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What is England's national costume?

Please note: We have mainly written about England, as that is the country within the UK where our students live. We would be very happy for schools and visitors to send us information we can add to our website on Wales and Scotland.

England, unlike Wales and Scotland, has no national dress. Some people think men in England wear suits and bowler hats but it is very unusual these days to see anyone wearing a bowler hat.

Man wearing bowler hat

On the other hand, our customs and traditions involve a wide variety of costumes, from the spectacular ceremonies associated with monarchy to the traditional costumes worn by morris dancers and others at English country fairs.

A Pearly QueenMorris DancerQueen's GuardFoot Guard

In London you can see men dressed in a red costume like in the two photographs below.


These men are called Beefeaters and are very important because they look after our queen and her jewels. Some people say this is the nearest thing to our national costume.

Interesting Facts

Lots of the ordinary clothes we wear have a long tradition. The very cold winters in the Crimea in the war of 1853-56 gave us the names of the cardigan and the balaclava. Lord Cardigan led the Light Brigade at the Battle of the Balaclava (1854) A "cardigan" is now a warm woollen short coat with buttons, and a "balaclava" is a woollen hat.

Another British soldier, Wellington, gave his name to a pair of boots. The have a shorter name today - " Wellies "

Other British National Costumes

What is the national dress of Scotland?

Man wearing a kiltIn Scotland the national dress is a kilt. The kilt is worn around the waist.

What is the national costume of Wales?

The national costume of Wales is a long skirt, worn with a petticoat and topped with a shawl.

Further Research

British Culture- Clothes

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Events and special days in the UK
British Life
Pooh down the River Thames

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© Copyright Mandy Barrow 2013

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Mandy is the creator of the Woodlands Resources section of the Woodlands Junior website. 
The two websites and are the new homes for the Woodlands Resources.

Mandy left Woodlands in 2003 to work in Kent schools as an ICT Consulatant. 
She now teaches computers at The Granville School and St. John's Primary School in Sevenoaks Kent.