Bulgarian men's shirts

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Long white shirts

Shirts worn with belodreshnik (white dress)

Shirts worn by men with belodreshnik were usually made of white homespun hemp or linen in a simple tunic cut and are long, reaching to knee or calf length. They were made of a single piece of fabric with a hole cut for the neck and a short slit down the front. Extra gussets may be added under the arms to give extra width. The sleeves were either open at the wrists or gathered into cuffs, and a narrow collar may be added. They were usually worn over the trousers with a wide fabric belt tied round the waist.

This style of shirt was either undecorated or decorated with a narrow row of embroidery around the neck opening or on the collar, and on the hem and sleeve ends or cuffs.

In the Pirin region of south west Bulgaria, the white shirts are calf length and have extra triangular gussets added to give extra width, which makes a very wide ‘skirt’ (fustanella), or alternatively widths of maternal are gathered into a separate kilt or fustanella worn over the shirt and trousers.

Shirts worn with  chernodreshnik (dark dress)

Shirts worn with chernodreshnik were originally made using white linen fabric. This was later replaced by factory made cotton fabric. They are cut shorter and narrower than shirts worn with belodrešnik so as to enable them to be tucked into the dark woollen trousers.

Shirts worn with chernodreshnik are usually worn as an undergarment under a coat or waistcoat, with the result that over time the embroidery has mostly disappeared, with only rows of decoration remaining on the collar and cuffs.

References

© Eliznik2008, Last updated Jan-08