CROATIAN NATIONAL COSTUMES

National costumes are considered an integral part of a nation's culture and heritage. National costumes in Croatia, that always consists of blouses, skirts or dresses, aprons, shoes and kerchiefs for women and of shirts, trousers, vests and shoes for men, can be divided into three types. NATIONAL COSTUMES IN THE INTERIOR

Due to cold winters and harsh climate, national costumes consist, apart from linen and wool, of fur, and of thick vests, coats and cloaks. Feet are wrapped in linen instead of socks and "opanci" (strapped softsoled footwear) or boots in northern parts are worn. Women's costumes are decorated with floral and animal motifs, with silk or wool red, white or blue embroidery, decorative silk ribbons and bows, lacework, gold or silver jewelry, corals, amber necklaces and pearls. Hair is interwoven into one or two braids and decorated with red ribbons for women that are unmarried, while wedded women wear woven or silk kerchiefs on their heads. Costumes of brides consisted of a crown and a lot of jewelry.

Besides everyday costumes, there are also the so-called golden costumes that are decorated with gold threads. An unusual part of the men's costume is a small apron that is worn over the trousers (in Baranja).



NATIONAL COSTUMES IN THE MOUNTAINS AND NEAR THE COAST

Since there are many sheep in the mountainous areas, wool is the basic material for making national costumes, and is, before being woven, dyed in red, yellow, green and black. They are characterized by wool socks that are either black or white and "opanci" (strapped softsoled footwear), while a linen shirt is common both to men and women's costumes. Both men and women wear embroidered red hats, sometimes having a peacock feather that is believed to protect from evil and spells with its colorful eye. Belts, aprons and blue dresses for married women and white for unmarried are worn over the long women's blouses with geometric motifs. Women wear white kerchiefs that are pinned to their hats or embroidered kerchiefs on their heads. They always wear silver jewelry, hairpins, earrings, silver coins and so on. Men's costumes consist of shirts, blue ankle length trousers, leather vests and long sleeved brown or blue coats. Men tie red belts around their waists and use them to hold their guns. Winter accessories are made of lamb fur.



NATIONAL COSTUMES ON THE COAST

Men's costumes are blue or brown, and consist of ankle length trousers, shirts, vests with gold embroidery, wide silk belts, soft red hats, cotton socks and "opanci" (strapped softsoled footwear). In Istria, men wear long, tight trousers made of white linen, leather vests, short long-sleeved coats and long sleeveless coats.
Women on the coast wear broad sleeved white blouses that are embroidered in silk or lace, as well as skirts with pleats, while women in Istria, in winter, usually wear long tight sleeves that are tied at the back over their blouses. National costumes from the island of Pag that go back to the 15th century are characterized by lace that decorates the front part of blouses and the edges of kerchiefs. Men's costumes are blue and decorated with silk handkerchiefs worn around the waist and red hats. National costumes from Dubrovnik are richly decorated with gold embroidery on men's vests and trousers, while women wear fine jewelry: earrings, luxurious necklaces and hair clips.

Regardless of the area they come from, national costumes are made at home and from natural materials, and their beauty depends on the skills, imagination and wealth of the family that wears them.
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