It’s kind of funny, because we’ve all done those low (or NO) budget plays in church, right? Where we want to look biblical, so we don an old bathrobe, throw a towel over our head, and voila! If we want to be really authentic, maybe we’ll get a long length of cloth to drape over our shoulders or something, right?
It’s an image that’s hard to shake, so I had to do some research when working on Stray Drop. I mean, some things I know about the time makes me think, “Okay, maybe it’s not so far off, especially for women. They were second-class citizens at the time, so maybe they did wear formless, bland stuff.” But . . . no. I mean, come on. When in history have women ever been happy to let their figures go totally unnoticed??
Men’s fashions in Israel started out with the basic tunic. Robe-like thing, two seams up the sides, neck hole. They then covered it with a cloak or mantle. This isn’t the cape/coat type of cloak so much as an over-jacket. It would be decorated and adorned. When out in the deserts, men would cover their heads to protect them from the sun, though much of what I looked at didn’t include head coverings for city-dwellers.
Women’s fashions started out much like the men’s, in that they wore a tunic. But even back then, they were all about emphasizing assets. Tunics were belted, knotted, draped to show off curves.
Their hair was usually just tied back with a strip of cloth, and the head covers we all associate with them from our Sunday School plays were also practical, meant to protect them from the sun.
Egyptian paintings prove that makeup was popular, especially eye makeup, and Israel notoriously borrowed fashion from the Egyptians all the time.
This is a helpful site I used for my Biblical fashions.
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