Mexico is a country of national costumes. Each region has its own outfit, which preserves the origins of Latin American culture. The Mexican style with bright motifs is one of the recognizable and attractive characteristics of Mexican clothing., which makes each outfit beautiful in its own way.
A brief glance at traditional Mexican dresses reveals a world of vibrant, finely crafted garments. An influx of European and indigenous elements are part of the clothing that is made from specially developed materials in bold colors. All Mexican clothing shares an appreciation for its strong color and fine craftsmanship.
Traditional costumes of Mexico
Behind the tequila and the national flag, traditional Mexican costumes are the ones that best represent the identity of the country. They attract thousands of visitors to Mexico thus developing the Mexican tourism sector. These costumes are numerous and each has its own very distinctive history and characteristics.
It is a garment originally from Mexico but also from South America. Its origin comes from the Andes Mountains and dates back hundreds of years. The Poncho is not only a garment but also a good means of protection against inclement weather such as sandstorms, winds and even rain when covered with canvas.
The poncho is possibly the most famous style of dress in Mexico. It is characterized by two triangular-shaped fabrics, an opening for the head and points placed on the two ribs or in the front according to the regions. This garment is very popular in the north of the country, the poncho immediately identifies the Mexican culture.
Very popular in several Mexican states such as Oaxaca, Yucatán, Michoacán, Chiapas, Veracruz, but also in Guatemala, the huipil is one of the most common Mexican garments. It dates back to the pre-Aztec Empire and was worn primarily by women regardless of their social class.
The Mexican huipil it can be short or long, but also rectangular in shape. Finally, the huipil can be narrow or loose with the shoulders well covered. As with many other cultures that use clothing to identify their specific areas of origin, the distinctive design of a huipil can distinguish the community that wears it.
Designs can also convey the marital status or belief of the user. A ceremonial huipil is worn by the wives of religious figures in the community, as well as by statues of saints. The huipiles are worn by children, adolescents and adults.
The hat originating in Mexico is highly appreciated by tourists and a characteristic of the charro dress. It should be remembered that the charro was a horseman. He regularly wore a hat, in this case the famous charro hat. The Mexican accessory has a round shape and is embroidered with silver or gold threads.
The Charro Hat usually has a tall, pointed crown, very wide brim (wide enough to cast shadow on the wearer’s head, neck, and shoulders), slightly raised at the edges, and chin strap to hold it down. instead.
It is the most legendary Mexican traditional costume. This name comes from an Asian slave of Indian lineage Catarina de San Juan who wore this outfit. He would have had visions of the Virgin Mary and Jesus. She was considered a saint in Puebla when she died. And since then this outfit bears his name.
Usually worn as part of a dress for a party or other special occasions, the quechquemitl consists of two rectangular pieces of fabric woven to look like a small poncho. They are made from any material from wool to cotton and can be embroidered with animal, floral and graphic designs.
Depending on the community, the quechquemitl can be made with a different technique. For example, in Veracruz the garment is made of mesh and is worn on the head instead of on the body.
Shawls are multifunctional. Usually made of cotton, wool or silk, are used to cover the head or body (like a scarf) and are also used to transport everything from young children to grocery items.
As with many other garments, it features distinctive designs that convey the wearer’s community. Certain colors of strips or different shades of wool, for example, are indicative of the different peoples of Mexico.
Women do not necessarily have to wear huipiles, they can wear a traditional blouse. Made with commercially based materials, reflecting the spirit of Mexican tradition and richly embroidered with colorful designs, beads and lace and may well have pleats.
Other common blouses are usually made of cotton and have the same characteristics as the typical western ones. The main difference is in their lengths and arrangements: some are long, some are short, some are large, and usually heavily decorated.
Skirts & Dresses
Skirts are known by a variety of names, including enredo, chincuete, petticoat, pozahuanco, refajo, and many more. There are many different styles of skirts available. This largely depends on the origin of the user. Some are worn around the ankle, while others are worn to the knees.
Even today still are made from cotton and wool, most commercial manufacturing methods have been established over the years. Now materials such as lace and silk are often added to the mix, adding a new design element to the already abundant skirts.
The typical dress of Jalisco is also called Escaramuza dress. It consists of a cotton blouse with a high neck and embroidered stripes and a wide skirt. The skirt is very striking, its waves are decorated with stripes and form a striped star on the hips.
The traditional dresses of Michoacán are of a very sophisticated style. They consist of a long skirt with ribbons or prints, a long blouse embroidered at the bottom and around the neck, a belt and a shawl. Embroidered aprons are also used.
The Tabasco dress is very feminine and delicate. The women of this region love floral embroidery, sparkling ribbons, and floral hair decorations. The Tabasco dress consists of a white blouse with embroidery around the neck and on the sleeves, a black or colored skirt with floral motifs.
The Campeche dress design was formed under Spanish influence. It consists of a long and wide skirt in Spanish patterned fabric, often decorated with lace, a white blouse with an embroidered square neck.
Chiapas dresses are truly unique and extraordinary. They are handmade: the women of the city of Chiapas de Corzo make these dresses. They consist of a wide skirt and a heavily embroidered blouse decorated with ribbons. The background is black and the embroidery is colorful and bright. Floral motifs are often used.
Traditional Mexican clothing for women is no different from those of other origins when it comes to the extensive use of accessories. Depending on the region the woman is in, she can wear ribbons around the neck instead of necklaces.
Some wear bead rings and bracelets, while others use unusual natural materials, such as shells and even fish bones. Most ornaments of this nature have some kind of special meaning and many act as amulets or reliquaries, either to ward off evil or to reflect religious beliefs.
Continue reading about the clothing of the Mayans.