By: Chad Melius
Clothing worn by people in Mexico today differs little from that worn by people in the United States. However, due to the often oppressive heat, lighter clothing, both in color and in style, is typically chosen.
Traditional Mexican clothing in still worn in holiday celebrations, and you will also see it in areas frequented by tourists. It is a blend of both American Indian and Spanish styles, as are the people themselves. The most easily-recognized symbol is the sombrero, worn almost exclusively by men.
The traditional “charro” suit shows up most frequently as a kind of uniform worn by mariachi bands. It originated in pre-Spanish times, but is influenced also by Catholic culture. Other Mexican clothing is influenced in part by imperial Spanish culture and in part by pre-Spanish, or Native American culture.
Another common article of traditional Mexican clothing, worn mainly by men, is the serape. It consists of a brightly-colored patterned piece of cloth, usually with a finged edge. The style is essentially a ponch without a hood, and is thought to have originated in Mayan times. Nowadays it is sold by citizens of Coahuila to tourists and people from Mexican cities.
The rebozo is not as well known by name, but is worn often by women for ceremonial occasions. The material used in the rebozo is similar to that of the serape – vibrantly colored patterned stripes. It has a function similar to the serape, but is draped like a shawl or scarf around the neck. Other variations of these types of traditional Mexican clothing exist, but are not as common as those described here.