Compared with the ostentatious luxury of the eastern city of Chandoír, the fashion in Broi is austere into the extreme. Not for Broi are the endless layers of costly fabrics, embroidered and printed in rich colours. Broian fashion is very simple1 and the Broians pride themselves on having retained the traditional Charyan style of clothing which can be traced to the old Southern Empire. In this, they are helped by the climate of their city, which is hot in all seasons, and very wet in the rainy season.
Of course, the multitude of immigrant peoples keep their own fashions, and the streets of Broi offer an endless variety of styles of clothing.
Both men and women wear a simple shirt or tunic, with or without sleeves, plain or simply embroidered around the hem. This is called the maile. Outdoors, they may wear a longer garment over this shirt, the zidaxin, if they are rich enough to afford it. If the maile has sleeves, the zidaxin is sleeveless, and vice-versa.
The sleeved maile is generally longer than the sleeveless maile, and reaches to the hips, the sleeveless maile descends to the navel. The zidaxin is as long as the owner can afford, or fashion dictates, from slightly below the hips, to ankle-length.
Every adult, except for the really dismally poor who will have nothing more than a loincloth or a large shawl wrapped around their breast, wears the maile. Children below the age of five or six go about naked, even in the street, older children wear the maile.
For the really rich, there is an astonishing choice of fabrics, with a marked preference for the loosely woven. Silk is very costly and out of reach even of most imperial civil servants, but cotton gauze is very popular, for the maile. The zidaxin, especially for civil servants, is most often made from rather heavier broadcloth or worsted, dyed in colours appropriate to the occupation of the wearer. Some zidaxinin are trimmed with fur.
From the age of seven or eight upwards, everyone wears some sort of cap or hat. Going bareheaded on the street is far worse than going barebreasted, which is worse than going barebuttocked. The really poor may just wind some strip of cloth around their hair.
Rank, status and occupation can all be read from the type of cap or hat one wears. A small, black, square cap is the sign of a whore, a complicated pointed affair that of the learned. Imperial servants wear a broad rimmed hat with a knob on, ordinary tradesmen an oblong cap in a pleasant colour and actors wear a six-sided cap.
Not a very important item in the Broian Charyan wardrobe, long, loosely knit, stockings may be worn, when in fashion, in the rainy season. When in fashion (or when necessary) a loincloth can be worn too. Money and other necessities can be kept in the sleeves of either the maile or the zidaxin, or in a purse hanging on a string around the neck, under the maile.
Inside the house - where visitors seldom come - an even looser costume is worn. A wide, gauze or silk open shirt, which is tied together with a single knot just above the navel, is considered enough. People wear caps or hats inside private houses, when they are guests or if there are guests. Servants or slaves wear a simple tunic, like the maile but of a markedly different cut, or nothing.
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