By Marcus Richard
Turkey, generally regarded as the nation where East meets West (that is, a crossroads for the East and the West), is divided into two parts: European and Asian, with each having a Western or Eastern impact on the country's culture.
Turkey is a huge and varied country with many customs and clothing styles. If you travel to Turkey, the first thing you will notice is how people dress. Turkey has its own diverse fashion sector from east to west. If you are interested in traditional clothing in Turkey, this page will provide you with important information on the traditional Turkish costumes that people wore in the past and how they evolved into the clothes that people wear now.
Discover traditional clothing in Turkey for tourists
What is Traditional Clothing in Turkey?
Turkish men and women dress similarly, with a few exceptions. Men wore baggy pants, frequently tucked into socks, with a yelek vest or jacket and an embroidered belt called kusak. Before they were banned, men wore a variety of headdresses, such as the fez or turban.
Women wore wide pants called şalvar that were brilliantly colored and typically coupled with varied-length dresses or a chemise called gomlek. Socks are used by both men and women with shoes or sandals. One distinguishing element of Turkish traditional attire is that it is typically embroidered and adorned with little or large motifs and worn with jewelry unique to each regional style.
Read more about Tips For Traveling To Turkey For First-Time Travelers
Discover the top 7 Turkey traditional dress
Different from the fusion of European and Asian cultures makes Turkey’s dress interesting
The variances in how people dress are mostly attributable to ethnic groupings and the fusion of European and Asian cultures; therefore, the numerous forms of traditional Turkish clothing are distinctive to a single ethnic group. Turkey, among other locations, is an excellent illustration of how foreign policy may impact clothing patterns and how traditional clothing styles can adapt.
Despite these changes, Turks have always strived to keep their Turkish identity by wearing traditional Turkish clothing and thereby distinguishing themselves from outsiders, yet despite these attempts, there are still evident alterations in a few cities. For example, if you visit towns in Asian Turkey, you will witness individuals dressed in Turkey's traditional attire.
However, if you visit towns like Istanbul in the European region of Turkey, you will see that most people wear entirely European attire, while some wear contemporary Turkey traditional dress.
1. Salvar & Dimiye
The most well-known Turkish traditional dress is Salvar. Salvar is a baggy pair of pants worn by both men and women that are tight at the waist and firmly gathered at the ankle. Salvar is produced from a range of fabrics, including silk, cotton, and wool, and is sometimes embellished with elaborate needlework or bright designs.
Salvar is appropriate for both casual and formal settings, and each region has its own general Salvar style, particularly for men and women. In specific locations, men wear their şalvar tucked into their socks and combined with a traditional shirt. A loose coat called a jubba is worn over the şalvar, and other clothes can be worn over it.
Salvar is one of the most famous traditional dresses in Turkey
Men's şalvar can be light or dark in hue, according to personal choice. males's salvar is quite popular in eastern Turkey, especially among Kurdish males. Women's şalvar is typically vividly colored and used with a variety of upper garment designs and lengths. The şalvars, which are gathered at the ankle and have vivid colors and floral motifs, are likewise of varied degrees of bagginess.
Because it is so pleasant to wear, Salvar is still a popular piece of traditional Turkish apparel in rural Turkey. Women in major cities like Istanbul prefer şalvars as well, although they wear them in a more sophisticated fashion.
The traditional Turkish vest or waistcoat is called the yelek. It has a long history and a role in the traditional dress hierarchy dating back to the Ottoman Empire, which ruled from the 13th to the early 20th century.
The yelek was a jacket with dangling sleeves that was popular among lower-class people. They were typically short waistcoats that may be worn by men and women.
Yeleks were usually constructed from a range of high-quality fabrics such as silk, velvet, or brocade and had intricate ornamental embroidery that contrasted with the primary cloth. Intricate patterns, sumptuous materials, and meticulous craftsmanship define this style.
Yeleks were known for their elaborate designs and brilliant colors, as well as varied embellishments like gold threads, pearls, and valuable stones, according to the wearer's social rank. Today, the term yelek refers to a type of sleeveless waistcoat. It was often worn over a shirt or under a caftan and had both practical and ornamental functions.
The kaftan is an outerwear garment that embraces the waist and drapes below the knees in a manner unique to the user, similar to a long jacket or robe with or without sleeves. A kaftan can be fashioned in a variety of ways, such as sequined or plain.
The kaftan is an iconic item of Turkish national attire that is predominantly worn by men and women in Southeastern Anatolia.
Kaftan is one of the most iconic outfits of Turkey's national dress
Because of their beautiful embroidery and fur-linen, kaftans were popular among the elite throughout the Ottoman Empire. It is incredibly versatile and can be worn with almost anything. For a more feminine style, it is frequently coupled with a headpiece, stockings, and shoes. A man's kaftan is usually unembroidered and worn with a şalvar, a shirt, and a scarf around the waist.
Another long gown or jacket worn by Turkish ladies is the Bindallis. Bindall is sometimes confused with kaftan because of its similar appearance, although there are several distinctions. Bindallis, for example, are more plain and unadorned, with no stitching. The primary distinction between kaftans and bindallis is that bindalls have a thinner fabric than kaftans.
Although kaftans are unisex, women typically wear kaftans and bindallis to henna parties.
During the Ottoman period, the Fez was one of the most prominent Turkish menswear fashions. The fez is a traditional Turkish headdress that is red or crimson in color. It's a felt hat with a complicated conical or cylindrical form, generally topped with a black tassel and black strings. The fez and turban were popular across the Ottoman Empire's many people and regions.
Fezzes and turbans, however, were made illegal by law in 1925, and most peasants now wear fabric hats.
Peshtemals are striped linen towels that ladies commonly wear around their necks. Peshtemals are typically handwoven from natural fibers like cotton, linen, or even silk on handlooms.
Peshtemals are generally flat, thin, and absorbent, similar to a towel. They are long pieces that may go all the way down to a woman's legs and are roughly the size of a beach towel. It is distinguished mostly by stripes or checks with hand-knotted fringes at both ends.
However, each area of Turkey has its own variants, each with its own weaving techniques, patterns, and colors. They are mainly thought to be traditional women's attire in Turkey's Black Sea area.
Kesan is Turkish women's traditional attire. It is a shawl that is typically wrapped around the waist and covers the head, body, and face. The shawl is sometimes made of black brocade and is elaborately embroidered. It is typically used by ladies in Turkey's Black Sea Region and can be worn with socks, shoes, or slippers.
Kesan is one of the traditional dresses in Turkey for women
History of Turkish Traditional Clothing
Facts about Turkey's national dress
History is important in describing and underlining how cultural changes occurred. The Turks adored their traditional attire and had no desire to modify it until the end of the Ottoman Empire.
Almost all of Turkey's cultural and traditional legacy can be traced back to the Ottoman Empire. Even hundreds of years after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Turkish traditional attire retains many of the characteristics of the time. They wore clothes to hide and protect their bodies, as well as to express their tribal, political, and religious identities.
During the period, each social class wore separate clothing based on their social rank, whether they were a sultan, commoner, peasant, or scholar.
The Turkish government deemed such apparel unlawful in 1925. Atatürk's new Turkey became increasingly secular and Western-oriented, resulting in the reformation of the Turkish language and religion and the replacement of traditional dress.
Following that, individuals began to wear more European-style attire, and now, very few people in Turkey wear traditional dress on a daily basis.
History of traditional Turkish clothing
Although women have conserved the national dress and customs more meticulously than men, they nonetheless wear a lot of traditional Turkish attire more frequently. However, males typically dress in European styles or merge components of Turkish costume with Western wear.
Men, for example, wear caps instead of turbans, but this is because he caused a significant alteration in traditional Turkish clothing by making it essential to wear Western clothing and prohibiting the usage of turbans. Turkish males are increasingly adopting European male attire patterns and colors.
The famed Turkish baggy pants, however, are still relatively widespread in rural regions and among poorer city people, but the traditional and colorful shift, jacket, or waistcoat are rare. Regardless of the impact of Western fashion patterns, traditional Turkish dress always dominates rituals such as weddings and circumcision.
Today, individuals in different parts of Turkey dress differently. People in eastern Turkey and adjacent Asian nations have kept their dress traditions. People in western Turkey and neighboring European nations thoroughly copy the European dress culture.
Get a Turkey e-visa to enjoy the culture of traditional dress in Turkey
Turkey provides a range of cultural experiences for those who wish to visit this fascinating country. From exploring Istanbul's historical sites to watching hot air balloons soar over Cappadocia's rock formations, Turkey also offers tourists the discovery of the foundation & development of traditional clothing in Turkey. Pack your bags, collect your children, and get ready for an unforgettable holiday in Turkey!
Apply for a visa to Turkey to begin your journey to this magnificent event with your loved ones. Please contact Turkey Immigration Services if you have any questions about your visa.