Sasanian dress

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Mid-19th century drawing of rock reliefs at Taq-e Bostan, showing Sasanian dress

Sasanian dress (Middle Persian: ǰāmag or paymōg), represented by the Persians, was "broadly similar" to dresses worn by other Iranian peoples.[1] It was especially appropriate and applicable for horse riding.[1] Most extant primary sources for the study of Sasanian dress are forms of visual art, rock reliefs in particular.[1] In relation to the Sasanian dress, Matthew Canepa (2018) states:[1]

It consisted of loose-fitting trousers, boots, and a knee-length tunic that was bound with a belt (kamar). A heavy caftan, crossed at the chest, could be worn belted. In 3rd- and 4th-century representations, the tunic appears squared off at the bottom. From the late 4th century, the lower hem is rounded. Ornamental and figural textile motifs become prominent around the 6th and 7th centuries, as is apparent at Taq-e Bostan. Early reliefs and seals portray members of the aristocracy wearing domed or pointed hats (kulāf) with their heraldic symbols (nīšān) on the side, often bound with diadems. Nobles were given the right to wear silk and jewellery. Women’s dress consisted of long, flowing, sleeved or sleeveless tunics. They were worn belted under the breasts with a long cloak worn over the left shoulder or used as a veil. Clothing was an important element in royal gift-giving. It also marked social rank, as did jewellery, and textiles and their motifs. The king bestowed clothing and jewellery as a mark of distinction on those he desired to honour and presented his own robes to especially favoured family and courtiers.

According to Elsie H. Peck (1992), scholars have been hampered in their research on Sasanian female dress due to the scarcity of extant material (i.e. representations) compared to male Sasanian dress.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Canepa 2018, p. 505.
  2. ^ Peck 1992, pp. 739-752.


  • Canepa, Matthew (2018). "dress, Persian". In Nicholson, Oliver (ed.). The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-866277-8.
  • Peck, Elsie H. (1992). "CLOTHING iv. In the Sasanian period". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. V, Fasc. 7. pp. 739–752.