What Is the Traditional Dress in France?

Depending on the location, traditional French attire includes lace-trimmed shirts, aprons with bright flowers, and white, flared bonnets. Regional costumes in France have one thing in common: they are all based on agricultural attire from the late 18th century.

In France, traditional men’s attire consists of six essential elements. The chemise is an undershirt made of linen, while culottes are knee-length trousers. Men wear hose, or knee-high socks, and mitasses, which are garters worn atop the lower legs for protection. A guillette is a little, short vest worn over the chemise, and the capote or justacorp is a hefty coat worn over the complete ensemble.

Traditional French women’s attire consists of four essential components. Similar to an underskirt or a shift, a chemise is worn under everything. Similar to a skirt, multiple jupons are worn to demonstrate riches and status. As a shirt, French women wear a mantlet, or a short waistcoat. The ensemble is completed with a fichu, a square piece of fabric worn across the neck and shoulders as a modesty scarf. Almost all classic French women’s attire is finished off with a cap or other headwear.

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