Egypt Cairo Fashion


Egypt Cairo Fashion


Fashion in Cairo


The warm summery climate of Ancient Egypt meant that simple lightweight linen clothes were the most popular choice of most Egyptians. Whilst a number of examples of New Kingdom textiles have survived, studies of Ancient Egyptian dress and textiles are still mostly based upon the study of wall paintings, reliefs and sculptures.
The well documented kohl-rimmed eyes of the ancient Egyptians are one of their most famous features.

Cosmetics were not thought of as a luxury, and most people, from the simple peasant upwards to pharaoh himself made use of them. The only tangible difference between the classes was the quality of the products used.

Men and women followed the latest fashions in hair dressing, make-up, and couture.


The ancient Egyptians adored baubles and all forms of jewellery, including necklaces, rings, anklets and bracelets were popular fashion accessories.


Designed, crafted and worn with great attention and care, jewellery was used not only for its beauty and precious metals, but also for the magical and spiritual protection it was believed to give the wearer.
Even the poor wore jewellery, but unlike the richer nobles or royalty, their pieces tended to be mainly decorative and non precious, and usually a simple good-luck symbol or protective amulet.


Men usually dressed in short linen kilts or shirts sometimes with a band of cloth worn over the shoulders, and women in long fitted linen dresses. During the New Kingdom, fashion became more complicated, with intricate pleats introduced to tunics and dresses. Ordinary Egyptians wore course linen, whilst the richer and wealthier Egyptians dressed in a lighter, much more expensive cloth.




Semi-transparent "royal linen" was the best of all. Skins, usually leopard skin would oftentimes be worn by priests and the pharaoh for important temple and religious rituals. Elaborate clothing and hair ornaments were worn by royalty for ceremonial occasions.

Cairo Fashion

Textile manufacture and dressmaking were the only areas of industry that remained dominate by females.


For a long time it was mostly the women who were working in the spinning and weaving workshops. Many of these manufacturing shops were part of the more wealthy and aristocratic houses of the nobility.


Linen was made from the flax plant.

By stripping, beating and combing the flax, long flat strips of fibre were made.


These strips could then be spun into threads and were then twisted into balls and stored as such until required. The threads would then be woven into fabric.

The weaving was done at first on horizontal looms, which were often just pegs rammed into the ground, where the workers had to crouch on the floor, and later during the New Kingdom on vertical looms. Dressmaking tools included knives (made first from stone, then later copper, bronze and iron) and needles (wood, bone and metal).


The basic garments of the average Egyptian differed little throughout Egypt's history. The length of a man's kilt varied a little, being initially short during the Old Kingdom, although within the upper classes it became more proper to wear it longer.



The kilt gradually became longer during the Middle Kingdom, when it was often supplemented with a strip of linen draped loosely over the shoulder which evolved into short sleeves, and later into long sleeves.



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