Differences Between Kazakh and Uzbek Fashion

by Nathan Hamm on 1/9/2006 · 22 comments

Living very close to one another, speaking similar languages, and both of Turkic stock, Kazakh fashion and Uzbek fashion share interesting similarities. However, just as there are between these two nations, there are some striking differences in the fashion of these two peoples. Read on for examples.

In Kazakh fashion, it is common for large red flowers to be incorporated into clothing beneath the armpits.

The Uzbeks, on the other hand, are much more likely to affix small red flowers to their faces.

In Kazakh fashion, it is not uncommon to find outfits made entirely of animal pelts.

Uzbeks, meanwhile, are known to fashion dresses out of… I don’t know. Shredded magazines and party ribbons?

Whereas Kazakh fashion is sometimes meant to represent the sea’s bounty,

Uzbek fashion often simply incorporates the no longer useful nets of the Moynaq fleet.

Really though, this is all just another reminder that as remote and exotic as Central Asia is (imagined to be, perhaps?), it’s not too far away in certain ways.

Uzbekistan photos from vseuznyi blog, where there are plenty more available.

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This post was written by...

– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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Kuda January 9, 2006 at 2:56 am

Are you bored or really have very little to do? Is the ‘sea beauty’ doing the ‘walk like an Egyptian’? And if so, is this yet another example of the cross-polination of cultures?

qadinbakida January 9, 2006 at 4:00 am

Hey! I now feel under intense pressure to post my pictures and report from the Best Model of Azerbaijan contest a few weeks ago. We can compare and contrast trans-Caspian fashion trends.

Younghusband January 9, 2006 at 5:05 am

I think I would rather take the pleather jackets and jeans look over this stuff…

Laurence January 9, 2006 at 7:19 am


Rustam January 9, 2006 at 9:36 am

It is one of those articles that I recently read in Centrasia.ru, it was about Lola Karimova opening new night club called “Snob” in Tashkent and there was a photo of her and one gay looking guy, presenter I guess. Promoting this lavish lifestyle, fool of luxury and excessive wealth. If you had a chance to visit one of so called night clubs in Tashkent, you would notice that a glass of coke costs about 7$.
And here as well, like the blog that you took the information from says that at the end of the show they presented new glamour magazine “OB”.
And all this, open demonstration of luxury and excessive wealth in a country where the monthly wage is 8$ and recently witnessed massacre in Andijon. And worst is the fact that it is headed by the daughters of Karimov the dictator. We had Bella Terra and Baby Terra (glamour magazines) published by the company owned by Gulnora Karimova, it is very expensive and if you look inside it almost 90% of the content is photos of extremely wealthy people (even in the US standards) having a night out in some kind of a club or some kind of event in one of the friendly Embassies in Tashkent. Without their openly aggressive actions to separate the society between the extremely wealthy individuals and extremely poor masses, the economic reforms and presidency of their father is doing its job, the gap in the society is getting wider and wider each day, don’t they understand that, that they are preparing their graves with these moves.
Underneath this is rotten and the story of them forcing the owners of more or less popular restaurants and clubs in Tashkent to sell their places for 1/10 of the market price.
Don’t have anything to say about Kazakhs, because after almost 10 years of working with Chevron and other oil companies and increasingly very popular and robust financial industry they, at least some of them, have a right to show off, legal wealth that they acquired through hard work.
But I should say one thing, that Uzbek girls in majority of cases are much more beautiful looking in comparison to Kazakh girls.

Ben January 10, 2006 at 10:07 am

But I should say one thing, that Uzbek girls in majority of cases are much more beautiful looking in comparison to Kazakh girls.

That is, fortunately, a matter of opinion.

Nathan January 10, 2006 at 12:13 pm

You’re certainly right Ben. Uzbek notions of beauty, I’ve noticed (and perhaps I’m wrong on this), seem to hold Persian features in the highest regard. So, I understand why Rustam might feel that way. As for me, I don’t play favorites. They’re all beautiful to me.

Michael Hancock January 10, 2006 at 2:14 pm

Fashion statements aside, I’d say that Kazakh girls and Uzbek girls are two sides on the same beautiful coin. No, nix that. They are two halves of the same side, with maybe the Tajik girls being the other side… No, wait. You know, I’m still not able to definitely tell who is who, and I don’t think I should even be trying. Just because everyone here is so racially/nationality minded, I tend to be sucked in, too. I certainly could try to look at Americans and say, “German,”, “French-Canandian,”, “Irish,”, “Swiss,”, or the like, with a similar success record. I will say that the most beautiful girls I’ve met [besides my Uzbek girlfriend] were Azerbaijani and Tatar, but I’m not really a demographer. That’s just who really struck my eye.

Michael Hancock January 10, 2006 at 2:17 pm

When I said, “Just because everyone here is so racially/nationality minded…” the “here” refers to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, where I’ve been living this past year. If Registan.net is racially minded at all, it would only be because it’s providing an accurate reflection of local opinions in Central Asia.

K. Just wanted to fix that statment.

Matt W January 11, 2006 at 4:51 am

Let’s not neglect the most ubiquitous icon of Uzbek fashion: the Chinese synthetic knit house dress (usually red and garish, with some unrecognizable pattern), worn proudly everywhere from Xivo to the Valley. Often seen with matching rubber sandals and thick socks… What wardrobe in the country would be complete without it?

Matt W January 11, 2006 at 4:53 am

Oh, and sorry guys, I don’t think there are many ethnic Kazakhs or Uzbeks among the models in these particular pictures– except for one, looks like Tatars and Russians to me…

T-Rex January 11, 2006 at 10:22 pm

I didn’t get the point of this post. It seems to me that you are just ironic about Uzbeks and Kazakh… I may be wrong though!!!

Nathan January 11, 2006 at 10:45 pm

No point really. It’s just that when I saw the Uzbek fashion show pictures, they reminded me of the Kazakh ones from a while ago. Also, there’s something of a point in that things like this show Central Asia to be more cosmopolitan than the average westerner would assume.

LazyNomad January 12, 2006 at 3:32 am

Rustam, when little is left to be proud of in Uzbekistan the last argument you are pushing is the girl`s beauty. If you want to back this statement will you give a link on the photo of the most beautiful uzbek woman (in your opinion)? Just interested in the uzbek perception of beauty and it`s difference from the kazakh one.

Tim Newman January 16, 2006 at 1:56 am

Me, I prefer Kyrgyz. They win the Central Asian beauty contest hands down, IMO.

Al Coholic January 23, 2006 at 3:38 am

You can look at it this way. Uzbek women are the most European looking compared to the other women from other neighboring states. This alone tends to differentiate the other women from the Uzbek ones. Uzbek girls tend to have eyes that are not truly Asian, as you can find in women who are from kazakhstan, kyrgizistan. So to tell you the truth in my opinion, unless you are absolutely into Asian women, Uzbek women, generally, are more beautiful.

madiyor January 26, 2006 at 1:42 am


Juan March 31, 2006 at 6:25 pm

In my opinion kazakh girls are the best looking, i’ve met many guys that had that fetish among foreigners so… thats my impression

Marko Antonio April 27, 2006 at 10:56 pm

hey juan what da fuck R u talkin about?
never say that kazakh girls R better looking!!:(
cuz every country has their own beautiful girls !!! Have a look at Uzbek girls dude and i am sure that u r gonna find them best among the best caz let me tell u what man uzbek girls they have the most alluring beauty compared to any other girls on planet earth.

Alex May 30, 2006 at 6:48 am

I have looked through all comments and completely agree with LazyNomad. Could someone give a link to prove the “dominating” beauty of uzbek girls over kazakh girls-the most beautiful!

Ziggy September 24, 2006 at 7:10 am

jehovah`s witness from Ireland is looking brothers from Uzbekistan.Address:Z.Fornal,7 Clifton Crescent,Belfast BT14 6LF,N.Ireland.

Bob December 16, 2006 at 11:24 am

Well, as in terms of Kazakh girls i do believe they are hot and damn charming, but take a look at Uzbek Girls God Damn IT!!!! The are the hottest ever!!!! :)))))) Basically it really depends on where you are, if you would be living in Sweden you would assume that girls in Sweden are the best of the best! Same with Spain, Italy, Czech Republic (I love Czech girls!!!) Russia etc. So you guys make your own conclusion!!!

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