Traditional Mexican Clothing

Experts recognize that the beauty and elegance of traditional Mexican clothing is due to the non-mechanized woven process, its materials, texture, colorful and balanced designs.

Traditional Mexican Blouse Traditional Mexican Blouse
by T. Aleto

Authentic Mexican clothing has a long tradition in the indigenous cultures of Mexico, but it has also adapted through time. Women clothing has changed less than clothing for men, and many more indigenous women in Mexico today still use traditional clothing. The only exception may be in the use of huaraches or Mexican footwear. Women has adapted to the more modern styles while men still use the authentic sandals.

In pre-Hispanic times, women wore items such as enredo, quechquémitl and huipil. Later when the Spaniards arrived, women started to use European style blouses with some of the same embroidery. Traditional Mexican clothing for men were called tilma and maxtlatl, which were replaced by European style shirts and pants.

Today, traditional Mexican clothing is gaining popularity around the world, promoting Mexican culture, and art.

Mexican Clothing Symbols

The symbols made by knitting and embroidery are fundamentally simple: triangles, rectangles, rhombuses, zigzag lines, stepped borders, helical patterns, crosses, etc.

Typical Mayan Pattern Typical Mayan Pattern
by T. Aleto

For example, the triangle is widely used forming rhombuses in Huichol art. Also, flowers and stars with eight tips are applied in embroideries from the Otomís, Nahuas, Huastecos and Huichols. The stepped borders design has a distinguishable pre-Hispanic origin.

Nature and the human figure are the main inspiration emblems in most of the Mexican embroidery and knits.

The arrival of the Spanish conquistador brought Christian symbols such as the cross, the Virgin Mary, saints, angels and others. The Mexican national symbol with an eagle on a prickly pear cactus is now famous too.

In the Purepecha region in near the city of Morelia, textiles are embroidered with popular phrases or significant dates.


Mexican traditional clothing is getting popularity due to its simplistic beauty. Its symbols, art and history enrich it and make it even more interesting.

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