World Costumes: Ireland

Ireland, a place well known for its affiliation with St. Patrick, pints of Guinness, and the Irish jig, is one of the well-known European countries across the globe. In Europe and in many other countries around the world, a national costume is something that constitutes a big part of culture and history. Ireland is no exception to this as well.
In old Irish culture, the color was of particular importance. The higher you were in the rungs of society, the more bold and bright colors you were allowed to wear. Slaves or people of less importance were, in turn, only allowed one or two colors respectively. Kings could wear around 7 bright colors and freemen were allowed four. This age-old hierarchy of hue can still be seen in the dancer costumes, with its bold base colors and contrasting accents of varying shades.
The traditional dress itself was pretty simple in of itself. Before the invasion of the English, tunics, and cloaks were very popular and were worn by both men and women. Colors like white and green were among some of the popular colors sported. Saffron used to be paired with these colors, but Britain once again banned its use when they arrived. Later on, certain elements began to change. Cloaks, which were a staple for the time, were later replaced with sweaters as an abundance of wool became available in later days. In modern days, the national dancing attire can also be thought of as the national dress of the country.
For women, the traditional dancing dress were long-sleeved dresses with skirts that fall just above the knees areas. The accompaniment of an underskirt allowed the material to flare out for a pleasant effect. For men, the dancing costume consists of dark-colored pants that offer room for movement. With that, a long-sleeved shirt with a tie is worn at the top. Sometimes the shirt is given a vest or cummerbund. In some cases, they can sport kilts and blazers for a traditional mode of dress.