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What Does Traditional Canadian Clothing Look Like?

What does traditional Canadian clothing look like? Does indigenous clothing in Canada inspire it? We’ll take you back to the history of conventional garments in Canada to find the answers.

Is There Truly Tradition Canadian Clothing?


In fact, Canada has no official national costume. Still, there are clothing pieces that can be seen as traditional dresses. 

A Brief Explanation For The Changing Of Indigenous Clothing Canada


To Native Indians in Canada, tradition is the most important feature. As a result, they want to mark the tradition on everything. Each tribe had its own customary garment. At first, they lived at a great distance from each other and rarely contact. So, their dress is unique and unchanged for ages.

However, everything changed when the colonizers came to Canada. As the native tribes lost their territories, they had to live nearer to each other. Then, they started to see and know more about their fellow tribal dress. And the exchange of cultures and ways of dressing between the tribes took place. The popular garments at that time are woven blankets, fringed buckskin clothing, and feather headdresses.

But the story didn’t end there. European settlers not only invaded the land but also changed the identity of the native tribes. They brought new fashion to Canada. And this entirely changed traditional Canadian clothing forever.

In the 19th century, Native Indians were mostly wearing European styles of clothing. For example, ribbon shirts, Cherokee tear dresses, woolen sweaters, beaded jackets and shirts,  jingle dresses, etc.

Women’s Clothing From The Old Times To Colonial Period

Indigenous Clothing Canada For Women


The native women mainly wore leggings, skirts, and shirts. But the materials and designs were tribal and unique. Furthermore, there were American Indian dresses. Some Indian tribes use these dresses as alternatives for the garments above.

Native Indian women wore mukluks or moccasins shoes.

In Colonial Period


From the 17th to 19th century, Canadian women wore separate tops and skirts. They also put on corset bodices, chemises, aprons, petticoats, and caps.

However, what Canadian wear also has to rely much on the weather conditions. For instance, they couldn’t use shoes made for English weather and roads here. They liked adaptable leather moccasins since it was much more comfy, warm, and fit.

Men’s Garments From The Old Times To Colonial Period

Indigenous Clothing Canada For Men


The classic bottom for an indigenous man was trousers with a layer of a skirt on top. For the upper body, they wore breechclout. Some tribes used fur trousers and kilts. 

Canadian Native Indian men didn’t wear shirts in the summertime. They only put on leather shirts in the freezing season. Their clothes were made of natural materials with beadwork, quillwork, and feather. Their clothes were in various colors just like their skin.

The most impressive piece of garments of Native Indians was the headdress. They usually made it from feathers. And this headdress was big and bright. Each tribe had its own customary kind of headgear.

During Colonial Period


In general, the garments of the first Canadian settlers followed the French and then English fashion styles.

In the 19th century, Canadian men wore standard trousers instead of breeches like before. They also used hooded capotes, waist-length jackets, and other English clothes.

On the other hand, the new settlers also learned many dressing tips from indigenous clothing in Canada. They started to add feathers and furs to their daily clothes. Leggings, moccasins, and blanket capotes were popular among them.

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Maris Lopez
Maris Lopezhttp:////
Hey there! I'm Maris, an American girl who is passionate about adventure, the outdoors and all things travel!


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