National and Cultural Costumes

Article Highlight: Traditional Hawaiian Costume

When people think of traditional Hawaiian costumes, what generally comes to mind is clothing worn after European settlement of the islands. Many Hawaiians, anxious to preserve the strong history of their culture,… Keep reading »

Browse Topics in National and Cultural Costumes

National Costumes

There are many national and cultural costumes that show off ethnic heritages while teaching others about specific cultures. Costumes are often made by hand and are based on tradition.

About National and Cultural Costumes

Many different countries have their own national costumes, from the geisha-style clothing of Japan to lederhosen in Germany and the tribal costumes of African nations and Native Americans. Traditional costumes play a role in a country's heritage and are often passed from generation to generation. Costumes are worn in countries such as:

Sensitivity Issue

Choosing to wear a cultural costume should be done with sensitivity to the culture, never as a joke or a way to poke fun at a particular culture. These costumes have deep meanings for the people of those nations or cultures that should not be made light of, even by people who don't understand the nuances of that particular culture.

Attention to Detail

It can be difficult to make national and cultural costumes yourself because there are so many details that go into getting the costume just right. While you might be able to wear just about anything plaid on Halloween and call yourself a Scotsman, if you're marching with the bagpipe brigade, you need to be much more detail-oriented.

Worn with Pride

Most nations and ethnicities are proud of their national costumes, and may make authentic costumes available to outsiders who wish to order and wear them. They are usually rather expensive because they are often handcrafted and made to the exacting standards of the people of that nation or culture who would be wearing them.

Preserving Tradition

Choosing a national costume is probably not the best choice if you're just looking for a fun costume for Halloween. If you come from a particular country or ethnic group, or are simply very interested in that group of people and would like to have authentic clothing from that region, investing in authentic national clothing can be a worthwhile expression of your heritage or interest.

National and Cultural Costumes