Xian Clothing

The weather is warm in Xian, and the climate is almost subtropical at times. As such, clothing tends to be light and minimal among the lower classes. Most laborers go about their duties in little more than a loincloth and sandals, while few housewives wear more than a light, brightly-hued sari when doing their daily shopping. When dressed more formally, the laborer might wear a patterned sarong with a sleeveless shirt, while the housewife might choose a gauzy wrap to put over her shoulders and extra jewelry to adorn her. In all cases, plain and practical trews and tunic are popular among foreign visitors.

Even the wealthy take care not to overstep their sumptuary bounds, however, and the sight of jade ornaments on a belt are a sure indication that the wearer is of the scholarly class- or wishes to be enslaved as an impostor. Otherwise, these scholars tend to flowing robes in bright linen, with pen-cases dangling at their sides even among the illiterate. Foreigners are allowed more extravagance in their clothing than locals, but only so long as they remain obvious foreigners.

The wealthiest scholars and the princely ones of the city almost require attendants to help them with their costumes, so elaborate is the gold-thread brocade and sweeping train that they favor. Tall platform shoes are popular among both men and women, and the haughtier princely ones will go so far as to have a magnificently-garbed attendant at his side and require all address to him to pass through his servant. Even the most austerely dressed of the princely ones can be identified by the blue-buttoned cap they wear. The sight of such a chapeau is enough to send most commoners discreetly fleeing lest they prove an object of unwelcome interest to the great one.

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