Irish Traditional Clothes

Irish clothing has an old history. Gaelic and Norse styles inspired early Irish clothing.

Both men and women wore a checkered trew and a mantle. Traditional Irish music and dancing are still popular, even though few Irish people dress traditionally. In the 1600s, when the Irish didn’t want to be English, dress rules were enacted. Fringed cloaks and saffron garments were banned.

Irish clothing was saffron. Irish dancers currently wear the most exact reproductions of traditional attire. Early 1800s dancers wore peasant clothing with flower or cross-shaped ribbons. Blacktop contrasts with a red ankle-length skirt. Pipers and dancers have worn kilts since the 1800s.

Irish Dress

In this article, we will be discussing traditional Irish colors and details about their traditional dress.

The Irish Traditional Colors

In the past, Irish clothes were often bright and flashy. People with more power and wealth wore brighter colors. Kings could wear seven different colors, but free people could only wear four. Irish dance clothes usually have a brightly colored background and accessories that match.

Traditional Costumes of Irish


Leinae were tunics that Celtic women wore. They had wide, bell-shaped hems that ended just above the knees and long sleeves that went to the elbows. White was all that was on the sheets. A brat, which was called “brat” like the sausage, was slung over the Leine. Most Leines worn by women were longer than those worn by men.

In later times, sleeveless or sleeveless versions of clothes that used to be plain were the norm. When a person runs out of Leine, their social standing goes down. Leines that were too long were a sign of shame for people of lower status who were expected to do manual labor. Workers wore a Leine around their shoulders and around their waist to stay cool.

The Aran sweater 

Irish people may have worn the Aran sweater in different forms for hundreds of years, if not for hundreds and hundreds of years. There needs to be more research, but data from the past supports this.

The sweaters had not been washed or dyed. Because it didn’t absorb water and kept its shape, fishermen found it to be a useful garment. Patterns with a lot of stitches meant luck, success, and safety.

At the beginning of the 20th century, when new methods were applied to an old style, the garment as we know it probably came into being. The number of people who wore Aran sweaters went through the roof, and now they are worn all over the world.


The Seaicéad jacket, which was often called a “shakaid,” was not very long. The Leine has wide sleeves that can reach the wrists because the sleeves are open. Some of the open sleeves had thongs to hold them in place.

Many people wore wool or leather coats. The jackets are a good example of the usual level of detail that goes into making them.


Men wore Tris (pronounced “Trouss”) instead of a Leine. They also wore a bra and a seaicead close to the skin and sometimes wore a plain linen shirt over the Leine (most likely in winter). From the foot to the thigh, Gael tris fit snugly. After that, a checkered or tartan pattern was sewn on.


A rectangle or oval-shaped piece of folded fabric was slung over the shoulder. When it was raining, the Irish used brats as shawls or hoods to cover their heads. Most short kids chose to wear trews.

The brat was a long coat with brooches on the front. The use of bright colors was meant to make the object seem important. There were seven colors for monarchs, six for Druids, four for aristocrats, and one for commoners. People liked the style for hundreds of years.

Cota mor

This item was worn by a lot of people. Over Leine, Cota mor means “big coat.” Like the other jackets, it had open sleeves that showed off the Leine’s long arms. It came to the knees. Some of these have been found in bogs.

They are usually made of wool or leather. After a few decades, the Cota mor outlasted the Leine, and its open sleeve was eventually closed.


Even though the word “brogue” comes from the word “Brog,” the traditional shoe did not look like its modern equivalent. Broga was made from a single piece of leather with a small hole for lace or thong.

Unfortunately, these lightweight, easy-to-wear shoes didn’t last as long as they should have. There were times when the soles were made thicker. The Irish dancing pump of today was based on that tune. Cuaráns and sandals were also worn by people as they walked around.


In the Leine, women wore long dresses and skirts with pleats. In Irish, the word for “gown” is “gna.” The open sleeves of the Leine fell to the floor. People were mostly wearing red or green.


Irish women liked to carry around Sparan purses (the Scottish sporran is from this Gaelic word). It was held down to the floor below her knees by a wool or leather belt. The wool fabric or leather purse has holes punched into it and a strap to carry it with. Simple, yet beautiful layout. Sparans, or purses, were carried by ancient Irish and Scots on the hip, not the front.

Women who cared about fashion liked to wear brats. There’s no reason to think it was special, but it could have been smaller and lighter than usual. Old business documents talk about mantles that are lighter and smaller.

The ancient female brat or mantle, which is related to the shawl, was very popular with women in the 1800s and early 1900s. In the past, Irish women wore Leines as their underwear. Leines was able to cover them completely (as did the monks of Ireland). In every way, women’s styles are the same as men’s. When they crossed the Leine, they wore what they always wore.

Final Words

Whether you want a dance dress, cloak, or hand-knit jumper, authentic Irish clothing is an investment. Dancers wear clothes that were made and embroidered by hand. That’s why they cost so much.

Spending more money on a better pair makes more sense because they are worn for performance and to show a certain style and heritage. You should look your best when you want to show your Irish roots.

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