The Uzbek national costume is a distinct aspect of Uzbek culture, which is highly valued in contemporary Uzbekistan. Practically every location has a number of museums with collections of clothing from various historical eras. Special attention should be paid to the fact that unlike the medieval clothes of the European peoples, the national dress of the people of Uzbekistan, having evolved in everyday life, is still used by most of the rural population to this day.

History of Uzbek clothing

The clothes of the Uzbeks’ ancestors living on the territory of Uzbekistan have been forming in accordance with the peculiarities of natural conditions, way of life and tribal traditions. Archaeological miniatures of manuscripts preserved until our time give a fairly clear idea of ​​the Uzbek traditional clothing, its forms and evolution.

Uzbek men’s clothing

The foundation of the national Uzbek men’s clothing is a chapan – quilted robe, which is tied with a waist scarf – kiyikcha. Kuilak – the lower male shirt of straight cut, and ishton – wide trousers that narrow to the bottom, are dressed on the body. Legs are shod in boots made of thin leather.

Dressing gowns – chapans are sewed from striped material, have vertical cuts on the sides. Pockets and buttons are not foreseen. Chapans are summer from thin fabric or winter, warm, quilted with cotton.

The population of the plains oases wore soft boots along with leather shoes without backs. At the time of equestrian running the Uzbek nobility wore smart boots, the graceful heel of which was skewed to the middle of the sole, allowing the rider to keep in the stirrups deftly.

The skullcap – duppi is the final attribute of the Uzbek male costume. This hat is more a tribute to the traditions of Islam than protection from bad weather.

Uzbek women’s clothing

The national dress of Uzbek women is a combination of modesty with femininity, mystery, eastern subtlety and grace. To sew, embroider, decorate a dress, you should have a subtle taste, talent and extraordinary patience.

From time immemorial, Uzbek women wore clothes made of silk, cotton and velvet.

Uzbek national wear from cotton was considered a clothing for the poor, and was the cheapest fabric. As a rule, clothes from this material were worn mainly by the poor and employees of their owners. This material had great advantages, apart from the low price, it was soft. It absorbed the heat and was painted without difficulties.

Uzbek national costumes made of silk and velvet was considered festive, and mainly, it was worn by rich people.

The Uzbek traditional clothes of the representatives of the beautiful half of humanity consisted of dresses – kuilak and wide trousers  – lozim. The dresses were sewn straight, about ankle length, sometimes widening to the bottom. Sleeves of the clothes according to the rules, were long, hiding their hands. And only by the end of the XIX century, the cut was modified a little, there was a detached coquette on the chest, a standing collar and cuffs. More daring use of color in the sewing of women’s clothing was allowed. Uzbek women’s clothes began straightway to shine with bright silks and famous khan-atlases.

A robe – mursak served as upper clothing for women, as well as for men. The robe was made long and loose, like a tunic. For the summer it was light, and for the winter it was quilted on cotton wool.

After the “emancipation of the women of the East” in the twenties of the last century and the lifting of the burqa, the Uzbek women began to use a headscarf.

Footwear consisted of makhsi (ichigi – beautiful boots without a back, with a soft sole, without a heel) and boots made of coarse leather or rubber. These are very comfortable and warm shoes and to this day they are popular.

Traditionally, the Uzbek women’s clothing was supplemented with decorations that were not forbidden by Islam and were used in full measure. Gold and silver earrings, pendants, bracelets and rings, made in the form of tumors – amulets or carrying the traditional oriental pattern, everything was done in order to emphasize the marital status and status of the woman.

Uzbek skullcap

Tyubeteika has always been one of the most popular and widespread types of applied art of Uzbekistan. It looks like a hard or soft cap on the lining; became a part of the Uzbek national costume, came into the life and traditions of Uzbek people. This hat (from the Turkic “Tube” – top) is not only the national head-dress among the Uzbeks, but also among other Central Asian nations.

They are classified by types: men, women, children, for old people. Old women do not wear it. Child’s tyubeteikas (kulohcha, kalpakcha, duppi, kulupush) are colorful fabrics, fluffiness of tassels and beads, embroidery, spangles and lots of charms. The most common forms of Uzbek tyubeteikas are- square, slightly conical. Tyubeteikas are made of two or more layers of fabric quilted and fixed with a silk or cotton thread. The ready one is embroidered with a silk thread, gold or silver cantle. Women were skilled in the art of embroidery of tyubeteykas.

The most common patterns of embroidery include flower motif, almond-shaped motif “bodom” – a symbol of life and fertility. “Ilon izi” (trail snakes) is a widespread pattern in the ornament of  tyubeteikas, it acts as a talisman. Geometric patterns were also popular. 

Chust tyubeteikas are very popular in many regions of Uzbekistan. Duppi – the most widespread kind of hat of the town Chust – it is characterized by a black background and white pattern depicted in the form of four pods of pepper – “kalampir”; the band is embroidered in small arches settled in the row. There are three kinds of duppi – rounded, roundly tetrahedral and the extended up cap.

Chust duppis (black background and embroidered white pattern) are remarkable for “slope” of the ornament (full almonds with short and sharply bent tendrils) and a significant height of the band. The motives of other kinds of tyubeteikas in Fergana valley – “Sandali”, “Akka ikki sum”, “Chimboy”, “Surkachekma” are common. Samarkand tyubeteikas are made in the techniques of “piltaduzi”. There are other kinds of tyubeteikas – Urgut tyubeteika “kalpok”, Bukhara gold embroidery tyubeteika, Shakhrisabz tyubeteika “gilam duppi”, Kitab and Shakhrisabz tyubeteikas “sanama” and “chizma”, “takhya”, “yaykha”, “chumakli”, “kush” – men and women Khorezm tyubeteikas.

The most extended ornaments on them were: pattern in the form of pepper (a symbol of purity and estrangement from all earthly), crosses, tufts of feathers, the motif of a nightingale, a bird (a symbol of supreme wisdom), branches of a rose (a symbol of peace and beauty), the inscriptions by the holy Arabic type and others.

Today national clothing of Uzbekistan

A modern version of a woman’s costumes in Uzbekistan is made up of a dress, pants and a headdress. The length of the dress varies up to the knee and below. Pants still remain an indispensable part of the Uzbek wardrobe. As for shoes, they differ in the decor. Also there are skullcaps, in solemn occasions the Uzbeks wear beautifully decorated skullcaps.

At the end of the twentieth century, domination of the western style of clothing was observed. However, the production of clothing is still happening in accordance with the traditional design, the presence of national patterns and colors.

The Uzbeks with pleasure combine their clothes with modern European clothes. The combination of these two styles gives every woman the charm and uniqueness.

Most of the men and women in Uzbekistan today, especially in the city, dress modernly, according to European standards.

If today you want to see Uzbek traditional costumes, you can come to Uzbekistan and get on some Uzbek national festival or festival. Riot of colors, Uzbek music, traditional beautiful wear and the atmosphere of the holiday will bring to your stay in Uzbekistan a breath of eastern life.