The Russian Costume



The Russian costume was created based on a visual combination of the bright interior of the peasant house and country landscapes. The clothing itself seemed to be made out of songs and tunes of round-dance that was extremely popular among young people of the Northern part of Russia. The variety of colors for traditional costume displays nationwide love for art and ethnic diversity. What makes the traditional Russian costumes different is that these clothes are not only beautiful, but they are also very convenient because primarily costumes were created for work in the fields. However, it does not mean that young Russians would wear the same type of clothing for working and for the feast. There is a big difference between the costume for the special occasion and the one that was designed for the everyday routine. Russian costume can often tell what part of Russia the owner of the dress is from, whether if they are married or not and more. The most beloved color among Russians is red. In a matter of fact the Russian word for beautiful sounds as a synonym of red. Homemade canvas and wool clothes decorated with embroidery or woven pattern have been the most popular among the Russian peasants. Later, more and more women started creating even more beautiful clothes with the decorative elements such as embroidery which came in forms of rhombuses, crosses, patterns of people, houses, plants and animals. And even later another decorative element known as beads was widely used among the maters of the Russian costume making.

In general, the basic principals in Russian cloths making industry were always the same. The ladies’ dress called “sarafan” had long straight silhouette without any cuts that was usually beautifully decorated with embroidery, painted beads and laces in the middle and at the top part of the dress. The Dress itself would go on the top of a long sleeved cotton shirt. The shirt’s sleeves were designed to be wider in the middle to ensure the maximum of comfort when wearing. The sarafans were also designed to go wider towards the bottom. Sometimes the shirt’s sleeves were decorated with symmetric pattern to match the design of the sarafan.

The traditional Russian male clothes included a long cotton shirt, a belt, pants, boots and a hat. The shirt always had long sleeves that similar to the female costume widened up towards the bottom. The neck part and bottoms of the shirt and sleeves were richly decorated most often with embroidery of the symmetric pattern. Unlike the modern type of clothing the neck line had a cut on the side of the shirt instead of the middle.

In the Northern districts of Russia the clothes were more moderate. In the Southern part the patterns were more contrasting and a lot brighter. Accessories played as big of a role in the Russian folk costume as the clothes itself. The belts, shoes and headwear were an indispensable part of it. In a matter of fact, the Russian woman’s headwear would specify if the woman is married or not. The single young Russian girls did not wear big headwear, but instead they would wear a small flat fabric bend around their heads that was tight under their braids. Later, the more modern accessories such as earrings and necklaces became very popular among the Russian women, and therefore they were added to the national Russian costume.



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