Cambodian Fashion

Take an affectionate walk down the runway of Cambodia’s fashion and the changing trends.

Fashion refers to styles that may change quickly therefore include the latest trends in clothing, art, literature, architecture, cuisine and general comportment. When we talk about Cambodian fashion then we notice that it has also changed its shape over a period of time thus fitting itself in the most popular mode of expression.

Keeping in mind the norms, traditions and culture, Cambodian fashion is synonymous with glamour, beauty and style. Just like other countries Cambodians pay respect to their previous generations. This is the reason why they make fashion, culture and religion an important part of their life.

Traditional Clothing

Dresses in neighboring countries like Laos and Thailand are quite similar to the traditional dresses worn in Cambodia. A lower garment called the “Sampot” is worn by the urban lower class and the peasant women wear a tube-skirt with a cloth wrapped around the waste for protection. Krama, a multipurpose checkered scarf is usually worn by the Cambodians for style, protection from the sun and also used as a towel.

Its origin is not clearly defined but it has been a symbol of the people and the Khmer Kingdom for a long time. Both men and women wear a Buddha pendant in a necklace fashion and every pendant has a different meaning. Some are worn for good luck and some for protection from evil.

Fashion in Cambodia varies, depending on a person’s disposable income; therefore depending on the family’s background children coming from lower- middle income groups wear simple clothes that can be washed and dried quickly. The teenagers wear colorful and attractive clothes bought from shopping malls or made by their parents. A teenager coming from a poverty stricken family has to wear their older sibling’s clothes.

Cotton is mainly used in the fabric as the climate in Cambodia is hot, therefore adult workers usually wear clothes that are thin and can absorb heat. The ethnic groups in Cambodia use cotton material for religious clothing and household textiles. Head gears or hats are also worn by the Cambodians to protect them from the scorching heat. But when we talk about a king he must be wearing clothes made up of silk and which are specially stitched for him. Cambodia is renowned for its superb silks; much of it is dyed by using natural colors from plants and minerals. This kind of clothing is used during weddings and also by Classical Khmer dance performers.

Latest Fashion trends

The tradition of daily wear faded away with the commencement of the twentieth century. There is a trend of celebrating culture through clothing, therefore a lot of modeling schools have been given  media coverage in Cambodia. For special occasions men wear light colored T-shirts and trousers whereas women wear skirts.

The new generation is now very careful about their necklace style, nail beauty, hair style which clearly indicates a blend of local and Western culture. This shows that the habits of the people are continuously changing with the style of clothing worn, at least this holds true for the urban population.