What Is Traditional Portuguese Clothing?

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Portuguese traditional dress varies regionally, but it typically consists of bouffant long skirts for women and shortened leggings, waist coasts and sombreros for men. Known as saia, women’s skirts display vibrant checkered or striped patterns, most often in red and white, and the outfit is completed with a kerchief to cover the hair. While traditional dress is not widely worn, it’s still used at weddings and festivals.

Alentejo cattleman are well-known for their trademark red and green stocking cap. This traditional dress is still worn in some areas, along with the samarra, a short jacket accented with a collar of fox fur. In the Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro region, shepherds continue to dress in the traditional straw cloak. In interior villages in the country, black is considered the color of mourning and is often worn for long periods after the death of a loved one.

Traditional dress is most widely seen in the northern Minho province for special occasions, and in this region the dress is particularly colorful and vibrant. Traditionally, when dressing in this manner, women wear several ornate gold necklaces and finish the outfit with a matching kerchief. In the Madeira region, traditional dress can often be seen at local markets.