Clothing in Ancient Egypt

The climate in Egypt was very hot and humid, and clothing needed to be lightweight to keep people cool, therefore it was made of linen. Wealthy Egyptians could afford the best and expensive linen and this was almost see-through.

Although the Egyptians did occasionally dye their clothing in the main it was left in its original colour.

Men wore a wrap-around skirt (shendyt) that was tied at the waist. The length and style of this skirt would depend on the period. During the late Egyptian period it was fashionable for the skirt to be pleated or gathered at the front. It also became fashionable for the men to wear a shirt like garment with sleeves.

Working men, such as farmers would often wear a loincloth (shenti).

Women wore full-length straight dresses (kalasiris) with either one or two shoulder straps. It was fashionable for these to be pleated or draped. They were also sometimes adorned with beads. Clothing was often styled as wrap-around, therefore there was little sewing to be done.

Children did not generally wear clothes until the age of six, however when the temperature dropped in the winter, they may wear a wrap or cloak at this time.

Egyptians spent much of their time barefoot and would only wear shoes when needed to protect the feet. The shoes of the poor were made of papyrus that was woven together and the shoes of the wealthy were made of leather.

It was common in Ancient Egypt for people to either shave their head or have their hair cropped short, and then wear a wig. With the stifling heat in Egypt, it was uncomfortable to sleep with long hair, so having their head shaved made it more comfortable for them at night and they wore a wig during the day. Egyptians were proud of their wigs and the wealthier the person, the more wigs they possessed.

Women also wore cuplets on their heads that were filled with perfume. This was to prevent headlice and protect the head.

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