Cambodian National Costumes

Cambodian National Costumes for women are very fancy, with a lot of decorations and shiny materials on them, while costumes for men are less shiny.

When to wear

Our national costumes are worn in any ceremony, ranging from weddings, Khmer New Year, and funerals. They are the most formal and appropriate type of clothing, so as long as you wear them, you’re sure you never come in the wrong dress code. The only exception would be to wear them at a birthday party.

Skirt Texture

There are two types of skirts that are most commonly used: Hol (ហូល) and Pha-muong (ផាមួង). Pha-muong is single colored, while Hol has patterns on them.

Below is an example of Hol. There are generally more than 200 patterns, according to Wikipedia (

Hol [P.C. -]

Hol [P.C. –]

And here is an example of Pha-muong (just the skirt):

Pha-muong [P.C. -]

Pha-muong [P.C. –]

Both Hol and Pha-muong also come as shirts for men, not just skirts. However, there is less emphasis on what men wear because black pants and a shirt is already considered appropriate enough.

In addition to skirts, we also have “Kben”, which are more like pants (look at the featured image). They are a piece of cloth and we tie/knot them in a specific way to turn them into pants.

How they are made

Cambodia is known for silk weaving, and thus, Hol and Pha-muong alike are weaved, and turned into skirts you see up there.

P.C. - Sareth Ken

A woman weaving [P.C. – Sareth Ken]

Each of the strings used to weave the skirts come from a type of caterpillar, that produces the material.

Caterpillars (P.C. - Sareth Ken)

Caterpillars (P.C. – Sareth Ken)

Shirts for women

Shirts are sewed, rather than weaved. There are a lot of examples of shirts and skirts combined here, if you’re interested. The most common color for a shirt is white, because it fits with any color of skirts. I, personally, like my shirt and skirt to have the same shade of color, where the shirt has a lighter one.

What do you think?

Our Correspondent
Cult Cambodia correspondent
Vilayvann -

Born and raised in the debris of the French colony in Cambodia, I grew up to be the least girlish girl or the most manly girl in the world, as described by my friends, just because I never had dolls or those ...

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About this place

Continent: Asia
Capital: Phnom Penh
Population: 14,453,700
Area: 181,040 km2
Currency: Riels
Languages: Khmer

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