Aso-ebi (translation: cloth of the family) is an outfits made from matching fabric and pattern worn by family members (though it now applies to anyone who can afford one or would like to wear one) at a wedding ceremony or social event to denote unity, support, and represent sides of the family. Aso-ebi fabrics are typically of Ankara or Lace material for the outfit with occasional head ties (gele) associated with it. Contrary to popular belief, the aso-ebi phenomena is not strictly a Nigerian thing but applies to several cultures in Africa with the subtle difference in the name; not called aso-ebi across all countries. The tradition of wearing Aso-Ebi has been in existence for age.
Nigerian outfits made from matching fabric to be worn by a group of people to a party, wedding, or funeral as a uniform. Wearing a certain aso ebi identifies the group of wearers. For instance, at a wedding, all the bride's friends might wear blue and gold, the bride's family might wear white and gold, and the groom's friends might wear black and pink, and so on. Usually at weddings, the various fabrics for the aso ebi are decided by the bride, and are then announced to all the guests months in advance so they can prepare their outfits. Guests are usually expected to buy the aso ebi from the bride, but close friends and family members and certain prominent individuals may be presented with the aso ebi as a gift. Aso ebi for parties and funerals are generally simple, but aso ebi for weddings may involve many complex changes with entirely different aso ebi for different days of the wedding, and for the reception.
Some people view about the cost associated with aso-ebi. Some brides and family members purposely increase the price of the aso-ebi fabric to a ridiculous amount to cover the wedding cost. They don’t mind the price hike provided it’s a small negligible amount for the quality being sold. However, if you triple the price of a low quality $15 Ankara fabric in order to make a profit,then they have a problem. This is even before adding on the sewing cost. Either cut down the wedding cost or wait till you get on the dance floor to make your money back but don’t overcharge people for a fabric to make a profit or cover wedding costs. So if they decline buying your aso-ebi, this might be the reason.