The style of Bulgarian women’s dress is determined by the type of apron or tunic worn over the chemise. These garments can be divided into three main categories:
- One or two aprons tied around the waist made of a single piece of cloth, or two pieces sewn together vertically or horizontally, which can be gathered or pleated at the waist.
- Soukman - A tunic fastened at the shoulders, which can be sleeveless or short sleeved tunic.
- Saya - A tunic fastened at the shoulders but with an opening at the front, like a coat which can have long-sleeves, short sleeved or sleeveless open at the front.
The single or double apron costume is considered to come from the Slavs, whereas the soukman and saya costume are thought to have evolved from the sarafan. In certain regions a mix of double apron and soukman or saya and soukman costume were worn.