How Do New Zealand People Dress?




How do New Zealand people actually dress like?

New Zealand is a beautiful country with a unique and diverse culture. Regarding dressing, Kiwis have a laid-back and casual approach focusing on comfort and practicality. However, some style trends are distinctly New Zealand. We will discuss what New Zealanders typically dress like, with some examples from Pinterest.

Casual and Comfortable Clothing

Casual and comfortable clothing is a defining characteristic of New Zealand fashion. Kiwis prefer practical, easy-to-wear clothes that adapt to the country’s unpredictable weather. Here are some more details about this popular style trend:

  • Casual Clothing for All Occasions

New Zealanders prefer casual clothing that can be worn for any occasion. Jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers are popular for both men and women. These pieces can be dressed up or down, depending on the situation. For example, jeans and a t-shirt can be worn to a casual lunch with friends or dressed up with a blazer for a business meeting.

  • Layering for All Seasons

New Zealand’s climate can change quickly, with four seasons in one day not uncommon. Layering is a crucial aspect of Kiwi fashion, allowing people to add or remove layers depending on the temperature. A typical outfit might include a t-shirt, sweatshirt, and jacket, all worn together or separately as needed.

  • Comfort is Key

Comfort is a top priority for Kiwis when it comes to clothing. This means choosing soft, breathable fabrics that feel good against the skin. Cotton and wool are popular materials, as they are durable and comfortable. Loose-fitting clothing is also preferred, allowing for ease of movement and breathability.

  • Sustainable Fashion

Sustainability is an essential aspect of New Zealand fashion. Many Kiwis are choosing to buy clothes made from sustainable materials and produced in an environmentally-friendly way. Second-hand and vintage clothing is also popular, as it is a sustainable option allowing people to express their style.

Examples from Pinterest

Pinterest is an excellent source of inspiration for anyone interested in New Zealand fashion. Here are some examples of casual and comfortable clothing trends that are popular in Kiwi fashion:

  1. Denim – Kiwis love denim, and you’ll find many examples of jeans, denim jackets, and chambray shirts on Pinterest.
  2. Sneakers – Comfortable sneakers are a popular choice for both men and women. Classic styles like Converse and Vans are trendy.
  3. Sweatpants – Sweatpants are another popular choice for casual wear. They are comfortable and easy to wear, making them an excellent option for lounging at home or running errands.

Traditional Clothing

Traditional clothing is essential to New Zealand culture, representing the country’s rich history and heritage. Here are some details about this popular style trend:

  • Māori Clothing

The Māori people are the indigenous population of New Zealand, and their traditional clothing is an integral part of the country’s culture. The conventional Māori dress is known as a piupiu, a woven skirt made from flax. It is often worn with a woven flax belt and a Huka Huka. The top half of the body is often left bare, with tattoos (known as moko) being a popular form of adornment.

  • Pākehā Clothing

Pākehā is a term used to describe people of European descent who live in New Zealand. Traditional Pākehā clothing is influenced by European fashion, often including dresses, blouses, and suits. However, some conventional items are unique to New Zealand, such as the Swanndri jacket. This woolen jacket, with its distinctive check pattern, is a popular choice for outdoor activities and is considered a Kiwi icon.

  • Contemporary Clothing with Traditional Elements

Many contemporary New Zealand designers incorporate traditional elements into their clothing designs. This allows them to pay homage to the country’s cultural heritage while creating stylish pieces. For example, a designer might use a Māori pattern on an everyday dress or incorporate traditional weaving techniques into a handbag design.

Examples from Pinterest

Pinterest is an excellent source of inspiration for anyone interested in traditional New Zealand clothing. Here are some examples of conventional clothing trends that are popular in Kiwi fashion:

  1. Kahu huruhuru – The Kahu huruhuru is a traditional Māori cloak made from feathers. It is often worn during ceremonial occasions, such as weddings or graduations.
  2. Pounamu – Pounamu is a type of greenstone that is found in New Zealand. It is often used to make traditional Māori jewelry, such as necklaces or earrings.
  3. Kapa haka costumes – Kapa haka is a traditional Māori performing arts group, and their costumes are often brightly colored and adorned with feathers and other decorative elements.
  4. All Blacks jersey – The All Blacks are New Zealand’s national rugby team, and their iconic black jersey symbolizes national pride. It is often worn as an everyday item of clothing, especially during the rugby season.


Sportswear is a popular clothing trend in New Zealand. Sportswear is a comfortable and practical option for outdoor activities or casual wear. Brands such as Adidas, Puma, and Nike are popular among Kiwis, and you’ll see their logos on many pieces of clothing. Running shoes are also a common sight; people wear them everywhere, from the gym to the grocery store.


New Zealand is known for its beautiful beaches, and beachwear is a popular clothing trend. Boardshorts, bikinis, and sandals are expected, with many people wearing them as everyday clothing during summer. Sarongs and kaftans are also popular beachwear options for women.

Pinterest Examples

Pinterest is a great place to find examples of New Zealand fashion. Here are a few examples of popular Kiwi fashion trends found on Pinterest:

  1. Hoodies and sweatshirts – Many Kiwis love to wear hoodies and sweatshirts. These comfortable and practical items are perfect for New Zealand’s unpredictable weather.
  2. Sportswear – New Zealanders love to be active, and sportswear is a popular clothing trend. On Pinterest, you’ll find many examples of people wearing running shoes, leggings, and sporty jackets.
  3. Beachwear – With so many beautiful beaches, it’s no surprise that beachwear is a popular trend in New Zealand. From bikinis to board shorts, you’ll find plenty of examples of beachwear on Pinterest.
  4. Traditional clothing – Traditional Māori clothing is an integral part of Kiwi culture. On Pinterest, you’ll find many examples of piupiu, feather cloaks, and other traditional garments.


In conclusion, New Zealanders have a casual and practical approach to dressing, focusing on comfort and functionality. Sportswear, beachwear, and traditional clothing are all popular trends in Kiwi fashion. Pinterest is a great place to find inspiration and examples of New Zealand fashion trends.


mandy b.
mandy b.
Founder, owner, writer & (coming up this summer)
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