Updated: February 14, 2023Published: September 30, 2022
Did you know Spain has a traditional dress for its 17 autonomous communities? Crazy right?
As you may already know, Spain is rich in culture and customs. Wherever you go, you will find a different history, just as wherever you go, you will find a different typical Spanish dress.
It’s not something you will wear every day; there are specific days when the citizens of each community wear them. Don’t worry, I will explain it all later.
I can tell you that it will be like a trip to the past. You will be able to visualize each region’s curious and typical clothes and whose confection has hundreds of years of history.
Undoubtedly these are the most representative attires and accessories, so do not miss any detail in case one day you want to join one of their celebrations.
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1. Traje de flamenca or Traje de gitana - Andalusia
The history of this dress goes back to the end of the 19th century, when lower-class women, generally of gypsy ethnicity, attended the cattle fairs dressed in ruffled gowns.
It could be said that they were the ones who set the trend.
At the famous Seville Fair, “Feria de Sevilla” of 1929, the flamenco dress or gypsy costume became the official dress to attend this celebration, which is maintained today.
If you go to Andalusia, you will see different costumes depending on your province. But without a doubt, the MOST famous Spanish costume that references Spanish culture worldwide is the flamenco dress known as “Traje de Flamenca” or “Traje de Gitana.”
It’s a dress you will see in many Andalusian fairs. The most famous are the “Feria de Jerez” and the “Feria de Abril en Sevilla”.
The flamenca dress is a long dress with ruffles on the bottom and sometimes on the sleeves. It’s a fitted dress that usually reaches the ankle and can be of any color. Many people wear bright colors, with flashy prints and polka dots being the most common.
But, that depends on the tastes of each person and the trends of the moment. In Spain, we have a typical expression, “para gustos los colores,” translated to English as “colors to suit all tastes.”
The costume is complemented with several accessories, such as the manila shawl or “mantón de manila,” the flower and the comb, or “peineta.” The manila shawl is worn, covering the shoulders, and is usually hooked at the front in the chest area.
The hair is usually worn tied up and decorated with a flower that can be on the side or on top of the head.
These are the main accessories but don’t forget to add some lovely earrings, a necklace, and the popular “abanico”!
And last but not least, to be super comfortable the best option would be “alpargatas” known as esparto shoes. This way, you will be sure to last all night dancing till the end!
The men wear the typical Andalusian costume, known as “traje de corto” (short suit), characterized by being accompanied by a Cordovan or wide-brimmed hat “sombrero cordobés."
The other costume pieces are a white shirt, a short jacket “guayabera,” narrow dark pants to match the coat, and a handkerchief as a sash knotted at the waist. As footwear, dark shoes, white stockings, and “polainas” are usually worn.
This costume, so unique and different from the rest, is associated with a dance typical of its autonomous community known as “flamenco.”
It could be said that most of the traditional costumes we will see in this post are related to a typical dance of each Spanish region.
2. Fallero and Fallera - Valencia
This traditional costume is still very present in their festivities and folkloric acts, particularly in Valencia’s “Fiesta de las Fallas”.
It’s a very colorful costume that attracts a lot of attention, which I will explain in more detail.
The Fallera dress consists of a skirt printed with flowers and bright colors and a corsage or “corpiño” of the same fabric. It also has an apron and a “manteleta” for the shoulders, which crosses over the chest and is tied at the waist. The women must wear “enaguas,” the old underwear, accompanied by a hollower. On top of the skirt, they wear an apron made of the same fabric as the “manteletas.”
As for the accessories, they usually wear different jewelry to match the costume. And the shoes are typically lined with the same fabric as the costume.
The hairstyle worn by the “fallera” woman is exceptional and characteristic. It consists of a bun, but not just any bun, a very elaborate one accompanied by “peinetas."
Although the typical regional costume of Valencia is the “Fallero,” the men can wear other models:
The “fallero” costume: consisted of a pair of pants and a short jacket, black, a white shirt with ruff, and a colored sash “fajín.”
The “torrentí”: is a very colorful costume, made up of tight pants below the knee and a short jacket of the same color, a white shirt, sash, and headgear.
The “saragüell”: is the name of the wide pants “calzones anchos” that do not reach below the knees and are worn by the farmers of the Valencian community. It is the typical costume of “l’horta Valenciana” and consists of the white saragüell to the knees, blouse, vest, sash, handkerchief (called “mocaor”) on the head, “alpargatas” and a brightly colored blanket (“morellana”) long and narrow.
3. Chulapo and Chulapa - Madrid
Dressing up as a “chulapo or chulapa” is a tradition that has been present in Madrid since the 19th century and is still very present today. The day on which the Madrilenians take to the streets wearing this traditional costume is May the 15th to honor their patron “San Isidro.”
This typical costume is part of the Spanish Fashion History and it’s related to the “chotis,” the regional dance of Madrid.
Women wear long dresses with ruffles at the bottom and tight to the body. It’s usually white and can have polka dots or a diamond pattern. This typical Spanish design is generally accompanied by a Manila shawl “mantón de manila” that covers the shoulders and a white scarf that wraps the hair up. They also add a red flower, “clavel rojo.”
The chulapas usually wear black shoes with not very high heels or the “alpargatas”.
The man’s outfit consists of dark trousers (called “alares”), a white shirt, a vest (of the same color as the trousers) with a red flower “clavel rojo” on the lapel and a white handkerchief at the neck.
We cannot forget the special touch, the beret or “boina” worn on the head, called “parpusa.” They usually wear black patent leather shoes, known as “calcos."
4. Baserritarra - Basque Country
Unlike other regions, the Basque Country doesn’t have one traditional costume but several, which vary according to age, genre, and area.
The traditional Basque clothing still presents itself today. It consists of various clothes whose style has been maintained over the years.
Among the typical clothes of this Spanish women’s costume are the “enaguas,” a red skirt with a black or blue cloth and a black apron. The back is covered with black and white fabric and a “manto.” And on the head is usually a scarf known as “zapi” and espadrilles or “alpargatas” as footwear.
The men’s costume usually includes a blouse or shirt, pants, and the most important thing: the “txapela,” a beret typical of the area where they cover their heads. Men also wear espadrilles as shoes.
5. Hereus and Pubilles / Payesa - Catalonia
The traditional costume of Catalonia for women is the “Pubilla” (referring to the heiress of the family fortune in rural areas) on its most prosperous side or “Catalan” on its side of the peasant woman, worker of the field.
This costume is used at specific times, such as the feast of the Virgin of Montserrat.
The “pubilla” dress is a long black velvet dress.
But the “catalana or payesa” dress consists of a shirt and a linen skirt with floral designs. A black apron is usually worn over the skirt.
The typical Catalan costume stands out for a series of characteristic elements such as the “gandalla” which is a braided thread net to cover the head while simultaneously gathering the hair. The “mantellina” or the “mantell” to cover the shoulders; the “minetes” which are small nets to cover the arms from the elbow to the thumb and a black apron is placed over the skirt.
As for footwear, the pubillas use high heels, which differentiates them from the Catalan or payesa costume as they use the “set vetes”, esparto espadrilles knotted with ribbons on the legs.
On the other hand, the men are not so complicated, and their costume is characterized by a white linen or cotton shirt or blouse. The “jupetí” is a black velvet vest that covers the shirt; the “faja” and a sash that holds the sweater. They also wear black velvet trousers below the knee and their fundamental/famous piece, the “barretina,” a red and black cap that covers the head.
They use the famous and comfortable esparto espadrilles as footwear, although they can also use “moccasin” shoes.
We can find different jewelry and brooches for women to complement this typical regional costume. And a cape (as a coat for important events), ordinarily black, sleeveless, and extended to the ankles for men.
6. Baturro and Baturra - Aragón
This costume is worn on important dates such as the 12th of October. It happens during the floral offering to the Virgen del Pilar (patron saint of Aragonese).
Likewise, it is also the costume used by folklore and traditional dance groups typical of Aragon, known as “la jota.”
The women’s costume has two different models, the everyday one and the gala one.
The daily dress is also known as peasant dress or “traje de campesina” and has a sash covered by a cotton skirt and an apron. It is accompanied by a white blouse called “chambra” and a cotton cloak.
However, in the “traje de gala” of the Aragonese women, the skirt is made of silk, and the blouse is tighter, known as “jubón” and doesn’t have to be white; it can be of some other colors. As for the shawl, it can be of silk or manila with handmade embroidery.
The Aragonese man must wear knee-length black pants with a white shirt, which will be covered by a vest of the same fabric as the pants. At the waist must wear a red sash, and the head will be covered by a “cachirulo” one of the most distinctive garments of this costume (black and red checkered handkerchief).
Both men and women may wear espadrilles or shoes.
7. Montañés - Cantabria
Although there are other dresses, the “montañés” is the best known in the region. It is the one used in pilgrimages known as pilgrimages, “romerías.”
The woman wears a canvas shirt with wide sleeves. This is accompanied by a “saya” or long skirt to the ankle with velvet strips in bright and cheerful colors such as orange, green, and yellow.
She also wears a “justillo,” a velvet band attached to the body, and a handkerchief of bright colors that can be made of silk on the shoulders.
On the head, she wears a silk or cotton scarf with bright colors and floral prints, which are knotted at the top of the head.
The man’s costume comprises a linen shirt, a corduroy, or a silk vest usually printed with a satin back. Also, with a dark jacket, cloth pants (preference for light blue color with black details) and a “waist belt” known as “ceñidor,” that can be of various colors. Over the suit, a dark cloth jacket is worn, short and wide, and they wear high natural leather shoes with details made with fire.
We cannot forget the hat complements this traditional Cantabrian costume, which has two types. One model is a high-top hat made of black felt with a peacock feather and a branch of evergreens. And the second model is known as “serrano or galero,” which are hats with brims and a truncated crown.
There are also other typical costumes of Cantabria such as the pasiego, the labaniego, the campurriano, the trasmerano, the cabuérnigo, the trevisano, the tudanco and the pescador de gala.
8. Aldeano - Castilla y León
This Spanish costume was inspired by clothing models from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The female costume consists of a white linen or cotton blouse with lace at the neck and cuffs. The “saya” or skirt is made of cloth (usually red), and adorned with embroidery or sequins. The skirt is covered with a “mandil” or black apron with sequins. Its most characteristic element is the “dengue.” This handkerchief covers the back and is made of the same material as the “saya.” It is crossed at chest level and tied at the back of the waist. They were black shoes.
The man must wear knee-length pants of black cloth, wool, or cotton stockings that reach the same height as the pants. The long linen or canvas shirt has wide spots and a red sash around the waist. But the villager costume or “traje de aldeano” has a black cloth vest and a black hat. Like the women, the shoe must be black.
9. Manchego - Castilla la Mancha
It originates in the Spanish clothing worn during the 18th and 19th centuries by the inhabitants of the Iberian Peninsula.
It’s characterized by the “refajo” that can be of colored stripes, floral prints, or a single color. On top of this piece, they wear a silk apron and white or colored striped stockings underneath. On top, they wear a “jubón negro” and a black and white or colored shawl. Women wear black high-heeled shoes.
The man wears a white shirt with a dark vest and pants or breeches of the same color. They can also wear a short Andalusian-style jacket with some ornaments. The wide leather and velvet belt make it unique as they usually embroider their initials. From the belt hangs a pouch for tobacco and another for money. They wear black shoes and a wide-brimmed hat.
10. Extremeño - Extremadura
It’s a costume that catches my attention, especially for its most usual complement, the “Montehermoseña Cap,” since it is the most eye-catching headpiece in Spain. I will tell you about it a little further down.
The costume of the Extremadura woman is composed of mantillas of different colors (the cherry one being the most prominent). A doublet “jubón” of satin or black satin with embroidered cuffs and adorned with sequins and beads. The apron is black wool with red and blue ribbons at the bottom. They usually wear a handkerchief on their heads and on top of it they wear the famous Montehermoseña cap.
This cap is handmade using a straw. The braiding of the hat measures 12 to 14 meters. Once you shape it, it is decorated with ornaments such as mother-of-pearl buttons, “botones de nacar,” sequins, and different accessories.
According to the saying, there are three types of caps:
-The one for single women: is characterized by bright colors and a mirror.
-Married women: purple in color and without a mirror.
-The one for widowed women: the one with all its ornaments in black color.
The typical men’s costume comprises an embroidered vest with buttons, a shirt, a colored handkerchief, a pair of pants with tassels, “borlones,” an embroidered or plain sash, and stockings.
We cannot forget a fundamental element: the military cap introduced in this dress after the African war.
11. Gallego - Galicia
This traditional costume is used for folkloric acts such as the “muñeira,” the traditional Spanish dance, and the “gaiteros."
Until the early twentieth century, the peasants wore regional dress that varied depending on their locality. There was a specific costume for the daily tasks and another one for special celebrations, the “traje de gala."
Undoubtedly the best known was the “gala” costume, which is the one I’m going to talk about in this case.
The Galician regional costume for women consists of a white shirt with a vest and a black “dengue” (a small cloth cape decorated with pearls and velvet that crosses over the chest). At the bottom is a long skirt that is usually red and with black ribbons at the bottom. Tight pants at the knee and white stockings.
On top, they wear a black apron. As footwear, they use clogs known as “zuecos” with wooden soles or black shoes with low heels. Thank God!
Men wear a shirt, usually white and covered by a black vest. Underneath, they wear black pants and black “polainas” (a cloth covering the legs from the knees to the feet). Around the waist, they wear a sash that is usually red but can be colored. Like the women, they typically wear clogs, “zuecos” or black shoes.
12. Asturiano - Asturias
This costume reflects the costumes used during the XVIII and XIX centuries that marked pivotal moments in Spanish fashion history.
This Asturian costume is still used for essential festivities and in traditional dance groups.
It has some similarities with traditional costumes, like the “gallego” one.
The upper part of the female costume consists of a white shirt, a bodice “corpiño” or “cotilla,” and the famous “dengue” (as in the Galician costume).
In the lower part, they wear a “saya” or skirt up to the ankles and can be of various colors, red and green the most common. At the bottom of the “saya” they wear black velvet ribbons. Under the skirt, the women’s underwear consists of a petticoat, “enagua,” and “pololos."
They usually cover their heads with a handkerchief and wear “madreñas” (wooden clogs) as footwear or slippers with esparto grass soles “suela de esparto.” Women’s heads are usually covered with a bandana.
Men wear a white shirt on top, covered by a vest, usually the same color as the pants. At the bottom, they wear a pair of pants made of cloth or corduroy up to the knee, depending on the area, and may vary in color.
At the waist, above the pants and the shirt, they wear a sash “faja,” usually red.
And on the head, they wear the “montera,” a cloth cap and representative garment of the Asturian regional costume.
They also wear the “madreñas” or esparto grass slippers on their feet.
13. Traje Regional de Navarra - Navarra
This region has different types of clothing where the history and typical traditions of each era are reflected. It should be mentioned that the areas where you can find traditional Spanish costumes are the Roncal, the Salazar Valley, and Aézcoa.
Of these three areas, the most typical is the Roncal area, so let’s focus on this one.
The typical costume of the Roncal woman is composed of a long pleated blue-purple inner skirt up to the ankle. And over this skirt, they put another dress of the same color but turned in the front so that the lining could be seen.
On the torso, a black “justillo” is worn with a red braid tied with a cord of the same color. On festive days the “justillo” wears a light blue bib embroidered with threads and some stains. Moreover, the costume is accompanied by various accessories such as chokers, necklaces, and adornments.
There are some variations in this dress depending on the woman’s situation. For example, single women do not wear “justillo” but a shirt. And in the case of widows or older women, the traditional costume has both a shirt and a “justillo” and all its accessories or ornaments are black.
The men’s suit consists of a white linen shirt with wide sleeves. The shirt is covered with a closed vest, usually made of wool. A short crossed and collarless jacket of a dark material traditionally bordered by a red braid.
As for the pants, they are usually dark-colored, of the same fabric as the jacket. The sash is usually purple or black and is tied around the waist. On the head, they typically wear a black felt hat with a round top and wide brims fastened to the chin.
If you are single, this may interest you, as there is a slight variation in the costume. The colors are usually more vivid in the jacket, pants, and vest.
14. Canario - Canary Islands
It’s a costume that originates in dresses worn by different social classes hundreds of years ago and is still worn today in regional celebrations or folkloric events.
Each island has its own dress with details, but all of them have the same general characteristics.
Women wear a white blouse with long or short sleeves, covered by a “jubón” or “justillo” (a kind of vest tight to the chest). This can be of different colors and can have embroidery.
They wear a petticoat, “enagua” to give the skirt shape and flounce. The skirt is extended to the feet and is usually of vertical stripes and many colors. Sometimes the dress is covered by an apron.
They usually wear a “mantilla” to cover their head and a hat on top of it, known as “cachorro” or “cachorra”.
The Canarian man wears a white shirt, covered by a doublet “jubón” or vest and knee-length pants. The waist area is covered by a belt or sash from which bangs emerge. The head is covered by the “montera,” characteristic of this regional costume.
And they wear shoes with laces or buckles, whichever is more comfortable.
15. Vestit de Pagès - Balearic Islands
This costume is known as the peasant’s dress, “vestido de payés” as it was the typical dress of the peasants. The “vestit de pagès” is the typical costume currently used in folkloric or dance groups in the regional festivals of the Balearic Islands.
Although there are some differences between the costumes of each island (same as the “canario” dress), they all share some general features.
Women wear a doublet or “gipó” (a garment that covers the shoulders to the waist and is tight to the body). And “faldetes” are thick skirts if it is winter and thinner if it is summer.
For the hair, women wear thin cloth headdresses known as “cambuix.” One of the most famous pieces is the bell-shaped “rebosillo,” which was used to cover the head, reaching almost the waist. The footwear they used was the “albarcas,” the “espardenyes” (esparto slippers), or sandals.
If I could choose, I would select sandals 100%!!!
Men wear baggy pants known as “bufes” or “a l’ampla,” tied with a string at the waist and knees. They also wear tights and a girdle “faja.”
In the upper part, they usually wear a shirt, a “guardapecho” or jacket, and a cape.
They usually wear hats of all kinds accompanied by a handkerchief, usually at the neck.
As shoes, they wear “espardenyes” and “albarcas,” as do the women.
16. Murciano - Murcia
The traditional costume of the Region of Murcia originates in the old Murcian orchards’ old workers. However, it is kept alive thanks to the traditions and celebrations of its citizens.
As in many other communities, this costume is in folklore and traditional dance groups typical of the region.
Murcian women wear bodice “corpiño,”“cucos” and petticoats “enaguas” as underwear that will be covered by a skirt of different colors and fabrics. This is covered by an apron, usually white, as in most of the costumes we have seen. And the woman also wears a white shirt and a mantle covering her shoulders. Her hair is tied up in a bun adding a floral headdress.
The man wears a canvas shirt and short trousers of Arab origin placed above the stockings.
The sash is also present in this costume, usually red. In addition, men must wear an embroidered vest and esparto shoes, “las esparteñas.”
17. Riojano - La Rioja
La Rioja is a region of varied traditions and customs that can be reflected in its typical costumes depending on each area and population. Many of its garments are related to the traditional dances of this region.
The most representative Spanish costume and undoubtedly one of the most original is the “Albelda de Iregua,” present throughout La Rioja.
In this case, the color white stands out; the women wear a plain white shirt, over which two wide-colored ribbons are placed across the chest and reach the back, tying both sides. And around the arms, another four colored stripes above the elbow.
They wear white “pololos” or “bombachos” up to the knee in the lower part. A bottom petticoat of the same color as the “pololos” and an upper dress to maintain the flight. To this must be added the red sash.
In addition, they wear a colorful tied handkerchief and a ribbon covering the bow.
The men’s suit consists of a plain white shirt. As in the women’s costume, this costume has two wide ribbons of different colors that go from the chest to the back. And the same goes for the four ribbons to adorn the arms.
In this case, the pants are white, and a short plain-colored skirt is placed.
On the neck, they wear a printed handkerchief of different colors.
They wear hemp espadrilles, “alpargatas de cáñamo” with black ribbons that cross over and are tied at the ankles, combined with a white sock.
Here’s a map of Spain with the typical regional dresses of each autonomous community.
Now I have some questions for you…
Which one would be your favorite dress?
If you had to attend one of their festivities, which one would it be?
Many traditional costumes are still seen in some festivities of the different autonomous communities.
As you may have seen, many of the costumes are associated with each region’s typical dance, making it even more special.
So I invite you to read the following articles as they will help you better understand our culture and why it is so highly valued among its inhabitants and in many other parts of the world.
Jimena Bolívar is a seasoned travel writer with a unique passion for Spanish Food & Recipes. With a background in business and marketing, she brings a strategic and innovative approach to her writing, making her the perfect guide for those looking to truly experience the Authentic Spain. Jimena is also a Mother of 4, and is a huge fan of knitting her own clothes.
Hi Vivienne! Nice to meet you (:
I will very happy to help you with a store to get a traditional custome from Asturias, but I would need to know where are you staying in region.
If you could help me with the city you are traveling to, I will be able to give you a better list of stores where you can get the custome.
Let me know!
June 1, 2023
Thank you for your reply! In September we will spend four days in Llanes and another four in Oviedo. We can’t wait.
Sorry for the delay! These are the store we you could get traditional costumes in Oviedo:
- Trajes regionales asturianos (https://www.trajesregionalesasturianos.es/es/). This is an online store, you could order your custome and send it to your accomodation.
- Costumes El Toldo (https://disfraceseltoldo.es/). You could also get your custome from 'El Toldo' in Oviedo, this is the address Viaducto del Ing. Marquina, 5, bajo, 33004 Oviedo, Asturias.
I hope you enjoy your trip, I would be happy to hear back from your experience!
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