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By the 940s/1530s sophisticated patterns of animals and figures were in use for decorating textiles (plate c). Jeweled armbands and belts were worn, and penboxes, daggers, swords, kerchiefs, bags, seals, and rings were attached to the belts. It was sometimes decorated only by gold chains or plumes but usually covered with a turban, consisting of a long white sash wound in graceful folds and ending in a fan-shaped cockade.
These boots were probably made of shagreen dyed red or green, as in the 17th century (Le Bruyn, p. 232-33), and gold embroidery was also used for scalloped collars and as decoration around the neck or front opening. Aigrettes with gold chains and plumes were attached to turbans, and flowers could be tucked into their folds as well. The most distinctive item of men’s costume was, of course, the headgear, which indicated not only gender but also religious and political allegiance (see, e.g., Schmitz, p. The head was always shaved, though younger men retained a ponytail and light side-whiskers and older men sported well-trimmed moustaches and beards. The cap was most often red, but other colors were sometimes worn to coordinate with the costume as a whole.(for an index of contemporary clothing terminology, see pp. The continuing and even increasing importance of dress in the following centuries is reflected in the richness of available documentation on this subject from the Safavid and Qajar periods, compared with earlier periods.In spite of the vagaries of fashion, the basic approach to dress and the components dictated by social custom and the performance of religious duties, for example, the .Furthermore, aside from Europeans’ persistent emphasis on the Persian love of fashion and the expense involved in satisfying it, there are scattered references to class distinctions in dress, providing valuable insights into a little-documented aspect of Persian social history.The limited range of surviving garments (compared to the numbers and variety of contemporary rugs and textiles), especially from the Safavid period, is owing in part to heavy wear (Du Mans, p. 2), the perishable nature of fine silks and cottons, the habit of burning court garments to recover the gold and silver used in them (Moḥammad-Hāšem, II, p.