Liqui liqui

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Venezuelan with liqui liqui

The Liqui liqui (pronounced lee-kee lee-kee) is the national costume for men in Venezuela and Colombia .

Gustavo Machado and Rafael Simón Urbina in 1929 dressed in Liqui liqui

Traditionally white, beige, cream or ecru in colour, it is also available in other shades. Recently, Liqui liquis have been worn by famous personalities in Venezuela for their wedding, in a renaissance of the traditional style of dressing – for example, by Leopoldo López, the mayor of the Caracas district of Chacao, on the 10th of March 2007, also the singer and composer of Venezuelan folk music, Simón Díaz, is know to almost always wear one.[1]

The Liqui liqui is traditionally made of linen or cotton cloth, although gabardine and wool can also be used in its elaboration. The outfit is made up of a pair of full-length trousers and a jacket. The jacket has long sleeves and a rounded Nehru-style collar, which is fastened and decorated by a “junta”, or a chain link similar to a shirt cuff, which joins the two ends of the collar. The jacket is also fastened by 5-6 buttons, and may or may not have pockets (if so, no more than four). Overall, the outfit is very simple and has clean, elegant lines. Traditionally, the Liqui liqui is worn with “alpargata” – an open-toed kind of sandal – and a “llanero” hat.

Because of the style of the collar, it is said that the Liqui liqui was brought to Venezuela from the Philippines, although the veracity of this is uncertain. The more accepted version is that the Liqui liqui is derived from the uniform of colonial-era soldiers, whose jacket or ‘liquette’ had a similar shape – hence the name and the collar.