In this series, I take you on a whistle-stop tour around the Feyrlands, looking at life and civilisation, seeing how the peoples of the world live, and how society looks compared to what we are familiar with.
Today, we’re taking a look at what people wear, or as they’re commonly known, clothes.
In the time of Nether Light, as in our world, clothing varies by region and individual style. Natural fabrics such as cotton and leather are the norm, although advances in synthetics based on materials similar to modern day plastics are in development. In the south of Sendal, more ostentatious garb is favoured, for women, the mantua, an open-fronted silk or fine wool gown with a train and matching petticoat, for men, full-skirted knee-length coat, knee breeches, a vest or long waistcoat is in fashion. In the north, dress is more varied, women sometimes seen in figure-hugging suits, even pantaloons.
In Krell, to the far north of the Feyrlands, the weather dictates style, and furs and tough hides are de rigueur. Tastes are generally more traditional, and men and women looked down upon if not wearing fittingly modest attire. In Althuisa to the east, robes and plain, uncut cloths are more commonplace, a response to the heat. In western realms such as Damor, wealth and status are shown in rich weaves, tartans, embroidered silks and richly dyed fabrics.
Wherever you travel in the Feyrlands, you will see headwear. In Carmain, they say a man IS his hat, and fashion aside, hats not only keep your head warm but stop the transfer of lice. In northern Sendal, driven by a resurgence in millinery over the last half century, what we would recognise as top hats and boaters are making a resurgence against the more popular tricorne, while cloth caps and bonnets are common amongst the working classes.
Footwear is also rich and varied in Sendal. The high, laced boot for the well-to-do man, for women, backless mules or for those with riches, buckled shoes with high, curved heels and high tail boots up to 30 eyes. Feet are measured in barleycorns, the average male foot size a 36. Shoes are expensive, the time taken to tailor them lengthy, and as such they are highly prized and priced.
What goes beneath?
Underwear as we know it today doesn’t exist. A woman relies on her shift, a simple garment worn next to the skin to protect clothing from sweat and body oils, the precursor to the modern shirt. As far as men go, one could say, they just let it all hang out…
And that’s how the peoples of the Feyrlands strut their stuff.