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Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics Ancient Hebrew Culture

Men and Women's Clothing

By Heather Breining


Men and Women clothes differed from one another. This is because there were laws that forbid men and women to exchange dress. We know that their clothes were not identical, but all the evidence suggests that they were much alike in their general design.

There are many different sections of the Ancient Hebrew dress. Some of these parts are the Inner Garment (also known as the tunic or shirt), the Outer Tunic or Robe, the Girdle, the Outer Garment or Mantle, and the Headdress.

The tunic was a shirt that was worn next to the skin. It was made out of leather, haircloth, wool, or linen. Both sexes wore tunics but they was a difference in the style and pattern. For men, the tunic came down to the knees and was fastened at the waist by a girdle of leather or cloth. Female tunics were very similar to the males, but went down to their ankles.

There were and still are two different kinds of girdles. These girdles are normally either made out of leather, linen, or even sometimes silk. For the most part, girdles served as pouch to keep money and other things that an individual might need. It was also used to fasten a man's sword to his body. Hence the girdle was a very important part of a man's attire.

The outer garment (kesut) also covered one while sleeping and was the final and most important part of one's wardrobe. The male and female version of the outer garment were also similar but were different in style. There were also different types of outer garments. For example, women wore special outwear when they were widowed. All outer garments went to right above the ankles and had a hood (women) or ended at the middle of the calf (man).








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