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Traditional Costume of Thailand

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The formal Thai national costume, known in Thai as "Thai phra ratcha niyom" (literally Thai dress of royal endorsement), includes several sets of clothing designed for use as national costume in formal occasions.

Officially, there are 8 designs of Thai costumes which were developed and promoted from traditional royal dresses by Queen Sirikit. Although adopted into national costume, these dresses are quite modern, appearing just in the second half of the twentieth century.

Thai Chakkri is an official and stylish wear. The dress is normally woven using “Yok” technique which creates additional width within the material without extra threads. The fabric used to make the dress usually includes a touch of gold or silver-colored yarns. As a result, the cloth is quite costly. The costume is finished with classical "pha sin", a full length wraparound skirt with two pleated folds in the front called "na nang".

Thai Boromphiman is another formal outfit. This particular costume comprises a round-necked, long sleeved blouse which can be buttoned at the back or front and ankle-length skirt. The fabric is brocaded to create a highly luxurious look and feel. Sometimes this design requires the skirt and blouse to be sewn to each other. It can be easily worn in formal or semi-formal occasions like the League Ceremony or regal functions. Noble decorations are worn also.

Unlike Thai Chakkri or Boromphiman, Thai Ruean Ton is more casual. It also consists of a horizontally or vertically striped silk or plain colored pha sin with a patterned band at the hem, sometimes folded to one side. The pha sin is separated from a collarless blouse which has elbow-length sleeves and a front opening. It is appropriate for informal and non-official events like Kathin Ton, the spiritual ritual of imperial contribution bestowal to monks.

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