The clothes of men and women during the biblical periods in Palestine are not described in any detail, but they probably resembled those of neighbouring peoples, of which illustrations exist. They were worn both for warmth and sometimes for their appearance, and out of modesty (Gen. 3: 7), though children before adolescence commonly ran around naked. A man's outer garment was a kind of long robe, which could also serve as a blanket, though it was possible also to change into night attire (perhaps Neh. 4: 23), and not to possess this represented extreme poverty (Job 24: 7). Undergarments supported by the shoulders were also available.

Jesus is described as having a seamless tunic (John 19: 23) which was stripped from him before he was crucified naked, and the unnamed young man who lost his linen cloth (Mark 14: 51–2) during Jesus' arrest must have been wearing a simple garment round his body without a girdle such as Elijah used (2 Kgs. 1: 8), followed by John the Baptist (Mark 1: 6). Sandals were generally necessary (Matt. 10: 10), as was a covering over the head. Women wore similar dress to that of men but sometimes also with a veil. There could be some decoration, especially at the time of marriage (Ezek. 16: 10). Persons of rank were expected to dress accordingly, and sackcloth with ashes was prescribed for times of mourning and penitence.