Interested in joining a formal occasion or a national festival in the Land of Smiles? The traditional Thai clothing is best known as ชุดไทย or Chut Thai, and this is the type of outfit that you can use to blend in well with the crowd. It is a unique type of traditional dress from Southeast Asia that anyone can wear and is mainly considered the official national costume. What makes it unique is that it incorporates Victorian fashion, but it also reveals much about the country’s identity, beliefs, and way of living. Let’s get to know more about this today!
When it comes to traditional outfits, every country has its own designs, which are all developed based on the current circumstances and trends when it was first created. Throughout the years, the designs are shifting too, and this is the reason why many countries have more than just one type of traditional clothing. In fact, there are also those who just have too many designs that they end up not proclaiming a national dress for their country.
History Of The Thai Clothing
In the case of Thailand, the traditional costume reflects its history and how it adopted trends from its neighboring countries. For instance, there was a time wherein the Thai people wore Chong Kben or a collarless blouse with a wrap-around type of cloth that Cambodia popularized. Usually, it is normal to show bare feet and bare chest and wear gold jewelry or metal belts. There was also the Sinh or Pha Sinh which is a shawl-like garment wrapped around the waist and is worn with a national hairstyle for women.
When 1960 came, the royals of Thailand were alarmed when they realized that the country did not really have a specific traditional Thai dress that could be worn for royal ceremonies and other formal occasions. With that being said, Queen Sirikit (Queen mother of Thailand and the wife of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej) worked with royal tailors, historians, and French designers to come up with a range of traditional Thai dresses that the country could be proud of. Based on history, the designs were based on several factors and were not just designed based on trendiness. Instead, the stylebook they created solidifies the Thai national identity.
Relevance Of The Traditional Thai Clothing
The traditional dress of Thailand is also known as chut Thai phra ratcha niyom, and it continues to exist even to this day. In fact, you can simply walk the streets of Bangkok, and you will see tons of street shops selling different Chut Thai designs for men, women, and children. And when we say “different” we literally mean that there are lots of styles that you can consider before purchasing one. The reason for this is because every look can make use of different garments, fabrics, accessories, and patterns that are based on the particular event.
For the Thai people, having an official national costume helps in unifying the identity of the country. On top of that, every style shows the traditional weaving technique, imagery from the country, local patterns, and the inherent modesty of the locals.
What Is The Traditional Thai Dress Called?
Chut Thai is a type of traditional outfit best known for its bright and modest look. It usually is made of silk since the country is known for its huge number of silkworms. However, since Cambodia and India have a history, the current designs today still show the use of gold and silver, which were first introduced by the aforesaid countries.
Common Thai Clothing For Women
Listed below are some of the examples of traditional Thai dresses that you can take note of depending on the occasion:
- Ruean Ton – A casual Thai dress for Thai women who will join religious ceremonies or any non-official functions. It makes use of a tube-like skirt and is partnered with a long-sleeved collarless blouse.
- Chakkri – Elegant traditional Thai costume typically worn for formal and semi-formal functions. It makes use of Sabai, which is used to cover the upper garment and at least one shoulder.
- Siwalai – A formal evening attire that consists of a long tube skirt, a long-sleeved blouse, and a Sabai (a breast cloth that is similar to a luxurious shawl).
- Dusit – This type of Thai traditional dress makes use of a silk dress (ankle length) as an inner instead of the usual round neck and long-sleeved blouses. It is worn with a belt and can be used for semi-formal occasions and festival celebrations.
Common Thai Clothing For Men
Of course, fashion is not just for women. The men can wear any of these traditional Thai dresses:
- Pakama – A piece of fabric worn around the waist and can also double as a towel or head covering when needed.
- Suea Phraratchathan – A jacket with a Mandarin collar partnered with black pants. It can be worn with a blazer for casual occasions or even at school.
As we reach this part of the post, we hope that you were able to learn more about the Chut Thai or ชุดไทย and how unique it looks as compared to other outfits from Southeast Asia. Since it makes use of Thai silk, natural fabrics, and it bears embroidery (with very fine threads of gold and silver) like no other, there is something truly luxurious about the way the country’s traditional outfits look. May it be for formal events or not, you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to wear one when you visit Thailand!
The good news here is that there are several shops for tourists that allow anyone to rent these beautiful dresses for a very low price. So if you are interested in experiencing Thailand on a whole new level, we highly recommend that you rent one or purchase some of their modern national outfit, which you can wear even if you are no longer in the country.
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