In Western countries, in the 21st Century, it’s quite common to travel and notice a somewhat similar style in dressing. For example, jeans, t-shirt, short skirts, tank tops. Honestly, in my opinion, that’s a bit disappointing. I always wonder what it would be like to arrive in 19th Century Japan, or 16th Century Russia. And see how cultures can be different simply on the way people dress.
Needless to say, this is one of the things I loved the most about Asia. (Especially India and Bali): the stunning traditional ethnic wear.I could spend hours exploring local fabric shops, checking every detail of a specific embroidery and falling in love with every new piece of ethnic clothing discovered.
In India, the saree is such a strong part of local culture, that women wear it even for exercising at the park or climbing snowy mountains. As a result in this b, we are sharing 12 Ethnic Clothes Around the World.
Coming from a country with NO traditional ethnic wear of its own. Unless you consider half-naked people in the 15th Century wearing feathers all around. I’ve always envied how clothes are such a big part of a country’s identity. ‘
There a plethora of ethnic clothes in India. To begin with, our favorite is the bridal lehenga, which consists in 3 parts: a long skirt (usually A-line) called Lehenga, a cropped top called Choli, and a type of scarf called dupatta. It’s heavily embroidered and commonly in red color, the traditional color of Indian brides.
Heavy jewelry, a set of bangles and bridal (henna tattoos) on the brides’ feet and arms complete this dazzling ethnic outfit.
Saree is common Indian traditional wear for women. It’s a 9-meter fabric wrapped around on the bottom along with a tank top looking blouse. it is worn in the same way across the India. But, there are different ways and fabrics these sarees are made up of. For example, in it is popularly made with real silk. In addition to it, in the north it is usually in cotton or other lighter fabrics with prints and embroidery.
Kurtis or Salwar are also as common as Sarees. They are super comfortable and very traditional in design. Moreover, Kurtis is nowadays more common among girls and younger women.
Traditional Thai costumes are called (“Thai outfit”). Although recent, there are also several types. The formal one is called : a long tube skirt (called ) with two front pleats and a – a type of shawl that covers the top of the body, leaving one shoulder out. The sophisticated fabric is made from traditional weaving techniques.
In Japanese, kimono means “thing to wear”. Now popular in simpler versions in the Western wardrobe, the traditional kimono comprises of several layers, secured in place with a Japanese type of ribbon called obi. Socks and a geta – a mixture of flip flops and clogs give a final touch to this traditional costume.
I love how cold countries have such colourful outfits! The contrast between the pale landscapes and bright clothes is so beautiful! To begin with, Finland, traditional clothing is obviously quite warm, with European influences. And in several pieces of clothes, like a blouse, skirt, vest, jacket, apron, scarf, cap and so on.
In Mongolia, the absolute centre of attention are the headpieces. Big, colourful, sometimes beaded, their type and usage vary according to the season of the year, everyday or festive use, fashionable or for ceremonies – hats for all styles and occasions! I, there are more than 400 different styles of hats in Mongolia. The hat is worn a type of tunic called Deel, boots and silver accessories.
Romanian folk costumes change according to the different regions of the country. For example, in Transylvania or Moldova. White shirts are worn with colorful embroidered vests and skirts. These have evolved a lot since the first mentions of Romanian Clothing in history, more than 5000 years ago!
In Uzbekistan, traditional clothing is nowadays worn in rural areas or during festivities. Everyday clothes for women consists of long tunics and trousers. Red is a popular color. And clothes for special events are rich in embroideries and a 3 piece headdress. F, the headpiece, called Tubeteikas, is one of the main elements in Uzbek clothing.
The traditional Peruvian dress is a delight to the eyes! In Peru, the hat is also a popular accessory. And quite often a woman’s region can be identified from the type of hat she wears. Another traditional and regional piece is Lliclla. A shawl worn on the shoulders, fastened in the front. The handwoven skirts are called polleras, and might be worn 3 or 4 at the same time! Bright colors, embroideries, and handwoven fabrics create beautiful outfits. They contrast with the green cloudy landscapes from the Andean mountains.
Any post about ethnic clothing is not complete unless it mentions at least one African country. Africa is a huge continent with many different cultures and types of clothing and colorful prints. In Cameroon, clothing varies according to the area of the country, as the North is arid and Muslim. For example, a long oversized tunic in colorful prints and beautifully wrapped turbans of the traditional Cameroonian clothing.
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Traditional Mexican clothing is famous worldwide. Huipil, a cotton sleeveless or short sleeved tunic, is worn with colorful long skirts. Floral motifs are quite popular, worn on the hair (Frida Kahlo, anyone?). Especially embroidered on the skirts and tunics. Colorful, vibrant and unforgettable!
Palestine Clothing is also very ancient and traditional clothing in the world. Their styles were beautifully embroidered and full of vibrant colours and designs. Their costumes used to represent differences in the physical and social mobility enjoyed by men. And women in the different groups of Palestinian society.
Ethnic clothes of Ghana are world-famous for their bright colours and handmade fabrics like Kente. When it comes to ethnic clothes of the world, Ghana represents a major part of African fashion.
To read more about traditional clothes of Ghana and the cultural significance of it, do read our new article.
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