Collecting Complementos…for the Frugal Woman

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April 9, 2013 by ebostick1212

After I took the plunge a few months ago, and bought myself a traje de gitana (obviously without thinking how I’m going to get it home…), I realized that one cannot buy just the traje itself.  Not wanting to look incomplete,  I was immediately locked in to purchasing all of the accessories, or complementos that go along with the traje.  And trust me…there are plenty of them.

This is where Don Regalón became my saving grace.  Sure, I could drop insane amounts of cash on gorgeous, ornate accessories…but as an auxiliar living on a modest stipend, I thought I’d just go for the basics.  Don Regalón has flowers, peinetas, mantoncillos, and jewelry for the more frugal gentlewoman.  Sure, they are all simple and made of acrylic, but I have actually come to prefer this, in comparison to the fancier look.  I love the big plastic peinetas, and hoop earrings, I think they look fun…and that is the point of Feria.

So now that I have collected all of my complementos, and I am ready for Feria, here is a quick lesson about what I am rambling on about.

1.  The shoes:  Everyone knows that under a powerful woman lies a sturdy pair of shoes, and with a traje, this is no exception.  You could theoretically don a pair of stilettos with your dress, but this isn’t traditional, nor is it comfortable.  In order to dance Sevillanas all night, you need a good pair of shoes, with a sturdy heel.  Or no heel at all…it is up to you.  I went for a pair of black leather heels, that I’ll be able to wear again after Feria.  I bought them at Marypaz and they didn’t cost a chunk of change.

Functional and fashionable shoes

Functional and fashionable shoes

2. The flower:  one thing most tourists first notice about a woman dressed in traditional garb here, is the giant flower resting directly on top of her head.  It might look ridiculous to a stranger to the tradition, but the bigger the flower, the more gitana you are….so go for it!  I selected a medium flower.  Things on my head tend to itch and poke at me, and so I opted for something smaller.

Yup, this thing goes smack dab on top of my head.

Yup, this thing goes smack dab on top of my head.

3. The peineta:  what exactly is a peineta?  It is difficult to describe.  A comb/crown hybrid.  Mine is made from red acrylic and I LOVE IT.  I would wear it every day if people didn’t see that kind of thing as crazy.  The peineta supports the flower and is tucked into hair that’s been pulled back.  Peinetas range in size from being tiny combs, to others that tower over the wearer’s head.

I love it!

I love it!

4.  The earrings:  Again, gitana mindset: the bigger, the better.  Most women don large hoop earrings for the Feria.  They range in being simple circles, to detailed and bejeweled.  In any case, go for the big ones, because this is the only time of year you can get away with wearing that kind of thing and still be considered classy!

Ok, so I didn't go for the huge ones, but these were prettier.

Ok, so I didn’t go for the huge ones, but these were prettier.

5.  The Mantoncillo:  In spite of being a fabulous 70 degrees here during the day, it still tends to cool off during the night.  This is where a mantoncillo comes in handy.  It might be small, but wrap up in it, and you’ll lose the chill.  Also, I’ve seen it wrapped around the waist of a traje, to add a pop of color.  How do you want to wear it?  It is up to you!
photo (2)
So, now that my outfit is complete, I am ready and waiting for Feria to arrive.  Now I just need to make some friends with casetas (private tents where most of the parties go down), and learn how to dance Sevillanas.

I don’t recall ever having to prepare this much for the Ohio State Fair as a kid…well, unless you count starving yourself a few days beforehand so you could eat and drink as many funnel cakes and lemon shake ups as you could hold.

I am almost Sevillana....almost.

I am almost Sevillana….almost.

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