Ancient Mesopotamian Fashion & Clothing

The Mesopotamian civilisation had excellent clothing styles. It is from sculptures, pottery, tombs and literary sources that we get information regarding the clothing of ancient Mesopotamian people. In ancient Mesopotamia they would wear dresses for both genders the boys only have one strap to keep the dress up but the girls have two to keep it up.

Sumerian Men were bare-chested and wore skirt-like garments that tied at the waist. Women usually wore gowns that covered them from their shoulders to their ankles. The right arm and shoulder were left uncovered. Men were either clean shaven or had long hair and beards. Both men and women wore earrings and necklaces. During celebrations, even more jewelry was worn. The wealthier Sumerians often wore beautiful gold and silver bracelets and earrings.

The Assyrians and Babylonians wore chiefly a large shawl or scarf wrapped around the waist and hips. They draped one end over the left shoulder. The Assyrians and some Babylonians wore a short sleeve tunic under the shawl.

Care of the coiffure was very important for men and women among both the Assyrians and the Babylonians. The hair was grown long and carefully curled and ringleted, with false hair added if needed. Perfumes, oils, and black dye were used on the hair.

Men grew long, equally carefully tended curled beards. A band of metal or fabric encircled the brow, or a woolen, felt, or leather cap shaped like a fez was worn. The royal headdress resembled a pleated crown or a mitre and had dependent lappets at the rear.

The Mesopotamians paired certain gemstones to certain planets and the idea of birthstones evolved from ancient astrology. Lapis Lazuli was a popular gemstone to the ancient cultures of Mesopotamia and valued Lapis Lazuli more highly than gold.

Numerous pieces of jewelry, seals, scarabs and objects have been crafted from the stone which they obtained through trade with Egypt. Mesopotamia was also famous for it’s beautiful red Carnelian beads. Both the men and women of Mesopotamia wore earrings, bracelets and necklaces. They also wore amulets, and ankle bracelets. Cylinder seals also doubled as pieces of jewellery.

For the men and women living in Mesopotamia (the region centered in present-day Iraq near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers) from 3000 to 300 B.C.E., a fringed shawl was a typical garment. Unlike modern-day shawls that are worn over the shoulders and head, the shawls of Mesopotamia were wrapped around the hips like long skirts or wrapped around the torso with one end tossed over the left shoulder, covering the body to the feet like a dress.