Information on Spanish Clothes

Spanish dancer image by timur1970 from

Spanish clothing is colourful, well made and reasonably priced. Finding the correct fit is important to Spaniards as well. Main pieces of Spanish clothing include the mantilla, peineta and gilet. While the Spanish approach fashion with a modern view, modesty and conservativeness are still expected.

Spain is an altogether religious country, and being dressed appropriately, especially when visiting a church, is of great importance.

History of Spanish Clothing

Traditional Spanish clothing was heavily influenced by the Moors, who introduced Spain to rich embroidery, jewelled buttons, girdles and collars. Spain was known for fashion, elegance and splendid decoration during the 16th century. Fabric was rich and heavy, decorated with gold and silver thread, jewels and pearls. Capes and corsets originated in Spain. However, Spain neglected to advance its fashion and stuck with outdated pieces. The country did not continue to be the cornerstone of European fashion.

Traditional Clothing for Events

Traditional clothing is worn for bullfights and other festivals. The bullfighter's decorated cape de paseo, or cloak, is worn while he enters the ring. His costume has not changed through the years. Flamenco dancing costumes are typically black, red or white for women, with frills and ruffles. Women wear high heels with this dress as well as a flower behind their ear. Men wear black or red shirts with classic trousers for flamenco dancing.

Signature Pieces

The mantilla, a light scarf made of lace or silk, is draped over the head and shoulders, sometimes over a high comb, or peineta. This scarf is a take on the veil often worn for religious celebrations. The peineta is made to look like tortoiseshell. The gilet, or sleeveless jacket, ranges from waist- to knee-length and has straight sides.

Typical Fashion

Today, teenage girls in Spain wear trousers more often than skirts or dresses. Denim is popular among teenagers, and young boys often wear designer wear. Mature Spanish people dress stylishly and conservatively. Mini skirts, shorts and swimming costumes are not worn unless on the beach. Older men in particular opt for very high-quality clothing.

Seasonal Fashion

During the summer, Spaniards dress in light cotton, T-shirts and loose shirts, and head caps for sun protection. During the winter, warm overcoats and gloves are worn. In coastal areas, shorts and sandals are accepted and worn often. In other areas, such as Madrid, skimpier clothing is not as acceptable. To avoid looking like a tourist, female visitors to Spain should wear skirts or loosefitting trousers in warm months as opposed to shorts.