What Is the Traditional Dress in France?

The traditional dress in France depends on the region, but consists of items like lace-trimmed blouses, aprons with colorful flowers and white, flared bonnets. The one thing that France’s regional costumes have in common is that they are all based on late 18th century rural clothing.

In general, traditional men’s clothing in France consists of six basic pieces. The chemise is a linen undershirt, and culottes are knee-length pants. Men wear a pair of hose, or knee-high socks, and mitasses are protective garters worn atop the lower legs. A guillette is a small, short vest worn over the chemise, and the capote or justacorp is a heavy coat with large cuffs worn over the entire outfit.

Traditional French women’s clothing have four basic pieces. A chemise is worn under everything, and is comparable to an underskirt or shift. A jupon is similar to a skirt, and more than one is worn to indicate wealth and status. French women wear a mantlet, or a short waistcoat, on top as a shirt. The outfit is finished off by a fichu, which is a square piece of cloth used modesty scarf and is worn around the neck and shoulders. Nearly all traditional French women’s outfits are topped off by some type of cap or other head wear.