The traditional costumes of Myanmar are considered as a symbol expresses clearly about the unique culture and warm hospitality of this country, which creates a deep impression for those who have already gone through Myanmar tours. Their costumes are very simple, which reflect the friendly and unsophisticated in living style.
History of Myanmar Traditional Dress
The traditional dress of Burmese people is said to be date back to the 1750s where it was first designed with stunning jewelry by those who held positions of power. worn in the Konbaung court. Women wore floral head ornaments, uniquely decorated blouses, felt footwear, and a htamein, which you can see many women wearing today.
The traditional outfits of Myanmar for men included a turban, hnyat-phanat slippers, a silk jacket embroidered with fur, and a cotton shirt. Myanmar dress changed slightly at the end of the British era in the country. When Indian immigrants made their way to Myanmar, the style was also altered slightly to mimic their dress. Traditional costumes of Myanmar contain two sets, offered for both Burmese men and women.
Myanmar Traditional Dress for Burmese Men
Longyi (sewing pants and tight pants) is the name of the traditional clothes of the men, which is a perfect combination of the shirt or jacket called Taipon (traditional clothes). It’s quite flexible in size, shapes for matching with the man’s body. specifically, It’s a sheet of cloth that has about 2 meters long, 80 centimeters wide and frequently sewed into a cylindrical shape, which is worn around from the men’s waist to their feet.
Moreover, there is one interesting point is that men’s dress is strapless and quite loose; therefore, when they have to move regularly, they often have to adjust the skirt and wrap it back tight even in the middle of the street.
However, Longyi is designed without pockets, so it quite hard to carry cash, mobile phone or other personal items, make sure to bring your handbag, bag to hold these items. Men’s jacket with 2 layers, fabric buttons, bright wear in the daytime, black and dark color wear in the night. The head wrapped a white turban with a protruding corner sharp like the leaves.
Myanmar Traditional Dress for Burmese Women
Burmese women’s traditional clothes are Thummy. Compared with Laos or Thailand’s dress, Thummy is quite similar. They do not wear the turban-like men. Both Burmese women and men wear flip-flops.
Besides the traditional costume, Myanmar people wear European clothes on many occasions and when they wear suits, they wear shoes. Basically, Burmese people often mix Longyi with other items of clothing, from T-shirts, shirts, jackets, to vests.
When and Where Myanmar People Wear Traditional Clothes
Compare to other countries’ traditional costumes such as Ao Dai (long dress) of Vietnam, Kimono of Japan or Hanbok of South Korea, which is only worn on special occasions, events and some national festivals, the traditional dress of Myanmar are worn regularly in daily life while doing homework, riding a motorbike, going to work and even in sports competitions. There are some reasons:
Firstly, the weather in this country is so hot as 40 degrees so the costumes’ material is suitable to make people feel comfortable.
Secondly, as mentioned above, these traditional clothes are very easy to mix with other items.
Thirdly, the structure and style of Burmese traditional costumes are very simple; therefore, they are easy to put on and take off when needed in daily life. Last but not least, it also becomes a multifunctional item in many cases. For example, they can be pulled up to be used as the “raincoat”, “the UV sun shirt”…, or Burmese women can enroll it to make a stable substrate to carry commodities (fruits, rice bags, foods) without holding hands.
How can people work or play sports with that kind of skirt? That question will vanish completely as soon as you enter the Burmese’s normal life. From taxi drivers, fishermen to farmers, they are all wearing longyi without any inconvenience, sometimes they stop to wrap their longyi tighter. A young soccer player said: “Wearing longyi to kick the ball is really comfortable and hardly being fell. It’s even much more comfortable than wearing pants”.
It is obvious that the way Burmese people wearing traditional costumes is not euphuistic and also the same as the lifestyle of Myanmar people. When visitors take Myanmar vacation, they can see that Burmese women rarely wear makeup even in the special occasion in their country. Therefore, tourists will certainly have the feeling that everything is so simple, peaceful and they are always welcomed by friendly and sincere Myanmar people. Taking Myanmar tours, trying to wear their traditional costumes and interacting with the local people promises to help tourists enjoy an unforgettable experience.
Where to Buy Myanmar Dress & Traditional Costumes
Wearing Myanmar dress is a great experience for tourists when traveling to the country. Longyi and Thummy are sold in many stores across the country. Base on the quality that you can purchase them at different prices. Kyal Sin Longyi Shop at I-20, Ground Floor, Yuzana Plaza, Yangon is an ideal place for you to purchase Myanmar dress at high quality. Additionally, you can find them in Bogyoke Aungsan Market with various designs.
Myanmar National Costume – The Journey of Development
In the modern age, it is said that today fashions have brought about changes in Longyis as they create slits at the sides, front or maybe back. Burmese people have a false front flap & perhaps, being worn by zipping it up at the side or back. Also, they wear it even shorter than the original Longyi. But, it is true that old style is the best as it has comfort of the old tube-shaped cylinder still be worn by both male and female.
Longyi, the national costume of Myanmar is also eye-catching on. It is a fashionable wear for foreigners. Ones will see travelers, both male and female, can be seen in Longyi.