30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses and the events to wear them 2022

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses and the events to wear them 2022

Africa is rich in many aspects, and one of them is its diverse yet beautiful cultures among its people. There are various dressing codes among the different cultures, and the Zulu, a tribe belonging to Southern Africa, is one of the richest cultures and has maintained its dressing codes. These are the top modern, classy Zulu traditional dresses and the events to wear them to in 2022.

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30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses and the events to wear them 2022
Women of the Zulu tribe. Photo: @origin_ofall
Source: Instagram

Zulu people wear a wide variety of clothing, both in traditional ceremonial use and cultural celebrations. In addition, modern and westernized clothing is worn for everyday use, and women dress differently to indicate their marital status.

What are Zulu traditional clothes?

Traditionally, like most other African traditional clothing, the Zulu used to wear animal skins and hides. Today, however, their clothing has morphed to a mix of different patterns and beautiful colours. Here is the list.

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1. Fully beaded attire

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
The fully beaded outfit. Photo: @mzansi_shakers
Source: Instagram

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This bold Zulu dress is made up of beads that follow different patterns. The most common pattern is the South African flag taking the colours black, yellow, green, white, red and blue.

2. Black top and skirt

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
Black top and skirt. Photo: @zuludresscode
Source: Instagram

In this stunning modern variant attire, a black bra top and a long black skirt are paired with an assortment of beads from the neck down to the stomach.

3. White top and short black skirt

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
White top and black skirt. Photo. :@zuludresscode
Source: Instagram

A white top and a short black skirt are worn with an array of beads from the neck down to the midsection in this elegant modern variation on the traditional wear.

4. Long white dress

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
White long dress. Photo: @zuludresscode
Source: Instagram

This outfit includes a long white tight dress accompanied by a multi-coloured bead belt. To complete the look, a beaded crown is worn.

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5. White dress with leopard cover

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
White dress with leopard skin cover. Photo: @zuludresscode
Source: Instagram

Decorated with beads, a white dress here is worn with a leopard skin cover running from the neck to the waist partially covers it. Generally worn during weddings.

6. Beaded short white dress

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
Beaded skirt. Photo: @zuludresscode
Source: Instagram

Here the outfit is carried by a short white dress accompanied by a majestic beaded necklace running down the shoulders and armlets.

7. Leopard Imprint

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
The leopard imprint. Photo: @zuludresscode
Source: Instagram

This here is one of the most traditional outfits by the tribe. It includes wearing a leopard skin pattern piece covering from the rib upwards and another covering from the waist to the thigh.

8. Zebra imprint

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
The black and white zebra imprint. Photo: @zuludresscode
Source: Instagram

Like the leopard imprint, this outfit includes zebra skin patterns. However, a short black skirt can accompany it.

9. The orange outfit

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
Zulu women. Photo: @onismate
Source: Instagram

This wear consists of an orange bralet covered with bead patterns, bead necklaces, a short brown skirt and traditional leg shakers.

10. The black and brown zebra top and white skirt

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30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
Black and brown zebra stripes. Photo. @zuludresscode
Source: Instagram

This dress includes a black and white dress accompanied by a Zulu hat. The outfit is mainly worn for weddings.

11. Zulu inspired animal skin outfit

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
Animal skin outfit. Photo: @zuludresscode
Source: Instagram

Mostly worn by the bride, this outfit is one of the classiest where animal skin, mainly cow or goat, is used as a full-body cover. It may or may not include modernized garments such as skirts or bras.

12. Yellow tube and yellow skirt

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
Yellow tube and skirt. Photo: @zuludresscode
Source: Instagram

Mainly worn in wedding ceremonies, this garb consists o a yellow tube and short skirt decorated with beads and a club made from beads.

13. Zulu mermaid umabo gown

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
Mermaid gown. Photo: @zamaswazi_sa
Source: Instagram

The mermaid dress is available in various hues. It is frequently paired with a Zulu hat and multi-coloured neck and body beads.

14. Flare dress

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
Flare dress. Photo: @zamaswazi_sa
Source: Instagram

This modern Zulu dress takes various patterns usually worn on any occasion, from weddings to birthday parties, among other celebratory functions.

15. White bralet and pleated red skirt

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30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
White top and red skirt. Photo: @zuludresscode
Source: Instagram

Usually worn at parties, this attire is covered by Zulu-inspired bead patterns on the neck and waist. To complete the look, a beaded bead band is worn.

16. Zulu hat and neck rings

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
Zulu accessories. Photo: @thepromiseofafrica
Source: Instagram

Right here is one of the most sophisticated yet classy looks. It included a beaded Zulu hat, yellow earrings, multiple golden neck rings and a multi-coloured beaded necklace.

17. Zulu inspired Kente dress

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
Kente dress. photo: @springfivemedia
Source: Instagram

With patterns inspired by other African cultures, this outfit includes a patterned hat, blacktop and a kente skirt. Golden necklaces, arm rings, bangles, and anklets are worn to spice things up.

18. Short gold and black dress with train

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
Black outfit. Photo: @wanita_kangcobo
Source: Instagram

For those whose favourite colour is black gowns, then this outfit is for you. It includes a short black dress covered with golden decorations.

19. Black bralet and beaded skirt

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
Black tube and bead skirt. Photo: @zuludresscode
Source: Instagram

These are traditional Zulu attires for young women. The signature beaded skirt is evident for both makoti and intombi.

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20. Black tube and yellow pleated skirt

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
black top and yellow skirt. Photo: @zuludresscode
Source: Instagram

Generally worn by young women, this Mkhehlo dress is composed of a black tube, covered with multi-coloured bead patterns, a beaded belt and a yellow pleated skirt.

21. Black and white dress

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
Black and white outfit. Photo: @zuludresscode
Source: Instagram

Taking two colours only, this traditional dress is commonly worn during weddings, among other events. The dress is beautifully decorated with black and white beads following Zulu inspired patterns.

22. Unakoti gown

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
Umakoti gown. Photo: @zamaswazi_sa
Source: Instagram

This stunning but straightforward Zulu-inspired dress is available in a variety of hues. Usually worn by the bride, the white gown is patched with traditional animal hides and feathers at the bottom to complete the elegance.

23. Black and brown gown

30 modern classy Zulu traditional
Black and brown gown. Photo: @hadithiafrica
Source: Instagram

This brown and black long off-shoulder Zulu gown goes down to the knee, where it begins to flare to give the fabric that perfect stylish flare design. It can be worn with or without adding another colour to the material. This Zulu traditional outfit is lovely, but if you want to look even more 'Zulu' or stunning, you can add some Zulu beaded accessories.

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24. Corset top and red skirt

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
Corset top. Photo: @reina_exclusiv
Source: Instagram

The Zulu-inspired rosette top takes various multi-coloured patterns to match the long flared red dress perfectly. The outfit is usually worn at elegant parties, including Memelo (Coming of Age), Mkhehlo and Members (Pre-Wedding ) and Machado ( Wedding).

25. Zulu beaded accessories with Venda

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
The venda look. Photo: @vendadresscode
Source: Instagram

This outfit takes a beautiful mix of Zulu beaded accessories paired with a touch of Venda. Commonly worn by bridesmaids, the bangles of different colours and a beaded crown complete this look.

26. Beaded tube

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
Beaded tube. Photo: @amapiano_n_chill
Source: Instagram

This bold look is usually worn by young women. It includes a line of beads barely covering the essentials showing just how beautiful the Zulu culture is. The beaded pot gives the whole outfit a definite African vibe.

27. Covered up attires for older women

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
Covered up attires. Photo: onismate
Source: Instagram

After a Zulu woman becomes a makoti, that is a newlywed. She is required to cover up her body entirely. However, as she advances in age becomes a mother and grandmother, she should cover extra using shawls and signature isicholo hats.

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28. Zulu inspired dashiki wear

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
Dashiki wear. Photo: @afrikrea
Source: Instagram

Although dashiki is originally from West Africa, the outfit has spread mainly across Africa. The Zulu people have also included dashiki as part of their wear. The pattern can be a dress, shirt or skirt decorated with Zulu inspired bead patterns.

29. Shaka Zulu attire

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
Shaka Zulu attire. Photo: @luangisa
Source: Instagram

The Zulu tribe's symbol sits on the breast of this gorgeous short-sleeved combination of colours. It can be worn with a pair of trousers and comes in a range of colour combinations. The Shaka Zulu outfit is highly valued in Zulu. The attire symbolizes and means a lot to them because it dates back to the time of Shaka Zulu, the legendary warrior who is adored and revered throughout the Zulu empire.

30. Attire for warrior

30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses
Zulu warriors. Photo: @wataka.africa
Source: Instagram

The aggressive appearance of the ancient warriors of this tribe majorly contributed to their success in wars. With their cow tail processed amashobas to make them look more prominent than usual, and the pure animal bib, this warrior outfit is still worth keeping.

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So there you have it, the top 30 modern classy Zulu traditional dresses. It is important to note that the tribe is known for beadwork, which is why their clothes are comprised of bead patterns.

READ ALSO: Afrikaans hello: Popular Afrikaans greetings that make you look like a native speaker

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While English is one of the country's official languages, knowing Afrikaans and other common greetings will help you get the most out of your visit. Learn how to speak Afrikaans here!

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