Mongolian Ethnic Attire
Pragmatic and frequent travelers, Mongolians have adapted their attire to the harsh weather of the high plateau. As nomadic horse riders, Mongolians wear clothing that reflects their love of the grasslands, while also protecting them from the elements. Snug hats and sleeveless padded jackets, called khaantaz, are essential. Pants are tucked into sturdy leather boots with upturned toes to retain warmth.
Both genders wear wide, calf-length gowns with buttons down their right sides, called del. These robes feature long, wide sleeves and high collars, providing perfect protection in cold weather. A matching belt around the waist serves for both form and function—the wearer looks stylish while gaining valuable back support during long horse rides. Inlaid decorations are commonly found in the hems, sleeve openings, and collars.
When it comes to color choices, Mongolian men prefer blue and brown, while women typically choose a wider palette of red, pink, green, and sky blue. Perhaps reflective of an outgoing temperament, Mongolian women choose colors that are often bright and bold.
Unique headpieces are another source of joy in a Mongolian woman’s wardrobe. These headpieces vary by the lady’s age, region, and social status. Many Mongolian hats sport custom decorations made from red coral, agate, or turquoise. Though obtaining the stones is a lengthy, expensive process, Mongolian women enjoy collecting them one by one, their headpieces becoming ever more ornate, living masterpieces.
April 22, 2011