Mexican national clothing is very bright and beautiful. Actually, there are many different designs of traditional costume. Some of them are used for celebrations and holidays, some – for ceremonies, some – for festivals. The main characteristics of Mexican national attire are: sun protection (that’s why sombrero has such a wide brims and the clothing itself is made of natural materials), brightness (the fabric for garments is mostly colorful and heavily embroidered; a lot of colorful ribbons are used), and moderate modesty (the clothing is elegant, not shameless or vulgar at all; skirts are long, blouses are delicate; flowers are often used to beautify the costume, hairdo and headdress).
Traditional Mexican men’s costume has changed very little during centuries. But we can’t say the same about women’s clothing. Most of costumes were formed by mixing the culture of Native Americans and European people (mostly Spanish new settlers).
The national clothing of Mexico is made of various fabrics: wool, cotton, silk, agave, and bark. Usually the colors of traditional dress are red, brown, green and yellow. Mexicans used to dye their clothes with natural components, but today they don’t have to do that.
Traditional Men’s clothing
The most popular and well-known men’s pieces of clothing in Mexico are sarape, charro suit, sombrero, guayabero, baja jacket, and poncho. Sarape is a vibrantly colored garment with a fringe. It is used as a shawl-like coat and also as a blanket. Charro suit is a special beautifully embroidered suit which is worn on the Day of the Dead. Sombrero is a Mexican hat with a wide brim. This hat is made of straw or heavy felt. It protects the body from the sun. This part of clothing is the most recognizable around the world. Guayabero is a lightweight shirt or suit which is used both as a casual and formal dress. It is made of cotton and very often is decorated with heavy embroidery. Guayabero is perfect attire for Mexican heat.
Baja jacket is a Mexican hooded shirt which is very popular among Mexican and American youth. Mostly men wear it, but women sometimes also do. It is loved by hippies. Baja jacket usually is rather warm, it has a hood and a large pocket situated on the belly. Baja jacket is often colorful, with striped pattern and looks very youthful. Poncho is one of the typical Mexican pieces of clothing that is well-known and loved all around the world. It is a warm outerwear. There are many different variations of poncho. For example, classical poncho is a simple piece of cloth with a hole for the head; it doesn’t have sleeves, but sometimes has a hood. Rainproof poncho is fitted with fasteners for the sides or has openings for the arms. It is more typical for men to wear poncho, but some women use it too. We could dedicate the whole chapter to Mexican shoes, but we’ll make it short and tell you only the main information. There are several types of traditional Mexican men’s shoes: huaraches, Mexican pointy boots.
Traditional Women’s clothing
The most popular and well-known women’s pieces of clothing in Mexico are huipil, quechquémitl, rebozo, Mexican skirts (they have various names in different regions – enredo, chincuete, posahuanco, refajo, enagua). Huipil is a sleeveless tunic, made from cotton or wool. It is worn with a skirt. The design of this piece depends on a region, beliefs, marital status and so on. Huipil is one of the most popular women’s clothing in Mexico. Quechquémitl is a festive kind of poncho. It is worn for parties, holidays and festivals. Quechquémitl should be handmade from handwoven cloth. Also it is often heavily embroidered. It is very colorful and beautiful.
Rebozo is a shawl/scarf made from cotton, wool, or silk. The color and pattern of rebozo represent the region and community. This piece of Mexican traditional costume is used not only as clothes, but also to carry products and goods, even babies. Mexican skirts can be ankle-long or knee-long. They are made from cotton, wool, silk and lace. Very often they are wide, bright and embroidered. Mexican women also like blouses very much. There is a great variety of blouses. But usually they are beautifully decorated with lace, beads, colorful patterns, and embroidery.