impact That The Mexican Culture Does To The Mexican Ethnic Dress In Mexico And The United States

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The study took place mainly in my home place because I come from a Mexican background, which gave me the ability to find out information about the ethnic dress in a Mexican culture.

I spoke to mostly my great grandparents because they had more experience with the Mexican background in culture, dress, religion, and role than anyone else in my family. Mexico is known to be a mixed economy that is privately-owned and state-owned. It is currently the 15th largest in the world. The population rate from 2015 to 2019 has grown to about 1.9%. The economy in Mexico is very different from the U.S., meaning that they use pesos instead of dollars. A peso, which is $18.94 dollars is equal to a dollar in the United States. This states the the economy in Mexico is lower and cheaper than in the United States.

Some political issue happening in Mexico is; the division between liberals and conservatives, also the immigration scandal between America and Mexico. Therefore, some ideological issues that contribute with the political issues is between the neoliberalism and nationalism that involves in the economic and political developments since the mid-1980’s. Even though Mexico has had a lot of political and economic issues throughout the years, there were also differences between gender roles in each community as well. Men were known to go out and to the hard work, while the women stays at home doing something a lot “easier”. I am interested in this topic because I wanted to know more about the difference between how males and females dressed in America and Mexico.

The Textiles of the Ethnic Dress

Some of the materials needed to create the women’s dress were wool, cotton, silk, agave, and bark. The colors of the dress are usually combined with red, brown, green, and yellow. Which Mexicans used to dye the clothes with natural components. For men, there are six different kinds of garments they wear. They are usually made out of the same materials as the women’s dress but, are known to have fringe and a lot more embroidery. One of the items is made out of straw or heavy felt.

Different kinds of Dress

The Mexican ethnic dress is considered to be very bright and beautiful. There are many different garments ad designs used for different occasions. Some of them are worn for celebrations and holidays, some are worn for ceremonies and festivals. The clothing they wear is focused on sun protection that is why most of the accessories and clothing pieces is made out of natural materials. It is also based on brightness and modesty full of heavy embroidery and long in length. It is safe to say that the men’s dress has changed very little throughout the centuries, but the women’s dress hasn’t one bit. They were created by combining to different cultures, Native Americans and European people. In the city of Jalisco, there is a traditional dress called the Escaramuza dress. This dress is created by a cotton blouse with a high collar. The detailing on the garment include stripes with a wide skirt. In Michoacan, their dress is more sophisticated looking. It is a long skirt with ribbons and patterns, which also includes a long blouse that has embroidery at the bottom and the neck, and comes with an apron. In Tabasco, the dress is feminine and delicate. It is a white blouse with embroidery around the neck, and comes with a colorful skirt with floral pattern on it. The most colorful dress of them all is the traditional dress


This handmade dress includes a wide skirt and a blouse that is embroidered with colorful ribbons. The skirt/dress is usually a black background with flower patterns on top of it. The interesting part is that the male dress is the same in every city but, the colors and patterns change.

Men’s Dress

Mexican men usually wear a sarape, charro suit, sombrero, guayabero, baja jacket, and poncho. A sarape is a vibrant colored garment that includes a fringe on it. It is used as a wrappedenclosure to keep warm; mostly used as a blanket. The statement piece of the entire dress would be the charro suit. It consists of an embroidered suit, which is typically worn on the Day of the Dead. They come in many different colors but, the most popular is black with a big red bow. It also includes a sombrero that has a wide brim and is made out of straw or heavy felt. This accessory is mainly for the protection of the sun, which is why it has the wide brim. Under the suit or poncho, they wear a shirt called the guayabero. It is a lightweight shirt that is made out of cotton and can be safely worn in the heat.

To add to the layers, they also wear a baja jacket, which is a hooded shirt. It is usually most worn when the temperature is a lot cooler. It is often seen to be very colorful, with a striped pattern. The poncho that is considered a suspended enclosure is used as a warm outwear and, is known all around the world. There are two different kinds of ponchos. One is called the classical poncho, which a piece of cloth and has a hole in the top center for the head. The second poncho is called a rainproof poncho, which is a fitted classical poncho but has fasteners on the side. Some of the shoes that men wear are huaraches, pointy boots, and cowboy boots. Their cowboy boots are similar to American cowboy boots but are made out of animal skin. Huaraches, which is the everyday footwear for them, that are handmade out of leather so they can last longer. There is another type of shoe that is mainly worn by singers and dancers called the pointy cowboy boot. This type of boot is narrow and has a long tow. The toe can go up to five feet long and curves up to the knees of a man. They are very colorful and are decorated with flashing LED lights, and other crazy designs. The male dress is typically worn as an everyday look but, is more important fir it to be worn in special occasions.

Women’s Dress

The pieces in a women’s dress in Mexico include a huipil, quechduemitl, rbozo, and a skirt. A huipil is a suspended enclosure that is sleeveless and is either made out of cotton or wool. It is usually worn with a skirt. The huipil has a specific design that refers to the region, beliefs, and marital status. In the article, “Huipiles: A Celebration Event at the Mexican Cultural Institute”, by Pr Newswire says, “A huipile is a typical female’s dress made out of many ribbons that are tied up in the back and it is related to a traditional female’s dress widely used in Mexico”. They also wear a festive poncho called the quechquemitl. It is typically worn at parties,holidays, and festivals. With this type of clothing it is necessary for it to be handmade from handwoven cloth. It is full of embroidery and colors. The scarf looking garment is called a rebozo. This garment is made from cotton, wool, or silk. When a rebozo is a specific color, or it has a specific pattern, it represents a region and community. This wrapped enclosure is not only used as a clothing piece, but it is also used to carry around products and their baby. The Mexicanskirt they wear is either ankle length or knee length. It is often made out of cotton, wool, silk andlace. To pair with the skirt they also wear blouses. They are decorated with beads, lace, colorful patterns, and embroidery. Some accessories they use are ribbons, necklaces, amulets, and a Tijuana headdress. Most of the amulets women wear are known to to defend people from evil.

Gender Roles

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In the Mexican culture gender roles are noticed more because of the huge differences between men and women. Men are known to have more authority than women do. Some of theseroles are based on region, socioeconomic class and between rural and urban areas. According to the article, “Mexican Culture”, by Nina Evason states, “Approximately 70% of all Mexican household have a male head of house (jefe de familia) who is the primary income earner and decision maker for the family” (Evason). But, there is an exception for a woman to be the head of house. “Over 75% of women who are in the position of household authority are either widowed, separated or single for some other reason” (Evason).

Men are expected to be masculine, which is a form of machismo. Therefore, women are known to follow and embody. This means that “Women are often expected to be self-denying so they can dedicate themselves to the family” (Evason). They are known to do most of the housework. For example, the cooking, and cleaning up after their husband. It is believed that if a woman isn’t good at keeping these tasks from a young age then they will not make a good wife in the future. According to thisarticle, men are less likely to be blamed for a problem than a woman is. In a household, some rules can only apply to a specific gender.

For example, when it comes to dating and going out, the female usually has stricter rules than the male does. Males have a later curfew, can date younger than when a female can. When comparing the gender roles, it somewhat ties back to the difference in how males dress ad how females dress in the Mexican culture in Mexico. Since themale is believed to be the strongest and head of the house, the charro suit gives of that “machismo” characteristic that the man is supposed to give off. But, with the colorful dresses and accessories that the women wear, that gives of the lady like characteristic.

Mexican Dress in the United States

Although the Mexican ethnic dress is a lot different in the United States, the trend that a lot of Mexicans wear is also based on socioeconomic class and rural and urban areas. From my observations, teenagers that were raised in a Mexican culture, but live in the United States have aspecific way to dress. The way these teenagers dress is most likely found in areas that are poor. Girls usually wear a short sleeve shirt with skinny jeans, a hooded jacket, and a pair of sneakers. This type of outfit is mainly seen on girls that were raised in a Mexican culture that wasn’t traditional. They would wear their hair up or down with not texture or style added to it. Teenage boys wear baggy shirts and flannels with shirts and long socks. This originated from gang members and it continues to be their fashion trend. Once they get older the style slowly changes. They are known to look like “cholas” and “cholos”.

A cholo is a mainly a Mexican male who dresses in khaki pants, a sleeveless shirt that is called a wifebeater and a flannel to go with it. There is a specific way to wear these things. Forexample, the flannel is only buttoned at the top, and the bandana is worn around the forehead. A chola is a considered the female version of a chola. They often have thin eyebrows that are tattooed on, with a brown or red lip. They usually have piercings, tattoos, flannel shirts, gold jewelry and either Converse or Nike shoes. Their hair is usually worn down with mouse to give itthat crunchy look or high up in a ponytail. In other words, males and females who grow up in a Mexican culture that live in a middleclass city tend to look, act, and dress a lot different. They tend to dress more trendy and appropriate. Girls would wear cute dresses, shirts and shorts, jeans, they would accessories with different jewelry and hats. Boys would wear buttoned up shirts, jeans, shorts, t-shirts, flannels etc.

Even though it seems that both groups seem to have the same type of clothing; it is importanton how you pair the pieces together form the clothes to your appearance. Females tend to style their hair by curling or straightening it. Their make-up would appear natural and blended together. The last thing they want to look like is like a “chola”. My Perspective Growing up in Orange County did play a huge part on what type of Mexican I am. Livingin a Mexican culture comes with a lot of rules. I grew up living with my two parents who were raised and born in Mexico. Just like every Mexican culture my dad is the one who provides for the family and my mom is the one that takes care of the family.

My parents were and are really strict when it comes to respecting others and respecting ourselves as well. We have to greet our family members every time we see them, or else it is very disrespectful. When it comes to house rules, my siblings and I have the typical chore list we have to do every day. But they are differentbecause of the gender roles that are being included. I have two younger brothers and one sister, and from the start my sister and I were treated very differently than how my two brothers are being treated by my parents.

Gender roles do play a huge part in the Mexican culture no matter where and when you were raised. My brothers have a lot more freedom at age they are now compared to when I was their age. When I was in middle school, specifically in 8th grade, I couldn’t leave the house to hang out with my friends and if I did it had to be right outside my house where my parents can see me. But, my brother who is in 8th grade at the moment is allowed to walk down the street to go watch a movie with his friends with no hesitation. I being 23 years old still has a curfew, which is 10:30 p.m., but my brothers have come home later than that and they are a lot younger than me. I wasn’t allowed to talk about boys in front of my dad orelse I would get in trouble, but just last week my brother told my parents that he was going to ask a girl to the prom and they were so excited for him.

Our parents taught us how to behave the correct way and to always be respectful to others. I always tell people that if you are Mexican, you have two different kinds of parents. Either parents that are very laid back and open minded or parents that are very strict and open minded. But, I think that’s where the way a child comes out to perceive themselves. Kids that grow up with laid back parents tend to do whatever they want to do. They can stay out late, have a romantic relationship starting at a very young age, or wear whatever they want. I have usually seen this in areas where Mexican parents don’t have time to watch their kids. But, it is the opposite growing up with strict parents. Growing up in orange county did affect the way I dressed, looked, and acted. I did dress up every day for school. Meaning that I would wear dresses and accessorize with jewelry. I would wear outfits that came from a magazine catalog. The way I presented myself was important because it is the image my parents created for me.


The research concluded many things that define the ethnic dress of the Mexican culture inMexico and in the United states. Although the ethnic dress in Mexico is very colorful and bold, they all have the same culture they follow. It doesn’t matter the area you live in because everyone has the same believes. However, in the United States parents are occupied with work so they don’t have time to teach their children every aspect of the Mexican culture, which means the children have to have their own prospective of culture.

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