Lithuanian villagers were still wearing traditional folk costumes at the end of the 19th century and later in some areas. The costumes of each of Lithuania's ethnic regions were unique, decorative and expressive of that particular area's and individual's character.
Men's clothing worn on Sundays and festive occasions was quite soberly colored. Lithuanian men wore greatcoats and short jackets of dark or undyed wool. In most regions, trousers and vests were of the same color as the rest of their suits, though bright plaids and stripes were popular in some areas. High cut leather boots, bright woven sashes and felt hats decorated with peacock or rooster feathers were common throughout Lithuania.
In general, women's clothing was more picturesque than men's and displayed more traditional regional characteristics. A typical woman's costume consisted of a white linen shirt, a skirt, a decorated bodice, and an apron. In addition, women often wore large shawls or stoles draped over their shoulders. These costumes were completed with elaborate headdresses, jewelry and various accessories.
Women's clothing of the Aukstaitija region retained many archaic characteristics. Married women in this land wore nuometas (tied white linen sashes or wimples) as head coverings. Nuometas and other white fabrics were decorated with red ornamentation. The dominance of the color white in their costumes lent married women in Aukstaitija dignity and solemnity.
Click to view folk dress from Aukstaitija 46 kb.
In Zemaitija, women's garments were for the most part vividly colored and bulky. Several full skirts and shawls were worn at the same time. The color red was especially popular among the women of this region. They often brightened white linen aprons with dense red stripes and linen shawls with lively plaids.
Click to view folk dress from Zemaitija 46 kb.
The women of Dzukija wore colorful, finely checked skirts and aprons decorated with bright, playful designs. Lace, crochet, interweaving and embroidery adorned clothes were common in this region.
Click to view folk dress from Dzukija 43 kb.
Women's apparel in Suvalkija was traditionally richly colored. Bright overlay patterns against dark backgrounds characterized aprons in this region. White linen items in Suvalkija were particularly artfully and delicately made. Women's stoles, shirts and kerchiefs sported intricately crafted lace and white broderwork.
Click to view folk dress from Suvalkija 45 kb.
Women's garments in the Klaipeda region in the second half of the 19th century were somberly colored and elegantly proportioned. Shirts, kerchiefs, stoles and caps were especially beautifully and creatively embroidered. In this region, knitted gloves, mittens and stockings sported colorful and inventive patterns.
Click to view folk dress from Lithuania Minor 46 kb.
"LITHUANIAN ROOTS", Edited by Rytis Ambrazevicius