Thursday, July 2, 2009

Historical draped/ tailored garments

I always like my blogs to relate to me so my first example of a historic draped garment would definitely be a sari

According to Wikipedia "The history of Indian clothing trace the sari back to the Indus Valley Civilization, which flourished during 2800-1800 BCE around the western part of the Indian subcontinent"

It is also mentioned in Indian Vedas, the oldest existing (surviving) literature (3000 B.C.) in India.

The sari is a perfect example of the continuity of an age-old tradition that has withstood time and the invasion of many different cultures, to emerge today as a visible symbol of the timelessness of the Indian way of life.

Circa 1565-69 A.D Queen of Sultan Hussain Shah of Ahmadnagar

A painting by Raja Ravi Verma,

around 1870s-1880s.

Thailand too is known for its earlier draped garments

A dressing style of Thai women early in the Fifth Reign (1868-1910) of the Rattanakosin Period.

The royal and the elite however were dressed in silks and brocades and a lot of embroidery.
To me personally i feel that a lot of thai fashion was inspired from Indian fashion, just like thai language and culture. That why you can see the garment is draped over the left shoulder just like a traditional sari.

From the Buddhist culture of Thailand, to the Buddhist culture of Japan
Buddhist monk 1890's
The priest is wearing a monk's stole called kesa made of silk brocade. It is draped over one shoulder and under the opposite arm in order to wrap it around the body.


In my opinion men were the first ones to start wearing tailored outfits
The image says fevrier 1790

Men in the 18th century wore waistcoasts, breeches trousers.
Wigs and elaborate embroidery were big trends of the early 18th century.
fabrics consisted of vibrant silks, flowing satins, rich woollen damasks, baroque floral motifs, gold and silver brocades.

This is the traditional garment of Vietnam known as Ao dai. The original dress is likely derived in the 18th century however the fitted tailored tunic originated in the 1950's. It is similar to the traditional chinese garment consisting of a long gown with a slit on both sides, worn over silk pants. This woman below is Princess Thuyen Hoa of Vietnam, she is wearing a traditional ao dai and was taken before 1910.

A great time in history is when women started wearing riding habits, which consisted of a tailored jacket with a long skirt and a tailored shirt. This was worn during horseback riding.This was started during the 17th century. ( though the origins are said to be in the late 1600's)

Marie Adelaide de Savoie, Duchesse de Bourgogne in a scarlet riding habit, with male cuffs, gold trim, and buttons, early 1700s

Elisabeth of Bavaria, Empress of Austria, in a riding habit, 1884


  1. Nice you can observe that there is some relation with diffrent cultures of the earlier period thou there wasnt any Internet those days..jus like the pronounciation of the number 6 or 7 or 8 is same is many languages around the globe. Well thats a wonder isnt it? Good work!
    _Arjun-(Masters in Product design engg)

  2. Hi Nimma,

    This is a nice post.

    I am researching material for a book and need your help. Could you please tell me where you got the first two pictures from?

    I would need to know the original source of these images in order to know the history and also if I need to use them in a publication. Any clues would be appreciated.