Nepal Traditional Costumes | Dresses for Women – Children – Men

Nepal Traditional Costumes

Every country has its own traditional costume, such as “ao dai” in Vietnam, “Sinh” and “Salong” in Lao, “longyi” in Myanmar. Since Nepal is a multi-ethnic country with more than 100 ethnic groups, there are many traditional costumes, pieces of jewelry, traditions and other accessories. However, in this article, only the main, national costumes are mentioned. One more thing, on your Nepal tours, you might have a chance to put Nepal traditional costume on.

Nepal Traditional Costume

Nepal Traditional Costume for Women

The Nepali female’s folk costume is called “Kurta Suruwal”. There are three main elements: light baggy pants, a blouse, and a large scarf. This costume is usually used in Nepali women’s daily life.

Nepal women in traditional clothing Kurta Suruwal

Light Baggy Pants

The pants are usually made of cotton, which is soft and loose with bright colors. Usually, the colors are solid but now they use different patterns and prints as adding decoration.

The Blouse and Scarf

The traditional blouse of Nepali women’s costume is very bright-colored with various patterns and prints, creating a hundred of different combinations.
The scarf, worn draped over the body, is large and has matching patterns with the pattern on the blouse.

blouse is a nepal traditional dress

Another Costume

Sari, another traditional costume, is a must-have item for Nepali future bride, often used as a wedding dress in Nepal. Nepali sari and Indian sari are the same, which consists of “parkar”, a petticoat, a tight, cropped blouse, and the sari cloth. Sari cloth is draped around the woman’s waist and across the shoulder. Sari is worn with precious jewelry and gold jewels.

Nepal ethnic girls in traditional dress

Children’s Traditional Clothing

Children’s clothes are often in a bright color, even with the boys’ clothes.
The traditional dress for Nepali girls is named “bhāntānlan”. It’s an ankle-length, tightly fitting dress with long sleeves. The dress is slotted at the sides in order to walk more easily and comfortably. The fabric, which can be brocade, silk or cotton, is usually bright, multi-colored with a lot of patterns. This outfit is often worn on special occasions like festivals or celebrities. There is another costume for girls, consisting of baggy pants and a knee-length dress.
Nepal Children in Traditional Outfit

Nepali kids often wear piercing and a lot of adornments. People believe that those pieces will protect children from bad things and evils. This is quite similar to Vietnam. In Vietnam, children often wear silver necklaces to avoid bad things and sickness. When Nepali kids grow up, they can get rid of that much piercing.

Nepal Traditional Costume for Men

Nepal male traditional clothes are named “Daura Suruwal” or “Labeda Suruwal”. There are two main elements: daura (a double-breast shirt) and suruwal (trousers) and other pieces are a vest (or jacket) and a headdress.

Nepal men in traditional costume Daura Suruwal


At first, there was no vest or jacket. In the 19th century, a Prime Minister of Nepal went to England, and the Queen of England gave the jacket to him as a present. When he came back to Nepal, many men began to wear their folk clothes with a waistcoat or other coat in European style.

Traditional Daura

There are no clasps or buttons used in making the traditional daura. With the help of 2 ties near the waist and 2 ties near the shoulders, the daura is held in the right place. The suruwal part is loose pants, a baggy pair of trousers, which fit the ankles tightly. Daura, which is made from natural fabric, seems to be comfortable but it is really difficult for newbies to wear it due to the complicated way of tieing 4 ties. Maybe that’s the reason why modern European garments become popular in Nepal nowadays.

Daura is a nepali traditional dress


Another important part of the Nepali male costume is the national headdress called “Dhaka topi” or “Nepali Topi”. The pattern on the hat, which is made from fabric, is called “Dhaka”. Although the patterns used seems to be the same, they are still different from a number of patterns. This headdress, which is one of the Nepali major symbols, is used to unite the different cultures and traditions of Nepali ethnic groups.

Dhaka Topi - traditional dress of nepal

Other Garments

Although Daura Suruwal has been used by Nepali men for centuries, it isn’t often worn nowadays. They use it for special occasions and events such as weddings, traditional festivals, ceremonies.

Besides Daura Suruwal, there are some more folk clothes used by Nepali men in daily life and special occasions. There have three other garments: a “lungi”, a “dhoti” and a “tapālan”. Tapālan, consisting of a long shirt, tight-fitting pants, a topi, and a waistcoat, is an outfit usually used in special, important occasions. Lungi and dhoti are quite similar. There is a big rectangular piece of cloth wrapped around a man’s hips, however with dhoti, the cloth is knotted at the waist while with lungi, and the ends of the cloth are sewn together.