The foundation is a linen tunic, košulja (кошуља). As is the case over most of the Balkans and Eastern Europe, it was originally knee length. The seams may be done with decorative stitching, and the front placket, collar and cuffs may be embroidered with simple colorful cross stitch or other embroidery, including whitework and openwork. Here is a schematic of one cut, simpler cuts are also used.
This was worn outside simple linen pants, gaće (гаће). These were also worn in cool weather underneath the heavy woolen pants.
The rest of the costume is common to all three versions which I will cover today, and are distinctively Serbian. The košulja is belted with a striped wool sash, the pojas (појас). This may be in various colors, and has fringe on one end, which hangs at the hip, the other end is tucked in. Here are a couple of examples, the first one is from my private collection. To be useful, a sash must pass at least twice around the waist. A good sash is woven from stiff, hard twisted wool, fluffy yarn does not work well.
In the summer costume, for the sake of comfort and coolness, generally only one vest is worn, this is called jelek (jeлeк), fermen or prsluk. The jelek is short, extending only to the waist, does not close, has no sleeves, and is richly decorated with appliqued cord. In the fuller version of the costume, the jelek was the topmost of a series of vests and jackets. It is generally dark brown or blue, the cord is black, although it may be blue or even red. The complexity of the design is offset by the subtlety of the colors used. Here is one from my personal collection.
Some more examples.
The linen pants are tucked into either gaiters of heavy woven wool, tozluci, or much more commonly, long knitted stockings, Čarape (Чарапе). These have designs, usually floral, either knitted in, or embroidered onto them. Here is a pair from my personal collection. Note the subtle colors used in the main body of the socks. There is a long cord attached to the tops which secure the socks around the leg.
Here are some other examples.
With the summer costume, a broad brimmed straw hat was generally worn, although a round lambswool hat could also be worn, as in other slavic nations.
The second form of the old costume consists of heavy woolen pants of typical Balkan cut, the čakšire (чакшире). These are made of naturally dark colored wool, brownish or blackish. These are decorated along the seams and around the pockets with black woolen braid. These can be seen in the first image of this article. Here is the cut.
Similar pants are still worn in Albania, Galichnik in Western Macedonia, and many parts of Bulgaria. They were worn in Serbia throughout the 1800's and at the beginning of the 1900's.
These pants were generally worn with a combination of a double-breasted vest, over which was worn a short jacket, over which was worn an open vest. This was very typical of Balkan men's clothing.
The 20th century saw a simplified form of the men's costume come into existence, and this is the one most commonly seen today.
I present a quote from Wikipedia.
Thank you for reading, I hope that you have found this interesting and informative.
A couple of Serbian groups performing traditional dances. Serbian dances are famous for small precise intricate footwork.
Mitar Vlahovic et al, 'National Costumes of Serbia - Watercolours by N. Arsenovic', Beograd, 1954
Erina Shobich, 'Odezhda i Ornament Serbii', Beograd, 1956
Vladimir Kirin, 'Narodne Nosnje Jugoslavije', Zagreb,
Mirjana Prosic-Dvornic, 'Narodna Nosnja Sumadije', Zagreb
Nikola Pantelic, 'Traditional Arts and Crafts in Yugoslavia', Belgrade, 1984
Vladimir Salopek, 'Folk Costumes and Dances of Yugoslavia', Zagreb, 1989