This post contains spoilers for New Spring.
As a large part of the events of New Spring occur in Kandor, it is not surprising that there is a great deal of details pertaining to the clothing of the people in this region. We are given a look at male and female dress, as well as guards and the elite.
In general, men wore coats and baggy breeches and women blouses and wide trousers. Embroidery decorates most garments. Though the farmers were likely wearing their best for Bel Tine festivities, “bright embroidery decorated the striding country men’s baggy breeches, the women’s wide trousers, their cloaks fluttering in the wind. Some wore colored ribbons in their hair, or a narrow fur collar” (p. 214). In the town of Manala, “Everyone wore their feastday best, the women’s pale blouses and wide trousers and the men’s bright coats encrusted with elaborate embroidery” (p. 275). Among them was Mistress Marishna, “a lean young woman whose blouse and wide trousers were embroidered in a red and gold pattern” (p. 279). Alternately, a Kandori woman wore a “plain gray dress” (p. 236) and there were “plainly dressed merchants” (p. 239).
In Canluum, city of Kandor, there were “colorfully dressed musicians, or jugglers, or tumblers performed at every intersection” and the riders garb was ornately embroidered and “trimmed with fox or marten or ermine” (p. 219). Many women wore lace veils over their faces, but it was “sheer enough to reveal that they had eyes” (p. 219). In the Deeps, a rougher part of the city “the street performers’ finery was tarnished” (p. 222). In Chachin, capital of Kandor, those from the rough part of town wore “worn, patched woolens” (p. 310) and stained coats and some women wore “well-cut but plain woolens with only a brooch or earings for jewelry” (p. 316).
Numerous inns are visited in Kandor. Aprons are a common accessory. Racelle Arvoni at The Blue Rose “gave her blue-striped apron a twitch” (p. 223). Master Helvin at The Gates of Heaven wore a “green-striped apron” (p. 258). Even innkeepers could show a bit of style. Ailene Tolvina, innkeeper of The Evening Star, wore “a gray dress embroidered with a sprinkling of blue flowers on the shoulders” (p. 317). Mistress Tomichi, innkeeper of The Plowman’s Blade, wore a “billowing blouse worked with red and yellow flowers and her wide trousers covered in red and blue” (p. 277).
Kandori merchants were recognized by the chains they wore. “The chains of the Kandori merchants’ guild spanned a chest” (p. 213). They were “silver chains” (p. 63). There were women in an inn who wore “the chains of the Kandori Merchants’ Guild looping across their bosoms” (p. 316).
Silene Dorelmin, the best seamstress in Chachin, wore a “shimmering blue dress with a neckline cut to show most of her cleavage”. Mistress Romera, was the shatayan of Aesdaishar Palace. She wore livery and her “graying hair worn in a thick roll on the nape of her neck. The silvered ring of keys at her belt proclaimed [she] had charge of all the Palace servants” (p. 298).
The fashion of the elite generally incorporated finer fabrics. “Kandori lords and ladies in silks embroidered with House sigils” (p. 302). At court, men wore “muted silks” and women in “bright colors belted high beneath their breasts and embroidered down the arms and along the hems of their skirts” (p. 330). Prince Brys wore “gold-worked green silks” and his son, Diryk, wore a coat like his father’s (p. 303).
The soldiers of the various cities were marked by the appropriate sigil. In Canluum, “the guards at the outer tower, in helmets with Varan’s antlered crest and the Red Stag on their chests” (p. 216). The guards on the wall wore “back- and breastplates” (p. 216). In Chachin, the guards wore helmets and breastplates and the “Red Horse on their chests” (p. 294). “The Red Horse was embroidered on the green tabards they wore over their breastplates, and their halberds bore red-and-green streamers. They were quiet colorful, with their red helmets and breeches and their polished high green boots” (p. 297). The officer had a “red-plumed helmet” (p. 297).
So while there were occasionally limitations due to status, Kandori fashion generally included bright colors and embroidery. Wool might be more common among the lower classes, but was just as likely to be embroidered. Men generally wore coats and baggy breeches while women usually wore blouses and wide trousers.