Dhivehi Libaas, the traditional Maldives dress worn by women, is unique to the island, due to its Kasabu Viyun embroidery techniques. Kasabu viyun is gold and silver laced weaving stuck to a patch of garment tied to Dhivehi Libaas. This embroidery is commonly found along the neckline or on the dress’s hem. Normally kurtas and long skirts are embroidered in this way. These traditional Maldivian dresses can be seen on local islands and in the city of Male. The Dhivehi libaas is worn with a feyli underskirt.
Feyli is a black or dark blue wrap-around with a bottom line designed with various stripes. The traditional black lines on this piece of clothing have been replaced by gold and silver to better complement the Libaas. This dress is commonly worn at formal events.
Dhigu Hedhun is another Maldivian national dress. It is a sleek body fitting lace gown. Although traditionally made with lace, it has evolved to use other materials as well. They are worn on special events such as formal and national gatherings. Simpler versions of the Dhigu Hedhun are also worn on a daily basis by some women.
The Hedhun Buri is another Maldives traditional outfit. This dress is commonly worn by young Maldivians, particularly at festivals and dance performances. Long shimmery jacquard blouses and wrap-around skirts are worn with the outfit. They sometimes come with headbands that complement the blouses.
Women in the Maldives also wear burqas due to the Arabic presence. These black robes and headscarves are mostly worn by the Muslim community. Today, the Burqas have developed into trendy robes and scarves.
Men’s traditional attire includes the Sarungan, which is a long garment wrapped around their waist. Usually, it is black with white lines. This outfit closely resembles the Feyli, which is worn under Dhivehi Libaas. It is worn with a white long or short-sleeved shirt. This outfit is mainly made of cotton. Along with the Sarungan, men also wrap their heads at times to shield their heads, either for religious reasons or to shield their heads from the scorching sun.