This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Josanna Thompson will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
If you ask historians and fans of historical fiction about pre-twentieth century women’s fashion, they are likely to describe 18th century courtiers dressed in elegant gowns. Others may describe the sweet dresses worn during the Regency period. I imagine that they would all say that no self-respecting woman wore breeches – ever. That was European fashion. The Ottoman women had a very different definition about what was considered fashionable during that age. The fashion sensibility from both cultures shared similarities.
The Commonalities of European and Ottoman fashion:
Here's what Ottoman and European fashion had in common:
• Women from both cultures covered their bodies from head to toe.
• They also dressed in layers.
• Women from these regions wore a chemise, except Ottomans called theirs, gömleks. The design was similar in that the garment hung loosely from the woman’s shoulders and reached her mid-calf.
• Women wore hats and shoes.
That's the extent of the similarities between the two cultures.
Now for the Differences:
The Ottoman women didn’t wear corsets or stockings. Instead, they wore loose-fitting trousers called salvars, which tied at the waist and were cuffed around the ankles. The next layer consisted of a cream-colored, silk shirt called a bürümcük. These shirts were worn draped over their salvar and were often floor-length. The inner kaftan or entari served as the outer layer to the Ottoman woman’s attire. This was a long-sleeve jacket with a u-shaped neckline. The kaftans were usually made from brightly-colored brocaded silk, or velvet, or a brocaded silk with silver or gold thread woven into the fabric. In the winter, their entaris were lined with luxurious fur, like sable. Finally, Ottoman women always wore veils to cover their heads and faces whenever they went out in public.
While fashion evolved throughout the ages in most cultures, women’s fashion in the Ottoman Empire didn’t change much until the mid-19th century. After that, women adopted aspects of Parisian fashion into their own styles. Their fashion has evolved ever since.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this article about women’s fashion of the Ottoman Empire. Stay tuned for future blogs containing glimpses into the world of A Maiden’s Honor.
Cora studied Naa’il. “May I ask you a personal question?”
“That depends on the question.” Naa’il’s posture stiffened.
“Do you love your second wife?”
“Yes,” Naa’il said without hesitation.
“Don’t you owe it to her to investigate whether or not she was telling the truth?”
“I know what I saw. Our laws are clear, Cora. Samina must be punished,” Naa’il said bitterly.
“Then I suppose that I should be put to death too.”
“This is different,” Naa’il snapped.
“Why? We are not related, yet we are alone. We have even shared a bed.”
“You are my slave; you must obey me.”
“I see.” Cora grimaced. “Regarding your wife, permit me to give you something to ponder.”
“Continue.” Naa’il flicked his hand in the air.
“Why do you post a guard outside your wife’s door?”
“He is there to protect her.”
“Precisely. When a soldier hears a scream from the person that he is assigned to protect, he is not going to hesitate to ascertain why, for he fears that delaying, even for a moment, may kill her. Likewise, when a woman is frightened, she is not going to delay her scream long enough to cover herself, especially if an intruder is attacking her. My point is Your Excellency, if you love your wife, love her enough to try to confirm her story. If she is truly innocent, then perhaps she and her guard deserve mercy.”
a Rafflecopter giveaway