Ancient Mesopotamian Clothing/Dressing for Men and Women

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.


The earliest people of the land used animal skins as clothes. Sheep skin skirts were used usually with the skin turned inside and the wool combed into decorative stuffs. Later animal hairs and wool came to be used. Wool later became the most important material for cloth making.

The Sumerians made clothes from natural resources like wool or flax. Flax is a plant with blue flowers, the stems of which is used for clothing. Heavier clothes were worn in winter and lighter in summer. Soft cotton came in to being at around 700 BCE. Silk came much later.


The Sumerian men were bare-chested and wore waist strings or loin clothes. There were excellent weavers in Mesopotamia. The wrap around skirt later became common which came in attractive fabrics. They were pinned and extended from waist to knees.

The earliest women wore only decorated wrapped shawls. Later they wore outfits covered with tiers of fringe. Fringed shawls were worn over their shoulders and their waists. The high class people wore woollen clothes dyed in different colours.

Both men and women wore their hair long and wrapped it around their heads especially among the Assyrians and Babylonians. Perfumes, Oils and Dyes were used to beautify the hair. They sometimes wore headdresses.
The clothing style also depended on the status of an individual. The rich wore clothes made of expensive materials. Colourful and bright outfits were common among the wealthy. Jewellery like necklaces and earrings were common. They were set with precious stones. Even brooches, hair ornaments, neck chains were used.

The dressing patterns of Babylonians were similar to the Sumerians. The Assyrians mainly wore fringed garments. They later started wearing belted knee-length with short sleeves.

Footwear was made from soft leather or fabric.