Africa is a vast continent, with a vast cultural array and a place of close to a thousand different languages and dialects. The cultural array is evident in about a thousand tribes spread throughout Africa. In each culture there is a unique history seen in food, housing structure, family, community cultures and in fashion.
Since each tribe has its specific culture in defining African lady traditional clothing or traditional clothing for African people, one would have to examine each culture. African clothing covers garments from loin cloths still worn by some tribes - if only in ceremonial functions to complex balloon dresses worn as every day fare in some tribes and royal garb in others.
Traditional African clothing is typically dependent on several key factors: faith, culture and weather. Durable and natural fibers are predominant in clothing because they allow increased functionality and provide a natural beauty. Silk, for those able to afford it, is also popular in Africa's traditional fashions, with Egyptian cotton viewed as among the best fabrics for the climate in various regions.
Some of the most widely seen examples of African lady traditional clothing are similar to Western versions seen in specialty retail stores and sold widely online. The aso oke, which is a traditional African fabric, primarily made from woven strips stitched together in quilting fashion. The fabric is then cut into the shape of the garment. In the Yoruba culture the women's aso oke, has four parts: the buba (blouse), a wrap skirt, a head tie and a shawl (which is sometimes worn as a shoulder sash). Because of the woven and pieced together colors and textures of the aso oke, some women do not cut or shape into a garment; instead they wear it like the sari draped around their bodies and tied as comfortable.
In Eastern Cape, South Africa we find the Xhosa people, a woman's clothing style popular in this region is modern Mbaco Clothes. Mbaco is a one hundred percent cotton fabric that comes in three primary and traditional colors for the area: cream, red and orange. In the past few years, Mbaco garments are finished with traditional braids in black with colorful bead work. Braided embellishments are the norm in several regions of the content.