Looking for traditional Algerian women’s clothing? Perhaps you are more interested in modern Algerian ladies clothes? Read our guide for more facts & information…
While most Algerian women now wear western style clothing, the traditional clothing of the region is still used for special occasions and holidays. The styles vary by region and some have obvious European influences. Most traditional styles include a headdress or other head covering since the majority of the country practices Islam and Muslim women cover their hair as a sign of modesty. The richness and beauty of traditional Algerian women’s clothing makes it popular among tourists.
Traditional Jacket and Skirt
One type of traditional Algerian women’s clothing consists of a jacket worn over a long full skirt. The skirt is often made from rich fabrics like silk, satin or velvet and is unadorned. The jackets are also made of luxurious fabrics and are adorned with elaborate embroidered patterns in a contrasting color. The most common motifs are vines and leaves and the embroidery covers much of the front of the jacket which is fitted and ends at the hip. Western women love the jackets, although the skirts would be reserved for formal occasions.
One type of traditional dress features a loose empire waist with a full skirt which falls to the floor. The sleeves are long and loose and the bodice and upper sleeves are decorated with elaborate embroidery. Another style features a dress with a fitted robe worn over it in a style reminiscent of European dresses of the 18th century. Both the dress and the robe have long, full skirts and the robe features the exquisite embroidery which is a hallmark of all traditional Algerian women’s clothing.
Head wear in Algerian Women’s Clothing
While many costumes feature head wear which is simply a large, often sheer scarf, some of the traditional headdresses feature elaborate beading, stiff raised front pieces or gold coins. Since married muslim women often cover their hair in public, the headdresses are an important component of traditional dress. While much of the traditional Algerian women’s clothing shows European influences, the headdresses are more similar to those worn in other areas of the Middle East.
The features that differentiate Algerian women’s clothing from traditional European styles are the bright jewel tone colors and the use of intricate North African embroidery designs. Many of the designs are stitched or accented with gold thread. There are a few areas of Algeria where the traditional dress includes pantaloons and a jacket instead of a skirt. The type of clothing depends greatly on the cultures which influenced different areas of the country.
Although traditional Algerian women’s clothing is beautiful, it is not really practical in a modern world. In cosmopolitan cities like Algiers, most women wear Western style clothing for everyday fashion. Only older Algerians wear traditional clothing on a daily basis, while other women reserve their special dresses for occasions where they are suitable.