Elysian Clothing: A Crash Course In Looking Fabulous
Elysian clothing varies greatly between a number of factors. The most important, clearly, are social caste and social function. However, personal Kleos also has some bearing on what clothing one chooses to wear. Though it is rare, there are those Elysians who shun traditional clothing altogether. These are almost always Plebeians, and they are always looked down on… even more than those Plebeians who follow foreign music.
The clothing of the common Plebeian civilian consists of a three pieces: the Iyko, a long tunic, the I'yaloh, a shawl worn over the shoulders, and the Soh'k'tohs, a heavy hooded cloak worn during rain or cold weather. The Iyko is the first garment, worn beneath all others, and perfectly acceptable when worn on its own: it consists of a thin fabric (often wool or cotton, though occasionally mesh) tunic which falls about to the knees, split open at the back to allow for the wings to pass through. The Iyko is always white, without exception. Over this, typically on formal occasions, the I'yaloh is worn: the I'yaloh is a wide scarf, typically of the same length as the Elysian's armspan, made of a finer fabric (still often wool or cotton, though of a finer-spun quality) which is wrapped over the shoulders and wings in an elaborate fold. The I'yaloh is white, as well, though it occasionally bears, at the lower edge, a single wide stripe of color. This is never purple, notably, that being a color reserved for the most elite of Seraphim. Plebeians are permitted the right to wear red, orange, or gold on the I'yaloh. Finally, the Soh'k'tohs is a very heavy cloak, made usually of wool (though cotton isn't unheard of), waterproofed, and wrapped over the I'yaloh, clasped beneath the throat with a simple brooch. The Soh'k'tohs, like the Iyko, is always white, never adorned with colors of any sort.
Where the clothing of the common Plebeian is simple and elegant, though somewhat impractical, that of the military is fiercely pragmatic, and, as such, not terribly traditional, though some nods to tradition have been made for dress blues. Plebeian uniform consists of loose-fitting mesh, leaving the wings free as always, in stark blue-on-white coloration, the traditional colors of the Elysian Celestial Navy. It is typically in one piece, though two piece variants do exist. Colored bands on either wrist denote rank, though Plebeians are inherently limited in the height of rank they can achieve. The right shoulder is adorned with the insignia of the Elysian Celestial Navy, also ringed with a band of color to denote the rank of the wearer. The “dress” uniform is precisely the same, save for one addition: a mesh I'yaloh, marked with proper rank coloration, is wrapped about the shoulders in a pattern of folding unique to military.
It should be noted that, among enlisted ranks, the military clothing of Patricians has little variance from that of Plebeians, though Patricians are granted the right to advance far further in rank than mere Plebeians. There is one major difference - for formal wear, the Patrician is granted the H'ikalos, a wrapping cloak which slides about the shoulders and ties at the waist with a colored sash. This garment is used because the standard mesh jumpsuit is considered highly uncouth, and only used for purposes of efficiency.
The clothing of a Patrician civilian is simple, though very elegant and beautiful. As with Plebeians, the basic garment is the Iyko, the long open-backed tunic worn beneath all others. For Patricians, this may be made of all manner of materials - wool, cotton, mesh, silk, kashmere, limited only by the monetary investment the Patrician is willing to make. The Iyko, by tradition, must always be white, even for Patricians. Over the Iyko, there are a number of garments a Patrician may wear, and they are granted the rights to many more colors beyond what the Plebeians may use (though purple is reserved only for Senators and Paragons).
Females often wear a Alha'il, a shawl not dissmilar to the I'yaloh. The Alha'il is, however, much wider, and is draped unfolded over wings and shoulders. Worn like this, it typically falls nearly to the waist, and is usually colored based on the social stature and monetary privilege of the Patrician in question. A female may also wear the Has'okha, which is a skirt of sorts, similar in form to the Alha'il - a wide shawl, tied about the midsection to fall over the waist, and typically fall near to the ankles. The Has'okha is never colored, and always made of mesh or silk - it stands as one of the most expensive garments worn by Patrician females, and is considered a sign of great wealth or great accomplishment.
Males will wear, like among Plebeians, the I'yaloh. However, the Patrician I'yaloh is a much grander affair, often beautifully patterned with whatever colors the Patrician chooses. It is made much more frequently of silk or mesh than any other material, though cotton is sometimes substituted in those rare cases of Elysians who choose to be thrifty. The style of folding for a Patrician's I'yaloh is also different, one more denotion of the segregated caste system of Elysia. Over this, males often wear a simple white cloak, draped off of the wings, called a Saha'nyos, made of very thin silk or mesh and semi-transparent, so as to show off the finery of the clothing it covers.
Both males and females make use of the Soh'k'tohs when weather demands, though a Patrician's Soh'k'tohs is, as expected, a much finer affair than one belonging to a Plebeian, and a Patrician's need not necessarily be entirely white.
Military officers among the Elysian Celestial Navy are often easily distinguished by their starkly beautiful clothing. Though they wear the same mesh jumpsuit all other soldiers do, this is always worn beneath other affairs, save in emergency combat situations. There are a number of items that may be worn over the jumpsuit, these vary greatly based on the tastes of the particular officer. Rank has little to do with this; and is denoted by colored bands at the wrists and hems rather than any extravagance of the clothing.
The most common garb of the military officer is an elaborately wrapped robe composed of a single sheet of colored fabric (usually silk). This, called the La'khas, binds loosely around the left shoulder and the waist, and falls past the ankles. It is considered a mark of extreme wealth or extreme accomplishment, and often both, and as such most every officer with the money or right to wear one, will wear one. Colors range greatly, though only Senators in the military may wear a purple La'khas.
Also prevalent among military officers is the Kharmei. Similar to the La'khas in basic form, this is a more combat-worthy piece, being a robe which drapes loosely over the shoulders (leaving space for both wings and arms), falls to the ankles, and is covered in linked scales of ultrahard fullerite. This makes it a useful defensive measure, very lightweight, and typically pretty to look at. Although most commonly glossy white in color, it can be requested colored, or even patterend. As per usual, only a Senator is permitted to wear purple.
The soh'k'tohs is, as usual, often found among military officers. This is typically adorned with some identifying pattern unique to the officer.
Senators and Paragons have for themselves a few articles of unique clothing. Most notable is the Teigha, a robe similar in some ways to the la'khas. The teigha, however, is composed of three layers of differently colored silk, usually white on the inside, followed by a color of the Senator's choice, with a violet outer layer. The wrapping of the teigha is extremely elaborate, and one not properly trained in it would almost certainly fail miserably to look even remotely presentable. As such, Plebeians and most Patricians would have a very difficult time looking socially acceptable in a teigha, as the right to this garment is extremely guarded.
Over the teigha, a soh'k'tohs is worn, most typically white with a violet hem, in the case of Senators, or stark violet in the case of Paragons.
Reserved only for Paragons, there are two further unique garments which may be worn. The first, worn by males, is a sort of cloak called the Ikyaha, which folds over the wings in a simple and elegant manner. This garment, as with most Paragon garments, is most always purple as a sign of station (there is, however, nothing to prevent a Paragon from wearing any other color he/she sees fit). The second, worn by females, is a shawl worn over the arms and wrapped about the back beneath the wings. Called the Alha'shoh, this is usually a gossamer, semi-transparent length of very fine mesh or silk.
Ranking by colors: