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Ancient Egyptian Fashion: Clothing, Hair & Jewelry

By Yona Williams    9/17/06

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It is always interesting to explore the way that ancient cultures used to wear their hair or fashion their jewelry. Another intriguing aspect of ancient civilizations are the types of garments they were accustomed to wearing, as well as how different social classes dealt with each aspect of their lives. Hairstyles, jewelry and clothing pertaining to ancient Egypt are the main topics of this article.

 

What Ancient Egyptians Wore

 

If you take a look at the type of clothing materials that the ancient Egyptians made their clothes from, you will find that it is not that much different from the clothing of today. A variety of textured linens were used to create the clothing, such as coarse and fine textures. The Scottish were not the only individuals to wear a kilt, ancient Egyptian men often wore short skirts of the same name. This was typical throughout the Old and Middle kingdoms. Women put on dresses with a straight fit that were held together by straps. The kilts came in a wide-range of options. Men who came from wealthy families wore kilts with pleats, while longer kilts were made for older men.

 

When it came time to doing manual labor, the men wore a loincloth while they worked, while the women put on short skirts. Women also wore beaded dresses, but only those who possessed noble recognition. As for the little ones, during the summer, they ran about without any clothes on. When the winter season settled in, they covered up in cloaks and wraps.

 

During the period of the New Kingdom, noblemen added a long robe that was placed over his kilt. The women during this time placed a shawl over their long pleated dresses. Members of the royal family dressed differently than the people they ruled over. Some of the kings and queens during ancient times were dressed in ceremonials garb with a lot of decoration, such as sequins and feathers. On their feet, ancient Egyptians often walked about barefoot; sandals were worn during special engagements with the king possessing the most decorated of them all. It was not uncommon to see the king wear gloves as well. The way the ancient Egyptians designed their clothing was meant to provide comfort during the dry climate.

 

Ancient Egyptian Hairstyles

 

The common people of the land wore their hair short. Young girls often wore pigtails, while the boys completely shaved their heads. Sometimes, one branded clump of hair was worn to one side of the male appearance. Both men and women wore wigs during this time, which were fashioned from sheep wool, as well as human hair. These wigs served two purposes: protection from the heat, as well as decoration. They were also worn during get-togethers. Just like today, the ancient Egyptians also wore hair extensions and kept their wigs in special boxes.

 

How About the Jewels?

 

It didn’t matter what social class you belonged to, everyone wore some sort of jewelry. Some of the popular pieces during ancient Egyptian times included bracelets, anklets, earrings, as well as armlets. Both men and women wore these. Some pieces served different purposes. For example, rings and amulets were looked upon as a way to keep evil spirits away, as well as prevent injury. Wealthy individuals wore collars made of jewels or beads, as well as pendants. Their jewelry was created from silver and gold, while the less fortunate wore pieces fashioned from copper.

 

 

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