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What were the main garments, clothing styles, and silhouettes worn by men and women...

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yacel0762 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:32 PM via web

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What were the main garments, clothing styles, and silhouettes worn by men and women during the ancient Egyptian era?

Please don't include information on accessories and fabrics as I already have that information. 

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kipling2448 | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 26, 2013 at 2:11 AM (Answer #1)

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Given the importance of accessories to inhabitants of ancient Egypt, it wouldn't seem logical to exclude them from a discussion of the apparel worn at the time, but the following should help to clarify the subject.

Clothing styles obviously varied greatly depending upon one's status.  Common Egyptians, the lowest on the socioeconomic spectrum, often wore little more than basic tunics or loin cloths.  Most women wore very basic and bland cloth dresses that tied around the neck.

As one moved up the economic ladder, the styles grew more elaborate, and more colorful.  Also, the prevalence of colorful headdress increased as one moved up in stature.  Women of the elite status wore long, elaborate gowns, often with a belt or sash tied around the waist.

While the question specified that fabrics should not be discussed, that is also unrealistic given the extent to which linens were used in the manufacture of clothes.  As throughout the region, clothing reflected the hot, dry climate, and light linen fabrics were very common.  Men generally wore light linen cloths that wrapped around their waist and descended anywhere from the knee to the ankles, whereas the women generally wore ankle-length gowns.

Most of what is known about how men and women dressed in ancient Egypt comes from surviving drawings and paintings on walls discovered over the centuries by archeologists.  

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