Hispanic Clothing History


"The Flamenco Dancer (II) / La danseuse de flamenco (II)" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: mcohen.chromiste (Michael Cohen) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

The history of hispanic clothing was born from indigenous lands and trickled through global society over time. Hispanic clothing has culturally intermingled with other cultures. Traditional Hispanic clothing is still being worn in smaller towns drenched in Hispanic heritage.

Peasant Influence

The Mexican peasant dress surfaced in the early 17th century, when a girl named Catarina de San Juan traveled from the Eastern part of the world to Mexico and married Domingo Suárez. Her clothing resembled a dress with short, puffy sleeves with very elaborate embroidery, which became a common thread on Hispanic clothing.

Dance Influence

The Mexican folk dance is paramount for women whirling in circles on the dance floor holding on to their dresses. The dancers wear custom flared dresses, exploding with bright colors, or flared skirts that would make a tornado-like motion on the floor. Today, folk dancers still wear this dress at festivals and carnivals.

Musical Influence

The mariachi relates to the core of Mexico's music, as an ensemble of brass, wind and percussion marking Hispanic's colonial period and developing history. The matching-colored Charro costume, which was traditionally a shirt, vest and jacket with embroidery on it, was worn by the mariachi.

Cultural Influence

The Mayan and Aztec culture have been living in the heart of Mexico for thousands of years. Mayan and Aztec men wore a breechcloth called a "maxtlatl," and a cape called a "tilma." After the Spanish invasion, men began to wear trousers and shirts. They also wore "serapes," which were blanket-like capes.

Spanish Influence

After the Spanish invasion, a birth of European styles began to trickle into Hispanic clothing styles. One popular centerpiece brought on by this cultural change was the sombrero. Its landmark features include a wide brim, which protected people from the sun.