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Updated by Joanna James on May 27, 2020
Headline for Unique Thai Dresses – A List of Tradition!
Joanna James Joanna James
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Unique Thai Dresses – A List of Tradition!

You probably won't be surprised to hear that Thailand has many different traditional dresses depending on regions, religions and many other factors if you are aware that the country is much more than just pretty beaches and temples. The rich culture and heritage come with these outfits.


Chut Thai

Firstly we have the Chut Thai which is the traditional dress for ladies that means "Thai Outfit." It is bright and glittery and very delicate. Depending on ethnic groups the fabric and patterns may differ. These dresses are typically worn during festivals and wedding ceremonies.


Suea Phraratchathan

The traditional costume of men directly translates to mean "royally bestowed shirt." It is made up of a button-up shirt, long sleeves, extended collar and a sash worn on formal occasions. The large, rectangular fabric worn wrapped around men's waists is called the Pakama. The shirt itself has a very similar pattern to the Nehru jacket.


Ruean Ton

A straightforward women's dress that you must have seen countless times, often worn by air hostesses from Thai airlines or a waitress at a traditional Thai restaurant in Phuket; the Ruean Ton is a tube skirt and collarless blouse combo. The blouse would typically have a row of buttons in the front and on the elbow-length sleeves. It is worn tucked into the skirt. The skirt is often embroidered with regional designs and can be worn at functions that aren't considered official. It is easy to wear which is why you often see staff at hotels and restaurants the likes of Dee Plee Restaurant wearing it.



The most famous traditional dress in Thailand is the glamourous Chakkri. It is considered an elegant attire for formal events. It consists of a long tube skirt like the Ruean Ton, except this would be much prettier with two folded pleats in the front. The upper garment is called a Sabai and wraps around the body, trailing down to the ground. A silk top is worn underneath the Sabai. Women would often accessorise it with gold jewellery leading to a very comely look.



Worn for royal functions and formal occasions, the Siwalai is a one-piece. The long tube skirt is pleated down the front and the top is a button-up blouse with elbow-length sleeves sewn together to make a single outfit. A Sabai would over the outfit giving it a chic and elegant vibe often worn together with chunky gold jewellery.



Similar to the Siwalai, the Borophiman is a one-piece made up of the bottom and top sewn together. It is considered evening wear and is worn to semi-formal as well as formal events. The shirt is round-necked and long-sleeved, tucked into the sarong with brocaded fabric giving off an excellent and luxurious look overall. It is worn by women to mostly semi-functional events throughout the year. So there is a high chance of you spotting plenty no matter if you are in Bangkok or a beach resort town like Phuket.