Dar Anahita Presents


Ottoman Women's Clothing
An Historical Overview

Part 2
The 17th Century

Early 17th Century


Lady in WhiteLady in Red and White One apparent change at the beginning of the 17th century is the use by women of metal belts or belts made with metal findings, as opposed to the soft cloth sashes so prevalent in the 16th century.

The most noticeable differences in women's clothing is the new style of hat, which began at the end of the 16th century. Rather than the low "pillbox" style, the hat now is taller, and it narrows as it rises. There is also a greater use of aigrets (feather decorations) on hats.

As the century progress hat styles continue to change and there are some differences in clothing as well.

Lady in Orange Lady in Gold Peter Mundy, an English traveller, visited Istanbul in 1618. His illustrated manuscript, A briefe relation of the Turckes, their Kings, Emperors or Grandsigneurs, their conquests, religion, customes, habbits at Constantinople, etc., gives an Englishman's account of Ottoman court life. It is illustrated by small individual album leaves inserted into his manuscript, purchased from artists in Istanbul, produced primarily for visiting foreigners. The manuscript is currently in the British Museum.




Mid-17th Century


French artist George de la Chapelle produced a book of illustrations in 1645. Notice that the shalvar are still narrow at the ankle, but the hats have changed again.

Woman in outdoor dress
Woman in outdoor dress
Woman (? bride ?) on horseback
Woman (? bride ?) on horseback
Woman in indoor dress
woman in indoor dress



Late 17th Century

Now women's hats have very narrow bases and wide, disc-like crowns, which often slant forward.

Lady in Aqua
Lady in in-between clothing - not quite indoor, not quite outdoor.
Lady in taking a walk
Lady walking with servant who carries a bundle wrapped in a cloth



More art by Ottoman artists. Notice that the women are wearing the hat with the very narrow base and the disc-shaped crown, tipped forward.

female dancers
By the late 17th century female dancers are depicted
wearing the clothing mandated for male dancers.
Haseki - lead wife
Haseki sultane - lead wife
she wears a fur coat over her shoulders.

Late 15th and 16th Century Ottoman Women's Clothing

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18th Century Ottoman Women's Clothing

19th Century Ottoman Women's Clothing

Actual Ottoman Fabric