Traditional Jamaican Women Clothing 2020

Traditional Jamaican Women Clothing 2020

Even a mere rug has some story behind its existence. Likewise, traditional Jamaican clothes have a lot to tell us along with colorful and vibrant styles of traditional Jamaican women clothing 2020.

In Caribbean countries, women usually wear the traditional dress known as a Quadrille dress. It is the traditional costume, more prevalent in Jamaica, Dominica, and Haiti. It has different names according to the country. The famous quadrille dance is renowned in Jamaica, where this traditional dress is widely in use.

In Jamaica, this quadrille dress has the name of a bandana skirt, made up of cotton. These items complete the traditional Jamaican dress of its wearer:

  1. Bandana skirt
  2. Ruffled sleeve blouse
  3. Matching head tie

The bandana fabric or the plaid material consists of red and white cotton plaid or maroon and white cotton plaid. Madras, lightweight cotton fabric with patterns, can also be used.

Purpose of Jamaican traditional dressing

The modesty and simplicity of traditional Jamaican women’s clothing leave a significant impact on the eyes. There is a well-defined purpose of such traditional dressing in Jamaica, be it weather there or their civilization. Therefore, clothes in Jamaica where the sun always shines allows the skin to breathe easily without compromising the design and style.

The fabric of traditional Jamaican clothing

However, the fabric used to create these colorful traditional dresses is lightweight and comfortable to wear during the hot season. These colorful outfits include the quadrille dress, Kaiba suit, and Yucatan shirt – well-known traditional clothes in Jamaica.

Traditions and Cultures

Jamaicans don’t refrain from adding elements from the belonging cultures in addition to their own culture. For instance, the Kariba suit was introduced in the 70s and is a replacement for European attire. Previously, the safari jacket is now replaced and has a more formal version. It became more popular due to its lightweight and versatile style.

Likewise, the quadrille suit is also a formal version of the flamenco dress, usually worn by the Jamaican dancers.

Now, let’s move towards the rich history which these traditional Jamaican women clothing holds to tell us.

Jamaican folk costume

The traditional Jamaican dress includes the quadrille dress, worn explicitly by women during events and traditions. Interestingly, the same quadrille dress has different names in other Caribbean countries. It’s called karabela in Haiti while, Kwadril dress in Ft. Lucia and Dominica.

The traditional Jamaican costumes are bright, multicolored, and comfy to wear. It is worth mentioning here that traditional costumes use the handmade calico fabric. Traditionally, the fabric pattern was red and white plaid, which transforms into multi-colors lately.The head-gear called bandana has the roots of Asian traditions.

Today’s modern dress in Jamaica is a combination of traditional Jamaican dresses and modern western dresses.

Traditional Styles

Traditional Jamaican women’s clothing consists of a dress or skirt and top manufactured by using locally handmade calico fabric. Such traditional dresses directly come fro the hands of the villagers who make them with utmost hard work.

Commonly, women use headgears which they wrap around their hair. These headscarves are also bright and come in various colors. 

Color of traditional Jamaican women dresses

Bright and vibrant colors are usually present throughout Jamaican attire. Interestingly, these vibrant colors symbolize the spirit and colorful lives of Jamaican people and their beautiful tropical surroundings.  

Influences in Jamaican clothing

Worth mentioning, the Jamaican traditional costumes are a blend of British and western culture. Moreover, it has an influence of Rastafarian culture, which significantly impacts the styles of Jamaican people.

The influence of the laid-back African style causes the addition of the Ethiopian flag into casual styles. This style incorporates red, green, and golden colors into Jamaican dresses and you can get from Furthermore, these dresses include natural fibers and are very popular among locals as well as tourists.

The recognizable item which must have your attention here is a “tam”. Tam is a Rastafarian style knitted hat that is famous over dreadlocks, a trendy hairstyle in Jamaica.


Despite the heat, the traditional Jamaican dresses never compromise on the modesty. The people wearing them are modest and do not tend to show off their much skin. Although the westernization factor is causing traditional clothing to stray from the actual roots, still traditionalism is an important factor.

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