Thailand avaSome people say that most Asian costumes are so much alike that you can’t really tell the difference between their clothing cultures. In a sense, they are right – some neighboring Asian countries have very similar national outfits. But they are definitely not identical. To prove that point, we’re offering you a short info and photos of the traditional female costumes of Southeast Asia: Brunei, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Cambodia avaAsian countries have a lot in common, especially in traditional clothing. Of course, their cultures vary pretty much, but national costumes are often very similar. We'd like to tell you about five interesting Asian countries and their traditions in clothing. Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, and Brunei. Can you name their national attire? After reading this article, you will.

Bangladesh avaEvery traditional dress culture has its secrets and staggering facts. And that’s so interesting to explore these most unique and telling things about certain national costume! Much more so than to just learn what garments are traditional, how they’re called, and how to wear them properly. So, let’s look at the most surprising and probably even shocking for somebody facts about Bangladeshi clothing culture and traditional attire.

Jamdani avaOne of the most delicate and beautiful fabrics in the world, hand-woven on a loom, is a Jamdani – traditional muslin cloth of Bangladesh. This fabric is used today to make sarees, which serve as the folk clothing in this country. What’s interesting about Jamdani? For example, it takes 2 weavers to work simultaneously on one loom. Also, the craftsmen don’t draw their patterns before weaving – they, like, improvise.

Kira avaWomen in Bhutan wear modest and elegant clothing. And the main garment is called the “kira”. It is an ankle-long woven and stitch fabric dress worn by the local women. Let’s see how to put the kira and other elements of Bhutanese traditional costume on. Including typical Bhutanese jewelry pieces. The cut and design of various traditional clothing articles of Bhutan are rather unique, you can see some common features in these garments.

female avaBhutanese female folk attire is rather feminine-looking and easy to wear. Though, draping the dress properly can be a bit tricky. As many Asian national outfits, the dress is tight-fitting and visually elongate the woman’s body, making the female appear taller than she really is. To put on the traditional women’s costume of Bhutan, you’ll need only 5 items – garments and accessories. Let’s find out which and how to wear them.

gho avaBhutanese men’s folk costume is charismatic and unusual. You definitely notice the shoes – beautifully adorned works of art. But the whole attire sure will draw a look. It consists of an under jacket called “tego”, a robe called “gho”, a fabric belt called “kera”, a large silk scarf called “kabney”, and boots called “tshog lham”. We would like to show you these garments and the whole costume and add some curious details about it.

Cambodian folk dress avaMen and women in Cambodia wear a traditional garment for the lower body called “sampot”. There are many variations of this skirt – sampot chang kben, sampot charobab, sampot lbaeuk, etc – depending on the design, wearer’s status, purpose of the attire, and so on. A sampot has been widespread in Southeast Asia since the 1st-6th century A.D. And even today, Khmer men and women continue to wear sampots for special occasions or in daily life.

Krama avaOne of the most symbolic and favorite Cambodian pieces of traditional clothes is the checkered scarf called “krama”. It is an amazing multifunctional and very handy item, so it’s no wonder krama became so popular among Cambodians. You can see it everywhere in the streets, on men, women, and children, wrapped around heads, necks, waists, used to carry goods and babies, etc. Although, a krama is not just a fashionable accessory, it’s a symbol of the Khmer kingdom and what differs the Khmer from their neighbors.

Cambodian folk dress avaCambodian folk dress and Khmer folk dress is the same because the Khmer people are the native inhabitants of the Cambodia. 97% of Cambodian population are Khmer. So, let’s find out what are the traditional garments worn by the Khmer people. Actually, their folk outfits are so interesting because it’s one of a few cultures where the male and female traditional garments look very similar. Especially, the bottom piece called “sompot”.

Cambodian textile avaCambodian traditional silk ikat weaving was on the brink of extinction when a Japanese craftsman Kikuo Morimoto found out about it and decided to master this craft. He created a community where artisans from different regions of Cambodia live, work, and teach. This is a story that shows us that the proverb “No man is an island” is wrong – one person can influence the whole country’s culture. Every single artisan matters in the context of traditional crafts.

Dagestan avaDagestan is one of those regions in the Caucasus that are so rich in clothing traditions. The folk outfits here were bright, multilayered, and densely embellished. The clothing customs in this area can easily surprise you. For example, have you heard about false sleeves being used as pockets or actual tiny pockets inside the coifs? What about trousers sewn from several different types of fabric – visible and invisible part – to prolong the life of this garment and save the family budget?

Chinese changshan avaThe history of this particular Chinese garment is a bit complicated. The thing is, the changshan robe was brought to China when the Manchus conquered the country and established their rules in everything, including clothing. Chinese men were forced to wear the Manchu hairstyle and traditional dress – the alternative was death. But with time, this formal robe became favored by the locals and gradually turned into the common outfit for weddings, celebrations, official meetings, and even was used as burial attire.

Taizhou mummy avaThis exceptional mummy from China accidentally found by road workers is unique because there are very few mummies around the world preserved as well as this one. She was a high-status Chinese woman and, according to her attire, lived during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Among the most impressive items of the mummy’s apparel are a set of shoes with upturned toes, a large jade ring, and original silk clothes (while silk seldomly survives burial, as it is a very fragile fabric).

dragon robe avaIn Chinese culture, the images of dragons are among the most popular and significant symbols. And it had been like this for centuries. We see various dragons depicted on 17th-century imperial and ceremonial robes, garments from the 18th and 19th centuries, and on contemporary Chinese clothing as well. But why dragons and what does this symbol mean? Let’s have a brief look at the Chinese history of clothing and find out more about so-called Chinese “dragon robes”.

cosplay skateboarder avaThe cosplay skateboarder became a real YouTube star recently. He’s a Chinese young man making lovely skateboard performances dressed in traditional clothes and other striking costumes. When skateboarding, he wears Chinese traditional outfits, various cosplay costumes, military uniforms, Chinese opera costumes, and even women’s everyday hanfu (female flowing skirts look wonderful when he does tricks) – a whole variety of different eye-catching ensembles. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should watch this video asap.

Hmong hat avaThe women of Hmong and Miao origin wear this headdress with their national costumes. Of course, there are several sub-ethnic groups that belong to Miao and Hmong, but this particular headpiece is one of the most widespread hats among the local communities. It is bright, eye-catching, and, at the same time, rather cheap to make, so women love it. Also, it’s a distinctive feature that marks people of Miao and Hmong ethnic groups and helps them know each other among so many other minorities of China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and other Asian countries where these people live.

Hanfu reaction avaThese days, hanfu, the folk outfit of China, is in trend. A lot of Chinese young people started to wear traditional dress in public in day-to-day life. But will it change the attitude of ordinary people around them? And, in general, how do the Chinese usually react to youngsters wearing hanfu? Do they support or judge it? Here is a cool experiment – three volunteers put hanfu on and went out in the streets of Shanghai to see the reaction of locals. And some of the respondents’ answers might surprise you.

Chinese hairpiece avaThe Chinese always estimated their beautiful thick and strong hair. In ancient times, women would never cut their hair short unless it’s the only means to survive. And during many Chinese ruling dynasties, fashion dictated that large hairstyles and ornate headdresses were worn. Many of these hairdos needed false hair inserts and various hairpins to hold everything in place. So, where did they get the wigs and hairpieces if no one was selling their own hair?

Mandarin collar avaModern Chinese folk clothing usually has a standing collar or so-called “Mandarin collar”. But this style wasn’t always present in China’s national costume. For centuries, the Chinese wore outfits with crossed collars, which transformed into standing collars with time. How and when did it happen? And what are the difficulties of wearing such a collar? – you won’t believe it, but there are some! Read about it below. Also, there’s a fine tutorial on Ming dynasty lady’s costume wearing.

Hanfu avaYoung people in China today are returning to the traditional Hanfu – folk clothing of Han ethnic group, which makes up almost 92% of the country. The local youth even created the Hanfu movement, aimed to renew the usage of traditional clothing by people. Many of the Chinese believe in conspiracy theories about a secret Manchu (Chinese minority) plot to usurp the Han Chinese. But conspiracy theories or not, the Hanfu movement helps to keep and popularize ancient-old clothing traditions, and that’s good for Chinese culture.

Miao silver2 avaThe Miao people are known far outside the Chinese border because of their ancient traditions and their strong desire to preserve those customs. They still wear their folk costumes and striking silver accessories, especially for their weddings. The Miao wedding is something totally special. Not that often you can see 12-13 kg of silver jewelry on a bride, right? The Miao traditional wedding headdresses are wonderful – large, intricate, and very skillfully made.

Chinese Hanfu avaChinese official national costume is called “hanfu”. It had 4,000 years of development, changes, and improvement. That’s why there are about 15 different designs of hanfu, and each one seems more elegant and good-looking than the other. Unfortunately, today the majority of Chinese don’t use their traditional clothes or even don’t know much about it. So this ancient magnificent culture might be forgotten one day in the future.

Da Xiu Shan avaDid you know that back in Ancient China men actually wore dresses? But what's really interesting about Chinese culture is that throughout every dynasty in Chinese history, the style of clothing would adapt to the new dynasty and will last until the end of that dynasty. So, we can easily tell what time it belongs to by the vintage outfit’s design, color, and adornments.

Hmong headdress avaToday, we’ll show you how to wear one of the traditional headdresses of the White Hmong people. This headwrap is rather simple but very elegant and cute. It accentuates the exotic features of these women. This variation of a turban, used by the Hmong, is embellished with beautiful traditional embroidery that adds a hint of authenticity to it.

Tibetan style embroidery avaWhy are many folk crafts dying these days? One of the reasons is that handmade products are more expensive than factory-made, mass-produced things, so people tend to buy cheaper clothes and décor. But handmade products are unique and certainly much more interesting than manufactured ones. That’s why lots of people around the world make a business on handicrafts. In Tibet, there is a company that specializes in Tibetan traditional embroidery and is very profitable. It earns about $163,000 per year.