What to Know About Sotho Traditional Attire – Svelte Magazine

Every region of the world has its own peculiarities. This includes customs, dance steps, music, language, clothing, and everything else that makes up their culture. People from Lesotho and South Africa are not excluded either. You’ll recognize them by their Sotho traditional dress.

If you are South African or plan to visit Lesotho or South Africa to participate in its cultural heritage, please note that your experience is not complete without wearing one of Sotho’s traditional costumes please.

Smiling woman giving a traditional Sotho costume to a Caucasian man

Your best bet is to feed your mind (and perhaps your screenshot folder) with visual inspiration for traditional Soto clothing. I got

Let’s get started right away.

What is the traditional Sotho costume?

Happy couple wearing traditional Sotho costumes on the street

This is the cultural dress of the Basotho people of the Lesotho and South African regions. It features a wool blanket made over 100 years ago.

According to Wikipedia, Lesotho’s first ruler, Moshoesho I, called this blanket “Mr. Howell in the late 19th century. The king was so attached to the blanket that he dropped the traditional leopard skin Kalos For blankets, and his people followed.

Lesota man in traditional Sotho costume

However, the Basotho people did not completely abandon Kalos. Basotho men simply replaced the animal skin “blankets” they once wore with factory-woven textiles, as the traditional method of wearing blankets still resembles Kalos.

Smiling man with stick in traditional Sotho costume

These traditional soto blankets have different uses and symbolism. And they mainly fall under:

Types of traditional Sotho costumes

Two smiling couples in traditional Sotho costumes


This blanket symbolizes fertility. Young men in Soto wear this to prepare for the transition into adulthood.


Young men in Lesotho wear this blanket after the entrance ceremony to confirm that they have come of age.


Mosotho brides wear this on their wedding day to signify their new marital status.

Sepate and Morena

This is the daily blanket of the Basotho people.


Husbands give their wives a seropé blanket when their first child is born.

Sheena Malena

This is the exclusive blanket worn by the king and his chiefs. Best of all Basotho blankets.and it literally means chief blanket Also swear to the king.


What is Motlatsi successor. This is consistent with Blanket’s original purpose of honoring the birth of Prince Lelotoli.


This blanket is made of stray cat or leopard print. These blanket-wearing chiefs rarely wear real leopard skins these days. He wears prints instead.

Quetero Ia Morena Papa

As the name suggests, this blanket was born during the Pope’s visit. When Pope John Paul II visited Lesotho in 1988, he received the gift of a blanket said to be in the Vatican of Rome.


This blanket is named after the aloe native to the Maloti Mountains of Lesotho.


Queen Victoria never visited Lesotho, but legend has it that she did in 1897 and gave a blanket to King Lelotli. According to the story, the king gracefully draped the blanket over his shoulders and that was how the tradition began.

Other traditional Sotho costumes

A man wearing traditional Sotho attire over a suit and tie

Sotho traditional clothing also includes a hat known as a mokorotoro or basotho hat. It is a straw hat used when making outside clothes. This hat has also become a national symbol for the Lesotho people.

Made from locally grown mosa, this cone-shaped knotted headgear can be seen and purchased all over the country.

Men and women in traditional Sotho costumes

Aside from that, the traditional clothing of the Soto tribe has evolved. It features a distinctive South African print that can be sewn into a variety of beautiful styles reminiscent of African textiles like Ankara.

A man in a field wearing traditional Sotho clothing

Can be used as two pieces, skirts, tops, dresses, jackets, mix and match, afro urban fashion and more. Check out some below.

get more

Want to read more funny stories that will help you dress better?

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter now.

subscribe now


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button