The Formal Thai National Costume
The Formal Thai National Costume Collections can be categorized into eight styles.
Thai Ruean Ton
Thai Ruean Ton is the most casual of all styles. It comprises a horizontally or vertically striped silk or plain-coloured pha sin with a patterned band at the hem, sometimes folded to one side, The collarless blouse that goes with it is separated from the ankle-length skirt. The sleeves are elbow length, and the blouse has a front opening. It is suitable for casual and non-official functions such as Kathin Ton, the religious ceremony of the conferring of royal offerings to monks.
Thai Chitlada, with its brocaded band at the hem of the pha sin, is a daytime ceremonial dress. It can be worn with a long sleeved silk blouse, with the front opening attached with five ornamental silver or gold buttons. The pha sin is a casual wraparound. It can be worn to a ceremony that is a not too informal such as welcoming the official royal guests at the airport. Wearers do not need to wear royal decorations but the color and style should be appropriate.
Thai Amarin is evening attire, made of brocaded fabric. With this style, the wearer does not have to wear a belt. The blouse can be wide and round-necked. The sleeve length sits just below the elbow. The beauty of this dress is its textile and accessories. It can be use for an evening dinner or at the Royal Birthday Procession. The royal decorations are worn.
Thai Boromphiman, also a formal evening attire, comprises a long sleeved blouse which is either buttoned at the front or the back. The blouse is tucked beneath pha sin with its front pleats (na nang). The fabric is brocaded to create a highly luxurious look and feel. The collar of the blouse is round-necked. The skirt length runs about the ankle. The skirt and blouse are sewn together like a one piece dress of which style is suitable for a tall and slender wearer. It can be worn in either formal or semi-formal events such as the League Ceremony or royal functions. Royal decorations are also worn.
Thai Chakkri is a formal and elegant wear, normally produced using “Yok” weaving technique (Yok creates additional thickness within the fabric without adding supplementary threads. Often a touch of gold or silver-colored threads are added, making the fabric produced this way particularly more expensive) The costume is finished with “pha sin”, a full length wrap-around skirt with two pleated folds in the front called “na nang”.
Thai Chakkraphat is a Thai dress with a shawl like Thai Chakkri. However, it is more conservative and considered more official. The upper part has a pleated shawl cover a thicker shawl with full embroidery on the upper shawl. It can be worn for royal or national ceremonies.
Thai Dusit is a wide-necked and sleeveless brocaded dress. The skirt and blouse can be sewn together. It can be worn for evening ceremonies in place of Western-style clothes. The Yok silk fabric is used. Either Thai or Western-style accessories can be worn.
Thai Siwalai, a formal evening costume, is quite similar to Thai Boromphiman, but it has an over-shoulder shawl. It is worn for royal ceremonies or formal functions.