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Watched a movie over the weekend: one of my sheep farming neighbors loaned me The Story of the Weeping Camel, a 2003 docudrama about an extended Mongolian family in the Gobi desert.

I’m not necessarily recommending it. I enjoyed it very much, but I like watching slices of life from strange places. It wasn’t exactly a roller-coaster of adventure.

I’m here to talk about their clothes. They all wore this unisex robe called a deel, and it looked awesome.

It’s cut rather like a 1950s labcoat, buttoned down the right hand side and right shoulder. All kinds of heavy fabrics — brocades, woolens, canvas — in lovely patterns, or solid with embroidered cuffs and collar. They looked sturdy as hell, like the old guys in the film had been wrangling camels in theirs for thirty years non-stop without wearing them out.

Traditionally, they were belted with a swath of silk, but they nowadays use leather belts. The one in the picture above (WANT!) is available from the Mongolian Shop for $359. And then the area above the belt turns into a giant pocket you can carry stuff in.

Everybody looks great in one. Fit young people, lumpy old ladies, skinny old men. Look, I don’t want to be unpatriotic, but how did jeans become the universal uniform of coolness, when we could all be wearing deels and carrying all our junk in a deel pocket?

August 29, 2016 — 7:08 pm
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