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Only much later did men encase their legs in a single bifurcated garment, trousers.

For women the legs were enveloped in long skirts, with no bifurcated garment of any kind worn until the mid nineteenth century.

Costume historians find it far easier to date European garments that have survived, because fashions changed much more rapidly and dramatically in construction, silhouette and embellishment.

The Turks trace their origin to the steppes of Eastern Central Asia.

The fact that many items in the royal wardrobes preserved in Topkapı cannot be dated to a specific reign, and perhaps not even to a specific century confirms the stability of Ottoman dress forms, especially in earlier periods.

This slow rate of change had begun to accelerate in the eighteenth century, however, as a wider range of consumer goods became available and exposure to new tastes and fashion ideas proliferated.

From this lifestyle a form of dress evolved that was adapted to life on the move, and the vagaries of climates that could include extremes of heat and cold.

They had the advantage over closed tunics in that they could be removed easily a layer at a time as needed, even when on horseback.

Sashes are used to close garments and also serve as receptacles for personal items or weapons.

What has been referred to as Orientalism in the arts generally focuses on literature and painting, but usually drawn from Arab, Indian or Persian sources -- this in spite of the obvious presence of Ottoman civilization on the In order to be able to make coherent statements about exchanges of dress ideas East and West, it is necessary to first define what was characteristic about the aesthetics of both Turkish and European dress.

The essential characteristic of European clothing was that it revealed more of the contours of the body than did dress of the East.

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