Europe, the elder and respectable continent is a diverse land where every nation has its culture, traditions, and, of course, clothing that they’ve passed on from generation to generation. Some of these clothing are only kept in a museum and not worn anymore, while other costumes can still be seen nowadays in the streets. Here are three countries around Europe and the clothing they are known for:
Ireland: Aran sweaters
Ireland has given the world many things, from beloved writers and poets like Oscar Wilde and James Joyce to the famous Guinness beer and Jameson whiskey. Another thing that the world should be grateful for is the Aran sweaters, as Ireland, more exactly the Aran Island off its West coast, is the exact place where these items have emerged. Warm, comfortable, usually in natural colors, in a cable rope, zig-zag, or diamond pattern, they have been worn by people from all over the world and gained more and more popularity over the last years. For this winter season, Marie Claire even named the cable knit sweater one of the trendiest tops that everyone should own. If you don’t have one yet, take a look at the Aran fisherman sweaters from Tara and you’ll definitely find one for your taste.
The traditional Romanian women’s blouse, Ia, is a piece of apparel with a lot of history and personality. It is worn in Romania and the Republic of Moldova, and the style varies according to the area of the state. It is typically embroidered with colorful flowers or other natural elements in Moldova, whereas it is more commonly done with darker geometrical needlework in Transylvania. Ia was worn by both the peasants and the wealthy, including Queen Maria of Romania and her daughters, who traditionally made it themselves and wore it on religious holidays and Sundays. It is commonly seen during folk festivals these days, but some people still respect the tradition and wear it to the church and at major religious holidays such as Easter.
Another traditional embroidered shirt, vyshyvanka is a Belarussian piece of clothing that can be traced back to the origins of the Slavic people. It was worn by both men and women, as well as people of all ages and occupations, from little children to the elderly nobility. Vyshyvanka was usually colorful, with many flowers and geometrical patterns and it is said that each of them had a sacred meaning. For example, the square, which is one of the most used patterns, symbolizes well-being and peace, the oak leaf was meant to represent Perun, the highest deity of the Slavic pantheon, while the poppy flower was a protection against the “evil eye”. Vyshyvanka is still worn nowadays at national and religious holidays and some people even find a way to incorporate it into an everyday outfit.