What Type Of Clothing Did Noblemen Wear In Ancient Egypt

Noblemen Clothing in Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt is often known for their intricate and large scale ceremonial clothing. As a society conditioned to the influence of art and culture, ancient Egyptians carefully fashioned a style of dress for social ranking and ceremonial occasions. As such, one of the most important and regal classes in ancient Egyptian society was that of Noblemen.

Noblemen in ancient Egypt, as expected, wore the finest and most intricately crafted clothes. It was these garments that identified wealthy and respected individuals in society, and the garments worn by these individuals had some of the most beautiful and sophisticated features.

The nobility of Ancient Egypt commonly wore kalasiris- typically white linen garments such as long dresses. Often, these garments were draped in elegance and simple artistry. This clothing also had the ability to indicate social position, as it was typically held in place with a sash or belt that declared the nobleman’s status amongst the upper classes. In many cases, these-belts or sashes were heavily ornamented with precious stones, gold and other symbols of wealth.

In addition to normal daily clothing, noblemen of Ancient Egypt also had the ability to wear much more ornate clothing for special ceremonial occasions. Standard clothing such as a kalasiris could be altered to include a more complex draping or an extra layer of interwoven cloth, becoming a more remarkable look appropriate for feasts and festivals. Noblemen also had the chance to wear much more extravagant robes of red and yellow linen. These robes often had intricate designs in gold thread or decorations from simple hieroglyphics to complex symbols.

The headdresses that were worn by noblemen in Ancient Egypt were especially amazing and captivating. Typically these headdresses were striped with many colors and often featured a plumes of a bird and the cobra, which were the symbols of power and eternity, respectively. Noblemen also wore wigs to indicate status, as they were a symbol of prosperity and good health.

Though it can be hard to imagine exactly how these items looked based on text alone, the essence of the clothing of Pharaohs and other high ranking individuals in Ancient Egypt comes through in descriptions and modern-day replicas. It was these clothes that were worn to declare someone’s power and wealth, and the artistry and invention of these items made them especially unique.

The Typical Nobleman Accessory

In terms of accessories, the nobility of Ancient Egypt wore some of the most interesting and decorative items of the period. Ancient Egyptians often wore insignia and armlets of gold and other precious metals to symbolize their rank and membership in a particular group. Many of these items were adorned with large versions of the Eye of Horus, which symbolizes protection, royal power and good health.

Noblemen were also known for the range of necklaces and pendants that they wore. This jewelry was often extremely elaborate and crafted from cameos and amulets to intricate necklaces of precious stones and gold. These necklaces and pendants most commonly depicted important gods such as Amun-Re or Anubis, and in some cases, hieroglyphics that offered protection. Of course, Noblemen in Ancient Egypt also wore rings which often depicted specifically crafted symbols that related to their religion and their power.

In addition, sandals also had much meaning to ancient Egyptians when it came to nobility. Noblemen of Ancient Egypt were usually barefoot, except for when they stepped out on orders of the gods and special occasions in which they were expected to wear sandals of gold or silver. These sandals were the symbol of royalty and revealed the feet of an esteemed individual.

As such, the accessories and clothing of the Ancient Egyptian noble class reflect a unique style. Though society has changed since ancient times, many of the motifs in clothing can be seen in various design elements throughout modern times. The totems and symbols of the Ancient Egyptian society were captivating, and many of them have inspired fashion today.

The Variability in Ancient Fashion

Although Ancient Egyptian fashion adhered to a few basic fabrics, colors and designs, there was some variability pertaining to the nobleman’s clothing choices. It must be noted that certain nobles, and in particular, Pharaohs, were given even more freedom when choosing their clothing, and many of them opted to experiment with different looks.

For example, while the standard kalasiris was a mostly plain white linen sheet, Pharaohs were able to experiment with intricate and colorful designs. The images chosen usually referenced their importance in the gods’ eyes, such as the Pharaoh’s power over the realm or his connection with the sun. Pharaohs could also choose protective symbols, colors and agricultural symbols to decorate their garments.

What is also fascinating is that contemporary evidence of ancient Egyptians apparel does not only include robes, skirts and other apparel items. Pharaohs and other members of the royal family were known to insert pieces of armor, such as breastplates and jewelry into their clothing. Depending on the occasion, these items were no doubt very regal and ornamental, but also effective in fashioning ancient protection.

The clothing of noblemen from Ancient Egypt paints a clear picture of the power and respect attributed to those of the upper class. It was their clothing which made them stand out amongst the rest and made them identifiable. As much as clothing has evolved throughout the years, it has been these intricate designs, symbols, and pieces of jewelry from Ancient Egypt that have served as the foundation of modern fashion.

Accessories and the Message they Conveyed

Nobleman in Ancient Egypt also wore many unique accessories that signified power and prosperity. These accessories were often made out of precious metals, stones and gems and ultimately served to differentiate them from the lower classes. In many cases, these items would be etched with symbols, featuring hieroglyphs or other images to symbolize leadership.

The purpose of the accessories were mainly to show off the wearer’s wealth and power, and as such they often became symbols of the wearer’s importance and their connection to the gods. This gave them a certain air of superiority and allure. As such, if a Nobleman from Ancient Egypt did not wear the finest accessories, their peers in the higher classes would look down upon them.

The most important of these accessories were belts, bracelets, amulets, scarabs, and necklaces. Belts were a common sight amongst the nobility and often came in gold or silver and were embossed with elaborate carvings. They were often used to indicate the noble’s rank and status, and in wealthier families, they as also often beaded with valuable stones and gems.

Bracelets were also a popular accessory worn by the nobility, and these often depicted symbols of Ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses. This also resulted in protection from evil spirits. Similarly, amulets served an important purpose; they often depicted various gods or animals and served as symbols of protection and divine powers. It was believed that this provided the wearer with good fortune and luck.

Finally, Necklaces were commonly seen and often embellished with precious stones. Each of these stones had a special meaning and served an important purpose. For example, the Lapis Lazuli was a popular choice as it was known for its powers of protection. Furthermore, scarabs were a popular choice of jewelry and often depicted information about the wearer. That is, they could depict an individual’s career, birth date or even their bloodline. It was these pieces of jewelry that ultimately differentiated the nobility from the lower classes.

Religious Perspective of Adornment

The supremacy of adornment within Ancient Egypt has its origin in religious beliefs. This religious perspective on which adornments to wear and accessorize with signified the gods’ favor for the individual wearing them. As such, those of the upper classes were often adorned with jewelry that depicted gods a goddess in an effort to gain their favor.

In this regard, Ancient Egypt was an incredibly spiritual society. It was believed that the gods gave specific powers and position to those who wore sacred jewelry. These adornments allowed for the bearer to receive a form of protection, guidance, and prosperity. This stronger connection to the gods and goddesses ultimately gave the individual wearing them an elevated status. As such, it was these pieces of jewelry that allowed the nobility of Ancient Egypt to signal autonomy and fellowship with their gods.

The jewels’ significance in Ancient Egypt is also demonstrated by the gods themselves, as certain gods were often represented by a particular type or color of gem. For example, Amun-Ra was one of the most important gods in Ancient Egypt and often depicted with a yellow topaz. It was believed that those who wore one of these gems would be protected and favored by this god. Similarly, Horus was often represented by a greenstone necklace, or a pectoral.

Ultimately, religious adornment served an important purpose in Ancient Egypt by signaling favor from the gods. These pieces of jewelry ultimately allowed the nobility to be seen in a different light and as such strengthened their connection to the gods and goddesses as well as their peers. It was through this connection to the gods that the nobility was able to enjoy a vivid and vocal relationship with the spirit world.


The clothing of the noblemen of Ancient Egypt was as stunning and mystical as the culture itself. Their clothing embodied the sophistication and power of the upper classes and featured intricate artwork and detail. In many cases, these garments and accessories also acted as symbols to the gods and goddesses in an effort to receive favor and protection. Therefore, the clothing of Ancient Egypt is as important today as it was then for highlighting a unique culture and its symbols of royalty, power and favor.

Clarence Norwood

Clarence E. Norwood is an author and scholar specializing in the history and archaeology of ancient peoples. He has written extensively on the civilizations of the Near East, Egypt, and the Mediterranean. He has authored numerous books and articles on a wide range of topics, including the evolution of the alphabet, the rise of the ancient nations, and the impact of ancient cultures and religions on modern society. He has also conducted archaeological field research in North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.

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