The bullfighters dress is called “el traje de luces” which means the suit of lights.
This extremely beautiful dress take hours to manufacture. They are made to mesure. The bullfighter chooses the color, the embroideries, all the small details. This dresses are made of silk, Lycra, gold threat and pearls. The good ones can go up to 12000 USA dollars.
Let’s get some history about it. Maybe you have heard about one of Spains best painters, he is Francisco De Goya. He is one of the first painters who designed suits of light. If you come to the Prado museum in Madrid, you will see this paintings.These designs are a bit different to the ones we know now. They used to not be as tight (there was no Lycra back then) so as there was more clothe, the risk of being gored was higher. Also the hat (montera) did not exist, they used to wear a fancy net to cover the hair.
The modern Suit of lights:
The modern dress is skin tight, and has 12 different pieces. You have the “montera” the hat. The white shirt with the black thing tie. The “casaca” which is the short jacket. Unther the casaca, they wear a vest and a “faja” sash. Then you have the “taleguilla” these are the short pants. And then the pink stockings and the ballerina shoes. To top`all of this they have the processional cape and the 2 capes they will use for the fight.
As you can imagine, it takes a long time to put all of this together. It is a big ritual, the way they get dressed. It takes over an hour, to get everything ready, and it is a very private moment for the matador, so there are not too many images of this moments. Bullfighters don’t like to have people that they don’t know while they get dressed.
Here is a picture with all the names of each part of the dress. It was shared by the bullring of México DF on their instagram account.