Astra Bridal on Korowai

The Korowai of our beautiful bride Barbara from our blog post  Two Countries & Two Weddings  

The Korowai of our beautiful bride Barbara from our blog post Two Countries & Two Weddings 

There is nothing more beautiful than a bride infusing her culture into her wedding attire. In New Zealand our Maori culture has some beautiful traditional wedding attire, most commonly the Korowai is worn. Often at Astra Bridal, our team are asked to find a gown that will wear well with the Korowai and this is when their super-stylist powers kick in!

When it comes to Korowai, there are so many variations to length, colour and materials used so, much like our brides vary in shapes and sizes, there is no right or wrong gown to be worn with the Korowai.

However, here are some stylist tips and recommendations on the best necklines to be worn with the Korowai…

Barbara and Mike seen above taking part in the ceremonial placing of the Korowai. The placing of the Korowai (Cloak of Love) around the woman depicts his love that will surround her for the rest of her life.


Many Korowai designs will sit across the collarbone/high shoulder line. So for a more traditional Maori look, a strapless gown could be the way to go!

Strapless gowns, allow your dainty collarbones to show and your face to be framed, no matter what size you are. Whether this be a Sweetheart or Scoop neckline, is purely up to you. It also leaves space through the decollete for some beautiful jewellery to be displayed!


If you are more conscious of your shoulders and your Korowai is sitting lower on your shoulder-line, then a Widestrap with a V-neckline is also a lovely ensemble. The V-neckline is super flattering and the edges of your straps will cover your shoulders and peek through underneath the Korowai.

Thick or heavy lace on the shoulders may distract from the Korowai, so either plain fabric or delicate lace is more recommended here. But again, the V-neck leaves room for some beautiful jewellery, for some extra boom-pow!

High Neckline

When the Korowai sits at the shoulder line it can be extremely tricky to team it with a high-neckline, so this is not always recommended. However, it can work with a plainer fabric, such as satin or mikado and round neck, or a lower-set bateau neckline, but avoid heavy beading or thick lace work as it can create a more cluttered look and take away from the beauty of the Korowai. 

Barbara chose to wear the beautiful Taiya gown and jacket by Sottero & Midgley; a lower bateau neckline with a delicately beaded lace, which did peek through under her Korowai. As you can see this definitely worked because the colour and feather textures of her Korowai worked in well together. 

Narrow Strap 

Much like the strapless gown, Narrow straps are also a winner with the Korowai if you are happy to show off your shoulders. Because narrow straps are slim, you can also get away with adding a little bit of bling or sparkle to make the gown pop with elegance from underneath the Korowai. But remember, less is more so only a little bit of bling... 


While this is not a neckline, its also noteworthy that sleeves can be great for a long Korowai, but much like a high-neckline, it can distract from the beauty of the Korowai. So if your Korowai is short, it is best to stick with a cap sleeve or widestrap. 

Check out our beautiful bride Barbara and her amazing Korowai by WeaveRDream below: