Mongolian clothes, also known as Mongolian robes, mainly include robes, belts, boots, and jewelry. However, there are some differences in styles due to different regions. A strong prairie style lies in Mongolian clothing, mainly in robes which are designed for easy riding. Mongolian people, both men and women, love robes. Most winter clothing in pastoral areas adopt light-covered leather as material, as well as silk and cotton while in summer cotton is preferred. The robe is loose and comfortable with long sleeves, generally in red, yellow and dark blue. Both male and female robes are not open at the hem with red and green silk satin belts.
The men likes to wear a soft leather knee-length cowhide boots and blue or dark brown caps. Cotton robes and jackets are commonly chosen by farmers. Women use red and blue headbands to wrap their heads, and in winter wear conical hats like men. The unmarried woman separate the hair from the middle of the front and make them buns with. big round beads that drooped slightly and jewels as decoration.
The general styles of women dress are consistent but each has its own characteristics. Robe is the basic pattern with horseshoe sleeve and slits on both sides of the hem or in the middle. Married women's gowns are matched with different styles of waistcoats.
Take women's robes as an example. Affected by the Manchus, robes, which are large and straight-to-heel with slits on both sides, are widely accepted in the Khorchin and Harqin areas. The Mongolian gown with a narrow sleeveless border and no split fork are preferred in the Xilin Gol Grassland; women in Buryatia like to wear a tunic with a waist-up skirt while in Erdos women's robes are divided in three parts; in the Qinghai region the Mongolian robes are much similar to the Tibetan ones.
With the exception of Qinghai, men’s clothing are generally the same. Dress made of cotton fabrics are generally chosen in daily life and brocade-trimmed satin clothes on grand festivals. Men wear robes and aprons which are mostly in blue and brown, while women like to wear red, pink, green and light blue with lace patterns embroidered on their sleeves and tops which are similar to that of the Han people. There are three pieces of clothing in women dress . The first one is a tights with wrist-length sleeves; the second is an elbow-length coat; the third is a collarless waistcoat with vertically decorated flash buttons.
The belt is an important part of Mongolian clothing, which is made of an over 3-meter-length silk or cotton cloth. On the belt, knives, fire balls and snuff boxes are also hung as decorations.
The materials of Mongolian boots are basically leather and cloth which are both elaborately made and embroidered. Choices go with the change of the seasons. Leather boots are durable, waterproof and resistant to cold, while cotton ones, embroidered with patterns, are light, soft and comfortable.
Jewelry and hat are an essential part of Mongolian dress. Hats in various regions also have local characteristics. The hats in Inner Mongolia and Qinghai regions are topped with high-altitude flats, which inside are made of white felt and the outer are decorated with leather or dyed felt. To Barhu and Buryatia Mongolians, men wear shawl caps, while women wear pointed ones. The use of jewelry, such as agate, jade, coral, pearls, silver and other precious materials , makes Mongolian accessories extremely luxurious.
To present the charm of the Mongolian costume, Mongolian embroidery is the best model which are bold patterned and crisp lined in strongly contrasting colors.
Mongolian embroidery is mainly used on hats, headwear, collars, cuffs, robe trims, waistcoats, boots, shoes, wrestling suits, race suits, purses, etc. The patterns embroidered usually contain a potential symbolic meaning which are a carrier to express specific ideology or wishes.
The Mongolian culture has been influenced by the Han’s since ancient times. So is the Mongolian embroidery art. The figures of dragon and phoenix were attached with great importance and divinity. Therefore, they are used to decorate on the garments, wallets, architectural murals, silver bowls, and Mongolian swords.
Among various Mongolian embroidery, the wrestling suits are known for their distinctive ethnic style and regional features. At the Nadam conference, the wrestling suits, embroidered with dragons, phoenixes, tigers or elephants, are wore by the wrestlers which make them look more powerful and strong-built.
Mongolian embroidery, in bright and contrasting colors with unpretentious ones, emphasizes the color change from light to dark. The pattern also has a strong decorative effect, embodying its harmonization and unification with the color.
There are numbers of expression methods in Mongolian embroidery, including exaggeration, contrasting, symbolization. Basically it is embroidered with colored silk or cotton threads according to different purposes.
Mongolian Wrestling Suit
The wrestling suits, including waistcoats, trousers, leggings and colored silk belts, are made in traditional techniques. The waistcoat is topless and open while the trousers are loose and baggy. The patterns on the leggings are abundant, including cloud and plant patterns, and wild with strong contrast. Trousers, made from a 10-meter-length cloth, are loose-fitting and conducive to heat dissipation, and also adapt to the characteristics of leg movements in wrestling, making it difficult for opponents to use leg grapevines. Leggings are sewn with a tough, sturdy cloth or velvet. The appropriate matching presents the courageous characteristics of the nation.