Sicilian traditional clothing: culture and folklore

Sicilian traditional clothingCulture and folklore can be perfectly described by traditional apparel. It seems that this kind of clothing belongs to the past and let me say, it’s partially true. Sicilian traditional clothing is colorful and beautiful! Don’t expect to see people walking around the city dressed in this way, but if you take part in some local events organized to celebrate special occasions, you will be amazed! Follow Sicilian Secrets to know more.

Sicilian traditional clothing is part of our culture. If you visit some small towns in Sicily, maybe you can still see some old ladies dressed in their folk dresses. It’s pretty rare but for sure, you can see people wearing these clothes during some special events.

Sicilian traditional clothing for women

The typical Sicilian clothing for women consists of some specific elements: the skirt, for example, is called ‘fadedda’. It’s long and made of linen and cotton, generally embellished with a belt around the waist. Most of the times women wore also a petticoat and of course a blouse called ‘jippuni’. One of the most important pieces of this outfit was the apron together with the handkerchief that was put on the shoulders and pinned on the breast.
Shoes were always black, and socks were blue.

Sicilian traditional clothing
Sicilian traditional clothing, women

When people think about Sicilian traditional clothing, they imagine women wearing something to cover their head. We are not talking about a hat!
In some areas of the island, in addition to a classic cloth, some ladies used to wear a sort of foulard called ‘cativellu’. It was black and long, and covered both their head and the rest of their body up to the knees.

‘A sciallina

I remember my grandma, she always used to wear a shawl – or, as we say in Sicily, ‘a sciallina’. It’s an item that especially old ladies wear in winter…granny style! It actually was used to hide women and their charming personality, moreover, the traditional black shawl was used in pretty sad moments like funerals.

But, in Messina – for instance – on the contrary the shawl was worn by girls to show off their neck and chest when they were dressed in some nice corsets.

Sicilian traditional clothing

Finally, it’s interesting to know how this item was considered a sort of ‘mirror’ to identify the social class of each woman. Rich ladies used to rent their shawls to poor people for a few hours when they needed to cover – for any reasons – their threadbare and cheap clothes. Here is why in Sicilian, it was called ‘cummoghia-miserii’.

For men

Men used to have both an everyday outfit and a look for special events. The most common and basic one includes pants made in goat leather called ‘vrachi’, a waterproof jacket and a pair of shoes covered with fur (‘u pilu’) to keep their feet warm. It was the daily Sicilian traditional clothing for shepherds and farmers, they used to wear also velvet pants with a belt and a black velvet jacket characterized by many pockets.


Do you know what are the most peculiar items for men?
pompons as a tie and the most famous hat in the world: the coppola. And do you know that each color had a meaning?
Workers used to wear a black coppola, farmers had it brown and sailors a blue one. Like the sea, naturally!

Did you like these curiosities about traditional Sicilian fashion? Keep following us to learn more and more! Sicilian Secrets always tells you some new stories through its blog. And if you wish to stay updated about our news and read our next articles, like Sicilian Secrets’ Facebook page and Instagram.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *