Of all the Federated Nations members, Byssia is the most homogeneous in fashion. The three races (and four cultures) all wear very similar garments. There aren’t hard distinctions between social classes but there is a spectrum that correlates with wealth and leisure. Everyone wears as bright of colors as they can afford; only the poorest wear sun-faded fabrics.

General Trends: Wool, cotton, and silk are the dominant fabrics, with cotton being more common than in other lands. Fasteners such as ties, buttons, and hooks are much less common than in other lands, with drapery and wraps held in place by friction or knotting taking their place. Clothing is loose and light, mainly serving as protection from the semi-tropical sunlight.

One major peculiarity is the almost complete absence of metal. Byssia uses wood and stone (often magically treated for hardness and durability) where other nations use metal. Ornaments are carved wood, set with stones or carved bones (one particular fish produces an ivory-like knob on its head).

Undergarments: All Byssians wear a loin-wrap as their primary undergarment. Females often wear a triangular halter-top that goes over the neck and ties at the back, leaving the shoulders and back bare. This usually does not cover the abdomen at all.

Footwear: Byssians by-and-large wear wooden sandals with raised soles, called paduka. These may or may not have straps--some simply have a raised knob that goes between the big toe and the second toe. While the poor may have very simple ones, the wealthy may have exotic wood or intricate carvings. In forested areas, these sandals give way to leather boots similar to those of the puun ihmisia.

Hair: The hair-styles depend slightly on race and culture. The night’s children all have straight, jet-black hair. They tend to leave it long (to the shoulders or mid-back at least) and pull it back or put it in light braids. The native coasters, what few haven’t been assimilated yet, tend to have curly brown hair. This is usually cut relatively short. The pure elves wear their hair much like the puun ihmisia of the council lands (as they’re close relatives). All the other groups tend to mimic the dominant night’s children once they gain wealth.

Clothing of the poor: The poor, as well as the mendicant monks is very simple. A poor Byssian often just wears their loin-wrap (and possible halter) with sandals. A woven straw hat keeps the sun off (although night’s children only rarely tan or burn in the sunlight, despite their very pale skin). They may wrap themselves in a simple length of cloth to cover the upper body and the upper thighs, similar to the dhoti of Earth’s Indian subcontinent. Many, however, have one feast-day garment, similar to the clothing regularly worn by their wealthier compatriots.

Mendicant Monks: An order of monks associated with the Home of the Elements monastery wanders the land, seeking understanding of the nature of the elements and the kami. They can be identified by their shaved heads (very unusual), their staffs which are all made of ironwood (a glossy red-black, very hard wood native to the region), and their dhoti. There are four garbs, one for each element: seekers after Fire wears crimson, those trying to understand Air wears a bright yellow-orange (amber color), Water a deep grey-blue, and Earth an emerald green. They are sworn to poverty for the duration of their pilgrimages and work for food and shelter along the way. Since many are capable elemental sages, they often trade magical service for food, healing being a common service. They also provide a subtle police force, as they’re generally trained in unarmed combat. Don’t assume that humble-looking man or woman with a red staff is a non-combatant.

Clothing of the wealthy/feast-day clothing

Unlike the poor, there is substantial gender difference in the wealthy clothing (which is also the feast-day/festival clothing of the poor).

Male clothing: Men wear a long, cassock-style robe over loose trousers tied at the waist and ankles with a cord. The robe is usually of thin cotton or silk and often open down to the middle of the chest. While the robe is plain in color (white being common), the trousers are brightly colored and embroidered.

Wealthy men traditionally wear a wrapped head-covering in formal settings, much like a turban. This is elaborately decorated and often studded with colorful stones or feathers. While wearing this tourmp, men usually wear their hair up in a knot at the back of the head.

Female clothing: Wealthy women wear the halter-top constantly. This they pair (at a minimum) with a wrapped skirt of colorful, patterned cloth. This varies in length depending on the individual, but is always at least knee length.

For formal occasions, they add a sari-like garment of a single piece of cloth wrapped around the waist and thrown over one shoulder (leaving the other bare). This is made from the finest, thinnest material they can afford and brightly patterned, often in clashing colors. Their hair is pulled up and held in place by bone or wooden combs, often brightly decorated and carved into intricate shapes.

Decorations of fine lace are common, as are screened and printed fabrics. Embroidery is less common, although needlework lace is normal.

When outside, wealthy women will sometimes wear a hood-like head-covering much like the Arab hijab (covering the hair and neck), more for protection from the fierce sun rather than for modesty.

Judicial Garb: Byssia is a democratic kritarchy (rule by elected judges). The leaders of communities and the nation as a whole, the judges, wear particular garb while actively discharging their duties. This consists of an enveloping, ankle-length black robe that shows no skin (including the scalp and hair), along with a simple wooden mask, featureless except for a slit for the mouth and two slits for the eyes. Even the hands are covered by thin white cotton gloves; the feet are encased in black-leather boots. This symbolizes putting off all personal attachments to a case or to people in service of the law. They do not wear this most of the time, only when actively judging a case.