Russian Traditional Clothing For Male and Female

Imara Azad

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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.

Russian Traditional Clothing

This section will primarily focus on what Russian traditional clothing are about and other things there is to know about it.

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.

Russian clothing style
Fig: Russian clothing style

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.

Russian Clothing History
Fig: Russian Clothing History

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.

Best Russian Outfit Ideas You Can Try

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.

Russian Traditional Clothing
Fig: Russian Outfit Ideas

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.

Common Russian Traditional Clothing Names in Rubakha
Fig: Rubakha

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.

Fig: Sarafan

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.

Fig: Shuba

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.

Fig: Kokoshnik

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.

Fig: Kaftan

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.

Russian Traditional Clothing Names for Males in Kosovorotka
Fig: Kosovorotka

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.

Russian Traditional Clothing Names for Males in Valenki
Fig: Valenki

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.

Russian Traditional Clothing Names for Male in Shawl
Fig: Russian Shawl for Male

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.

Russian Traditional Clothing Names in Headscarves
Fig: Headscarves

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:

Russian Jacket – Long and thick jackets are ubiquitous among males and females because of the extreme cold in their country.

Modern Russian Clothing for Males in Russian Jacket
Fig: Russian Jacket

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.

Modern Russian Clothing for Males in Russian Trouser
Fig: Russian Trouser

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.

Modern Russian Clothing for Males in Russian Hats
Fig: Russian Hats

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.

Modern Russian Clothing for Males in Russian Coats
Fig: Russian Coats

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.

Modern Russian Clothing for Males in Russian Jeans
Fig: Russian Jeans

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.

Traditional Russian Clothing for Females in Sarafan
Fig: Sarafan

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.

Traditional Russian Clothing for Females in Poneva
Fig: Poneva

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.

Traditional Russian Clothing for Females in Rubakha
Fig: Rubakha

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.

Traditional Russian Clothing for Females in Kokoshnik
Fig: Kokoshnik

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.

Modern Russian Clothing for Females in Sweaters
Fig: Russian Sweaters

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.

Modern Russian Clothing for Females in Jeans
Fig: Russian Jeans for female

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.

Modern Russian Clothing for Females in Russian Coat
Fig: Russian Coat

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.

Modern Russian Clothing for Females in Russian Boots
Fig: Russian Boots

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.

Modern Russian Clothing for Females in Russian Cap
Fig: Russian Cap

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

Urban Regions.

Rural Regions. 

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.
Russia Urban and Rural Regions Fashion Style

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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 Final Words:

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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