Latvia clothing reflect Latvian traditions and beliefs. White, red, green, brown and dark gray are the main component colors. Embroidered patterns and symbols adorn Latvian dress. White the color of purity and goodness is predominantly used in festival times. Red associated with life, blood, fire is used as decoratives on shirts, aprons, and head dresses.
Home-made Latvia clothes used regularly preserve traditional features more than festive clothes. Latvia clothes worn during festivities are externally influenced to a considerable extent. The home-made clothes were made from home-spun woolen fibers got from home-bred sheep. Most of the woolen fibers were of a natural black, brown, or creamy white hue. Died varieties using roots, flowers, leaves and tree bark were also used.
Latvia has separate National Costumes for Men and Women.
National Costume for Men
Men wear a tunic type shirt, a pair of trousers and jacket as their national costume. Till the middle of the nineteenth century men used to wear trousers up to below their knee. The socks that men wore were knee-length. After the middle of the 19th century Latvian men started wearing longer length trousers occasionally tucked inside their socks.
Latvia clothing of daily use for men were mainly of a gray shade. On festive occasions white colored dresses were usually worn. Belts were an integral dress accessory for Latvian men. Belts were either woven , or made of leather or metal on leather. A broad-brimmed felt hat and a woven ribbon tied like a bow around the collar completed a Latvia man's national costume.
National Costume for Women
The Latvian national costume of a woman consists of an upper portion and a lower portion. The upper portion is either in the form a vest , or a long-sleeved jacket, or a hand-woven bodice worn over an embroidered blouse of white linen. The lower portion of the woman's attire was an ankle or calf length sewn skirt with pleats. Woven sashes tied in the front with loosely hanging ends secured the skirt in place.
Latvian women use woolen (linen for summer) stoles or wraps. These stoles or wraps were elaborately designed and draped around the shoulder in a rectangular or square fashion. The fastening was provided by a large metal broach.
For their head dress a maiden wears a wreath, and a wife wears either a bonnet, scarf or head-cloth.