Foreign observers never failed to be impressed by the exotic regiments of the Tsar - Don, Turkistan and Ural Cossacks, the latter 'big, red-bearded, wild-looking men'. Officers carried their maps in their high hats; many enemies were killed with the lance...As for the men, correspondent Alexei Kayunin wrote: 'The yellow and purple robes of the Turkmens appeared blindingly brilliant against the background of village houses. They wore enormous sheepskin hats, above dark features and wild hair which made them seem picturesque and majestic. Galloping on their horses they caused no less panic than armoured vehicles. I offered cigarettes and tried to talk to them. It was useless, for they didn't speak any Russian...
An American correspondent described a squadron of Kubanski Cossacks: 'a hundred half-savage giants, dressed in the ancient panoply of that curious Slavic people whose main business is war, and who serve the Tsar in battle from their fifteenth to their sixtieth years; high fur hats, long caftans laced at the waist and coloured dull pink or blue or green with slanting cartridge pockets on each breast, curved yataghans inlaid with gold and silver, daggers hilted with uncut gems, and boots with sharp toes turned up...They were like overgrown children.' First Army's cavalry were commanded by the old Khan of Nakhichevan, who was found weeping in his tent one morning because he was too crippled by haemorrhoids to mount his horse.
-From M. Hastings, Catastrophe, pp. 260-261*
[W]e began to saunter along the embankment, while the Professor gossiped about the holiday-makers around us. He showed us some peasants from the villages down on the Greek border, who could neither read nor write, but got the silly fellows who had gone to the bother of learning such stuff to tell them the commodity prices on the foreign exchanges, and on that information they very cunningly calculated what crops to sow. He showed us also a superb being, like a Cossack in a Russian ballet, who went strutting by in a wide-skirted coat made from the wool of a brown sheep. This, he told us, was a wealth Tsintsar, a true nomad, who moved with his herds between summer and winter and hoarded all his wealth, according to the classic nomadic fashion, in the form of necklaces and bracelets worn by his womenfolk. And he hurried us across the road to see a family of gipsies who were clearly natives of fairyland. Only there could a father and mother still shapely as gazelles and bloomed with youth have eight children; only there could they have arrayed their coffee-brown beauty, which fastidious nostrils, secretive lips, and eyes like prune-whip made refined and romantic, in garments of chrome yellow, cinnabar, emerald, royal blue, and vermilion, which were so clean that they made the very sunlight seem a little tarnished. 'They are Gunpowder gipsies,' said the Professor; 'we call them that because they used to find saltpetre for the Turkish Army, and they are renowned for their cleanliness and their beauty.' 'But they are like Hindus!' I exclaimed. 'They might be from the Mogul court.' 'They are something of that sort,' said the Professor; 'when Gandhi's private secretary came here he could make himself understood to our gipsies in Tamil. We think that they are descendants of some conquered Indian people who fled out of Asia after some unrecorded catastrophe in the Middle Ages, and certainly these Gunpowder gipsies represent the ruling castes.' [...] 'All, all is in Yugoslavia,' said Constantine, glowing happily...
-From R. West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, p. 657*
All sorts of people hung about the stations, men turbaned and fezzed and capped with conical hats of brown fur, men in Turkish trousers, or in long shirts and tights of creamy homespun linen, their leather vests richly worked in coloured wheels and flowers, or in suits of heavy brown wool ornamented with patterns of black braid, high red sashes wound round and round their waists, leather sandals sewed to a circular spout on the toe and bound to the calf with leather ribbons wound to the knees; women with the Turkish yashmak and bloomers, or in leather and woollen jackets embroidered in bright colours, waists of the rare silk they weave in the village, embroidered linen underskirts, black aprons worked in flowers, heavy overskirts woven in vivid bars of colour and caught up behind, and yellow or white silk kerchiefs on their heads.
-From J. Reed, The War in Eastern Europe, p. 3*
Coad was a busy town. Along the crooked streets, in and out of the ale-coloured sunlight, moved men and women of many castes and colours: Yellow Islanders and Black Islanders, Horasin bark-merchants muffled in grey robes; Caucasoids such as Traz from the Aman Steppe; Dirdirmen and Dirdir-men hybrids; dwarfish Sieps from the eastern slopes of the Ojzanalai who played music in the streets; a few flat-faced white men from the far south of Kislovan. The natives, the Tans, were an affable fox-faced people, with wide polished cheek bones, pointed chins, russet or dark brown hair cut in a ledge across the ears and foreheads. Their usual garments were knee-length breeches, embroidered vest, a round black pie-plate hat. Palanquins were numerous, carried by short gnarled men with oddly long noses and stringy black hair: apparently a race to themselves; Reith saw them in no other occupation. Later he learned them to be natives of Grenie at the head of the Dwan Zher.... Once Traz grabbed his elbow and pointed to a pair of thin men in loose black trousers, black capes with tall collars all but enveloping their faces, soft cylindrical black hats with wide brims: caricatures of mystery and intrigue. 'Pnumekin!' hissed Traz in something between shock and outrage. 'Look at them! They walk among other men without a look aside, and their minds full of strange thinking!'
-From J. Vance, Servants of the Wankh
Fantasy and SF settings need more of a 'Mos Eisley Cantina' vibe than less, I think.