Outfits >>> Replicas >>> Go-to-meeting shirt for a married man

Archangel region, Kargopol district
Age group of a wearer:
25-45 years old.
Social category of a wearer:
a married man.
Made by
Irina Zhoukova.

A person ordered this model requested: "I want to have a Russian peasant's shirt. It should be fancy enough, to be appropriate to attend events of a Kedry club. At the same time, I want to wear it at the office sometimes, so it should be modest".

The only one model of a man's shirt meets such a requirements: a go-to-meeting shirt for a married man from Kargopol district (Northern Russia). This shirt is of an archaic chiton-like design. It is the most common for Slavic and Russian shirts. The cut is: a rectangular piece of cloth is folded half-by-half across a warp (along a woof). On the fold line they make an oval hole for a neck, and a long cut on a front part of a shirt. Shirts with a cut on the left (or sometimes on the right) side (so-called kosovorotka) appeared not earlier than the 16th century, and as a peasants' design only (more info >>>>>).

Casual shirts of a Kargopol district had a side cut. But, shirts for special occasions kept the ancient fashion: a middle cut with no collar. That was possible because a Northern part of Russia was economically and culturally isolated for centuries due to its geographic location and weather conditions. A lot of archaic customs, songs, and clothing specifics were preserved there.

As a tradition required, all edges of this shirt protected with a red "fire line". The protection is doubled by the embroidery that runs parallel to a red line. The design used here is a mix of a very formalized Sun Wheel and a symbol of The Mother Earth. So, the wearer gets a protection of two main powers of a Russian pagan pantheon.

The shirt is made of a creamish-white cloth that remains linen. A color emphasizes an archaic fashion and decoration. Also, it pinpoints that the wearer is a married man. A young bachelor should dress himself as bright and fancy as possible, to demonstrate a surplus of his vital energy. And a married man's costume should be made of a modest-colored but expensive fabrics of a high quality. Such a style reflected a high social status of a respectful and succesful businessman.

Sources (in Russian)
  1. G.S.Maslova "Traditional clothing of Russians, Ukrainians, ans Byelorussians at the end of the 19th century".
  2. M.N.Shmeleva "Traditional Russian Clothes"
  3. F.M.Parmon, "Traditional Russian Costume as a Source of Ideas"
  4. "Men and Women (male and female roles and parts in traditional Russian culture)" (encyclopedia)
  5. "Russian Costume of the 15th - 19th centuries" (a photoalbum)
  6. M.M.Gromyko, " Everyday Behavior of Russian Village People in the 19th Century"