Aztec Clothing

The Aztec clothing can be defined as the various forms of attire that were worn by the Aztecs and other Mesoamerican peoples that lived in the Aztec Empire. It should be noted that the clothing styles preferred by the Aztecs were also similar to the clothing that was worn by many other groups in Mexico and much of Mesoamerica. Like any culture, the Aztecs were influenced by their environment, and their style of clothing is quite distinct. The most basic form of clothing that an Aztec could wear is the breechcloth, which was called "maxtlatl."

Basic Aztec Clothing

The breechcloth was a type of Loincloth that would be comprised of a piece of material. This piece of material would normally be in the shape of a rectangle, and it would be placed between the thighs of the person who wore it. It would be held together by either a belt or string. The primary purpose of the breechcloth was to conceal the genitals, and by itself, it didn't provide a great deal of protection against either the sun or parasites. The Aztecs would often wear the breechcloth under a cloak or cape, and this cloak would be called the tilmatli. The tilmatli was important to the Aztec, and the type worn would determine the status of the person who wore it in Aztec society.

Aztec Clothing For Men And Women

Much of the clothes I've discussed so far were worn by Aztec men. The women wore a blouse, which was called the huipilli, and they also wore a skirt called the cueitl. When these two words were combined into "cueitl huipilli," the entire term was also used to refer to a woman. Another form of clothing that was very important to the Aztec was sandals. Like the cape, the type of sandals you wore determined your overall status in Aztec society. In most cases, only the men of the nobility would wear sandals, and many of the commoners didn't wear much foot wear. When entering the temples, all the Aztecs were required to go barefoot, and this likely included members of the nobility.

Another time in which Aztecs were not allowed to wear foot wear is when they stood before the emperor. Much of the clothing that the Aztecs wore played a practical role in their society. In a hot and tropical environment, sandals were preferred over closed shoes, as it gave the feet a large amount of circulation, the foot would also not sweat so profusely. The Aztecs didn't wear a large amount of clothes simply because it was too hot to do so. Their clothing was designed for the warm environment in which they lived.

Aztec Jewelry And Gold

It should also be noted that the Aztec men wore clothes which were much more intricate than the women, particularly in the case of priests or members of the nobility. Feathers played an important role to the Aztec, and the rich feathers worn by the ancient Aztecs have become world famous. Jewelry was of great importance, and the large amount of gold worn by the Aztecs is testament to the power and strength of their empire. The clothing worn by the Aztecs is very distinct, and it is one of their most prominent characteristics.