Traditional clothing is incredibly important to maintaining a person’s heritage, identity, and culture. Traditional clothing is a way to preserve history and tell your family’s story. Traditional dress is more than just material sewn together, it is a sacred signifier of who you are and where you have come from. Throughout history around the globe, clothing has been used to communicate status, celebrate important events, and show unity amongst people. Traditional dress is often passed down through generations, or it might be a more modernized reimagined piece that maintains the essence of the traditions of the past. From warrior headdresses to 16th-century skirts, traditional clothing has played an important role in telling us who we are. It is important to honor where we came from. Fashion pieces often hold meaning and purpose to honor your heritage. Many women around the globe are finding ways to incorporate traditional pieces into their everyday wear. By doing this, they are choosing to preserve cultural history and keep the tradition alive. Many people don’t realize, they can do this in a way that still feels fresh and current and can be a medley of influences that make up who they are today. We see this often with Indian dresses, as many women choose to take the cultural styles of the Lehengas and Sarees, and wear them in a way that feels comfortable and stylish in the 21st century. Whether you are learning more about your cultural heritage, or you are simply curious to learn more about pieces of clothing from around the world, we have done the research and compiled a short list of dress styles from around the world. We hope you are inspired.
A Saree is one of the most popular types of traditional Indian dress worn by women. A Saree is a garment of woven fabric that is arranged over the body. It is typically paired with a blouse and with a Saree skirt. The skirt is full-length and is worn underneath the saree for the purpose of holding it up around the waist. Beautifully draped over the chest and shoulder, the saree can be worn for many different occasions. Some women wear it only for special festivals and ceremonies while others find ways to wear more casual versions with different fabrics in everyday wear. Whether it is minimal and sophisticated or heavily embellished, many women are finding ways to make Indian dresses their own in a modern world while still paying special tribute to their culture and its beauty.
Known as the traditional garb of Panama, this dress dates back to 16th-century Spanish dress and is worn at many traditional festivals and celebrations. Made usually out of cotton and wool, this two-piece dress is made up of a blouse and a long skirt. This two-piece set is usually the color white and has colorful flower embroidery or adornments. It is often paired with gold jewelry and headdresses. Pollera always has big pom-poms in the front and in the back. The women typically wear shoes that are the same color as the pom-poms on their pollera. Polleras are made by hand, and women often only own two in a lifetime.
A Gomesi is a popular traditional dress worn by women in Africa, oftentimes in Uganda. A Gomesi is a colorful floor-length dress with bright fabric and a square neckline and puffed short sleeves. The dress is most commonly tied with a sash, or a kikoi, around the waist or below the hips. It also has two buttons on the left side of the neckline. A Gomesi is incredibly important and special in Ugandan culture, and the woman wearing one must act carefully and gently, and demand respect when wearing it. A gomesi can be worn at traditional functions such as a wedding, a funeral, or a church function.
4. Chut Thai
A Chut Thai is the traditional dress of Thailand. It is made up of three parts which are the pha nung, a blouse, and the sabai. The pha nung is a piece of cloth that is wrapped around the waist of the woman. The sabai is the strip of fabric that is draped across the chest of the person starting at the shoulder. In many cases, a jeweled belt is worn which helps hold everything in place. This traditional garn is known as the national dress of Thailand and is worn by the members of the royal family. Many Thai people wear this dress for formal or special occasions. Much like Indian dresses, there are ways in which fashion designers are reinventing this classic style into something that is still fashionable in today’s age. This creates a beautiful opportunity for the Thai people to honor their heritage, and feel up to trends while doing so.