On the Qinghai Tibet Plateau with high altitude and big gap of temperature between day and night, the most suitable clothes for the high altitude climate are Tibetan robes. Normally the robes for summer are made of thin cloth, and the winter robes are usually made of woolen fabric or leather. Tibetan robes not only have a strong cold protection function, also the seasonal costume made from different materials with Various styles are beautiful and artistic on appearance.
People might be curious, no matter in summer or winter, regardless of gender or age, the local Tibetans wear only one sleeve of their robes. This maybe a habit that has been formed over time, but the biggest reason is the changeable weather on the Tibetan Plateau.
Tibetan robes are practical and warm. They are characterized by long sleeves, wide waist and long hem. When dressing, put the robe on top of the head then tie a belt around the waist, the belt is usually red, blue or green. The hem hangings slightly below the knee. After taking the robe off from the head, a "big bag" naturally forms in front of the chest, which can be loaded with personal belongings or even an infant child can be fit in. In summer or while doing physical labor, only wear the left sleeve, pull the right sleeve from behind and put it on the shoulder. Some simply take off two sleeves and tie them up around the waist.
In fact, the Tibetan robe has 2 sleeves, but the local Tibetan usually only wear one sleeve and leave the other one hanging loose. This is a way of adjusting the body temperature. When it gets hot, take off one sleeve and to cool down a bit. If the temperature keep going up, then they remove another sleeve too. As we know Lhasa as the “city of sunshine”, it has abundant sunshine even in winter. But after the sunset or when you are not bathing in the sunshine, the temperature drop greatly.
The design could help the locals to adapt to the weather, furthermore very easy and convenient to travel. When they sleep at night, they can take off the robe and cover the whole body to stay warm. The temperature drop as the altitude increase, so during the night without the sunshine, "The roof of the world" can be very cold and windy, besides, the climate is dry and cold. You may even experience the dramatic weather change of cloudy, windy, rainy and snowy within one day. In this case, the Tibetan robes and adjust easily to accommodate different weather.
Tibetan robes also have different styles for agricultural and pastoral areas. The Tibetan robes for agricultural areas are usually made of woolen fabric serge or fur. The collar, sleeves and forepart usually decorated with silk or satin, colorful fabrics. They are Elegant and luxurious, even can be used directly as stage costumes without any extra ornaments.
The Tibetan robes for pastoral areas are practical and warm. Because they have to migrate all the time, so they often decorate the robes with valuable turquoise, agate, coral and other ornaments so that they could easily take their properties with them when they move around.
Wearing a Tibetan robe to take off a sleeve is not only easy to adjust body temperature, but also easy to participate physical labor. Tibetans are also very fond of dressing us beautifully. Wearing one sleeve and leave the other one hanging loose is also a characteristic of Tibetan people who are more bold and forthright.
Nowadays, many Tibetan family's wardrobes have added modern clothes such as suits and jackets, reflecting the new costumes of Tibetan people. However, many people still wear the traditional dresses during ceremonies, festivals or some major events.
The Tibetan men and women are particular about ornaments and decorations. Usually the jewelry are made from silver, gold, pearls, agate, jade, coral, amber and so on. The materials are widely used in the head ornaments, hair ornaments, earrings, necklaces, waist ornaments and rings. They are the highlight of Tibetan costume.