This article pertains exclusively to clothing made on xcheamo, rather than what is worn by Terran Lupa, who are greatly influence by the cultures they live in, and are often indistinguishable from Terran Humans by clothing.
Lupa clothing and linens are made primarily from wissa, which is used to make various thicknesses and grades of cloth, while a minority may be knitted by those who enjoy that hobby. Their styles center, for the most part, on practicality of movement, ease of production by hand, and being able to change in and out of things quickly.
The vast majority of Lupa clothing is mass produced in standard sizes, and made by a pack's tailor(s), in proportion to the sizes in the pack. There is very little, if any, need for "formal" attire in Lupa life, and there are no rules or suggestions about what people wear. If one is comfortable, it's up to them what they wear. Instead, when people want to look special, they wear something made to measure that makes their figure look good. There is, however, no particular societal idea of dressing properly or looking better. Lupa tend to be in and out of clothes so much that their sense of dressing to conceal, hide, or make their body look better is not the same as most other species.
As a part of Lupa customwear is wrapped or otherwise self-draped around the body, their preferred method of securing this fabric is with broaches or knotting the fabric. They usually prefer to show their individuality when wearing their custom clothing in this way. Items such as buttons are always custom made and rarer, and they almost never use a fabric tie as seen in Asian clothing.
Mass Produced Items
A shift is a basic, tube-like "dress" with a strip of fabric over each should, where it hangs loosely on the body and acts as a general covering serving both forms, as they are never longer than mid-thigh. This is a standard mode of dress for Lupa, and highly favored as it is designed for movement in both skin and fur. They are seen as eminently replaceable, and therefore manufactured out of simple material with a simple design.
By design, one does not need a pattern to make a shift. They are made from a single cut of cloth, with a small strip taken from a short end, sown up the back with the loose fabric on the outside, and the removed material cut to form the straps. They come in all variety of colors and basic patterns, and are normally made in standard sizes. Pregnancy versions have extra fabric gathered at the front which will expand and may be let out as needed.
There are two basic underwear pieces, for those who wish to wear them: an undershort type piece, and a chest wrap for women who prefer them. Some women may also use them for certain activities, as they are geared more fore stability and keeping in place than uplift.
There are several styles of shirts prevalent among Lupa, including a round-necked short sleeved shirt, a tank top produced similarly to shifts, and wrapped tops (cloth or sweaters) which may be more decorative than the other types.
There are two lengths of pants made en masse: long, and short. Long pants are to the ankle area, but not longer to avoid dirt, while short pants generally hit just below the knee (similar to a capri). These are always closed with a draw string, and generally come in colors like blues, browns, grays, and natural undyed fabric, unless you request something else from your tailor. They are very similar to Western lounge pants in style, without a gathered hem at the bottom as is commonly seen in sweatpants.
Dresses and Skirts
Dresses and skirts are made to measure, and dresses especially are chosen and designed by consultation between the wearer and tailor. These may be inspired by or be suited to an existing fabric, the fabric may also be custom designed. While there are people who do only weaving, dying, or tailoring, many do all three to some extent. These will, of course, take longer to make and will often require more work and technique than standard pieces. However, the nature of these items requires measurements and customization to ensure fit and less waste. While a wide variety of style may be found, most common are sundresses and wrap-style dresses.
Some Lupa prefer wearing robes, whether longer or shorter, which may be closed or open in design. While they may have the simple appearance of being mass produced, they are lesser enough in demand that they are usually made on request, and often therefore with consultation. Open robes may sometimes be worn open, or closed with a broach, sash, belt, or, rarely, a more permanent fixture like buttons or hooks.
Formalwear as an actual clothing class became a solidified concept on xcheamo only after Restoration, when the Terran packs returned with their views informed by life on Terra among Humans. After this, former Terran Lupa, or their first few generational descendants, would normally wear more formal clothing to important events like Gathering or Placements. However, it won't be until First Contact that anything is designated or created as formalwear.
When clothing is created for the formal interspecies events, they are usually started from the beginning, with designing a custom fabric of which only enough for a few pieces will be made. The fabric will feature more intricate, thoughtful patterns, custom colors and dyes, and may have special techniques done to the fabric to include metal threads, shine, or particular finishes. All pieces will, of course, be customwear. Accessories are chosen or made which highlight purely Lupa design, materials, and techniques, as often incorporate either symbolism and cultural ideas.
Clothing pieces chosen or designed for formalwear include the long wrap dress, full trousers with a set closure, tunics (closed or wrapped, may be belted), structured jackets, and full length robes (both of these should be closed with either a belt or broach).
Most Lupa only own 1 pair of shoes, which would be their winter boots. However, some occupations require work on hazardous surfaces in skin, and so corresponding footwear will be used. In most cases, this will be either a low or high boot with a harder sole, sans the winter lining. However, some people do use a sandal-type shoe for hot, dry climates, or if they frequently make trips to Terra. All shoes are made with hide and/or plant matter, whether it be straw, wood shavings, or something else to form harder soles. All shoes are customwear.
Everyone in a zone that has a winter has winter clothes for the times they'll need to be in skin during the few long weeks of freezing cold. The standard winter stock is always:
- a long coat with hood and built-in cloves or mittens; fur-lined hide
- boots, usually knee-length; fur-lined hide
- suede pants
- thick shirt or shirt of terry cloth, hide, or knit
- scarf or cowl
Those in colder climates such as the northern mountains have more serious gear, as much as double layered furs, and have significantly more of it.
Actual knitted or crocheted items are much rarer, as there is no machine-made fabric, and knitters are either weavers/dyers, or work closely with them. One may find any kind of knitted item as one may find anywhere else there is knitting, from clothing to scarves, hats, gloves, socks, or other household items like towels or decorative cloths. Most Lupa in climates with a winter have one or two knitted items for cold weather.
A large amount of jewelry consists of materials like wood, beads made from various materials, resins, leather, cloth, thread, or glass. While bone, teeth, or claws are very rare, such uses usually have significant meaning to the owner. Most common is carved wood or carved or molded resin, most often as flowers, animals, or simply pretty shapes. Painted wood is also common. While most people own a few things made of metal, it is far less used on xcheamo than a lot of other substances, and usually reserved for necessary or nicer items.
The average Lupa might own a metal broach pin or hair pin, or a single bracelet or necklace of metal, which may or may not have jewels. Jewels are most often found on metal, but are often also presented on wood or resin, or sown into cloth. Styles vary greatly from person to person, but beads and also feathers aren't uncommon in many types of accessories.
Jewelry, like any other thing Lupa may wear, is always a personal preference, without notable differences between men and women.
Many Lupa may accessories with sashes or scarves, usually a length of fabric one can wrap how they like. In summer or other warm weather, one of these may do double duty as a chest wrap or loincloth, or to wrap up the hair off the neck and back.
Unlike many Human societies, Lupa rarely employ elaborate hair style or ornaments. Hair is most often tied up with thread, yarn, or cloth or leather strips, and can be seen in braids, ponytails, buns, or sometimes a little more elaborately with combs, rare metal hairpins, or sometimes barrettes as accessories. Some Lupa braid or otherwise dress their hair with beads, shell, feathers, or other such items. Dying one's hair isn't uncommon, and dreads and full braids can also be found among Lupa. As long as one's hair is usually clean, nobodt else should care much what one does with it.