What Did Cleopatra Wear?

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Historians believe that as a pharaoh, Cleopatra most likely wore leopard skins, linen clothing, a crown, jewelry and royal regalia. The classic image of a woman pharaoh with a false beard, however, is attributed to Hatshepsut, according to Jone Johnson Lewis for About.com.

In general, due to the hot climate, Egyptian clothing was light and made from plant fibers. Linen was typically used, although during Roman times, cotton was occasionally imported from India. Royalty such as Cleopatra often wore clothing covering all parts of their body, including decorated sandals and occasionally gloves.

Animal skins, usually leopard, designated a servant of the gods, and were symbolic of the role of priests and pharaohs. The traditional headpiece of the pharaoh is known as the nemes, a striped headcloth, which does not serve as a crown by itself but symbolizes the pharaoh’s power. The crown itself was known as a Pschent, two crowns representing the ruling of lower and upper Egypt combined. A crown was typically decorated with rearing cobras, known as the Uraeus. On top of all this, voluminous and heavy jewelry was the order of the day. The most unique Egyptian piece of jewelry was the gorgerin, a collection of metal disks worn on the chest, either by itself or with a shirt beneath.