What do people wear in Bhutan?
What stands out the most while in Bhutan is the traditionally clad locals going about with their daily lives. The bhutanese fashion scene is another unique feature with everyone in the country strutting about in their national dress. The traditional as well as the national dress is a fusion of beautiful bright colors and patterns, not only for women but also for men. It is called the Kira for women and the Gho for men and the bhutanese wear it with great pride.
Kira is a large piece of fabric, wrapped and folded around the body, creating an ankle length dress. It is worn over an inner blouse called the Wonju and secured on the soldiers with a pair of brooches called the Koma. The ankle length dress is then fastened at the waist by the traditional belt called the Kayra and finally topped by a jacket called the Taygo.
Gho is a long robe which is pulled up until the knee and secured by the traditional hand woven belt around the waist. It is worn over a long sleeved inner blouse also called the Taygo which is always white in color. A pair of knee length socks and shoes completes the ensemble. However, on special or formal occasions, the richly embroidered traditional knee-length (hand made) boots called the Tshog Lham are worn.
The traditional attire is also the dress code in government offices, for visiting dzongs & monasteries, in schools, ceremonies and for formal occasions. Additionally, a traditional scarf called the Rachu for women and Kabney for men is also worn in such formal settings. The scarves worn vary in color and it signifies the rank of the person wearing it.
The Ghos and Kiras worn on daily basis are of simple patterns and designs yet beautifully and colorfully combined. However, during festivals, weddings and festive occasions, the best and most prized attire is customarily worn. The expensive, bright, silk Kiras and Ghos are combined with unique traditional jewelry and accessories.
Evolved over hundreds of years, the national dress of Bhutan is tailored from the rich and colorful handwoven textiles of the Kingdom. The bhutanese textile is a living traditional art and craft handed down for generations and is known for its intricate and sophisticated patterns.