Talk:Folk costume

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Nosiya / Bulgaria[edit]

Nosiya (Носия)is merely a Bulgarian word that means clothing, and as it's historically older than the other word for clothing (облекло)is frequently used to mean traditional clothing. However, it doesn't seem to me that the article aims to provide a translation of the term, but to rather give information on the type of garments traditionally worn in the country. Thus I'll be editing it to be more accurate. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:48, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

why offensive?[edit]

I'd like to see some explanation why saying costume is offensive, as mentioned in the intro. Costume is used in many of the credits of films and shows, so there's some gray area needing more clarity.

I'm sorry, I'm a bit lost on wikipedia, so I may be doing something wrong,'s why I believe the term 'costume' if offensive to the author of the article. Perhaps the author thinks of 'costume' in the sense of something you may wear on Halloween--something abnormal. And perhaps that lead him/her to believe most people think that way as well. I'm not sure if I'm even replying to you correctly.....sorry.

I haven't edited this article, but I'm an American I'd say the word "costume" could sound at least slightly condescending in this context[citation needed]. It has some connotation of fantasy or pretending, which is fine if you're talking about film costumes or Halloween costumes but would sound odd (and possibly a bit offensive) if used to refer to someone's traditional ethnic clothing. CKarnstein (talk) 00:53, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I for the most part agree with you that it does sound like that a bit. However,"national costume" is an actual established term. It wasn't a strange choice of words by the writer, it's what people actually call it. -Skyler 08:26, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
Please source this POV reliably if it to be reinstated in the article. Cordially SergeWoodzing (talk) 15:37, 28 February 2010 (UTC)


  • "ideologise" - is that a word? --Mais oui! 13:58, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Fixed. Jodamn 07:31, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

"Costume" inflammatory?[edit]

Some referencing for this would be handy. Here (the UK) I don't think any such stigma exists. 03:28, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

It almost seems logical that it might offend, the second anon's reason above makes sense, but I have never heard of this either. Anyway, if it is so offensive, why is it used as the title of the article? Should the article be moved to National dress? Bistromathic 11:37, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm not from an english language country, I'm basically from Indonesia, and I think I'm more accustomed to the word traditional costume rather than traditional dress, because dress seems to refer a clothing only for women, at least in my country (Indonesia). By the way, I didn't find it as offensive, but what I like to have is a comprehensive and clear one article about the traditional clothing/costume/dress. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rochelimit (talkcontribs) 08:08, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

There is nothing negative in any way, to any generally knowledgeable American or other national, about the word costume in this context. While I can appreciate the concern of the users who have expressed fears in this regard, those concerns are not mainstream or even verifiable POV. SergeWoodzing (talk) 15:40, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Hi I am from the Philippines, the word costume is not offensive. That's the word for it "national costume" in fact I came here looking for information about National Costumes around the world. I think you guys are just too critical about your choice of word. It's like calling someone 'fat' when they are fat. It is offensive if you use that word to call a person, but in writing an objective encyclopedia, the word fat is enough. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:19, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Countries missing[edit]

There are many countries missing, including Finland, Africa (yes, I know Africa isn't a country), and Britain, to name a few. Can there be some sort of collaborative effort, like a survey or something, to find out what the traditional garb is? ForestAngel (talk) 14:02, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree... The Arab world section needs to be expanded. For example, Omani national wear is drastically different than Saudi national costume. Lebanese is extremely different when compared to the Arabian Gulf countries. So is Moroccan. The Fez is worn by less than two Arab countries if I recall correctly. The Dishdasha (white dress) is not mentioned anywhere. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:43, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Britain is on there, there's Scotland, England, and Wales --- Britain. I would like to know about Belgium, Switzerland, and Luxembourg though. -Skyler 08:28, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Costume of Northern Germany[edit]

What is the national costume of Northern Germany? Angie Y. (talk) 03:22, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

- There is really no such thing (actually, there isn't "the one" national costume for Southern Germany either). The term "Tracht", used in the quite simplified article linked from here, is used for traditional clothing in Germany in general, but the actual clothing style it refers to is extremely different for each region, sometimes even between two neighbouring villages in the same region. The German Wikipedia article has some example images which show the diversity of clothing styles. (talk) 22:34, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

national costume of jamaica?[edit]

I don't think dreadlocks and a Tam are the national costume of Jamaica. Firstly dreadlocks is a hairstyle, I don't know if a hairstyle is considered a costume. Secondly, both dreadlocks and the Tam are associated with Rastafari, which has always been a minority religion in Jamaica. (talk) 15:50, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

suggested merge[edit]

I support the suggested merge, since the articles have large overlap at the moment (without prejudice against a demerge later if it becomes too large). However, I would suggest a move. "National costume" may not be appropriate in many circumstances. For example, in Germany, regional dress is very strong, but there is great variance between regions. And what of former or disputed nations -- does Tibet have a "national costume"? I would suggest a move to "traditional costume" or "regional costume". - Revolving Bugbear 17:49, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Support the merge. At the same time "National costume" doesn't mean there is one costume pr. nation. All national costumes in every country have great variances between regions. However, there are still similarities that tie the styles together for countries and even for larger cultural regions. For example even though Scottish kilt is a part of Scottish national costume, there are still "great variances between regions". To determine what is the most suitable title for WP purposes as the most common term used, a simple google book search can give us an answer:

  1. 1,610 on "National costume"
  2. 983 on "traditional costume"
  3. 647 on "regional costume"

the winner as the most common term used in English is clearly "National costume" and that explains why the article is called so.
PS. and yes, there is Tibetan national costume, it's called chuba, a long robe with sleeves, fastened with a sash and worn by both men and women.--Termer (talk) 16:12, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Main article s.b. Folk costume[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: No support/consensus for a move. Orlady (talk) 19:39, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

National costumeFolk costume — See proposal below. SergeWoodzing (talk) 15:24, 28 February 2010 (UTC) The vast majority of the costumes concerned, of this type, are folk costumes. Most of them by far are provincial/regional and/or tribal. A few are occupational and/or associated with a type of leisure activity (other than uniforms, but including specific square dance oufits etc.) Only a very small minority of them actually are national. I strongly feel the main article should be named differently to avoid confusion about what is mainly to be said on this subject.

Proposal: change the name of the main article to Folk costume with the national and other aspects included as sections thereof. SergeWoodzing (talk) 15:24, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

National costume vs folk costume[edit]

Is there a difference between national costume and folk costume? Apparently, this was raised above but nobody participated in that (move) discussion. Currently, folk costume redirects to national costume, which in the lead says "national costume, also known as folk costume". The main reason I am asking is that on Commons we have commons:Category:National costumes, but then, as a subcategory for some countries, there is a bunch of "folk costumes" categories - commons:Category:Folk national costumes of Poland, commons:Category:Folk Costume of Sardinia and others. If there is no difference, all of those folk (national) costume categories should be merged to their parent national costumes categories, or renamed to national costumes. Am I correct? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 17:11, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

All this is utterly confusing as WP has it today. A folk costume is a broad term for costumes connected with certain ethnic/cultural groups of people and, in my opinion, that term includes national costumes. A national costume needs to have a specific connection to a specific nation and a provincial costume (under national costumes) to a specific province, a regional costume (under folk costumes) to a specific region. I tried to suggest a move of National costume, but it fizzled, as you can see. Sad. SergeWoodzing (talk) 16:26, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I'd support a move if you can give me one reference that shows your logic is true (per WP:V). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 16:29, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, no. This is general knowledge of mine, but I cannot spend the time and effort necessary to reference it. Maybe some expert will eventually. My only hope, for now, can be that idioms folk, national, provincial and regional will be taken at face value, even in this context as pertains to costumes. Anything else would seem rather weird to me. SergeWoodzing (talk) 18:06, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
I would oppose any move to file "folk costumes" automatically filed under national categories, since some folk groups may span national borders, and many bear little relationship to national borders which were drawn on maps in the last couple of centuries.
Consider the Sardinian example; the costumes in that category must surely have been established long before 1861, when Sardinia became part of the kingdom of Italy. Before that, Sardinia was controlled by Spanish monarchs for a few centuries - but you could hardly call it Spanish costume... can't we just drop the nationalism? bobrayner (talk) 04:56, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes! Good idea, except where certain costumes definitely have a certain exclusively national connection, where we wouldn't want to censure that. SergeWoodzing (talk) 20:16, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. bobrayner (talk) 13:03, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Another example are the Sami, who are an ethnic group (with costumes!) who inhabit an area shared by Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia. There's no way their costumes could be described as "national." This issue seems to be bigger than Commons... many of the edit wars I see in the history happened precisely because of disputes regarding the "nationality" of a costume. Orange Suede Sofa (talk) 07:34, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Completely Disagree! There are very few countries in the world that have a completely singly 'national dress'. Most countries in the world have multiple ethnic groups, especially Europe. Orange Suede Sofa, brought up a good example of the Sami spanning across political boundaries, but even mono-lingual Poland has people wearing different ethnic dress, i.e. Kurpie. I would rather drop the word national costume in favor of folk or ethnic dress. "Traditional dress" refers to something that is fixed in time, which culture and clothing is not. The Sami gakti, continues to change over time but is rooted/based on a basic pattern that a person from that culture can identify as to their exact location of their residence - even decades between two gaktis. Also (but it is off the subject), clowns wear costumes, it should be dress. Hence it should be folk or ethnic dress - take care... Dinkytown talk 17:54, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Disagree as per my earlier comment above. I believe that "national" is confusing and inaccurate, and it's leading to edits like this one (see edit summary). Orange Suede Sofa (talk)
I will try another move from 'National Costume' to Folk Costume'. But before I do that, is there any support in changing it to 'Ethnic Dress' as I describe above? Dinkytown talk 05:26, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
It's not going to be perfect either way: from the article, I would have a hard time describing a turban or a sari as "folk dress" or a bolo tie as "ethnic dress" (same for costume). Maybe the list itself is too broad, but that's another discussion. Orange Suede Sofa (talk) 06:04, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
Comment. It's confusing enough that I am not sure what "disagree" means in this conversation. A quick run through my sources indicates that "folk costume", "folk dress", "national dress", "ethnic costume", "traditonal dress" etc. are all used pretty much interchangeably. I would support a move to "folk costume" or "folk dress" for the reasons cited above, but "folk costume" should not be a subset of "national dress" since modern political boundaries do not necessarily match either ethnic boundaries or political boundaries as they were at the time that folk dress was ossified (at least in Europe - as mentioned, some folk dress is still evolving).
[For what it's worth, I wouldn't characterize square dance clothes or bolo ties as folk dress - western wear is a modern retro concept based on romanticized notions of 19th century clothing, and bolo ties are a modern invention! But bolo ties and cowboy shirts are certainly regional dress.]
By the way, the narrow use of "costume" to mean "theatrical costume" is about as common as the use of "dress" to mean "a woman's garment with a skirt". Both "costume" and "dress" have these narrow, non-specialist, everyday definitions which make it really difficult to decide what terms will be understood by users of Wikipedia. "Clothing" is probably the most neutral and inclusive term, but we struggle in choosing "Medieval clothing" vs. "Medieval costume" vs. "Medieval dress". And "folk clothing" is not used in the specialist literature and sounds really dumb. In the museum and art-historical worlds, "costume" and "dress" are both preferred terms.
OED definitions are pertinent here:
  • COSTUME: The mode or fashion of personal attire and dress (including the way of wearing the hair, style of clothing and personal adornment) belonging to a particular nation, class, or period.
  • DRESS: Personal attire or apparel: orig. that proper to some special rank or order of person, or to some ceremony or function; but, in later use, often merely: Clothing, costume, garb, esp. that part which is external and serves for adornment as well as for covering.
Orange Suede Sofa is right, in that there isn't a simple solution; we're going to have a ton of redirects and alterate terms whichever way we go. Gievn the OED definitions, I'd say "Folk costume" is more accurate. But I personally prefer "Folk dress", and I'd choose that over "National dress". - PKM (talk) 06:56, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
  • As per the above discussion, I changed the title from "National costume" to "Folk Costume". Dinkytown talk 12:46, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

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Some of the entries seem to be a joke. The anorak is not Canada's "folk costume" first off, the word isn't even used in Canada. Most Canadians wouldn't even know what you're talking about if you said it, people here wear parkas because it's cold in the winter. Same story for the tuque. The centre fleche is part of the folk costume of some peoples - such as the Metis but not all Canadians. While the red serge is the ceremonial uniform of a specific police force, it's like saying the U.S. Marines dress uniform is a folk costume of America. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:07, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

South Asia section[edit]

Saris, sherwanis and kurtas are not "folk", they are to South Asians what gowns, tuxedos and suits are to westerners! — Preceding unsigned comment added by ArmanJ (talkcontribs) 00:51, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Photo in Africa section[edit]

I removed a photo because it would't show properly on the page. I don't understand what the problem is, fine if anybody else understands and puts it back in the article again.

Historical recreation or fancy dress[edit]

I explained long ago that Pilgrims, Uncle Sam, Founding Fathers and Betsy Ross costumes wouldn't serve as costumes for New England, because they are fancy dress. What I tried to mean was the style of the 18th and 19th century highlighted the European heritage of the New Englanders at the time. This should NOT be a matter of dispute, although I discovered that the Northeast area of the US does not have a unifying "culture" as does the South and the West. Then what should be the possible dress of New England (besides the Nantucket Reds). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:55, 27 October 2014 (UTC)


Might it be better to present images in gallery format? Ivo (talk) 12:53, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

What are THE Chinese costumes?[edit]

It seems that the Cheongsam for women and the Changshan or Mao suit for men might be stereotypical, though it is VERY popular in China as a symbol of pride and worn in the festival days. But I think Hanfu is the real deal, though many people place the Cheongsam/Changshan as an additional national dress of China. It might be true or is it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:24, 15 May 2015 (UTC)

Northeastern U.S.[edit]

I added for the United States:

User:Osama57 removed this with the edit summary "NOT a folk costume. Unlike Western wear which is still worn everyday by many Texans, nobody wears Founding Father garb except on the fourth of July".

I would argue, that's exactly what a folk costume is. The article says it is "worn at special events or celebrations; particularly those connected with cultural traditions, heritage or pride" and "is usually associated with a geographic area or a period of time in history". People don't wear Morris Dance outfits to work in England, and they don't wear tri-corner hats to work in New England. (Well, actually, the people who give historical tours in downtown Boston or work at the Tea Party Museum do.) But there's nothing more New England than dressing up as a Pilgrim at Thanksgiving. Some types of national costume are more acceptable at formal events in everyday life, like kilts in Scotland or western wear in the Western U.S., but not all folk costumes also operate as modern fashions. -- Beland (talk) 01:43, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

Probably the closest thing the northeastern US has to a traditional costume is the knickerbockers supposedly worn by the old Dutch settlers. Most urban American clothing has modern origins and wouldn't be considered folk costume e.g. baseball jackets from the 1950s, zoot suits from the 1930s, or the Ivy League look of the early 20th century. All of the other outfits you mentioned are not restricted to a single day of the year. Morris men put on performances throughout the summer, some Scotsmen still wear kilts and tams everyday, Indian women wear sarees to work, Bavarians wear Lederhosen at their many beer festivals, and throughout the Middle East men wear robes at formal meetings

I somewhat agree[edit]

A user contributed to the folk costumes page by adding that the "knickerbockers" are a sort of folk costume for men in the northeast. This fashion continued on to modern days, but mostly for the more well-off families, and some rural families, as did their English and Isrish ancestors. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:45, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

Midwestern US costume[edit]

A real trouble trying to find out the regional cultural clothing that makes up the Midwest. It can't simply be western wear, or the Amish clothing, or the Plains Indians regalia. I always think denim overalls for men of this area, but that's not much it. Inspired by certain user's discovery of the Northeast's knickerbockers. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:39, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

Western Wear Cont.[edit]

I'm not sure if Western Wear really includes the flannels, trapper hat, etc. of the upper Midwest and I would add, a good chunk of Maine. At least, the article on Western Wear here on wikipedia makes no reference to it. I think this "lumberjack style" as demonstrated by folk figures like Paul Bunyan, is its own style. I am making an edit to this effect. I also took out the reference to the movie, since it is a fictional work/comedy as opposed to an actual reference on attire. Ehgarrick (talk) 22:15, 2 November 2016 (UTC)

Are local commercially created fashions really folk costumes?[edit]

The article is now very confusing. To me, there is way way way too much regular fashion in it. Just because a certain design of a man's shoe, for example, has been manufactured and sold in, and spread from, a certain town, doesn't make that shoe any sort of "folk costuming" for use at certain cultural occasions and ceremonies. Some areas just don't have what normally would be called a folk costume. I think we should leave it at that and remove a lot of fashions from this article where we've tried to make up for such lack. Does anyone else egree? --SergeWoodzing (talk) 13:38, 29 April 2017 (UTC)