Jul 30, 2012

The wardrobe of our Ancestors, typical Ibiza costumes

typical ibiza costumes

How were our ancestors dressed on the beautiful island?

In these days everybody is dressed the way they want because there is so much to choose from! There are countless shops, brands, styles and trillions of choices. But remember, it wasn’t always like that, so let’s take a look in the wardrobe of our ancestors.

The tipical Ibiza costumes are very unique compared with the ones from the rest of the Balearic Islands. The clothes had characteristics of the architecture and it had many colorful touches. There were 4 types of costumes for the women. The white dress, the ‘Gonella’ , the coloured one and the working dress.

Let’s start with the first one, the white dress which was the total opposite of the Gonella. It was the typical bride costume and it consisted of several petticoats, a jacket, an apron, a shawl and a headscarf. The sleeves had gold buttons. To complete their look they wore traditional gold jewelry like multiple rings and the so-called ‘Emprendada’, it were six or seven gold necklaces semi across the chest and two or three necklaces with a cross. This was part of the dowry and was sometimes used as payment of the rightful inheritance for daughters, avoiding the forced division of the estates for the benefit of the heir. The Emprendada was very important for the women from Ibiza because it was the only material link with their home.


The second and oldest dress was the Gonella, they say it’s from the eighteenth century but some of the details can be even older. This costume consists of a petticoat, a black wool jacket with satin woven sleeves embroidered with silver and a gold embroidered apron. They also wore a shawl and lace handkerchief, all accompanied by a black felt hat with a wide brim. The tapes they had hanging said the number of suitors. The jewels on the chest showed their economic status, the oldest were made of coral and silver and the modern ones were made of gold.

Then there was the coloured dress. Which was the modern version of above dresses. Composed with an underskirt, a black wool jacket, a colorful apron and a shawl which was used as handkerchief at the same time. It was the most colorful costume of all. The tail may be pink (single), green(promised), blue (married) or black (widow).

Last but not least: the working dress, much more simple than the rest. It consisted of a petticoat, a jacket made of a lower quality fabric than in the other cases, a long apron, more suitable for household chores or field, a big straw hat and espradrilles. Jewerly were limited to little more than a few simple filigree earrings and during the working days they didn’t wear their ‘emprendada’.

The different typical costumes

So now we have talked about the women’s wardrobe, but what about the men? They wore clothes too! Read our next post: Wardrobe of our Ancestors part II, to get to know more about the men costumes.

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