What Kind of Clothing Do Laos People Wear?

According to the traditions of Laos, women dress up in skirts, scarves and blouses as "mothers of the nation" while men traditionally wear peasant pants and a shirt. Women typically wear their hair in a coil when they are attending major ceremonies while men will sometimes add a shawl and knee-length white socks. The different ethnic groups found within Laos have their own styles of dress.

The designs of Laos clothing have been influenced by Thai, French, Cambodian and Burmese cultures. The colors and embroidery patterns of Lao traditional clothing not only identify people's ethnicity and region, but also can represent their family and clan. For example, Yao women wear long black jackets with red lapels and Blue Hmong women wear black jackets with yellow and orange embroidery.

The traditional skirt of Laos is called a sinh, which consists of a wrap skirt made of cotton or silk. The body of the sinh is called the phuen sinh and typically has two colors. The hem of the sinh, or tin sinh, will have intricate designs in embroidery. The sinh's waistband, or hua sinh, is generally not seen.

The peasant pants worn by men are traditionally in the Khmer style. Men generally wear an Indochinese shirt or jacket with a Mandarin collar. They also wear a checkered shawl, known as a pha biang.