Clothing of the Isle of the Four Winds
Clothing of the Isle of the Four Winds is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.
Clothing of the Isle of the Four Winds
Surrounded by a ring of mist and protected by obsidian teeth, the Isle of the Four Winds has blossomed from a small community to a tropical culture of vibrancy and character. While most of the known world has four seasons, the isle has two. Their balmy season lasts from about the 15th of Jastatos to the 2nd of Fashnos, while their humid season is much longer. Sprinkled between are various monsoon cycles, though for the most part the island is blessed with a rather calm and forgiving weather pattern. Given the uniqueness of its weather, is it any wonder that the denizens that live in Mist Harbor have developed their own clothing style? Borrowed from the many cultures and races of Elanthia, this style has grown to be widely accepted by nearly all of the locals.
Fabrics of the Island
Casual wear upon the island consists of flowing garments that allow for breathing. Chainsil, cambric, and cotton are preferred for day to day wear all year round, though thin linens and watered silks of a fine weave are also acceptable. In contrast, the fabrics preferred for formal wear are those that hold jeweled tones. Organza and dupoini silk are favored because of their ability to maintain a crispness and brilliant sheen. Also enjoyed are ramie, grown and fabricated from a local plant, and taffeta, which also holds a lovely metallic sheen.
Day to day activity requires casual attire that is free-flowing and easy to maneuver in. Due to the extreme humidity, the lighter the garment the better, as such, women frequently will wear single-layered tunics of lightweight materials that breathe. The necks are open, and the sleeves are long but cuff-less to allow air to move up them. The skirts are also long, worn to the ankle, and of two layers. Both layers are light, with the under layer being of a solid, absorbent material, while the other is patterned with either geometric or floral designs and of a translucent material that allows the underskirt's color to show through. A sash at the waist is designed to be multi-folded to hold a small amount of trade tools, while also being able to be worn when the sun goes down and the winds roll in off the sea.
Formal wear is an extreme contrast of jeweled tones and elegant lines. Borrowed from the aelotoi, the ladies of the island have adopted the use of the saephua for formal occasions. Not only does the garment show off the contours of the feminine form in a pleasing fashion, it also allows the body to remain cool in the humid weather. Serwals, long bloused pants with bound ankle-cuffs, are embroidered with heavy designs, but are loose enough to again provide for the free movement of air across the legs. No belt is worn with this garment, but a saewehni, much like a cross body sash, is worn from right shoulder to left hip. This panel is usually heavily embroidered and of three folded layers; this is a functional design that allows the garment to be used in cooler weathers as a type of wrap.
The male garments of the island are not very different from those of the female garments. Open tunics, with wide sleeves, are preferred for the casual daytime and are usually complimented by loose pantaloons. Sashes similar to those of the females are worn, though the males prefer them to be thinner and only single layered. These sashes do not turn into shawls as the females' do, but instead are knotted and allowed to fall free at the hip. When the weather grows chilly, the gentlemen of the island prefer loose-weave sweaters of a light cotton material.
Also favoring jeweled or metallic tones, the formal wear among the males consists of a wide-shouldered vest that is left open to bare the chest. Serwals are also favored by the males, though the banding at the ankle is much broader and more heavily embroidered. While the females prefer their cross-body saewehni, the men prefer thick, knotted sashes of complementing fabrics that are lined with thick pockets. Open-necked sweaters are once again added to the garment under cooler conditions, though most men forgo them or will share them with their female companions as the need warrants.
Whether casual or formal, sandals are the constant footwear of the island. Many prefer the kind of sandal that can wrap about the calf when performing work or daily tasks, while others enjoy the kinds that are without ties.
In Mist Harbor’s earlier days, the local adornment consisted of those gemstones that were brought to the island, but more and more of the adornments are transitioning to those of local findings. There have even been instances where locals have been able to separate themselves from guests by which gems are worn as complementing pieces.
Heavy bracelets, wristcuffs, and bangles are favored by both sexes and are usually crafted of cocobolo, zebrawood, teak, and rosewood. Men favor pectorals displaying local birds of prey and torcs fashioned in the image of exotic animals, while women prefer no neck adornments at all. They instead prefer to have local artists paint them them with metallic-accented henna wrought in the image of local flower-laden vines. Similarly, women will also, while in their formal garments, wear belly jewels* (of the non-piercing variety) and decorate their stomachs with henna that complements the jewel of choice.
A note on the belly gem: Mist Harbor Society treats belly gems similarly to the way that the Human Empire treats spurs or the way that the Elven Nations treats Crest Gems. The Merchant Council gifts them to specific individuals that have proven themselves and has them enchanted with the special ability that allows them to remain in place.