What Is the Traditional Clothing of Spain?

José Antonio Morcillo Valenciano/CC-BY 2.0

Traditional clothing of Spain includes garments like the mantilla, peineta and gilet. People wear these garments during special events and celebrations, such as weddings, parades and regional celebrations.

The mantilla is a type of veil piece that women wear for weddings. It is usually a light lace or silk scarf that is worn over the shoulders or head. A peineta, a very large comb, pairs with the mantilla, holding it in place. A peineta is a decorative piece, many times having a tortoiseshell color.

A gilet is like a sleeveless jacket, which operates much like a vest, and it typically operates as part of an overall outfit. In the 19th century, gilets were used as dress bodices. Today, Spaniards refer to a gilet as a chaleco.

There are many other kinds of traditional Spanish garments. Bullfighter costumes are flamboyant and decorative, a custom of 18th century Andalusian clothing. These suits have detailed embroidery and lavish designs, and Spaniards refer to them as traje de luces, or “suits of lights.” There are also flamenco dresses and tuxedos that performers still wear today.