The traditional clothing for each country or culture varies. Even though it can be similar between two countries, there will always be some significant differences that set them apart.
For males, the Russian traditional clothing is a long-sleeved shirt of any color with a skewed collar, known as a Kosovorotka. Almost all the ethnic Russian groups wear this item. As for the females, the traditional clothing item is the sarafan and the poneva, a set of long jumper tops and a skirt.
In this article, we will go in-depth regarding the Russian traditional clothing for males and females.
Introduction to Russian Traditional Clothing
This section will primarily focus on what Russian traditional clothing are about and other things there is to know about it.
What is Russian clothing style?
The Russian clothing style revolves mainly around traditional costumes, which are hand-painted on linen fabric. The sarafans and blouses are sewn together and decorated with embroidery on the sides. These clothes can be customized according to your preference and size.
There are many ways to customize the costume, using pearls, gold or silver thread, or even animal skins to enhance the beauty of the clothing. The citizens usually do not wear them on regular days. Still, Russian traditional clothing can be seen more often during holidays, festivals, or carnivals.
Russian Clothing History
Russian traditional clothing has a rich history because it has been through many notable historical events worldwide. Russian traditional clothing started developing as a separate form in the 9th century.
To this day, it has not changed much. Right before the 18th century, noblemen and peasants were known to wear traditional clothes more than others. In 1700, Tsar Peter the Great prohibited ordinary people from wearing Russian traditional clothing in many cities, but the Russian peasantry helped preserve the beauty and richness of their traditional clothing.
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In general, Russians are mostly seen to wear heavy clothes, which are often made using fur. It is because Russia is a cold country, and people want to stay warm whenever they travel outside the home.
If you plan to visit Russia, remember to pack all your heavy clothes as it will get very chilly outside. Russian traditional clothing is also a good and fun costume to try if you want to participate in their festivals or holidays. But casually, Russians are known to wear many jackets which can be made using various materials such as fur, leather, or corduroy.
Common Russian Traditional Clothing Names:
Rubakha – It is an oversized shirt that both males and females can wear. It can be made using expensive silk or cheap linen and is usually white.
The collar of the shirt is usually embroidered to give it some designs.
Sarafan – A long dress for women. It is mainly worn over the Punakha, and they are commonly found in deep or light blue, red, wine, and white colors.
They come in plaits or striped that is gathered around the waist.
Shuba – A fur coat that has survived many centuries and is very popular all over the country because of the extreme cold weather.
Made using faux or real fur, both males and females can wear it.
Kokoshnik – A kind of headdress for women which varied depending on the marital status of women.
Unmarried women would decorate their hair with braids and flowers while married women used headscarves to hide their hair.
Kaftan – These are oversized coats worn by men and women from ancient times.
They have a lot of intricate and expensive embroidery and are manufactured using high-quality textiles.
Traditional Russian Clothing for Males:
This section will focus on traditional Russian clothing and modern clothing for males.
Russian Traditional Clothing Names for Male.
Kosovorotka – Also known as the Russian peasant or Tolstoy shirt.
These are for males and the traditional clothing is a Kosovorotka, a long white long-sleeved shirt that reaches down to the mid-thigh.
Valenki – It is a traditional Russian footwear for the winter, a felt boot.
They are made out of wool and keep the feet warm. They are worn along galoshes so that the soles stay protected.
Shtany – A pair of trousers worn with a loose top. These trousers have a loose cut that stays tucked into the boots. They can also be found in a shorter version but are not as much common.
Shawl – Russian shawls are known all over the world for being elegant and for being the finest quality.
These usually have a lot of patterns that are mostly inspired by modern design concepts.
Headscarves – Russian headscarves are made using two types of cotton, serge or cambric.
Both are bright and have a festive mood, which is perfect for the summer seasons, and have no fringe.
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Modern Russian Clothing for Males:
1. Russian Jacket –
Long and thick jackets are ubiquitous among males and females because of the extreme cold in their country.
Leather or heavy cotton jackets are very common because those are preferable.
2. Russian Trousers –
Most males in Russia can wear a pair of trousers from well-known brands daily.
They prefer trousers over any other type of pants because of the comfort and how easy it is to move around in them.
Russian Hats – Almost any hat, most made using fur, is often worn by men on the streets to prevent the cold from reaching their heads directly.
Hats have become a primary object in their everyday outfit.
Russian Coats – Besides jackets, coats are another clothing item that men prefer because of the heavy cold in Russia. They are usually long that cover almost the entire body.
Even though these are lightweight, they can withstand the cold.
Russian Jeans – One of the most common clothing items that are worn all over the world by either gender.
Russian men can be often seen wearing jeans because a lot of them are manufactured locally. Moreover, they look nice!
Traditional Russian Clothing for Females
This section will focus on traditional Russian clothing and modern clothing for females.
Russian Traditional Clothing Names for Females:
Sarafan – Sarafans are long jumper dresses with loose fitting. These are worn mostly during Russian folk dancing and folk songs.
Other than that, females in rural areas can be seen wearing these more often.
Poneva – A long, loose skirt that can be worn with sarafans. These are commonly found in various colors and wrapped around the hips using a cloth belt.
The skirt can be striped or has plaits which are gathered using a string.
Rubakha – Traditional Russian shirt with a tunic style that has been around since Slavic times. Both males and females can wear it.
These are usually embroidered and also come with an attached belt at the waist.
Kokoshnik – Married women cover their hair under a headdress, a richly decorated scarf, and special clothing.
For everyday use, the headdress is a bonnet that is made up of linen or cotton.
Jewellery – Russian women are very drawn to dressing up and they love to adorn themselves with jewels.
Pendants, necklaces, rings, and earrings are worn along with Russian traditional clothing.
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Modern Russian Clothing for Females:
Russian Sweaters – Sweaters of any kind can be worn by many females. These are preferred for formal or informal events because of their comfort and affordability.
Moreover, they are found in various styles that attract most females’ attention.
Russian Jeans – Females in Russian prefer jeans over other pants because they are versatile and look good with any other clothing item.
Also, Russia makes denim products that are affordable and readily available in the market.
Russian Coat – Coats of any kind, mostly fur, are preferable for females because they look stylish and elegant and provide immense warmth during harsh weather.
These look stylish and can be incorporated into any outfit.
Russian Boots – To walk through the big piles of snow, boots are one of the necessities for the females that live in the city or urban areas.
They are also very comfortable during the chilly weather as they help keep the feet warm.
Russian Cap – Caps or hats of various kinds are commonly found in Russian clothing stores because of their demand from the common public.
Both men and women are found using these to keep their heads protected from the cold wind.
Traditional Russian Peasant Clothing
The Russian traditional clothing for peasants is the same as traditional clothing. They used to wear striped or plaid poneva skirts wrapped around the hips using a string.
On top of that, they wore a long, loose-fitted shirt with embroidered and long sleeves, known as the sarafan or Punakha. Many of them also added an apron that used to be decorated heavily with many details and colorful trims. Some of them also consisted of fancy lace. Lastly, a traditional headdress or scarf was added, a mandatory element for the peasant’s outfits.
Differences in Fashion Style Between Urban & Rural Regions in Russia
|Mostly seen wearing modern and western clothes like the rest of the world.||Sticks to mostly traditional clothing items becalackf the lack of options.|
|A lot of well-known fashion brands can be noticed.||Rarely are people aware of the standard fashion brands.|
|Jeans are more common for males and females.||Pants or skirts made from cotton or silk are most common in rural areas.|
|Hats or caps are often seen worn by people on the streets.||Traditional headdress or scarf is more commonly found worn by people.|
|Shoes, boots, and heels are mostly standard.||V valenki or handmade footwear are common.|
Current Trends in Russian Traditional Clothing
Like any other country, Russian traditional clothing stays unaffected even with the surge of western fashion trends. Russian traditional dress is just like how it used to be since the beginning. However, their headdresses may have been altered a bit. Some like to add the fur cap even with traditional clothing instead of the embroidered scarf. Other than that, the sarafan’s material has been changed; instead, a better quality of clothing is used to manufacture that item. Overall, the trend in Russian traditional clothing stays unaffected.
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Russian traditional clothing is an item of pride and honor for the Russian people because it presents a rich history. The clothing varies for males and females, but in some cases, they are interchangeable and worn by either gender. Even though in urban areas or cities, traditional clothing is less typical, but the rural areas or during folk shows, these costumes can be seen quite often. There is a lot to know about Russian traditional clothing and its history.
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Hi readers! I’m Imara Azad. I have been a fashion enthusiast for a long time which led me to become a fashion content writer. I’m currently studying at the Department of Economics and Social Sciences, Brac University. I am researching traditional clothing all over the world. One day I will publish the research paper about it.