Ottoman Costumes Men/Women

Istanbul city witnessed the rising and falling of the most powerful three Empires in the world and from each one of the, the city kept some of what they had  as a proof which you can clearly see when visiting the city but, it is know that Istanbul was also under the rule of the Ottoman Empire for more than four centuries, and to be more specific, the Ottoman Empire actually managed to be the largest empire in the world controlling the Middle East, north Africa, south and east Europe and some parts of Asia. In addition, the Turkish are mostly affected by the Ottomans and their culture. Actually, when you visit Istanbul you will definitely see how much the Turkish people are affected with the Ottoman culture and how much they love it. In fact, there are plenty of museums and places that show people more facts and information about the Ottoman Empire, most of these places show the costumes that were dominant in that period.


During the Ottoman Empire period, people wore different costumes according to their living class or jobs but for men, they used to wear “mintan” which is a vest or a jacket, “salvar” which is the trousers, a “ kaftan” which is the long robe, “kusak” which is a sash, “ sarik” which is more of special ottoman hat on the head, and a “cedik” or a “yemeni” on the feet. This is the general of what men used to wear in the Ottoman empire period but the administrators and the wealthy class used to differ themselves wearing caftans with fur on them, while the middle class people used to wear something called “ cubbe “ which is more of short robe or mid size robe. For poor people, they wore normal vest which is called “ yelek “ or “ cepken “


For women, clothes had colorful designs and small details to add more beauty to the dresses. Still, there was a great distinction in what the women used to wear as daily whether in home or outside and what they used to wear on special occasions. Women’s daily clothes were “ selvar “ which is more like cotton trousers, “ gomlek “ which is a chemise but was long for women and reach to the ankles, “ zibin “ which is a short jacket, and a belt that is tied around or under the waist when having a formal occasions such as ceremonies, visiting friends, birthdays, and other occasions. Later, women added another material to their clothes which is entari that looks like the zibin in shape but shorter leaving the skirt open in front. Of course when getting out of the house, women wore Hijab to cover their hair and a black robe to cover their body parts.


Later and during the 19 century, clothes changed a little bit in their designs but the main materials are the same. Women’s clothes started to get more colorful and more designs were added to the collection as women started to contribute more in social life and for men, the western clothes of suits started to show in the markets slowly especially as Sultan Abdulhamid the second started westernising the culture.

If you want to check the Ottoman costumes and even try it, you can do that by visiting the shops that sell such clothes. You can also find some shops where you get the chance to dress as a sultan and wear Fez, Cubbe, and the rest of what Ottomans usd to wear and take a picture with your friend or partner. It is really fun and you can consider it as a souvenir, and if you like the clothes you can buy some of them from the shops that sell such costumes.

You can find a lot of these shops in Istiklal Street in Beyoglu or in the famous Grand Bazaar but, you need to bring a fat wallet with you because such costumes do not only represent the Ottoman culture, it is also made of the best fabric in Turkey so do not be shocked when paying extra money on them


In general, the army administrators used to wear white trousers, a vest or long jacket, on a special hat called “ Fez “ which the red hat with a blackcurl on it, looks something like a graduation hat but more serious.


During the 19th century, the Ottoman culture had some effects on the western countries like Britain and France, this is because a lot of British and French used to travel to Istanbul for many different purposes. One of the things that affected is the Ottoman fashion and clothing styles. British and French high class women took a lot of the colorful Ottoman designs and added some western touch to it and you can actually see that in old pictures.

Nowadays, styles in Turkey are just like any other region but still, some old men and women still wear some of the old Ottoman style like Cubbe or the long robe.


The Ottoman dressing culture also affected on other regions, the countries which are called now Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Algeria and many other countries were also affected by the dressing culture of Ottomans and you can

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