Today I will continue my discussion of the Biłgoraj / Bilhoray costume. Today I will cover the men's costume and the outer garments. For more general information about this region, see my previous article.
The men's shirt, at least traditionally, was made with the same cut as the women's, only shorter.
Originally, the shirt was knee length, as was true for the wider region.
More recently, the shirt became shorter, to mid thigh,
And today, performing groups wear it barely hip length, as in the photo at the head of the article and here..
Shirts for everyday were of courser linen, without embroidery. Shirts for dress occasions often had embroidery on cuffs, collar, and sometimes the front placket.
Although examples of men's shirts embroidered in the local curvilinear embroidery are known, it seems that they more commonly were embroidered in simple cross stitch designs.
These belts were about 6 inches wide, and were similar to belts worn by men as far away as Austria and Romania.
[It was often the case, and not only in this region, that people would walk barefoot and carry their boots, and put them on only when they got to church or whatever their destination was. This prevented the boots from getting worn out. Only those who were relatively well off would wear their boots walking the road.]
You will sometimes see a man wearing a bag woven of birchbark, which while not as durable, would certainly be cheaper.
Summer outerwear for men was typically a long overcoat made of heavy linen or hemp. This was called polotnianka or parcianka. Often cloth intended for this garment was woven with a hempen warp and flaxen weft, in twill weave .This garment was popular in eastern Poland, western Ukraine, as and far north as Latvia.
This garment was usually completely unadorned, with only occasionally a small amount of cord or embroidery applied to the collar. It was fastened with hooks and eyes, one at the neck and 3 more spaced at about 12 cm intervals. It was not belted.
On the little boy in this last image you can see a blue vest. If you look closely at the men above, you will see that many are wearing this vest under their linen overcoats, which seems to be the normal way of wearing it. This was also worn over a much wider area than just the Bilhoray / Bilgoraj region. Note that the vest is cut straight across on the bottom, with no points. Points on a vest are a strictly west European and American thing.
Both versions had a fold over cuff made of bought blue wool. Blue woolen cording was used to ornament the collar, cuffs, front closure, and hip seams of this garment. In the southeast part of this region, red cord was used instead. The ends of the cords were self fringed into tassels which also formed part of the ornament. Heavy hooks and eyes fastened the neck and front opening, with two more located at the waist. In the 20th cent. sukmanas began to be made with commercial wool cloth.
Note that the blue vest is visible under the sukmana in some of the above photos. Also, some newer photos show the sukmana worn with a belt or sash over it, this does not appear in any of the older photos.
The zhupan was ankle length and made from commercially produced wool in a bright blue color. The collar and turned back cuffs were appliqued in red wool. The seams and folds at the waist were ornamented with blue ribbon.
This garment was belted closed with a wide sash that wrapped 3 or 4 times around. It became an essential garment for brides, and was worn on all important occasions after marriage.
The gores set into the sides were gathered into the waist and were ornamented with applique of very thin leather and embroidery. The front is closed by leather thongs made into loops on one side and knotted into buttons on the other.
There was actually one more garment worn, called shuba. This was an elaborate overcoat worn by women, made of sheepskin, with a second layer of bought wool cloth. Here is the layout of the garment. To the left is the front and rear of the finished garment. On the right above is the cut of the sheepskin, and on the right below the cut of the blue wool which covers it. I have found no images of this garment.