What Did the Native Americans Wear?

Danita Delimont/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Generally, Native American men wore breechcloths, which were a type of loincloth, and the women typically wore skirts or shirts made of buckskin. According to the American Indian Heritage Foundation, Native American tribes did not have the same style of dress. Although there were similarities in the styles of dress among the tribes, the styles were fundamentally different.

The typical attire for a Native American men was a loincloth without a shirt. Most Native American men did not wear shirts; however, the Plains Indians did wear shirts during times of war. During the winter, the men wore leather leggings that attached to their breechcloths. In some tribes, men wore kilts or skirts. In other tribes, men wore trousers made from fur.

Native American women wore skirts, sometimes with leggings; however, the style of their skirts varied depending upon the tribe. In some tribes the skirts resembled tunics while in others the skirts looked more like shirts. The women in some tribes did not wear skirts at all but instead wore dresses made of buckskin.

According to the National Park Service, some Native American women wore toga-style dresses that extended to the knee and tied on the right shoulder. In some Eastern North Carolina tribes, both the women and men wore breechcloths.