Ukrainian Traditional Clothes

Once, Ukraine’s traditional dress, famed for its beautiful embroidery, had village-specific motifs. People’s clothes revealed their origins.

The Russian invasion has renewed interest in Ukraine’s unique patterns and histories. Ukrainian men’s Vyshyvanka shirts are world-famous and it’s one of their traditional dresses. Plakhta, Obhortka are also very well-known dresses in Ukraine. One thing is sure about their traditional clothes is they like embroidered dresses.

In this article, we will be discussing the details of Ukrainian traditional clothes.

Traditional Clothes of Ukraine


The Ukrainian national dress has the embroidered vyshyvanka shirt. Ukrainian shirts are typically made of linen and adorned with elaborate, multicolored designs that represent the country’s scenery or culture.

Women and men wore vyshyvankas, which varied by area in Ukraine. These days, people put them on whenever they celebrate a special occasion.

Recently, vyshyvankas have gained in popularity and fashion due to a heightened interest in Ukrainian national identity following the EuroMaidan Revolution of 2013–2014, Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and invasion of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, and Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.


From Cherkasy to the east, the plakhta style of dress was widely adopted. The word derives from the Russian word poneva. Wrapped around the hips from behind, the sarong is a rectangular fabric with a weave. These two have a striped and checkered pattern. Russian versions of this pattern include white lines against a black backdrop.

Ribbons, galloons, and embroidered stripes adorn the poneva. The plakhta of Ukraine is similarly lavishly ornamented, albeit in a unique style. The cloth is woven with motifs in various colors into squares or rectangles.

Like the poneva, the plakhta can have its top folded over to create a tube with a drawstring, but more often than not, it is formed of two long strips sewed together side by side for more than half its length. The plakhta’s upper half drapes loosely over a sash at the waist. Wings are a trademark of the authentic plakhta.

The term “plakhta” is commonly used mistakenly to describe other types of overskirts. Plakhta is a singular noun, referring to this specific garment.


Horbotka, fota, opynka, and derka are other names for obhortka. Meaning “wrapped” in Russian, an obhortka consists of a heavy piece of fabric that is wrapped around the hips from behind, overlapping in the front, and secured with a sash. That’s something you’ll find in Podillia, Pokuttia, Bukovyna, Bessarabia, Eastern Romania, Moldavia, and Muntenia.

Obhortka is adorned with woven-in details, most commonly thin lines running vertically and around the edges. Black is used as a base color in western Pokuttia.

There are more intricate overlaps between Bukovyna and Muntenia. This item of clothing is typically worn with the bottom edge tucked inside the waistband. The apron is optional in some establishments. Worker women in central Ukraine wear a wraparound skirt known as a derka.


A back apron, the plakhta is part of a distinct fashion movement. Despite written records, no double-apron costumes from central Ukraine have been preserved. Only in Hutsul, Ukraine, have they been able to stay in business. The regions of Transylvania, Banat, and Oltenia are also included. While Kosmach’s apron is a vibrant orange, Zhabie’s is nearly black.

The double apron is worn by Ukrainian performers to represent the country’s geographic center. It’s essential to put the brakes on this. I really enjoy Vyshnia’s voice. Although there are certain erroneous features of the costumes, the overall effect is beautiful and authentically Ukrainian.


Skirts and belts are common components of these ensembles. They are dressed as people from the North and West. Because they were simpler to manufacture than the plakhta, they were adopted as the standard in eastern Ukraine throughout the 19th century.

Ukrainian regional skirts are made of chernyhiw and arak. Short skirt in the Polissia style made of linen. In Halychyna, they are made of linen. Horodok shorts are made of Yavoriw wool. Opillian skirts are linen and print skirt were manufactured in Drohobych.

Boiko’s skirts are handwoven and embroidered by a local artist. Lemko skirts crafted in Lemkovyna.

Single Apron

The last two costumes are the smallest in size. The central lowlands of Transcarpathia, including the areas around Irshava and Khust, and the easternmost region of Teresva were the only places in the region where the single apron costume was worn as dress attire.

Khust: A plat is a broad apron worn around the waist.

Skirt Set

This style of dress is typical of the Podillia and Polissia regions of eastern Ukraine, located in the south. Talijka, Riklia, or Sharafan are the appropriate terms. The skirt is built into the dress.

Western Europe, Scandinavia, Bulgaria, and Mezoseg, Transylvania are all hotbeds for this kind of clothing. Not a single one of them appears to be a plausible source for these Ukrainian garments.

Natives of Toporivtsi, Bukovyna

Rijklias are common in this community. It used to be worn frequently in Bukovyna, but today it’s only seen at weddings in this particular village. The riklia skirt is worn in parts of Bukovyna where the bodice has been abandoned Toporiwtsi newlyweds, around 1940s. It’s possible that this ensemble was borrowed from early German or Hungarian colonists.


This is the southernmost part of Podillia. Northern Odesa oblast and Transdnistria (previously Moldavia) are both geographically represented here. Kharabeef is the traditional dress of this area.

Syvirskyj Zhytomyr-Chernihiw-Novgorod

You can find this type of apparel at the shops in eastern Polissia. Talijka is the term for it. It consists of a bodice and a skirt with gathers. There is no Sarafan influence here.

Final Words

We detailed various clothes and their structure in the article. Now you know what are Ukraine’s traditional clothes and where they are worn mostly. Ukrainian traditional clothes are very beautiful and stylish.

So you can buy them from the local shops and try them out. We think they will suit you best and you will enjoy their traditional clothes the best.

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