Would it be fun if we all spoke, thought and dressed alike? While variations create differences, these differences are also exciting as it provides us with a better chance for exploration and experimenting with other cultures. One of the key factors that distinguishes each culture is their colourful and unique clothing heritage from their own motherland which is a symbol of pride and beauty for each. Let me run you through some of the best traditional outfits from around the world, though none is better than the other.
12. Traje De Flamenca
This beautifully decorated traditional dress is worn by the Flamenco dancers of Spain during their dances and performances. This costume is usually made in bright colours such as red or yellow or even blue although it even comes in plain or polka dots as well. The dress reaches almost to the knees and is added up with ruffles on the skirt and sleeves of the dress such that it can either be worn as a dress or as a top and skirt. With the ruffled look it acquires with adornment, the dancers’ performance turns even more charismatic and charming.
11. Baju Kurung
The Baju Kurung rose to popularity during the Islamisation of Malaysia back in the 1970s and 1980s. It is a traditional dress of Malay and is the national dress of Brunei and Malaysia. It is also worn during traditional events in Singapore and Thailand where a lot of Malays live. Because of its closed structure and loosely stitched outlook which covers the body, the Baju Kurung is also known as the ‘enclosed dress’.
This long T-shaped robe originally belongs to Japan and is worn by both the Japanese men and women during their traditional or cultural events and and as a wedding attire as well. These robes are characterised by wide and long sleeves on both the sides and are made in all vibrant colours. Although popularly worn by women, the kimono is also worn by men during special occasions and during tea ceremonies. The attire marks an important part of the Japanese culture and tradition when worn during important festivities.
9. Ao Dai
The Ao Dai is a national costume of the Vietnamese and ‘AO’ means the upper part of the outfit while ‘dai’ means ‘long’. It is mostly worn by the Vietnamese women to all their traditional and formal events and represents their feminine beauty in a great way. This outfit is tight and made completely of silk material and is an important marker of their culture.
This 4 to 9 yards long costume is worn by women and basically means a piece of cloth draped over the body in different ways and styles. Saris are usually worn by the women of India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Burma. The sari is worn over a petticoat and a blouse stitched either in half or full sleeves and comes in a wide variety of materials such as cotton, silk, chiffon etc. and is decorated with different colours and designs.
7. Tricana Poveira
This traditional outfit was popularised by the Portuguese city of Povoa de Varzim and is a sign of the Portuguese traditional fashion and culture. This is worn by women who are popularly known as the Tricana Girls. Though it started out as a mainstream fashion dress code, it eventually died out with the changing culture, styles and fashions tastes. Today, it is only worn by women during their traditional events and also during international events and parades.
The Dirndl was initially worn as a uniform by the Austrian servants in the 19th century, and was later adopted by the high-class Austrian populace as a fashion costume. The Dirndl is a skirt that is cut in a slightly circular manner and reaches below the knees. It is usually worn by the women of Austria, Switzerland, Germany and Liechtenstein and is characterised by a long skirt, shirt, bodice and an apron. Since they are made with warm materials such as velvet, wool, thick cotton and linen, the Dirndls are in great demand during the winter seasons. Even though they look simple and plain, expensive materials such as silk and other hand printed fabric goes into its making, which speaks for the high expense of this attire.
A popular outfit among the Chinese men and women, the Cheongsam is also known as the ‘Mandarin Gown’. The one worn by the Chinese women are called as Cheongsam and that by the men are called as ‘Changshan’. The Cheongsam was created in the 1920s and taken up as a fashion statement by the middle class and the high class populace of China. This one piece body hugging gown which goes down till the toes were worn by the socialites and style icons and today it stands as the traditional costume of China.
Worn as a formal wear during occasional parties, festivals and weddings, the Muumuu has its origin from the Hawaiian clothing heritage. The Muumuu offers a classy look to women and some of them who are involved with the hotel industry also opt for this attire at work. The Muumuu is loose and has sleeves which hang a little loosely from the shoulders.
3. The Sampot
A popular garment worn even today among the lower class men and women of Cambodia, this national garment is similar to the Sarong Ron by the neighbouring Laos and Thailand only it comes with slight variations. Measuring about half a meter long, the two ends are sewn together to produce a tubular garment worn over the lower half of the body and extending till the ankles. A knot of excess cloth is worn to secure it at the waist. Depending on the wearer’s social class and gender, the Sampot comes in various colours, materials and dimensions.
This traditional Spanish outfit dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries when they were an important popular Spanish colonial dress. Today it is mostly worn by the Spanish Latin Americans. Popularly worn during traditional festivals and events, the Polleras are big one piece skirts from different types and kinds of materials though mostly they are made from silk and cotton dresses. Beautifully crafted and embroidered with animal and floral designs, the Polleras represent a prime part of the folk culture of the Spanish people.
1.Albanian traditional dresses
Being dominated by invaders since the Middle Ages, the Albanian clothing heritage has multiple attires to boast of with each of its 12 administrative counties having their own traditional costumes. A common feature among all these attires is the vibrancy in colour and richness of design. The skirt-like garment called the ‘Fustanella’ is a classic male dress of Albania, which is complemented with a long trouser worn on the lower part of the body, known as ‘Triq’, although in other parts of Albania a different type of pant called ‘Corape’ is also worn by the men. The ‘Xhaqete’ is yet another traditional dress worn by the Albanian men all over Albania, with a belt which is called ‘Brez’. The Albanian women traditionally wear clothes that are bright, colourful, elegant and decorative in design. They are known all over the Balkan region for their richness in traditional outfits and one of the favourite attires of the Albanian women include the ‘Xhubleta’, which is an undulating, bell- shaped folk skirt.
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