Middles ages costumes from Poland. Image by Arcadiuš

Middles ages costumes from Poland. Image by Arcadiuš

Poland, which is one of the most populous countries in Europe, is today known in the lovely planet as the Republic of Poland. This country has multiple geographic diversities and is recognized as the country having one of the largest water bodies in the Eastern Europe. Poland is an ancient country; however it is believed that this region was properly inhabited by the Slavic people during the 5th century AD. The Piast dynasty formed Poland into an apt dominion around the middle of the 10th century.

Lubelski - Dancers in traditional costumes from Poland. Gorgeous photo by poloniawindsor.ca
Lubelski – Dancers in traditional costumes from Poland. Gorgeous photo by poloniawindsor.ca

Polish society flourished with its distinctions during the rule of the Jagiellon dynasty in the late middle ages. The journey continued and during renaissance, Polish people emerged as an idiosyncratic cultural nation having its own features embellished with the GermanicLatinate and Byzantine influences. True cultural advancement took place in Poland during the 19th and 20th century. And today, this highly developed European country is adorned with its cultural and traditional values with full grace.

Palm Sunday, village of Łyse. Kurpie region, Poland. Image by PolandMFA
Palm Sunday, village of Łyse. Kurpie region, Poland. Image by PolandMFA

Repercussions of typical peasant culture are the distinguished characteristics of the traditional dress of Poland. It is fabulously enriched with magnificent craftsmanship, phenomenal design, appropriate coloring and symbolic aesthetics. Modern Polish people stand far from their traditional costume in today’s usual life but they have also marvelously preserved their clothing heritage which they often showcase in the cultural events and traditional festivals. There is an enormous range in the traditional and folk costumes of Poland that vary from region to region.

Male folk dancers in traditional Polish outfits. Image by Javier Kohen
Male folk dancers in traditional Polish outfits. Image by Javier Kohen

We’ll try in this article to bring before you the colors of the traditional dress of Poland pertaining to the significant regions of the country. Krakow is the genuine cultural hub of Poland and its culture genuinely dates back to 900 B.C. Polish men from Krakow region traditionally wear blue waistcoat with stunning embroidery and tassels. They wear striped trousers and a krakuska cap which is ornamented with ribbons and peacock feathers and metal rings attached to the belt is their identical emblem.

Polish traditional outfit from Krakow, Poland. Image by M.Ewert
Polish traditional outfit from Krakow, Poland. Image by M.Ewert

The woman’s costume from Krakow, Poland includes a white blouse, a vest that is embroidered and beaded on front and back, a floral full skirt, an apron, a red coral bead necklace, and lace-up boots. Unmarried women and girls may wear a flower wreath with ribbons while married women wear a white kerchief on their head. The garment and embellishment of the head of the women is also dependent upon the season and marital status.

See also – Krakow : The pearl of Poland

Lachy Sadeckie folk costume - Poland
Lachy Sadeckie folk costume – Poland

The ethnic Polish community of the southern Lesser region is known as Lachy Sądeckie and they also have slight variation in their folk dresses. The dresses for women are decorated with superb floral patterns and beads work with typical Lachy Sądeckie motifs. They also wear embroidered aprons and handkerchiefs. Men’s folk costume has ciosek under the collar and beautiful embroidery on the shirt and vest. They also sometimes wear Kaftan shaped coats that are beautified with metal buttons, silk tassels, red wool appliqué and embroidery. 

Polish regional folk costumes - Podhale region
Polish regional folk costumes – Podhale region

Gorals or Gorales live in southern Poland along the Carpathian Mountains, in Podhale of the Tatra Mountains and parts of the Beskids. The people of the Polish highlands are well-known for their unique folklore and dazzling customs. The folk dresses of these areas are also symbolic in the Polish traditional culture.

Polish dancers wearing Zywiec regional in traditional outfits.
Polish dancers wearing Zywiec regional in traditional outfits.

Żywiec region of Poland was first mentioned in a written document in 1308 as a seat of a Catholic parish. The dress of the natives carries the inspirations from hundreds of years old evolutions.

The dresses from Cieszyn Silesia region of Poland are also amazingly elegant .
The dresses from Cieszyn Silesia region of Poland are also amazingly elegant .

The dresses from Cieszyn Silesia region of Poland are also amazingly elegant and feature descent appearance, bewitching patterns and sophisticated coloring. The region was inhabited by several ethnic groups. Traditionally the female folk costume featured the lush and elegance, due to its essential element, silver jewellery. Skirts were sewn with 6-8 meters of fabric panels and were 5-6 m wide. Due to its richness and elegance the costume quickly became a target of artists and specialists in folk culture.

Couple in traditional outfit from Lublin
Couple in traditional outfit from Lublin

The Krzczonów folk costume of Poland is the best known traditional dress from the Lublin Province. In the women’s dress, the chemise is embroidered on the cuffs, collar, shoulder pieces, and sometimes around the front opening with particular Kzczonow embroidery, later replaced by cross stitch. The apron is unique, in that it is basically a short version of the skirt, gathered into a waistband and wrapping completely around the body. The bodice is the typical Polish lace up type, known as a gorsetka. The Men’s costume is based on a shirt which has a cut identical to the women’s, except the collar is smaller, and the shirt itself is shorter. It is worn outside the pants. It has embroidery like the women’s, but with no or less extensive embroidery on the shoulder.

Polish folk dance performed by a couple wearing Bilgoraj. Image ilvic
Polish folk dance performed by a couple wearing Bilgoraj. Image ilvic

Biłgoraj is an important center of local folklore, with highly developed folk art, regional clothes and customs. Biłgoraj outfit is one of the archaic types. All parts are made of linen. The original hats of the women are called chamełka of rańtuchem, found in a wider range in the south-east of the Polish territory. There are archaic embroidery motifs decorating the dress’s curve and ogee.

Opoczno folk costumes from Poland
Opoczno folk costumes from Poland

Opoczno lies on the Wąglanka river, in northwestern corner of historic Lesser Poland. Opoczno costumes are characterized by their thick, woven, striped material used for the dresses, capes and aprons. The material was traditionally colored using natural dyes and hand-woven on wooden looms. The fabric is tightly gathered at the top so that the cape displays nicely over the shoulders. Capes were worn during the colder months instead of coats in many regions of Poland.

Lemko - Poland - Traditional outfit for woman.
Lemko – Poland – Traditional outfit for woman.

The basic garment for the Lemko women in Poland is the chemise, sometimes separated into two garments, the shirt and the underskirt. Traditionally, the dress was adorned with minimal embroidery or hemstitching on the collar and cuffs as well. The skirt was originally made of linen, from flax for dress and hemp for everyday.  The aprons were often carrying ribbons sewn on, and often a panel of contrasting material.  The vest was called the Leibek and it was usually made of wool. The most delicate part is a broad collar-shaped necklace strung of seed-beads.

Children from Poland performing in Dożynki festival wearing traditional outfits. Image by magro_kr
Children from Poland performing in Dożynki festival wearing traditional outfits. Image by magro_kr

Harvest Festival in Poland has been celebrated after the harvest since the time of the feudal systems. It is known as Dozhinki and the Polish people celebrate this with their traditional enthusiast and patriotic passions. They participate in different festivities wearing the traditional dress of Poland. 

A Polish couole - Wedding attires - Image by edinburghsteve
A Polish couole – Wedding attires – Image by edinburghsteve

The Polish people are proud of their traditional dress which is a truly symbolic in the Polish culture. They still wear their folk costumes and even in some regions on daily basis to represent their colorful heritage and to attract the tourists.  For a culture-lover, Poland is an ideal country where the people have wide range of folk traditions and costumes.

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