Egyptian dress

 

How did Egyptians dress?

Egypt is a hot country and therefore dress was often minimal, and men went bare chested most of the time. But the numerous figurines placed in tombs allow us to get a good idea of how Egyptian ladies dressed.

 

BM Egypt Nofretmin DSC08402This lady dates to the Old Kingdom, that is around 3000 to 2500 BC. She appears to be wearing a sheath dress, though the nipples on her breasts are clearly visible. She is wearing as always a heavy wig which comes down to touch her breasts.

The seat on which she is sitting has been painted to make it look like granite

This limestone statue is of an otherwise unknown lady called Nofretmin, and dates to the sixth dynasty, around 2300 BC. The straight hairstyle and simple unpleated dress are typical of depictions of women dating from the Old Kingdom. The seat has been painted to imitate the appearance of red granite.

EA’s 65430

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BM Egypt two slim women long wigs DSC08408

Two ladies from an early date, both tall and thin, wearing fashionable sheath dresses revealing their breasts. They are both wearing heavy wigs coming down to their breasts.

The Egyptians clearly liked their women tall and thin

The smaller one on the left dates to the early 18th dynasty, about 1500 BC.

The larger one on the right is earlier, dating to the 12th dynasty about 1985 to 1795 BC. It comes from tomb 35 at Asyut.

 

 

BM Egypt woman in white DSC08701 Painted wooden statue of a female servant carrying offerings. She has a sexy dress with a deep d├ęcolletage showing an ample cleavage.She again has a wig.but this one only comes down to her shoulders.

She is wearing a double necklace, forming a wide collar round her neck, while the two straps come down to below her breasts revealing a deep plunge cleavage.

12th Dynasty about 1950 BC.

BM: EA 29595

BM Egypt woman in white cropped DSC08701

.

BM Egypt woman showing one breast DSC08558 Another servant girl with a basket on her head, this time containing loaves and cakes.

She has a very sexy dress cut away to reveal one breast and indeed most of the other breast

But she has a midi-wig, coming down over her shoulders, and a lattice-like square necklace decorating her neck between the wig.

BM Egypt woman showing one breast cropped DSC08558

.

BM Tall lady in green DSC09798 Two more ladies carrying baskets on their heads, one in green, the other in white.

The green dress is very interesting, it is carefully painted so that it appears to be transparent, so we can see her legs through the dress.

The top (right) is very sexy too. The dress is held up by two green straps, but just run on the inside of her breasts, so that her nipples are clearly visible.

 

BM tall lady DSC09798

.

BM Egypt woman carrying box DSC08348 And here is a lady who is totally naked, though carrying a heavy box on her head.

This is in fact a very small ornament, only a couple of inches high, which probably sat on a ladies dressing table, and the box contained make-up.

She doesn’t wear the usual heavy wig but her hair is plaited into three skinny pigtails, two of which hang down in front and the other behind. The unusual hairstyle suggests that she may represent a foreigner, a young Nubian maidservant.

Containers for eyepaint (kohl) and cosmetic oils were often lavishly designed using expensive materials such as glass or semiprecious stones

BM: EA 32767, 18th dynasty

 

BM Egypt woman carrying box cropped DSC08348

 

 

BM Egypt raised hand DSC08879
This young lady is topless, showing both her breasts. She is a priestess of Isis , kneeling on a mat and dates to the Ptolemaic period

Painted wooden statuettes of Isis and Nephthys, Ptolemaic period, 305 to 30 BC. Provenance unknown. BM: EA 62859

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On to Cleopatra, to see how she dressed

 

15th December 2017