A traditional dress of any country or community showcases the blend of art, culture, tradition, and lifestyle as a whole. They are simply a timeline of generations living and advancements till this day and age. Most of the national dresses are the chosen traditional dress in Asia for Asian countries. The same, however, we can’t say about every country though. These beautiful dresses encompass the nature, resources, and skills of the tailors living in that nation. Some of these might be everyday attire while others can be seen at festivals and other special occasions.
Traveling for meeting new people and knowing their culture is the most preferred goal of modern traveling. People want to see more of the world and experience it from close. Traditional dress and ornaments tell the story of locals and are the first impression of any visitor to witness. Some of these dresses are widely used while others are at the risk to be replaced by modern western clothing soon. Here, we focus the light on some of the best traditional dresses in Asia.
1. Kimono, Japan
The iconic Japanese dress which jumps into most people’s mind when the debate is for the best traditional dress is Kimono. While the basic shape hasn’t changed in centuries, designs, proportions, and add-ons of different eras separate different styles of Kimono. The vibrant colors and intricate styles one look and you’ll definitely want to try a Kimono. While western clothing has eradicated the daily use of Kimono, its customs are maintained with the dress for different ceremonies, festivals, and occasions.
2. Deel, Mongolia
A beautiful traditional dress primarily the Mongols and other tribes of Mongolia wears it. Different local materials are used to decorate and materialize this iconic Mongolian dress. Deel is a large overcoat worn by both men and women during festivals and other occasions. Every tribe has a unique twist around the chest region to separate them from others. A large sash or leather belt completes the Deel. Mongolia, being one of the least explored nations in Asia, holds this lovely traditional dress reflecting their lifestyle and culture.
3. Gho and Kira, Bhutan
Gho and Kira
The traditional national dress for Bhutanese Men is Gho and for Bhutanese women is Kira. These dresses were from the seventeenth century. It remains unchanged throughout all these years. Bhutan is a country believing in organic products and relies on Nature. Gho and Kira show the simplicity and connection to the nature of the Bhutanese people. Unlike other nations, if you are in Bhutan you are likely to see more locals wearing Gho and Kira. Try these yourself, and feel the Himalayas in their soul as well.
4. Hanfu, China
One of the well-known and documented traditional dresses originating from China is Hanfu. The Han Chinese have worn and beautified this magnificent dress for centuries with elegance and comfort. A simple shirt or robe is joined for the upper part, with a long skirt below. As simple as it sounds, the intricate designs and styling in these results in some of the finest clothing of this era. Western media mainly highlights Cheongsam or Qipao as the queen of Chinese clothing but as far as tradition goes Hanfu is more common for both males and females. Hanfu has been a popular choice among young Chinese girls in this period of the 21st century as well.
5. Chut Thai, Thailand
Literally, the meaning of Chut Thai is the Thai outfit. Thai Men, women, and children all wear this beautiful bi-colored dress. A blouse, Pha Biang (a type of shawl), and Pha Chung Hang (Wraparound trousers) complete this dress. For men, a Raj Pattern shirt replaces the blouse. At first glance, it might not look that appealing but couples wearing Chut Thai give it a complete look. Many people still prefer to wear this ravishing dress on special occasions and the sight of the whole community in Chut Thai is one to enjoy.
6. Baju Kurung, Malaysia
Baju Kurung is the national dress of Malaysia. Malay women traditionally wear it. For a long time, with different variations and designs, school and government uniform used it as well. From simple to intricately-made Baju Kurung makes any woman beautiful and elegant. Translating as the ‘enclosed dress’, this traditional dress has seen itself from the main nation of Malaysia to different versions in the Indonesian islands. Its equivalent for males is Baju Melayu with a long sleeve shirt and cotton skirt-type adornment below. Simple but beautiful, such is the alluring design of Baju Kurung.
7. Daura Suruwal and Gunyo Cholo, Nepal
Daura Suruwal and Gunyo Cholo
if you have ever tried wearing DauraSuruwal and GunyoCholo, the best way to define it as gracefully comfortable. DauraSuruwal is the national dress for men while GunyoCholo is for women. It is almost reincarnated in modern fashion in the past decade with modern western clothing gradually dominating the market. If you are in Kathmandu, you can see these clothes on special occasions, marriage ceremonies or cultural programs.
Haku Patasi Newari Dress
Apart from this the Bakkhu and Kitycow of the Sherpas, Haku Patasi and Tapalan Suruwa of the Newars, and Tharu dress are other beautiful traditional dresses in Nepal among many others.
8. Kebaya, Indonesia
One of the most design rich traditional dresses in the world is Kebaya. Coming from the royalty of the Indonesian kingdom, this beautiful dress is traditionally accompanied by beautiful ornaments adding on to its beauty. This dress is a tight-fit blouse wore with a Sarong or Kemben. Although originated in Indonesia, it is now popular even outside like Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia, and even the Philippines. If you are looking for a beach vacation in Indonesia, try mixing some cultural trips to include Kebaya.
9. Hanbok, Korea
A semi-formal Korean dress Hanbok is with variations for both males and females. Common in festivals, ceremonies, and other celebrations, Hanbok characterized by vibrant colors and linings of designs. As comfortable as Hanbok is, this dress just radiates the natural beauty of the person wearing it. Additionally, you can match different colors symbolizing your thoughts and wishes to the world. You can be in Korea for Hanbok Day (October 21) for observing different beautiful Hanboks. Try one yourself and experience the beauty of traditional dress in Korea.
10. Ao Dai, Vietnam
The national dress of Vietnam Ao Dai is one of the most fashionable traditional dresses in Asia. Both males and females used to wear in the early period but now this dress if most commonly worn by women. It is a long and beautiful split tunic dress worn over trousers made of silk. This dress started from the royal courts of the 18th century and slowly began appealing for the common people. Numerous fashion magazines and artists have promoted this beautiful dress in the past century. Although Ao Dai is popular in the overseas Vietnamese communities, for an original experience, be in Vietnam during special occasions.
11. Chapan, Kazakhstan
This traditional Kazakh coat Chapan is worn over a casual dress and is made up of fabrics from the mountains of Kazakhstan. The designs are some of the most beautiful and gives a fantastic look to anyone wearing it. Chapan in recent years has blown in the winter fashion industry. Apart from Kazakhstan, Chapan is well adored and used as primary winter wear in Central Asia.
Traditional clothing of different countries is beautiful on their own rights. While some of these were made for the appeal others might have been ideal for the quality of the environment that they were used. Hence, wrapping up we adore and cherish the culture and tradition of every country in this world. In your next visit here try taking a picture in these fantastic dresses and know the locals’ feel better.