and pieces of jewelry.
29. Round Neck Makoti Flare Gown With Flappy Sleeves
This amazing dressing style can be worn to a wedding or social event. The dress has a round neck and is tightly fitted from shoulder to the waist region where it becomes flared and has loose pleats. It runs to below knee level and is made with two shweshwe fabrics–a multi-colored material and plain sky blue material.
From top to the below knee level is made of the multi-colored shweshwe fabric while the flappy mouth of the three-quart sleeve along with the edge of the gown and the waistband, as well are made of the plain shweshwe fabric. The outfit can be further adorned with a piece of jewelry.
30. Short Makoti Flare Gown With Mogagolwane Blanket Covering
During traditional weddings or lobola, a bride sometimes uses a checkered small blanket, known as mogagolwane, to cover herself along with her mother, aunties, and other women in her clan as part of the Tswana traditional attire. These unique blankets are equally worn by married women in the Tswana tribe to wedding occasions or traditional celebrations.
The lady here is wearing a typical makoti attire. The lovely flare gown is made with a deep blue shweshwe material lined with tiny white stripes at the rim, adding elegance and beauty to the dressing style. She then covers herself with a mogagolwane blanket and her headscarf is made from the shweshwe material.
31. Makoti V-Neck Flare Gown With Three-Quart Hand
Another lovely attire rocked by Batswana women who newly got married is the V-neck flare gown with three-quart hand and side pockets. The outfit can be worn to traditional celebrations, special outings, or wedding occasions. The gown is completely made with shweshwe fabric and is well below knee level.
The upper part has a V-neckline which opens a bit to the cleavage and is tight-fitting. The dress is also designed with a waistband made from the same shweshwe material. The lower part is loose and well pleated. To achieve an overall classic look, the outfit can be worn with matching high heel shoes and jewellery.
32. Short Makoti Flare Gown With Lapping Flappy Sleeves
This elegant outfit can be worn by any makoti irrespective of the tribe. The style can make you stand out in a crowd when rocked with matching high heel shoes and a handbag as it expresses your good fashion sense. It is made solely with a shweshwe material and runs to below the knee level.
It is fitted from the top to the waist region and then becomes loose from the waist downwards which is designed with loose pleats. The outfit also has short sleeves made into loose pleated overlapping flaps. This simple and unique dressing style can be worn to a special outing or social function.
33. Makoti Flare Skirt With White Shirt
You can be sure to get into the notable class of highly respected makotis when you wear this amazing attire. Though it’s not completely made with shweshwe material, the stylish design speaks perfection and good fashion taste. The top is a long sleeve plain white shirt that is fitted.
The skirt is made with shweshwe material. It has a waistband made from a combination of shweshwe material and deep blue linen fabric. To further beautify the dress, the linen material is used to create a bow tie design at the two ends of the waistband on the front side of the skirt. The outfit can be best rocked with high heel shoes.