Slovakia is traditionally a rich European country and it has a fantastic cultural heritage. Although the country has not too much population but its small population is divided into many regions and each region has its own cultural identity and significance. The Slovak people have splendid treasure of folk dances, music, art, dialect and traditional costumes.
The traditional dress of Slovakia has the influences from the medieval style of clothing that was gradually altered with different patterns, designs and modifications. The changing occurred due to the foreigners that used to come in the region and the historic fashion trends in the clothing were evolved. New kinds of raw materials were introduced in the region and variations were brought according to the geographic and climatic need as well.
In the lowland areas of Slovakia, people usually preferred linen and the costumes were of loose nature while in the mountainous areas, woolen textiles and furs were also used and the clothing was fashioned more tightly. Today, it is only a matter of festive occasion to dress up traditionally in every state of Slovakia.
Like other European countries, the importance of the national costume in today’s Slovakia was flourished during the 15thcentury Renaissance. Later on the French revolution and under the Habsburg Monarchy, Hungarian culture both put their cultural influences on the region’s clothing. But it would not be wrong to say that the dire need of having an own national costume was reached to its peak after the end of Bach’s absolutism.
Kroje or “kro-yeh” is the typical name of the decorated,traditional and cultural dress worn by the Czechs and the Slovaks. Women’s traditional dress in Slovakia was characterized by a long, large skirt and a white blouse with large sleeves tapered to the wrists.
Decoration and embellishment with embroidery remained a prominent feature and the bodice and bonnet were made with precious materials. Sometimes for more festive clothes, the services of many eminent painters were hired to color the costumes. White, red and blue colors remained very popular throughout the Slovak folk costume culture.
Men’s traditional wear in Slovakia was fashioned to the town style of the period and the accessories included narrow trousers, tight waistcoat, jacket tapered to the waist etc. The dresses were usually made from cotton (skirts and summer trousers) and wool. Woolen material in white, blue and black was used for festive trousers, waistcoats and jackets. These were adorned with braiding.
The traditional dress of Slovakia gradually lost its importance after the World War II and it became only the part of folk events, theater presentations and festive occasions. Apart from today’s stage costume, the traditional dress of Slovakia is really symbolic in the cultural heritage of the country.
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