The vibrant sense of fashion of Babylonian clothing added a touch of style to their immense influence. Emerging as one of the mightiest civilizations in Mesopotamia in 2300 BC, you would wonder how the ancient Babylonians immeasurably succeeded.

With their ingenuity, Babylonians proved to be invincible in terms of military, trading, science, and technology, which other kingdoms tried to surpass.

You know very well that Babylonia is known for its geographic location between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. This city-state lies in an exceptionally fertile region in Southern Mesopotamia.

With the advent of its economic development, people changed their way of life — and with that, their clothing styles, along with their neighboring city-states of Assyria, Sumer, and Akkad.

Ancient Babylonian Clothing

There is a sense of pride that came with the innovation spearheaded by Babylonia in the past. Its people greatly sacrificed for the building of a lofty name in history. They were groundbreakers in the fields of engineering, architecture, science, and even fashion.

You could tell by their enormous collection of artifacts how they groomed themselves with their clothing. This fashion sense was extended to their carvings, tablets, and earthenware that meticulously showed their artistry and style.

The Babylonians who inhabited the southern part of Mesopotamia were known as textile manufacturers and traders. Their items were precious gifts to their neighboring royal families. They excelled in the production of apparently any item. In particular, they took pride in creating more sophisticated clothing — including their own collections of shawls and dresses.

You should remember that before the emergence of these classical civilizations, ancient people made use of animal skins for clothing. These served to protect their bodies from harmful elements outdoors but were hardly fashionable.

They created clothing from simple goat hair and wool, which were the most useful, easy to get and warm material for their early clothing. The wool was used for every type of garment, from their cloaks to their shoes.

With their tools for making fabric called looms, skilled women were tasked to weave to be able to design wool clothing or a dress in the past. It took them quite some time to make clothes.

Through this activity, they were all given the chance to be creative, which subsequently made them excel in weaving. They were skilled at creating something new at that time. You would be amazed at their creativity in their natural yet aesthetic designs.

What Did They Wear?

The Babylonians wore impressive fabric in the form of high-quality linen, which was restricted to affluent families, priests, and government officials. It was considered a luxury to wear linen because it was made for the royal family members and statues of gods alone. Soft cotton and silk were also widespread in the Babylonian couture industry.

Enthralled archeologists discovered an array of colorful clothes in Babylonia, as well as dyes, beads, and embroidered appliques. There were also pieces of evidence of letters describing the authors’ carefully made garments, which dated back to 1200 BC.

– Early Babylonian Clothing

Artifacts found in excavations revealed the ancient Babylonian clothing design, composed of waist strings or tiny loincloths that served as coverings for their genitals and allowed partial cover for their buttocks.

Later, their fashion evolved into a knee-length wrap-around skirt tied around their belt, which also covered their back. These skirts with slanted hemlines were typically worn by men, regardless of the different social levels. These became more artistic over time.

– A Developed Taste and Design

Discoveries of Mesopotamian artifacts revealed paintings that showed the elegance of the people in the early times of human civilization. The garments became more and more developed. Babylonians wore skirts with tiered fringe, usually adorned with bold colors, such as red, gray, gold and white, characteristic of Mesopotamia fashion.

Who would have thought that ancient Mesopotamian clothes, with their distinct taste and design, could resemble so much the pieces of garment that are in fashion today? Soon, the makers of ancient Babylonian clothes were able to introduce knee-length skirts — previously only worn by men — and shawl fringes to a female public. For their part, they embraced the uniqueness of the design.

The same skirts came out with fringes in a petal shape later on. Babylonians certainly knew how to spice up their style! By then, most women wore a shawl wrapped around their bodies in addition to fashionable skirts.

These shawls were long, covering even their ankles. With the addition of a belt to hold the whole drape in place, both men and women embraced the uniqueness of their clothing. In general, people loved to wear custom-made clothing that could represent their taste, such as the tiers of fringe.

– The Fame of Babylonian Clothing

According to a study, a great number of people chose to wear Sumerians clothes, including the typical skirts and shawls. To describe further the kind of clothing people wore in Babylonia, goddesses were presented with dresses adorned with sleeves and fitted bodices. They wore dresses with V necklines and skirts cut in straight lines.

This type of Babylonian clothing was worn between 2105 BC and 1240 BC. Historians described it as sophisticated in terms of style, especially if compared with the Sumerian clothing designs. Archeologists have discovered draped clothing pieces that confirm these affirmations.

You could see that both genders enjoyed wearing their tunic with shawls. They wore a knee-length tunic, or sometimes ankle-length pieces with short sleeves and designed with a round neckline to add comfort to their style. To make their clothes more comfortable, Babylonians used soft wool.

They especially liked their skirt and shawls with a tiered fringe or their choice of a tassel. Did you wonder about their undergarments worn in the past? Women wore a short skirt as underwear, and men wore a piece of loincloth. To complete this ensemble, ancient people wore sandals and boots made of leather.

Accessories and Beauty Tips

Babylonians loved to grow their hair long, which the ladies had to carefully set on a bun with a ringlet. This hairstyle was sometimes added with artificial hair for volume and art. Men sprayed perfume all over their bodies, and they dyed their long hair black. They would even grow luscious curly beards.

Royal family members usually wore elegant clothes topped with a dashing headdress made of a crown or a miter with a short flap in the back. Naturally, the royal family owned the largest collection of jewelry in the land. They loved wearing ornaments with a wealthy and sophisticated taste.

Changes in Men’s Clothing

Mesopotamia emerged as a melting pot of trade and commerce coinciding with the people’s drive to outshine their contemporaries. Changes in men’s clothing started in 1000 BC, when Assyrian men embarked on wearing their new style. Due to their mix with diverse cultures, men in Assyria wore diverse styles made of belted knee-length tunics with short sleeves.

To adapt their clothing to their social status, people wore dyed cloaks. They started wearing them in various colors, including red, blue, purple, and white.

Wars, however, brought difficulty for the soldiers, who decided to wear pants in their garments later on. Meanwhile, members of the royal families, as well as their military officers, wore elaborate clothing and ornaments.

The Babylonian costume was established due to their collaboration with people from all walks of life. Babylonia served as the business hub in northern Africa and the Middle East, which was pivotal in their development as a premier city-state.

Babylonian Styles

You may have noticed how ancient people presented themselves in a meticulously made garment. Aside from their unparalleled commitment to making something different, they were also determined to set a high standard in their undertakings.

Men and women wore girdles for many reasons. A girdle is a belt that they thought would give them power. Women wore them under their breast or bosom, and the girdles were usually designed in the form of a ribbon or a flower.

Men wore iron girdles to prevent their bodies from gaining weight, so as to be always in shape for war. They also wore a mantle as an overcoat. You now know that ancient fashion was not simple.

Babylonian Clothing and Culture

Looking back, Babylonians’ clothing was awesomely tailored based on the region’s culture. You may have ideas why they frequently wore large wigs. It was evident that both men and women in the past sported wigs to show their social status in a highly competitive Babylonian society.

High-class men and women preferred to keep their prestige in society by wearing a wig that defined who they were in society. They also wanted to receive respect and honor as an affluent person in the city. It was also acknowledged that a shaved head signified nobility, but they would meet people with adorned wigs or headdresses, particularly during royal gatherings.

Aside from their elaborate wig styles, rich and powerful people loved collecting golden accessories and jewelry. They usually designed their jewelry with precious stones that were exclusively for their own family. Examples of adornments that were common to a rich family heirloom were brooches, hairpins, earrings, necklaces, and anklets that were already part of the Babylonian art and fashion sense.

Conclusion

Mesopotamia embarked on economic and military expansion sometime in 2370 BC. It was the time when people’s lifestyle and fashion had changed to be more sophisticated. They dressed up with a large piece of wool, which evolved into a linen piece of cloth with a shawl later on.

They loved wearing a girdle, wig, mantle, tunic, and lots of ornaments. Jewelry was an important part of their ensemble, and you could tell that they would wear golden embellishments to set themselves aside.

Their fashion sense was influenced by their contemporaries and by the economy, passion, and artistic style. You would be amazed at their determination to set a high standard for the entire region.

Babylonia was established with enormous effort to make an advanced civilization in ancient times. Much has been made to show the aesthetic sense of this culture, which you can attest to be the epitome of human prowess and manhood. In retrospect, it’s a combination of beauty and style offered to the world.

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