Informal wear

For men as well as women "no-hassle" wear consists of leggings (ibest) made of something strong such as heavy linen, laced up all along the outside or back of the leg, in one piece with an inset (usual for women) or in two pieces with a separate loin-cloth or codpiece (not stuffed, being well-hung doesn't make you more attractive) with a long-sleeved linen shirt (chonas, nominally underwear though the sleeves are usually worn in sight and can be elaborately decorated) and a jacket or bodice (tyras) with or without sleeves. Soft leather shoes or sturdy boots, and a belt with a purse. A hood or cap is optional. Women may wear a head-cloth.

This can be elaborated on as much as one likes. A woman can (and often does, especially once she reaches the 'matron' age) exchange the leggings for a full skirt (men don't wear skirts, though generally men and women wear much the same things). The jacket or bodice can be in any style and of any material: rugged leather for outdoor occupations, velvet open-work at court, stiff with embroidery for country fairs, loose and open or laced up tight to serve as a bra, or even without a shirt underneath at all.

Young people of both sexes often do away with the leggings in summer, wearing only a long linen tyras (knee length or to mid-thigh) with a belt and boots or slippers with knee-high laces. Children tend to wear only a chonas; it's sometimes made so large that they have an ankle-length dress when they learn to walk and still wear the same garment at six or so, as a shirt. Peasant children, and many children of the other classes, usually go barefoot.

Cloaks abound, mostly made of wool. They can be any length from just below the belt to the ankles.

Formal wear

Robes (feal) are worn by scholars, older people, priestesses of Naigha, and the nobility on formal occasions. A feal for nobles or scholars is usually ankle length and made of heavy material in a dark, rich colour. A Temple of Naigha feal for daily use is grey and lightweight; their ceremonial robes are black or half black and half white. Village priestesses also dress in grey, but usually a shorter and more practical design, which is also worn (in any colour) by peasant women, and in town as maternity wear.

The uniform of the Order of the Sworn of Anshen is (for masters) dark grey leggings, a linen shirt, a blue-grey sleeveless tunic with the sign of Anshen (a winged flame) in red on a black oval front center, and a grey cloak with red lining worn out of doors. Journeymen (aspirant members) wear much the same, but they aren't entitled to the sign yet and have no lining to their cloak.

Court fashions

On any occasion where nobles and other high-class people want to impress their peers: knitted or sewed hose for men, as tight as you dare; a gathered or padded jacket, often with slit sleeves where the open-work or embroidered sleeves of the undershirt show through; a small cap with large feathers or an elaborately draped hood; pointed shoes, though never so extravagant as to impede movement. For women: a full-skirted, long-sleeved or sleeveless dress with a fine linen shirt underneath, embroidered or better still with a fine (usually floral) pattern woven in. All of this in very bright and flamboyant colours, except the shirts which are usually white or off-white. In Essle, fashions are a bit more daring than in Valdis, and in Valdis (at least at court) they're more daring than elsewhere. In recent years Turenay has become a leading place for fashion because of the presence of some very good dressmakers.


Linen for all seasons, wool in winter, leather to withstand weather or heavy use, hempen cloth for coarse labourer's tunics. Cotton and silk have to be imported from Iss-Peran and are uncommon and expensive.


Long hair is more common on women than on men, and men with long hair usually wear it in a pony-tail or a single plait. Lately, shoulder-length hair has become fashionable for men in court circles. Women can cut their hair if they like; there's no religious or cultural restriction against it. If a girl or woman has long hair, she's likely to wear it in two or three braids, more if her hair is very thick, or in a more or less elaborate knot or bun on the back of her head. Priestesses of Naigha let their hair grow to its natural length and wear it in a braid over one shoulder.

Beards and moustaches are only worn in combination (unless someone can't manage to grow a moustache), usually neatly trimmed. A long beard is associated with old men and scholars, a bushy beard with 'outdoor' professions.