Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Sartorial Variations of Pitsh

Fasion in Pitsh is based largely on human fashion of course. The major contributors are the cultures on the northern shores of the Turquoise Sea. These lands are not quite as tropical as the southern coasts of the Sea, but it is comparable.

The largest ports are part of the Lizardfolk Empire, and so most humans from those places were slaves or free menial laborers. The typical garment in these lands is a loincloth, usually a strip of linen about six feet long and three to five inches wide that's wrapped around the waist and loins so that the tail ends dangle down in front. This is a fairly unisex garment, and women might wrap another, similar cloth around their breasts in various ways, though such covering is not required and many go without. This is the daily garment of most of the farmers and woodsmen who live just outside the walls of the city.

There's also a slightly fancier version, which is some sort of chain or rope around the waist from which hang a pair of cloths of various lengths and widths, one in front and one in back. Because of the near-constant breezes off the sea, the hems of these cloths might be weighted with decorative stones or small copper pendents. This sort of thing is fashionable among the slaves of the more well-to-do, and the serving slaves of higher-end establishments, like the Pelican's Perch, wear such garments, the panels edged in decorative embroidery. Free people might wear such garments as well, especially in the height of summer, though they often add an open jacket of gauzy linen or net.

The further north you go, the more likely you are to encounter the all-purpose and flexible tunic. Hem and sleeve-lengths vary depending on culture, though almost everyone goes with light linen cloth when they reach Pitsh. Generally speaking, while sleeve lengths vary depending on individual taste, the lower the hem, the more well-to-do the wearer is. The longest, however, is usually ankle-length, which keeps the garment out of the frequently muddy streets of the city. In all cases, the garment is always cut loose and boxy, and is sometimes worn without a belt by both sexes. After the loincloth, variations on tunics are the most common clothing seen in Pitsh, and most of the sailors wear a short-hemmed, sleeveless tunic.

The northwestern shores of the Turquoise Sea are settled by free humans who generally have no allegiance to either gods or empire. The fashion there is kilts held up by a leather or metal belt for both sexes, and the females generally wear halter tops or a bandeau while the men often go bare-chested or with an open jacket or square-cut vest. To the eastern edges of the Turquoise sea the fashion is more towards sarongs, kaftans, and layers of loose, light robes.

Many people go barefoot, which just makes sense in the frequently muddy streets of Pitsh. However, sandals are very popular as well, and come in various styles. Most are made of leather, though you do see some hemp and cord styles. Some mercenaries and adventuring sorts prefer buskins. Very few wear full boots, especially through the hot, wet summer, since closed shoes and boots tend to promote all sorts of unpleasant foot-rot.

Jewelry is very popular, especially among those who have lately come from the Lizardfolk Empire. Most men and women have their ears pierced. Bangles, bracelets and bracers are common additions to even the poorest persons attire, made from leather or various metals. Anklets are very common among women and those who don't walk outside often will wear toe rings. Armbands are popular among both men and women. The men from the more western lands will wear torcs, but necklaces of various fashions are typically worn only by women. Rings are very popular as a sign of status among those who don't work primarily with their hands.

Headbands are popular for both men and women, and tend to be woven bands of patterned linen or leather. Male and female versions might have metal or jewels of some sort set into the band, and female versions might have the stones or coins dangling from the band over their brows.

Cosmetics are rarely worn, except for special occasions. Women typically paint their lips and khol the flesh between their brows and their eyelashes, as well as use rouge on their cheeks and darken their lashes. Men will darken their lashes and sometimes paint their lips, but even that's fairly rare. Both sexes pluck and shape their brows.

Hair tends to be long for both sexes. Men often gather their hair into a single clip or bind it into a ponytail. Women more frequently pile their hair atop their heads, using pins and combs to hold it in place.

Most children go naked until they are six or seven years old. Then they usually wear a loincloth or similar garment until twelve or thirteen, at which point they'll typically adopt their parents' styles. However, as children of different cultures marry and intermingle, there has begun to be a blurring of the cultural lines, and people have begun to mix and match the styles that appeal to them.

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