Vyshyvanka (Ukrainian: ″Вишиванка″) is the colloquial name for the embroidered shirt in Ukrainian national costume.

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I have bought this traditional shirt a few years ago and would be traveling to Kiev soon. The following questions arise:

  1. When is it appropriate to wear the traditional shirt? Only during special celebrations, or also while going out and about the city?
  2. Can you wear the shirt with regular pants such as jeans?
  3. Is it okay for a foreigner to wear one?
  • 9
    It is appropriate for all situations, official and colloquial, absolutely fine with jeans. No limitations for foreigners. By wearing it, you show respect for the Ukrainian nation who fights for its freedom against the foreign invasion. However, showing that you share the same values as the Ukrainian patriots do, you may face some aggression from those who support the occupants and deny the existence of Ukraine. Definitely, avoid wearing/carrying/thinking about it on occupied territories (Crimea and parts of Donets'k/Luhans'k regions) unless you know what you're doing. Sep 2 '16 at 14:25
  • 3
    @bytebuster That's probably enough information to constitute an answer.
    – Urbana
    Sep 2 '16 at 15:06
  • 3
    bytebuster's comment above is politically biased. As a traditional shirt it has nothing to do with patriots and invasion. In almost every case your wearing vyshyvanka will simply be given zero attention. As a Ukrainian I am absolutely fine, and perhaps even careless, about others' vyshyvankas, but I prefer to stay well clear from those who overuses that (see example above).
    – Roman R.
    Sep 2 '16 at 16:08
  • 1
    @bytebuster: It helps my argument that I live in Ukraine. And you live in Southeast Asia.
    – Roman R.
    Sep 3 '16 at 4:21
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    @Roman R. What does "biased" mean? A view you don't agree with? Sep 3 '16 at 11:47

And the answer is: wear it whenever you feel like it, wherever you feel like it, and however you feel like wearing it

Vyshivanka has become sort of a symbol of the latest Ukrainian revolution and symbol of Ukraine's resistance, however, in its core it is a piece of clothing.

There is historical significance to this but it has been mostly ignored by the population and had even been turned into high fashion

Given that you're a foreigner wearing one may give it a connotation of your support for the Ukrainian struggle but whether you choose to look at it that way is entirely up to you.

P.S. Personally I have a few of those including traditionally made as well as currently manufactured in a form of a t-shirt.

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