What Is the Traditional Dress of Puerto Rico Like?

Hola Images/N/A/Getty Images

Traditional Puerto Rican dress is a mixture of Spanish and African influence. Two distinct styles exist in the form of Jibaro and Bomba cultures. Jibaro dress consists of a white shirt and pants with a colored sash for men and multicolored long skirts and white blouses for women. Bomba dress consists of flowing white skirts and blouses for women and white suits or colorful shirts for men.

Jibaro culture is the dominant culture in Puerto Rico and is a blend of native traditions with the conquering Spanish ones. Dress in the Jibaro style prominently borrows from Spanish style with flowing, colorful skirts for women and a basic shirt and pants for men. Men also wear straw hats, and women sometimes wear either flower bonnets or colorful kerchiefs in their hair.

Bomba culture is primarily African, and where Jibaro is colorful, Bomba is mostly white. The Bomba style is related to the traditional clothing of African slaves on the island. The white dresses for women are sometimes accented with bright colors such as blue and red, while men wear colorful shirts tied at the waist with ankle-length pants. Men sometimes also accessorize with a straw Panama hat, while women leave their heads bare.