All Women's Talk

78 Traditional Costumes from around the World ...

By Neecey

I’ve never really been a fashionista but have always enjoyed looking at traditional costumes. I'm fascinated by regional, cultural and ethnic distinctions that give rise to incredible costumes of great beauty (and often, practicality and comfort is not a consideration). And what's interesting is that sometimes traditional costumes seem "obvious" to their land or people and others, just not. Here are some glorious traditional costumes from around the world.

1 Poland

folk dance,tradition,festival,costume, Photo courtesy of Robert Tyszek

If you see a number of pictures together, you can see that the traditional costumes of countries defined by a region exhibit the same kind of features. The traditional dress of Poland as above, for example is similar to those of the neighboring Baltic States.

2 Russia

, Source:

Some costumes have specific significance. In Russia the kokoshnik (headdress) is an important part of traditional dress (sarafan). It is worn by married women. Unmarried women wear a povyashka, which is open at the back.

3 Mongolia

people,tradition,tribe,festival,pattern, Source: Costume of Mongolian ethnic group ...

The traditional headdress of the Ordos people - an ethnic group from Inner Mongolia (around Hohhot.)

4 China

people,performing arts,tradition,folk dance,festival, Source: Hmong-Inspired + Giveaway!

The Hmong are one of the sub groups of the Miao ethnicity. They live in Southern China, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.

5 Bali

color,clothing,dress,spring,fashion, Source: #87654321...

The traditional Balinese dress is similar to the Indian sari but has more of a sarong feel and is usually of heavier fabric.

6 Turkey

color,person,people,carnival,tradition, Source: Dance Extravaganza at the Turkish ...

So many ethnic costumes include an elaborate headdress usually containing some traditional craft work.

7 Portugal

clothing,costume,fashion,spring,carnival, Source: All sizes | Untitled | ...

And many traditional costumes are associated with dance because they were originally worn for feast days, festivals and holidays.

8 Russia

clothing,people,winter,child,costume, Source: Christina, a Khanty women with ...

The Khanty people of Western Siberia know how to dress for the cold.

9 Kurdistan

color,fashion,photo shoot,sari,abdomen, Source:

Kurdish women dressed for a traditional dance.

10 China

woman,clothing,flower,costume,tradition, Source:

A gorgeous Chinese wedding gown - red of course - topped by a gold phoenix crown.

11 Japan

person,clothing,woman,yellow,matador, Source: Okinawan

The traditional dance costume of Okinawa.

12 Kyrgyzstan

clothing,fur clothing,winter,fur,outerwear, Source: Ethnic

The fur is needed to keep warm in the winter in the mountains.

13 Peru

color,red,clothing,maroon,dress, Source: Trip!!!

The bright colors of the Andean Indians.

14 The Netherlands

flower,plant,tulip,land plant,flowering plant, Source:

The traditional costumes of the Low Countries are pretty similar. I hope she's wearing her wooden clogs!

15 China

people,carnival,festival,tradition,temple, Source: URPLE: my favorite ever

Miao women adorned (well, dripping actually) in stunning
silver jewelry.

16 Bahrain

clothing,matador,costume,fashion,tradition, Source: Adorned | Near East

Stunning gold thread embroidery on the kaftan-style gown is echoed in the headdress.

17 France

clothing,people,lady,child,costume, Source: Alsace-Lorraine 004

Embroidery and lace are the main features of traditional
dress in Alsace-Lorraine.

18 Albania

fashion,spring,dress,gown,haute couture, Source: Traditional dress of Albania | ...

There are regional variations in the Albanian national dress due to the divisional principalities that existed from the Middle Ages. (Am really loving that they have very modern manicures!)

19 Yemen

people,clothing,tribe,child,fashion accessory, Source: ـــــــــــــ طفله يخجل منها القمر ...

Silver adorns traditional costumes all around the world.

20 North Africa

clothing,costume,toy,anime,comics, Source: Nawzad Shekhany | Facebook

The Amazigh are a sub group of the Berbers, a semi-nomadic people of Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and other areas of North West Africa.

21 Pakistan

color,clothing,art,tribe,tradition, Source: Kalash

The Kalashi are a pagan tribe from Chital in North Pakistan.

22 Norway

clothing,person,costume,outerwear,tradition, Source: Blogger

Although following a similar theme, there are many variations of the traditional Norwegian wedding dress, some specific to small villages.

23 Vietnam

clothing,costume design,gown,toy, Source: Traditional Dress Vietnam

The áo dai is usually a tight fitting four or five-paneled tunic, worn over a flowing skirt or very loose pants.

24 Macedonia

photograph,woman,clothing,lady,beauty, Source: Women of the Lovely Planet-3 ...

As with many other countries, the traditional dress of Macedonia is an expression of folk art.

25 Greenland

clothing,spring,season,fashion,dress, Source: Laila Tobiassen in traditional beaded ...

Beads and heavy wool are a big part of the traditional dress of Greenland.

26 Tibet

clothing,costume,dress,fashion,toy, Source: Jewel incrusted traditional ceremonial costume ...

The significance of this costume is quite incredible. The Kampa people were mostly nomadic and they had to carry their wealth around with them, so it was usually worn. And as such, the more ornaments and jewelry worn, the greater the wealth. Common materials are gold, silver, coral, amber and turquoise.

27 The Philippines

clothing,performing arts,costume,dress,dance, Source: Women strolling

Can you see the Spanish influence? This costume is more common to the Intramuros area of Manila which was the seat of government when Spain ruled the country.

28 France

clothing,yellow,beauty,fashion,spring, Source: Bigoudène

The tall lace headdress signifies the traditional costume of Bretagne (Brittany)

29 Sweden

clothing,woman,red,people,costume, Source: muirgil's dream : Photo

I understand that in some Swedish villages the bridal costume (an example of Folkdräkt) was so expensive that it was owned by the parish and loaned out on wedding days. This one is from Rättvik.

30 India

people,camel,tribe,tradition,travel, Source: Traditional, Sumur

The gorgeous stones on the headdresses of the Ladakhi women are naturally occurring turquoise.

31 Greece

tradition,folk dance, Source: ⟰ Greece-Folk Costumes, Jewelry & ...

With so many islands (more than 1,400) traditional costumes around Greece are variations on a theme.

32 Senegal

clothing,performing arts,performance art,dance,entertainment, Source: P4012802

From simple white with intricate embroidery to something like a French courtesan would wear!

33 Tunisia

clothing,costume,dress,fashion,tradition, Source: Traditional costume: Gabes- Tunisia

The lavish outfit of a Berber bride.

34 Uzbekistan

clothing,costume,carnival,festival,tradition, Source: something clever

The national dress of central Eurasian countries (usually ending in stan!) have been subject to Russian and Asian influences.

35 Panama

Cathedral of Panama City,color,photograph,clothing,image, Source: Panameña en Pollera.

The South American country's traditional dress is called the Pollera.

36 Germany

clothing,people,child,spring, Source:

Typical dirndl skirted pinafores for the women and lederhosen for the men.

37 Faroe Islands

clothing,dress, Source: Gunnar og Maria

Owned by Denmark, the islands' national costume has a definite Scandinavian influence.


blue,clothing,dress,art,spring, Source: Traditional Dress

Lace is an important component in the traditional costumes of Spain.

39 Finland

clothing,kilt,pattern,costume, Source: Traditional Dress Finland

A colorful costume of the Sami people of Northern Scandinavia - also known as Lapps.

40 Sardinia

clothing,dress,fashion,costume,tradition, Source: Customs of Sardinia

Many villages in Sardinia have their own traditional costumes, usually exhibiting special handicrafts of the villagers.

41 India

people,carnival,tribe,tradition,festival, Source: Travel Photography Portfolio -

The Dard people are reclusive and there are only two villages in the Brokpa region of North India that are open to visitors.

42 Mexico

clothing,dress,art,spring,fashion, Source: Estilo Mexicano~Mexican Style

The traditional "China Poblana" style dress from the state of Puebla.

43 Algeria

clothing,dress,gown,sari,art, Source: nostalgerie

Like so many other countries, each region of Algeria has its version of the traditional costume.

44 Israel

person,people,temple,tradition,0,6020, Source: National Geographic Creative | Stock ...

For Western brides, it is a matter of choice as to whether to wear a veil or not. For many cultures and peoples, it's a given. This stunning example is worn by a Yemeni Jew in Israel.

45 Spain

clothing,statue,costume,llll, Source: Traje de vistas

This costume from La Alberca seems a far cry from the "usual" vision of a Spanish national dress. The heavy beading and ornamentation is more African tribal than traditional Spanish.

46 Turkmenistan

clothing,sari,formal wear,gown,abdomen, Source: Traditional dress of Turkmenistan | ...

The red is glorious!

47 China

people,floristry,flower,event,festival, Source: Antropología

So many colors in one costume. A traditional look of the Uyghur people of East and Central Asia.

48 Afghanistan

clothing,human body,festival,any, Source:

Such a rich color palette.

49 Malaysia

clothing,fashion,dress,fashion design, Source: Traditional Costume of Sabah

These gorgeous women are from Sabah, one of the two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo.

50 Kyrgyzstan

white,clothing,portrait,cap,eeeeeeee, Source: Muslim Woman Wearing Traditional Clothes ...

Muslims make up a significant proportion of the population of Kyrgyzstan.

51 Laos

people,tribe,tie, Source: Village phousath nord du pays

No matter how traditional and detailed your costume is, there’s nothing quite so comfy as a pair of flip flops!

52 Switzerland

clothing,costume, Source: Switzerland traditional dress PC

Dressing in layers for winter warmth.

53 Iran

clothing,yellow,art,textile,formal wear, Source: Fαshιση-I-zing C♄Ìℂ

It's important that we continue to appreciate traditional costumes as it keeps some handicrafts alive.

54 Southern Africa

color,art,road,wall,mural, Source: People Ndebele woman dressed in ...

The style of costume indicates she is a married Ndebele woman who make their home in Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa.

55 India

clothing,costume,carnival,festival, Source: india - zanskar

The minority ethnic groups of India rarely have saris as their major form of dress. These are women from Zanskar. Their costume is practical to allow them to clamber over the hills of Kashmir as they tend to their livestock.

56 Tahiti

dance,performing arts,yellow,entertainment,sports, Source: World Cultures

Grass skirts are reserved mainly to show tourists these days.

57 Wales

clothing,costume,folk dance, Source: Crafty Jemima: St. David's Day

The Welsh national costume - distinguished by the tall black hat and white apron - is generally only seen at festivals and fairs these days.

58 Tonga

performing arts,dance,entertainment,sports,gown, Source: Travel & Adventures: Tonga. A ...

Tongan men and women wear toga-come-sarong style dresses in traditional print - called tapa cloth.

59 Kenya

clothing,people,head,costume,carnival, Source: Kikuyu woman "traditional" dress/costume

Cowrie shells - once a form of money in Africa - are an important part of the traditional Kikuyu costume.

60 Nicaragua

performing arts,person,entertainment,dance,performance art, Source: Nicaragua - Wikipedia, the free ...

This bright costume is worn for the Mestizaje dance.

61 Austria

clothing,head,hairstyle,fashion accessory,costume, Source: Panoramio - Photo of Traditional ...

Lace, headdresses and pinafores make up the national dress of Austria.

62 Samoa

people,tribe,mythology,festival, Source: TRADITIONAL SAMOAN CLOTHES PATTERN | ...

This is the costume of a Taupou - a ceremonial hostess selected by a high chief of a Samoan village from the young girls of his household, elevated to a high rank, and charged with the formal reception and entertainment of visitors. They will usually perform a dance as a greeting ceremony.

63 South Africa

people,tribe,festival,PALE, Source: Stock Photography by Aurora Photos: ...

The Zulu are one of the peoples of Africa who make fabulous use of beads for their traditional clothes.

64 Scotland

kilt,clothing,pattern,tartan,design, Source:

Scottish families generally have a "clan" tartan.

65 Indonesia

red,people,child,dress,tribe, Source: culture

Red and gold is such a prevalent color combination in the traditional costumes of Asia.

66 India

sari,clothing,woman,blue,beauty, Source: elegant dressed,Rajasthan,India

Hennaed hands, diaphanous veil, richly embellished sari, tons of bangles, exquisite jewelry - everything we'd expect from a Rajasthani woman.

67 Brazil

clothing,cap,festival,1,1,so-, Source: World of Ethno, Woman in ...

A wonderful mix of African and Spanish influences for this beauty from Salvador da Bahia.

68 Ethiopia

color,beauty,season,spring, Source: Hot Moon Collection | Venice, ...

The women from the Afar tribe practice facial scarification which serves as a means of establishing tribal identity and a way to enhance physical beauty.

69 India

color,red,close up,art,fashion accessory, Source: EL HIEROGLYPH

The Bonda tribe is one of the oldest and most primitive in mainland India. There is only about 12,000 of them and their culture has changed little for more than a thousand years.

70 Japan

woman,clothing,person,costume,geisha, Source: フルコーデ/美しいきものの世界 - 豊富な品揃えとハイセンスな小物のコーディネートで振袖人気NO1の店

The kimono must be one of the most recognizable national costumes but to the skilled eye there are nuances between the styles for marital status and occasion.

71 Korea

photograph,clothing,man,photography,groom, Source: KOREA traditional Korean clothes_한복4

The traditional dress worn by Koreans is called a hanbok.

72 Kenya

people,tribe,tradition,dance,hand drum, Source: Massai girl adorning colourful and ...

The stunning beadwork of the Maasai women makes up a bit part of their traditional costume.

73 Palestine/Syria/Iraq

beauty,hairstyle,fashion,dress,pattern, Source: Exposicion Raíces Palestinas - Bogotá

The headdress/adornment here is usually worn with a robe called a thawb - as seen in the next picture.

74 Palestine/Syria/Iraq

clothing,sari,costume,fashion design,Dye, Source: Guide to traditional Arab Woman ...

The robe is known as a thawb.

75 Libya

comic book,art,comics,collage,painting, Source: غزل الصوف بالطريقة التقليدية فتيات ...

Seriously - can you imagine having to dress like this for work every day? Kudos!

76 Russia

person,people,tribe,lady,tradition, Source: MAKING YOU HAPPY - charcoalfeather: ...

The Itelmen are the original settlers of the Kamchatka Peninsula which is opposite Alaska. You may therefore notice similar ethnicity to the First Nation peoples.

77 USA

clothing,sleeve,dress,outerwear,costume, Source: System Error

And from Russian natives and First Nation people to the
Native Americans. This gorgeous dress dates back to the late19th century.

78 India

hindu temple,tradition,temple,carnival,festival, Source: ذهنت را باز کن

And to end, I'm sure this is what most of us imagine when we think of the costumes of India - saris in jewel colors.

We’ve come to the end of the global fashion show. We’d love to hear from readers of their own experiences of national dress. Please tell!

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