Any person who has a sense of style will tell you that the things we wear say a lot about our personalities. Your choice of clothing is an opportunity to make a bold statement about who you are. From the Jebbas and Barnous to the Keswa Tounsi and the Kaftan, the clothing of Tunisia is a unique artistic proclamation of the country’s originality and inventiveness.
Even in the 21st century, Tunisians haven’t abandoned their national dress or their ancient skills. Many people today go about their daily lives wearing either fully or partially traditional clothing. Traditional attire in Tunisia is very popular, and this is likely due to the fact that it was created with the climate of the nation in mind.
In this article, we will go over the traditional clothing of Tunisia.
Traditional Clothing Of Tunisia
Fashion in Tunisia, from the traditional Jebbas and Barnous to the modern Keswa Tounsi and Kaftan, is a unique artistic expression that proudly proclaims the ingenuity and originality of Tunisian culture. Learn more about this unique, motivating, and fascinating aspect of Tunisian culture by reading on.
The Jebba is a traditional tunic worn by many men and women in Tunisia. This is a type of clothing worn only by men, and it consists of a long, loose-fitting tunic that covers everything but the upper arms and the lower legs. Out in the country, A Jebba can be worn for every occasion, from everyday wear to formal events.
Traditional undergarments for this style are a plain blouse and loose-fitting pants. There is already an abundance of fabrics and textiles available in a dizzying variety of hues, designs, and materials. Traditional Jebbas, on the other hand, were often available in just two colors and fabrics: white silk in the summer and grey wool in the winter.
2. Tunisian Kaftan
Even though the Kaftan didn’t originate there, it plays a significant role in traditional Tunisian dress. There have been several iterations of this distinctive style of clothing for thousands of years.
The Kaftan, originating in the Middle East, has traditionally served as a coat or overdress with a very protruding construction in ancient societies. Common features include long sleeves, a sash, and intricate needlework. This top can be crafted from a wide range of fabrics, including crushed velvet, cashmere, silk, wool, and cotton.
The kaftans of Tunisia are known for their exquisite design, which often includes velvet, silk, or brocade fabric, gold embroidery, and gems. Wedding Kaftans are still worn by members of several Sousse and Hammamet tribes nowadays. These, however, feature dropped shoulders, an open front, and lengths that range from the mid-calf to the knee. More so than the actual cut and sewn togetherness of the dress, the distinctive features of the Tunisian Kaftan lie in its lavish embroidery, beading, and fabric.
3. Blouza and Fouta
If you’ve ever been lucky enough to attend a traditional Tunisian wedding, you’ll remember the bride’s stunning gown. The Blouza and Fouta are less extravagant options for a traditional Tunisian wedding gown. Since they belong to the same set, these two items are constructed from the same material. The vividly colored ones bring to mind hints of Middle Eastern and South Asian design.
Everything about the dress is exquisite, from the silhouette to the detailed embroidery and shimmering sequins. The Blouza is a top designed to look like a bustier. The Fouta, on the other hand, can be a wraparound skirt or very loose-fitting pants that reach down to the ankles. Cotton or linen is used to make the more relaxed Blouza and Fouta styles.
Keswa Tounsi, the wedding version, features clothes made of silk or velvet and decorated with silver and gold embroidery and rhinestones and crystal beads.
The Barnous is an optional layering piece that can be worn over the Jebba or any other clothing. Since it is a long, thick woolen coat with a big hood, it is worn primarily in the winter. The traditional dress looks a lot like a poncho, but without the sleeves, so it’s cozier.
Kachabiya, a variant of the Barnous popular in the north, displays the architectural stripes that are a hallmark of traditional Tunisian dress. To tell a Kachabiya from a Barnous, look for the distinctive brown and white stripes.
The Kontra or Balgha is a religious festival or special occasion leather shoe. It’s popular across North Africa. Traditional Chinese leather slippers originated in ancient Asia. Men and women of all social classes wear heelless shoes with their Jebba or Kaftan in Tunisia.
The Tunisian Balgha has flattened toes and various styles. In Tunisia’s souks, search for a traditional Balgha for a more relaxed style. Affordable and portable, these slippers make a great present. Modern influences have changed how people dress, although southern Tunisians still wear Balghas. Northern Balghas have more sewing and embroidery.
The Farmla can shatter boundaries and enhance a trendy ensemble. Traditional clothing has the intricate Farmla over the neutral Jebba. This vest has gold braiding and embroidery.
It’s commonly black, forest green, or ruby red velvet. These hues highlight the golden accents. The Farmla is worn open, yet it has golden buttons and buttonholes with beautiful braiding. Traditional North African clothing features these buttons.
Many world-famous couturiers and fashion designers have converted the Farmla into a more contemporary, outstanding garment for their fashion shows.
The Farmla and the Tunisian Sadria are quite similar in appearance; however, the Tunisian Sadria is a less formal and more relaxed variant of this vest. However, in contrast to the Farmla, the Sadria does not have any openings in either the front or the rear.
It is made up of three openings, each of which is large enough for the individual to fit their head, arms, and shoulders through. In addition, the Sadria can be combined with the Jebba and conventional trousers to create a more casual and everyday-appropriate look. The Sadria is designed to be worn tightly, much like a corset so that it contours to the wearer’s body.
Pants are what Sarouel means in its Arabic context. Furthermore, the traditional Sarouel worn in Tunisia is, as one might expect from the name, a loose pair of pants. These bottoms go great with a Jebba or a Sadria top.
The Sarouel is typically embellished with pockets for small accessories and embroidered designs are sewn onto the fabric. Also, a belt made of silk or leather is commonly worn by men to keep the Sarouel in place.
The Safsari is an enormous scarf-like piece of fabric, typically crafted from white or yellow silk. Women in Tunisia have been wearing this dress for centuries, spanning the country’s long history. The Safsari is worn to cover the full body, including half the face.
Women in the Safsari can be seen in Tunis Medina. Even though they no longer hide their faces, they wrap that section of their hair around their heads for warmth and comfort.
The fashion industry has benefited from Tunisia’s extensive cultural history. Typical of other North African countries, the clothing is conservative. Be respectful of local sensibilities as you explore the Tunisian fashion scene.
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