Friday, November 11, 2011

Latvian Traditional Costume

The Latvian national costume is basically the traditional festive outfit of peasants, craftsmen, fishermen, and other ordinary folk as worn in the 19th century, approximately up to the 1870s.  

The basic element of the traditional costume is the shirt, which is an undergarment and an over-garment. Women’s shirts were long, coming down to under the knee and serving both as a blouse and a petticoat. Over the shirt, the women put skirts, bodices, jackets; whereas men wore a vest and a short jacket or a longer or shorter overcoat.  

The full outfit was not thinkable without a headdress: a crown for girls from their teenage years to the day of their marriage and a hat or a headscarf for married women; the men’s hat wearing was not so strictly regulated.

A part of the costume was also knit woolen or cotton lace socks and black flat heel shoes (in places – leather pastalas), for men sometimes boots. The shirt was closed by one small brooch or several ones, the big brooches were used to keep the cape in place.

Coat of Arms, city of Saulkrasti, Latvia.


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