What Did Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs Wear?

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Most times, ancient Egyptian pharaohs wore fine linen aprons or kilts, known as a shendyt. To display their power, prestige and association with the gods, pharaohs wore different clothes than the nobles and common people. First found in the 4th Dynasty, these kilts were covered with fine accordion pleating and wrapped counter-clockwise around the king’s body. On their feet, pharaohs wore elaborate sandals made of feathers.

Pharaoh’s also displayed their prestige by wearing fine and eccentric jewelry such as large gold necklaces. As a symbol of their royal status, pharaohs wore a large headdresses called a nemes. The headdresses had fine accordion pleating over the head on the lappets, or folds. The band was bound tightly above the eyebrows and tied at the back. The nemes band was also strengthened by a piece of hard material, such as leather, to prevent the cloth from being stained with sweat from the brow. Sometimes false beards were worn directly attached to the nemes headdress.

Many pharaohs wore their hair short, and some completed their look with wigs made out of fine human hair. Their eyelids were darkened with black paint called kohl, and scented oils and perfumes were placed upon their arms.