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Personal Appearance and Clothing

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The quality, design, and decoration of fabrics worn as clothing in Egypt was a sign of the status and power of the wearer. Egyptians took great care in their appearance, especially women. They adorned themselves with beautiful garments, elaborate hairstyles, cosmetics, jewelry, and other accessories.

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Clothing of Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs

The Pharaohs distinguished themselves by wearing the Nemes, or royal headdress; the false beard; and the Shendyt kilt.

Ancient Egyptian Clothing

Daily dress for the common people of ancient Egypt was simple, while nobles and high officials were more concerned with fashion. Sem priests wore leopard skins as a sign of their status.

Ancient Egyptian Women and Beauty

Women from rich families, their beauty enhanced by cosmetics, were shown elegantly dressed in long, pleated close-fitting dresses and wearing many kinds of jewelry.

Fashionable Women of Alexandria

Because Alexandria was a big commercial center in the Greco-Roman period, Alexandrian women were able to acquire fashionable clothing and cosmetics. They were able to take good care of themselves.

Beauty and Fashion in the Islamic Period

Within the limits of what was permitted by the Islamic religious rules, women in the Islamic times took special care in their appearance, dressing beautifully and using perfumes and cosmetics to please their husbands.

Clothing Symbolizing the Sultan's Power

During his coronation ceremony, the sultan was given a "Kulah," or robe, which symbolized the caliph's delegation of power to him.

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