Cambodian Traditional Dress and Wedding Dress


In the long history of development, Cambodian costumes have gradually formed their unique cultural characteristics. Cambodia is located in the tropics with a hot climate and high temperatures all year round. People are thinner in dress. Sarongs, skirts, phoenix skirts and tights are important elements of Cambodian clothing. Krama is the favorite clothing of Cambodians and has a variety of uses. The color of useful clothing in Cambodia represents the ancient customs of the week.

What are traditional dress in Cambodia? What clothing people will wear in wedding? 80% of Cambodians are Khmer. There are two kinds of traditional costumes, one called "Sarong" and the other called "Sampot".


Traditional dress in Cambodia



Sarong is the costume of men and girls. The sarong is stitched on both sides of a cloth with a variety of beautiful patterns printed on it. It is surrounded by a waist and shaped like a skirt.




Sampot is a long strip of cloth, without stitching. Wind it from the waist down to the calf, then pass it under the armpit, tightly tied it to the waist at the back. Let the remaining part stick out. In Cambodia, ordinary people use long cloths, rich people use brocades. Regardless of their status, all adult men and women wear a Sampot. Usually, Cambodians do not wear a cap and shoes, except for kings and nobles.


Cambodian dress for male

Because Cambodia is located in the tropics, so Cambodians dress very thin. Cambodian dress for male is that men wear straight-collar and multi-button tops. When the weather is hot, they don’t wear tops and only wear “Sarong” or “Sampot”.

Cambodian female dress

Cambodian female dress is mostly silk-necked short-sleeved shirts, and the bottoms are also worn with "sarongs" or "Sampot". Usually they are wrapped around a long cloth with a beautiful pattern.

In addition to these two traditional costumes, Cambodia also has two famous cloths, Kroma and textiles.


The following is a description of the most famous sampot variants.

Sampot Chang Kben 
Sampot chang kben was the go-to for everyday wear by upper-middle-class women, even though the practice had died out by the early 1900s. It dates back to ancient Cambodia, when gods were said to wear it. It is a rectangular piece of cloth three meters long and one meter wide.

Sampot Tep Apsara 
Sampot Tep Apsara is a Khmer Empire-era sampot associated with palace apsaras. It can still be seen depicted on bas-reliefs at Angkor Wat. Generally, sampots are both knotted at the waist and secured with a belt. At the front, long pleats are collected and extend all the way to the wearer's ankles. In the present day, traditional dancers in Cambodia wear the sampot tep apsara.

Sampot Chang Samloy
Sampot chang samloy is a long unisex daytime skirt. This style of dress needs a knot to secure it, making it similar to the sampot chang kben. However, it also needs a fold at the left or right side, like a sarong. Another similar sampot, primarily worn by women and known as the samloy, was knotted in the middle and hitched at the knee to facilitate leg movement.

Sampot Charobab
A traditional Khmer dancer wearing a Sampot Charobab. Sampot Charobabis a long silk skirt embroidered with gold thread. It is worn by women in Khmer classical dance, by newlyweds and by the character of Mae Huo in the Cambodian Royal Ploughing Ceremony.




Almost every person in Cambodia has a piece of floral plaid fabric. This kind of floral plaid fabric is called Krama in Cambodian. Kroma is an essential item in the daily life of Cambodians.

In Cambodia, both men, women and children carry a piece of Krama with them. Some wrap it around the top of the head, some around it around the neck, some put it on the shoulders, and some tie it to the waist. Krama is woven from cotton or silk and is like a small bed sheet. The Krama is generally woven into a checkered pattern by several different color lines. Some leave a line head braided into a spike shape, and some directly receive the line edge. In addition, Krama is also called water cloth. The use of krama is very wide: sheltering the sun, sheltering from the wind, making bags and so on.


Krama is a product that produced from the weaving and designing form many raw materials such as cotton or silk and natural dye (Leak) for the color. It is a symbol in Cambodia and the Khmer cultural identity.


In the context of Khmer traditional and culture, Krama can be used during the Khmer religious ceremony such as the wedding, other ceremonies, part of Khmer popular game, and unforgettable national identity. Nowadays, Krama is a good and suitable as a souvenir, as belonging to ornaments, or as materials of garments or other utensils.




Speaking of Cambodian silk, that is, textiles. It is said that the method of textile is very special. There are three important silk textiles in Cambodia. They include ikat silk (Khmer chong kiet), twill silk and weft ikat textiles. The pattern is produced by bundling natural fibers and synthetic fibers on the weft yarn and then dyeing them. Traditionally, this cloth uses five colors: red, yellow, green, blue and black, which are the most commonly used.


Cambodian wedding dress


The material used in the traditional wedding ceremony is silk. Bridal clothing is in a traditional pattern style and in a traditional approach style. The bride's skirt is a tube skirt, but there is a fold in front, a bit similar to the skirt that was popular around with a piece of cloth. The top of wedding cloth of bride is a tube top with a ribbon. Men wear trousers in the Sampot - a piece of cloth through the entangled pants.

According to the custom, before the woman gets married, she usually does not go out and prepares for marriage at home. Before the marriage, the man has to stay at the woman's house for a period of time, which is more common in half a year to one year. During this time, they must help the labor, accept the test of the future parents, and then get married with the woman. Weddings are usually held for two or three days, and the general gift for wedding banquets is $10 to $20. The bride and groom have to change a lot of clothes for a wedding. Most of the styles are normal, but there are many colors. There are also many young people wearing Western-style wedding cloth.

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