Of the traditional clothing of the European continent, the regional costumes for women stand out, with their bright colors, floral prints and characteristic hand embroidery. The way Europeans dress for parties or special occasions dates back in many cases to before the XNUMXth century, although today it is heavily influenced by modern Western style.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

Article Index

What is the typical European clothing for men and women like?

Nordic countries

In Northern Europe or Northern Europe we find all the Nordic countries, where low temperatures and cold weather have determined the style of their traditional clothing. So in Norway we talk about costume (in plural: Bunader), whose original design dates from the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries.



El costume It is characterized by its embroidery, usually with floral motifs, and the scarf that the woman wears tied around her head. In addition, they cover their shoulders with a shawl to protect themselves from the cold. As an accessory they usually wear silver or gold jewelry. It is used during the regional festivals of May 17, at weddings or other popular celebrations.

If we move to Iceland, there they have three main types of wardrobe:

  • El Skautbuningur o Faldbuninger, used in festive periods
  • El Peysuföt, a simple and comfortable outfit made of wool in dark tones (black skirt and cardigan with velvet trims)
  • El Upphlutur, for daily use and characterized by its shiny gold colored bodice

El Skautbuningur, along with another call Kyrtill, was specially designed for women in the XNUMXth century. He Faldbuninger, whose name literally means hemmed suit, was used between the s. XVII and XIX, and consisted of a hat in the shape of a curved leaf, while the fabrics of the dress were colorful and decorated with gold embroidery. They combined it with silver belts.

En Denmark, the clothing is distributed among its different regions. On the island of Lolland, a men's garment that was once used to carry out farm work is typical. It consisted of a white hat, a striped vest in shades of green and orange, a white shirt, beige pants and white socks.

The embroidery making technique called Hedebo It is the one usually used to make the most popular costume in the country. Its colors are white, black and red. The men's includes a red hat and vest, dark blue pants and white socks.

Other Danish regions whose costumes also attract attention are:

  • Ærø: the clothes are adapted to the climate, so women usually wear a straw hat that helps them endure the long days of harvest. It also includes a neckerchief, a black closed-neck vest, a green apron with a Scottish print, a white shirt under the vest, and a skirt.
  • Copenhagen: In the coastal areas of the Danish capital, sailors wear a suit where the predominant color is red, in addition to black and white.
  • Amager: the most characteristic costume dates from the mid-XNUMXth century and was used by high society to go to church on Sundays. In the case of women, the colors that form it are two: red and black. It consists of a black cap and a red pleated apron, as well as a handkerchief with floral motifs in both colors, a black blouse and a black hair scarf.

El finnish traditional costume for women consists of a colorful long skirt that reaches the feet. On top of it, a kind of white or khaki apron is added, while the top part is a long-sleeved shirt with a wide neck covered by a red or plaid vest.

En Sweden, the typical clothing is known by the name of Nationella dräkten, this is, national costume. It was designed by King Gustav III and began to be used around 1778 by the nobility and the middle class. Its purpose was to promote the consumption and import of luxury textile products.

British islands

The British Isles comprise the territory occupied by Great Britain and Ireland, as well as several nearby smaller islands. The United Kingdom is made up of four nations: Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Although due to its proximity it may seem not, the folklore and traditional clothing of each of these countries are very different.

De Scotland, the most famous suit in the world is the famous kilt, characterized by the fact that men wear skirts. It is also used in Ireland, although to a lesser extent. It is used mainly on special occasions, such as weddings, graduations and conventions of this type. He kilt It stands out for its typical tartan print.

Historically, it is said that the color of the tartan differentiated one clan from another in Highlands. Back then it was called feileadh mor and consisted of a tunic about 5 meters long that was gathered and tied around the waist. Currently, it measures 8 m and consists of a pleated fabric.

As for England, the truth is that one cannot speak of a "regional costume" as such. However, the clothing of the Morris dancers it is possibly the one that most represents English folklore. For Morris dance or Morris dance, a group of dancers performs the choreography with instruments such as sticks, kerchiefs or swords.

There are six different styles, so the costume will change depending on the exhibition:

  • Cotswold: between 6 and 8 members dance with handkerchiefs or sticks, accompanied only by movements that they do with their hands. It is typical of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire.
  • Border: the dancers have their faces painted in black and the clothes are simple, sometimes even made of paper. They do not wear a scarf and it is typical of the border areas with Wales. In the following video we can see what exactly it consists of:
  • Sand- Typical variant from South Durham and Yorkshire, with 8 members using wooden swords. The clothes are white, with a red fabric that is crossed along the torso from the shoulder to the waist.
  • North West: Currently, the most common is that dancers wear clogs, although it also admits boots or shoes. They can be men, women or children, and wear pompoms or bells. It is danced in different areas of the north of England.
  • Mumming: The members wear homemade costumes, of varied themes, but related to Christmas, since it is usually performed during these dates in the Northumberland and Durham areas.
  • Molly, Cambridgeshire dance: one of the dancers, all of them male, dresses as a woman. It used to be performed in winter for charity purposes during the Festival Whittlesea Straw Bear in 1980.

The Welsh they relate their regional costumes to the clothing that the peasantry used during the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries.

The one that attracts the most attention is that of women, which consisted of a long dress called betgwn. The fabric used to be patterned, usually scarlet red. At the top they wore a shawl and, on the head, the well-known "Welsh hat", characterized by its high crown.

The traditional clothing of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland It is the same, since a time ago they were the same territory. The first costume of Irish origin was highly influenced by Gaelic and Norse culture.

It consisted of plaid trousers in the case of men, while both sexes wore a short tunic. This dress was banned in the XNUMXth century in order for the Irish to overcome their fear of being part of the UK.

Also noteworthy is the one used by the girls to develop the traditional Irish dance, where, in addition to the costume, the hairstyle based on very marked ringlets is characteristic. Two types of shoes can be used: ghillies or "soft" and "hard."

Iberian Peninsula

In southern Europe there are Portugal, Spain and the rest of the countries located in the Mediterranean Sea, such as Andorra, Greece, Italy or Malta, among others. Undoubtedly, one of the countries where folklore stands out the most internationally is Spain, with the well-known flamenco dress or the Sevillian dress at the head.

El flamenco dress or gypsy is the one used by dancers of flamenco during their performances, and the same happens with that of Seville. However, the fame that it has been acquiring in Spanish territory has made it become a symbol of Spain in general. These are its main characteristics:

  • It is a fitted garment and long to the ankles
  • It is adorned with ruffles or faralaes both on the sleeves and on the skirt
  • Vivid colors are used for its preparation or even polka dot prints
  • It is usually complemented with a shawl, the typical Manila shawl
  • The woman wears her hair in a bun
  • The shoes are wide-heeled

In Atlantic Europe, the typical clothing of Portugal It is the one used to dance Lusitanian music, especially in the northern region of Minho. Known as Lavradeira, stands out for its wide skirt, whose objective is to allow the dancer to move more comfortably.

The Portuguese refer to this clothing with the term minhota fashion to allude to the gala dress of Viana do Castelo, which is highly reminiscent of those of Galicia (Spain).

Balkan peninsula

In the Balkan Peninsula there are countries such as Italy, Greece, Croatia, Slovenia or the Republic of Macedonia. He greek traditional costume for men, for example, it stands out for its origins, since it was used by warriors and diplomats. His name is fustanella and it is considered a male national costume.



This name is due to the white skirt of the same name, which is made with a fabric called langolia, which is sewn diagonally. The design features 400 folds to commemorate those who fought in le Greek Revolution of 1821. It is accompanied by fermeli, garment similar to the vest, which can be blue, black or brown.

El fustanella It was the official outfit of the soldiers Evzones, that is, the elite military corps of Greece. Today, it continues to be the Presidential Guard uniform, that every Sunday at 11:00 in the morning does the changing of the guard in Syntagma Square in Athens.

As for Italy, currently the country does not have an official suit as such. In any case, Italians refer to this aspect of their culture through the use of the different dresses that Italian society wore in previous centuries, especially throughout the XNUMXth century.

This can be seen during the famous Venice's Carnival, in which the participants dress in clothing that is largely reminiscent of medieval Italy. The most symbolic era is undoubtedly the Renaissance, with the popular pleated skirt and lots of volume. In the upper part, the woman used to wear a bodice for important ceremonies.

The national dress of Croatia it is very similar to that of other nearby countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and some minority communities in Montenegro, Hungary and Romania. The regional clothing can be seen above all in festivities or typical dances, such as the dance called Round.

One of the most important events in Croatian culture is the famous spring procession of the Ljelje / Kraljice or "queens" of Gorjani (Slavonia region, Croatia), declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco in 2009.

Much of the folklore of this country has roots of Austrian, Hungarian, Italian, German and Turkish origin, hence the similarity between its repertoire of typical costumes and those of these countries. The design and materials used are similar, although they vary by region.

On the other hand, in the Lika region the suit for men stands out, where the predominant color is white. They usually wear a vest in dark tones that reaches below the hip. The young women wear a man's hat and are armed with sabers representing kings or kraljevi.

Eastern Europe

Folk costumes are one of the most striking aspects of Bulgarian popular culture. Besides, her. ornamentation In the past it was used to know which family one belonged to, which region of the country it came from, etc. In short, it was a way of establishing the social position of each individual.

One of the most popular is the saya suit (outerwear), where decoration and embroidery abound, especially in the neckline and sleeves area. The main garments are: apron, shirt and belt. It was especially used in the south and southwest of Bulgaria.

El Rose festival, held in Kazanlak, in the southern Balkans, is one of the occasions where women often wear this dress. In addition, for the head and neck they make rose crowns as part of the content of the parade.

De Slovakia highlights the female suit, whose name is kroj. Traditionally, the man wore white wool pants with red embroidery. The woman wore a linen shirt or blouse adorned with multicolored ribbons and embroidery.

One of the most typical souvenirs of Hungary are his famous dolls, which are one of the best examples of what the typical wardrobe of this country is like. It is a two-piece dress: on the one hand, the flowered skirt without flare and, on the other hand, a hard corset with sleeves that reach the elbow.

The design of the dress usually includes earth colors. On her head, she wears a white cloak, with fringes and embroidered flowers. This costume can be seen on the country's religious holidays, such as Easter or Pentecost.

Vyshyvanka is the name of the Ukrainian national clothing both male and female. Its closest translation is "embroidery" and is, in effect, due to the embroidery and designs that characterize it. Its origin dates back to the XNUMXth century, when Ukraine decided to create its own patriotic clothing. It is very similar to the regional dress of Russia.

For its part, men's attire consists of wide satin pants, as well as a long-sleeved shirt, usually white with some embroidered details and fringes. As for footwear, they are usually boots to combat the cold climate of these countries.

In the Republic of Georgia, stands out above all the Chokha, men's suit used in special events such as weddings, parties or popular performances. It was the uniform of the Georgian militia of the Caucasus. Formerly, the black one represented the Georgian elite.

Central Europe

In Central Europe, two of the most notable countries for their typical clothing are Germany and Austria. He Dirndl It is the dress with which Austrian and German women are usually represented, the latter especially when they go to the Oktoberfest.

Although its origin dates back to rural areas, it began to be used by the bourgeoisie from 1870, which is why it came to be considered a haute couture garment. It is characterized by the corset and the low-cut blouse that they wear at the top.

As for men, the most characteristic thing is the so-called Lederhosen, which literally means "leather pants." It has been in use since the XNUMXth century despite the fact that it was originally used simply for work. The whole set of traditional clothing is called strive.

Scrolling to PolandThe costumes that stand out the most are those of the traditional peasant culture. As in many other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the most striking of her designs are the embroidery full of details and colors. Currently, they are more an art show than an element of the peasantry.

The Polish costume was used in its origins to attend religious, state, family ceremonies, etc., but it was especially relevant to attend the Harvest Festival, called harvest Festival in Polish. At these events, clothing demonstrated the economic and civil status of each person.

The popular attire of Czech Republic varies by region. It should be noted that its use is rare and is limited only to festivals, carnivals or popular festivals. The Blata woman's one stands out for its ostentation, where embroidery and beads are what most attract attention.

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