The typical costumes of all the countries of the world are related to the climate, the culture and the geography of the country they represent. All of them have a historical significance and, in most cases, are used for festivities or special occasions. Here is telling you typical costumes of the world’s five continents.
Within the American continent, the main variations between the countries of South America and Central America have to do with climate and customs. For this reason, in typical men’s clothing, fine cloth shirts and a hat to protect them from the sun tend to predominate.
The costumes of Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala are made with colorful fabrics, embroidered or with floral patterns, or even bright fabrics. The skirt or petticoat is usually of flight and the top part of the neckline.
In South America, typical costumes from Argentina stand out, such as gaucho, paisano or the dress to dance the tango, the dance par excellence of the Argentine Republic. It should be noted that the dress is the female version of the gaucho and includes a semi-flat skirt without a petticoat.
Within Peru, clothing goes hand in hand with the different races that inhabit the country. Thus, in the departments of Arequipa, Cusco, Cajamarca, Ayacucho, and Puno, among other areas of the mountains, the clothes are designed to protect themselves from the cold.
In Colombia, there is the Parque Jaime Duque, an amusement park dedicated to family recreation. Divided into several sections, one of them is dedicated to the different typical costumes of the planet, among them those of the UN countries. In it is also a collection of Barbies and more than 1,000 dolls dressed in regional costumes of the world.
In North America, the most important is the regional costumes of Mexico. For example, in Nayarit, the tradition of the Coras and Huichol Indians predominates, with their creative culture and varied craft skills. Hence, the fame of its wool garments and multi-colored symmetrical designs. Women weavers are known as Huichols as well.
The climate of the state of Tabasco has determined the dress of the Tabasco women. There highlights the flowered suit, with its light fabrics, neutral tones and elaborate designs of embroidery. The complete suit consists of a wide skirt or chintz and a white blouse embroidered with flowers of the regional colors of Tabasco (blue, green, yellow and red).
The Texan suit is probably the first one that comes to mind when thinking about the typical clothes of the United States. The cowboy outfit has its origin in the Far or Wild West, specifically in the famous Buffalo buffalo Bill. Of the suit, they emphasize the typical boots of cowboy or the famous bandana to the neck.
Finally, in Canada, the native clothing of the different indigenous groups that reside in the country. On the other hand, the uniform of the RCMP and ice hockey apparel, in which Canada has a greater number of gold medals, is very representative of the country.
From the European continent, regional costumes from Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Russi, and Holland are popular, among others. Although each nation has a typical clothing, they have in common the custom of adorning the fabrics with floral embroidery, striped patterns or any other reason.
Spanish costumes vary by regions. Emphasizes the flamenco dress as well as that of fallera, typical of the famous Fallas de Valencia. In the Basque Country, for example, it can be seen that the costumes of both men and women are related to the pastoral life and the village of the region.
The clothing of France has been constituted from the different events that occurred in its history. The women’s dress is usually characterized by earthy colors, long and decorated with floral motifs. A short-sleeved jacket and elegant shoes with shades similar to those of the suit are also common.
If you move to Italy, the traditional costume of the country dates back to the Roman Empire and the Renaissance period, hence the costumes of the Venice Carnival are designed to represent this historical period. Typical women’s clothing includes a pleated skirt and a cotton shirt. In Sardinia, for example, the typical costume is called Sardinian.
Much of the Russian culture is reflected in the typical attire for men, which highlights the shirt, which is called kosovorotka, which literally means crossed thread. Its origin dates back to the twelfth century, when men had to wear a cross on the body. Hence, it is buttoned to one side: in this way, the cross did not fall while working.
The large number of African indigenous communities, added to the long history and the varied customs that extend throughout each country, makes the list of typical African costumes practically endless.
First of all, Egypt’s clothing is probably best known for its oriental influence and the legacy that the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt left behind. Thus, the typical clothes of men is characterized by including a tunic with an opening in the upper front and reaching to the feet. The color can be from dark to neutral white.
The traditional feminine suit used to combine cotton and linen fabrics that were almost transparent, and also reached to the feet. The use of wigs and multiple cosmetics, especially make-up, was also common in both men and women. Currently, Egyptians dress very Western, although it is common to use a kind of blouse called chilava.
The tunic is not only identified with the Egyptian world, but is used by the inhabitants of most African countries, such as Nigeria. The design of this garment usually responds to a common pattern and is adorned with different embroideries. The suit as a whole is wide, a feature that helps withstand high temperatures.
Among the different indigenous tribes of Africa, the costumes of those who inhabit Kenya are striking, where both men and women predominate the bright colors related to the nature that surrounds them. It should be noted that men also wear a skirt to the knees and often decorate their heads with ribbons or handkerchiefs.
The Muslim countries are divided between Africa and Asia, although the main ones are located on the African continent, including Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Chad, Mali and Mauritania. In the Arabian Peninsula, we highlight countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar or the United Arab Emirates, among many others.
The Koran, the holy book of Islam, dictates a series of rules that must be respected when dressing, such as wearing tight clothes so that body shapes are not evident, the transparent fabric is not used, flashy or phosphorescent colors are avoided, etc.
Male clothing, on the other hand, should cover the entire body from the navel to the knee and should not use silk or gold. The clothes of men must be modest, dignified and loose, not tied to the body. In many Muslim countries, men wear a tunic daily. Other basic garments are:
- Kufiyya: it is the garment that covers the head of men and is a sign of pride for the Arab identity.
- Thawb, thobe or suriyah: is the name given to the tunics in Libya. They are characterized by being long, up to the ankles. In summer they are white, while in winter they are dark and woolen.
As for the woman, the best-known garment is the hijab, which means veil in Arabic, identified in the West with the name of Islamic handkerchief. The hijab covers the head and neck of women, and is a feminine symbol in Islamic culture, closely related to religion.
There are other types of veils, such as the niqab, which covers the entire face and only exposes the eyes. It is used by more conservative women, just like the burka. The latter covers the entire body and only exposes a small grid to allow vision.
In the case of Oceania, its numerous archipelagos and islands make the task of defining a typical costume complicated and even identifying features common to them. In any case, the climate and geography of each country have been the two most influential factors historically when it comes to establishing the costumes of each region.
The typical clothing of Australia is known as larriki and is related to people called larrikins, a group characterized by its contempt towards the Australian authorities. His clothing consists of dark colored trousers, a shirt with a long-sleeved jacket with an open collar. You cannot miss a black hat.
It is also worth mentioning the typical costumes of the Australian aboriginal peoples. Although these human groups are minority nowadays, they have managed to keep alive their ancestral culture and customs. His typical costume is characterized, more than by the garments that compose it, by the paintings of mythological beings with which they cover his body.
Moving to Tonga, the costumes of their traditional dances, such as the Lakalaka, Ma’ulu’ulu, Kailao, Soke, Me’etu’upaki or ‘Otuhaka, are also striking. In front of the tourists, the Tongan women cover their body with a kind of grease smeared at the time of dancing, so that the tips are stuck.
Traditional clothing from Asia
The traditional costumes of China and those of Japan are those that most attract the attention of the Asian continent. In the case of China, hanfu and qipao are the two most recognized garments:
Hanfu: it was the traditional clothing of the Han ethnic group, more than 3,000 years old. It has influenced the traditional clothing of other Asian countries such as Japan or Vietnam.
Qipao or cheongsam: it is a feminine dress that traditionally was made with silk. It is a comfortable and elegant garment of simple cut to allow the realization of movements with ease.
The Japanese dress par excellence is the kimono, used by women in their daily life until the first years of the postwar period. Currently, the kimono is still the quintessential outfit of the Japanese woman, although it is no longer used on a day-to-day basis, but only at weddings, ceremonies or festivals.
In the case of India, traditional women’s clothing is called sari and consists of a rectangular fabric that measures between 5 and 8 meters long by 1.2 meters wide. The sari is wrapped around the body and knotted in a special way to make it look like a dress. In addition, it is accompanied by a blouse or shirt inside.
As for the dress of the Hindu man, his suit is called dhoti and is original of Bengal and the different communities of the Ganges valley. It is a white or beige piece also rectangular, made of cotton, which is wrapped around the waist and passes both legs. It is the garment that Ghandi used daily.