Russian fashion. The traditional Russian costumes are different and have a long history, although many elements have been forgotten over the years or labeled as ‘old fashioned and ‘unattractive’, other elements have survived. Traditional Russian clothing can be worn by parish priests and on some ethnic festivals. Although many items have now been lost, there are still several that have become iconic.

There is no exact date when the traditional Russian costume was born, although it is logical to assume that its birth coincided with the same time the country was established, around the 10th and 12th centuries. Records are indicating that the fashions of the north and the south differed greatly in style and decoration, although the central clothing remained quite similar. All Russian clothing styles existed in ‘everyday’ and ‘special occasions‘ variants, which differed in the materials, colors, and decorations used.

Here are some traditional Russian fashion


The staple of any traditional Russian costume was the rubakha, which could be worn by both men and women. Basically, this is the old-style variant of the contemporary shirt. The Rubakhas were used as street clothes among the lower class and as home clothes among the upper class.

Russian fashion Sarafan

The main part of the female wardrobe was the sundress. A long dress, often worn over a Punakha, formed the attire for “every day” and “special occasion”. The most common colors for sarafán were red, light or deep blue, wine and white. Sarafan dresses were often decorated with intricate embroidery.

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Decorations for the head and hair were also part of the common wardrobe. In the case of women, the way they arranged their hair could tell a lot about their marital status: young women showed their hair arranged in a single braid decorated with flowers and other elements. Married women were not allowed to show their hair in public, so they covered their heads with different decorations.


The word ‘kaftan’ came to Russia from the Middle East, but this garment became so necessary for Russian wardrobes that it was perceived as local. Usually made with expensive textiles with many embroidery and ornaments, kaftans could be compared to today’s coats since they were worn on top of other garments.


They are the traditional Russian winter footwear, essentially they are felt boots. The valenki is made of wool felt. They are not resistant to water, but they do serve to protect from the cold. We can find them in different colors such as brown, black, gray, and white.

Did you know any of these pieces of traditional Russian costume? Do you know any more outfits? Tell us in the comments what you think.