Egyptian traditional clothing has always been an integral part of the country’s culture with practicality and comfort as the capsule. Hedjhotep (god) and Tayt (the goddess) are the gods dedicated to fashion and clothing in Egypt.
The country is located in northeast Africa and has millennial monuments such as the Great Sphinx, Giza’s colossal Pyramids, and Luxor’s hieroglyph-lined Karnak Temple along the Nile River Valley. Its capital, Cairo houses a trove of antiquities, the Egyptian Museum, and Ottoman landmarks with the Muhammad Ali Mosque
Ancient Traditional Clothes of the Egyptians
The clothing of the Egyptians dates back to the time of the Pharaohs. Ancient Egyptian clothes were worn in the country from the Neolithic period (before 3100 BC) to the fall of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and the death of Cleopatra in 30 BC.
The clothing in ancient Egypt are mainly white then adorned with multiple colored patterns, plant dyes, precious jewels, and gems.
The fabric used in making the cloth is mainly linen because it is devoid of any religious sentiments and it helps to keep the wearer safe from the hot desert and arid temps of Egypt. Hence, Egyptian fashion clothes are created for beauty and practicality (warmth & comfort).
The wool used to be one of the elements of Egyptian clothing but was considered impure. If wool must be used for the overcoats, it is restricted for use only at ceremonies but forbidden at sanctuaries and temples.
Ancient Egyptian Fashion for Male
During ancient times, Peasants, slaves, and people of the lower class often wore nothing, but the shenti or shendyt (a simple wrap-around skirt made of flax), fastened with a metallic belt around the waist.
Some slaves, however, worked naked. Khat or nemes is a very common headdress, a striped cloth worn by men.
Even among civilians, affluent families and royals wore light and airy linen materials of great quality, while the lower section wore more coarse variants of the fabric.
The shendyt skirts used to be worn by all males shortly and stopped above the knee. Later on, they were worn longer. With further modifications, the Egyptian male attire included a white tunic and a pleated petticoat.
Egyptian Women Clothing
Women wore kalasiris – a simple sheath dress – held up by one or two straps on the shoulders. The length of the dress reached the ankles while the upper edge could be worn above or below the breasts to either conceal or expose the cleavage.
The length of the Kalasiris was also a measure of social class. Women of the higher class wore dresses that tapered at their ankles while low-society women wore shorter ones.
Accessories in Traditional Egyptian Fashion Clothing
Feathered and beaded accessories were common among female clothing in Egypt. Gold and precious stones were also used for adornment. Capes or shawls were also worn by women over dresses. Wigs and hair accessories were worn on special occasions by both men and women.
Makeup was also a big part of ancient Egyptian fashion, and they were used by both men and women. Black kohl and eyeshadow were used to enhance the eyes. Natural dyes – an ancient example of lipstick were used to paint the lips. Unisex leather sandals were the common footwear worn for special functions.
Modern Egyptian Fashion
In modern-day Egypt, women wear gallibaya with a headwrap called mandil. This is a more traditional and conservative dressing than the ancient forms. Jakid necklaces and earnings are Traditional jewelry that was popular during festivals and weddings.
In developed areas, ladies wear jeans and tops, with a headscarf, while in the coastal regions, tourists and some nationals were western-style dresses.
Similarly, Egyptian men’s clothing varies from rural to urban areas. Men in rural areas wear Galabiya which are ankle-length gowns with a scarf or traditional Islamic skull cap known as fez. In urban areas, men were western-style fashion clothes.
Egyptian Traditional Clothing: Pictures
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