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12 Amazing National Outfits Celebrating The Diversity of Beauty

12 Amazing National Outfits Celebrating The Diversity of Beauty

Clothing doesn’t only exist to cover us up and to protect us from the elements. People have used clothing to express their nationality, traditions, and beliefs for thousands of years. In many nations, the result is stunningly beautiful national outfits. Keep reading to learn more about the traditional dress that highlights the diversity of beauty.

1. Thailand – The Chakri

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    Photo credit: WeHeartIt.com

    When most people picture a traditional Thai outfit for women, what they most likely envision is the Chakri. The Chakri contains a basin or skirt that is made of a brocade fabric that is often interwoven with threads colored silver or gold. The top part of the Chakri is also made of silk. Finally, the outfit has a sabai. This is a piece of cloth that is worn over the shoulder and then falls across the chest. Women complete this outfit with gold and silver accessories, including belts and jewelry.

    2. Japan – Kimono

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      Photo credit: Flickr

      The kimono is arguably the most well-known traditional Japanese garment. While some older women, a very small number of men, and sumo wrestlers wear kimonos on a daily basis, most reserve their wear for special occasions. The kimono is a daily attire for sumo wrestlers because they are mandated to wear traditional clothing whenever they appear in public. These beautiful robes are t-shaped, ankle length, and secured with a belt that is called an obi. Kimonos often contain bright colors, brilliant patterns, and even scenic depictions. Cranes, cherry blossoms, and dragons are all commonly seen on Japanese kimonos.

      3. India – Salwar Kameez

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        Photo Credit: Haya Creations

        The salwar kameez is a popular garment worn by Subcontinental Indians. It is made up of the salwar which are the pants, and the Kameez which is the shirt. Both men and women in India wear this garment, however, the look is different for each gender. The salwar is simply a loose fitting trouser that is secured with a drawstring. The kameez can be styled in a variety of ways. Some are cut very traditionally, while others have a very western look. In any case, the kameez is known for ornate design, and inspiring colors. In fact, many westerners have begun to wear Indian inspired clothing manufactured and sold by various retailers.

        4. Indonesia – Sarong

        Retainers at Kraton
          Retainers at Kraton

          Photo credit: GoddessWithingyou.tumblr.com

          The sarong is a large piece of cloth that is wrapped around the waist and then is secured by tucking. It is traditionally worn by Indonesian men for both casual and religious occasions. The garment is associated with Indonesian Muslim culture, but in truth, the sarong has no particular religious meaning. People in many South Asian countries wear the sarong as part of their daily dress. However, the Indonesian sarong stands out because most wearers choose to don the traditional checked pattern. Indonesian culture views this beautiful, flowing garment as a sign of modesty and good character.

          5. Philippines – Barong Tagalog

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            Photo credit: Pinterest.com

            The barong tagalong, more commonly known as simply the barong is long, embroidered shirt worn mostly by men for formal occasions. However, the garment is sometimes worn by women. Notably, Corazon Aquino frequently wore the barong during political events. Many believe this was a bit of a power move on her part. The decorative elements of these beautiful shirts are done by computer, hand, or machine embroidery. In some cases, the barong is even hand painted to add even more color and detail. Because the material is so sheer, most men wear the shirt over and undershirt.

            6. Nigeria – Agbada

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              Photo credit: Pinterset.com

              The agbada is a flowing robe that is worn by Yoruban men in Nigeria. This long sleeved garment often comes in bright colors and is ornately decorated with both colorful designs and intricate embroidery work. The agbada is worn during religious ceremonies, often with a matching cap or fez. In many families, it becomes tradition to pass the agbada down from father to son. Nigerian royalty are frequently seen wearing the agbada.

              7. Kenya – Kanzu

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                Photo credit: Pinterest.com

                White or cream colored, the Kanzu is a long tunic which is frequently paired with a sports coat. Muslim men wear this traditional garment as their daily wear, while Christians wear the garment to traditional wedding ceremonies, and other formal events. Chiefs and imams often wear a black bisht with the Kanzu. Some kanzu are decorated with purple embroidery around the sleeves and collar, however, many men opt to wear plain kanzu.

                8. West Africa – Dashiki

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                  Photo credit: Pinterest.com

                  The dashiki is a brightly colored and ornately designed shirt that is worn by many men across West Africa and in other regions. This loose-fitting garment is a pullover shirt with a V-neck collar. When worn at weddings, dashiki are usually purple or blue. For funerals, men select red and black dashiki. It is not unusual for dashiki to feature floral designs or ornate geometric patterns.

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                  9. Afghanistan – Khet Partug

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                    Photo credit: M1K Design

                    This beautiful, traditional Afghanistan outfit features the khet, which is a long, loose-fitting shirt that is slightly cinched at the waist, and the partug. The partug is a loose fitting pair of pants that is pleated around the waistline. This garment is frequently white, which helps protect wearers from the desert heat. It is also common to see khet partug that are trimmed along the sleeves, and the hem of the shirt sewed with bright, decorative features. Men and boys often sport a brocade vest over their khet partug, while women and girls wear overcoats.

                    10. Iceland – Hátíðarbúningur

                    hatidarbuningur-karla-typical-iceland-male-dress

                      Photo credit: TheLovelyPlanet.net

                      This garment is a modern creation that Icelandic men frequently wear at occasions where a tuxedo would normally be required. It is a new twist on older Icelandic costumes. It features dark colors, a double breasted vest, an overcoat, and slacks. It is usually worn with long pants that taper at the ankle. This garment is a debonair touch to formal gatherings such as weddings and dances.

                      11. Mexico – Serape

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                        Photo credit: MexPro.com

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                        The serape is a brightly colored, often fringed garment worn traditionally by Mexican men. It frequently has zig-zagged, or other similar patterns. Many people confuse the serape with ponchos, because they often are made of similar materials, and are dyed in similar colors. The difference is that a traditional serape does not contain an opening for the head. Instead, it was worn as a wrap.

                        12. Tibet – Goechen Chuba

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                          Photo credit: Aculturame.com

                          A goechen chuba is a traditional dress worn by Tibetan women. This garment is an asymmetrical jumper that is traditionally worn over a long sleeved blouse. The chuba is usually brightly colored and covered with ornate pattern work. This modest, floor length dress is traditionally made of wool or silk.

                          This list of twelve represents only a fraction of the beautiful ceremonial garb, costumes, and daily garb that can be found around the world. There are literally thousands of traditional garments that are absolutely striking to observe.

                          Featured photo credit: aculturame via aculturame.com

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                          Elena Prokopets

                          Elena is a passionate blogger who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                          Last Updated on September 28, 2020

                          The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                          The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                          At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

                          Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

                          One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

                          When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

                          So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

                          Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

                          This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

                          Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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                          When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

                          Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

                          One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

                          Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

                          An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

                          When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

                          Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

                          Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

                          We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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                          By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

                          Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

                          While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

                          I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

                          You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

                          Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

                          When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

                          Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

                          Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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                          Con #2: Less Human Interaction

                          One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

                          Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

                          Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

                          This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

                          While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

                          Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

                          Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

                          This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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                          For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

                          Con #4: Unique Distractions

                          Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

                          For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

                          To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

                          Final Thoughts

                          Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

                          We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

                          More About Working From Home

                          Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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