Huipil – Traditional women’s Yucatecan clothing

Huipil yucateco

Have you ever explored Mérida’s Centro or Paseo de Montejo and stumbled across beautiful dress designs such as huipiles and ternos? Today we are telling you the story behind the huipil and the terno, both Yucatecan traditional clothing created by their ancestors, the Mayas.

Huipil’s name comes from the nahuátl “huipil,” and it is a type of blouse or dress typical of the indigenous people. It is usually hand embroidered with beautiful geometric and floral motives. The huipil is now used by everyone, especially in Mérida, both as a formal and casual dresses.


It is made in a tela de cintura. A machine created 1500 years before Christ, where no fabric piece is wasted. Plus, its fabric is made from natural biodegradable cotton or silk, making this process more sustainable. 

It must also be added that there are many types of huipiles, you can either get a short length one or a long one, a square type figure or a diamond shape, also called Quexquémitl, options are endless.

While the huipil is a casual dress, the terno is mostly used during celebrations or parties. The terno is a three-piece dress that includes the huipil and other items.

Here are the parts of a terno, a Yucatecan special ceremony’s dress:


It is the square figure located on the top of the dress. It goes over the shoulders and reaches below the chest, creating a square neckline that exposes the woman’s neck. In addition, this piece has two side gaps that, given the width of the garment, simulate short sleeves, leaving most of the arms uncovered. It also has a beautiful hand embroidery design.


This piece is attached to the jubón and reaches to the knee. It is placed over the third piece of clothing, made of linen, silk, or cotton. It is the longest item of the terno.


Under everything we previously mentioned, you will find the fustán, located at the bottom of the dress, being the last piece of the garment. Adjusted from the waist and placed below the huipil and extended to the ankles or even to the feet, the fustán creates the perfect combination with the jubón since it usually comes with a matching hand embroidered design.

Now that you know the huipil and terno’s history and designs, we encourage you to get one, especially during hot seasons, since they are very comfortable and fresh garments.

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