Embroidered clothes hold significant importance in Ukrainian culture, and women used to embroider a lot in their spare time. Embroidered home textiles symbolized a family’s prosperity and well-being, so people embroidered everything: shirts, towels, skirts, vests, belts, flags, tablecloths, and pillows.
Today, while the number of skilled embroiderers has decreased, embroidered clothing is cherished – actually, the demand for it has only increased in recent years. If you are still contemplating buying a vyshyvanka (embroidered shirt) and wondering if it fits into everyday life, we will dispel all doubts for you.
Reason 1. Ukrainian ethnic talisman
A shirt embroidered by a wife or mother was considered a powerful talisman against misfortune. The embroiderer poured her heart’s love, encouragement, and warmth into each stitch. No one would embark on a long journey without this garment, and no wedding was held without a rushnyk (embroidered towel) embellished with symbols for happiness and fortune. Each pattern on the clothing carries its meaning and significance, and any garment with embroidery serves as a strong talisman against various hardships, especially when a loving person embroiders it.
Reason 2. Symbol of traditions and patriotism
Ukrainians take immense pride in this garment. The ornaments used in embroidery encapsulate the culture and its symbols. Historical moments, ancestral customs, and cultural foundations are all interwoven in these stitches and weaving threads. During difficult political times, the demand for embroidered clothing grew, allowing Ukrainians to express a unified voice and support the country’s heroes. National attire, anthem, songs, and symbols signify rich national culture.
Reason 3. Universal Ukrainian elegance
National attire is suitable for any occasion and time. More and more people wear vyshyvanka for weddings, national holidays, birthday celebrations, anniversaries, and even daily wear. Embroidered apparel pairs well with other wardrobe pieces and looks equally stylish with jeans and classic business suits.
Reason 4. Fashion trend
The delicate beauty of embroidery on clothing makes it possible to produce unique pieces. Inspired by Ukrainian vyshyvanky, renowned fashion houses such as Dolce & Gabbana, Nina Ricci, and Valentino have created new clothing collections based on Ukrainian embroidery motifs. The recognition on international runways confirms that wearing a vyshyvanka is fashionable.
Reason 5. Individual style
As mentioned before, Ukrainian families used to have various embroidered home textiles. While you may not see as many pillows and tablecloths in a Ukrainian home nowadays, there could be many embroidered clothes. That’s because vyshyvankas elements are incorporated into different wardrobe items, such as:
The embroidery can also align with current fashion trends, so you can confidently buy customized embroidered clothing showcasing your individuality.
Reason 6. Comfortable and cozy clothing
Traditional embroidered clothing has a loose fit that gives you freedom of movement, and fabrics like linen and cotton are light and breathable. Although modern embroidery has gone beyond strict traditional rules, you can always order a comfortable model from designers that suits your preferences.
Reason 7. Timelessness
When you invest in a vyshyvanka, you need not worry about it going out of fashion in a few years. Ukrainian national clothing is cherished and respected, and its relevance remains timeless, celebrating the country’s culture and history.
In conclusion, there are numerous benefits and reasons to wear Ukrainian vyshyvanka. Firstly, it symbolizes Ukrainian traditions, capturing the essence of the country’s rich culture and heritage. Secondly, embroidered garments are considered talismans, crafted with love and believed to protect against misfortune. The fashion world has recognized the delicate beauty of embroidery, with renowned designers incorporating Ukrainian motifs into their collections. And in the context of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, wearing an embroidered shirt means supporting Ukraine in its fight against the aggressor.