In the Life of Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt clothing ran through every gradation from primitive nudity to the gorgeous dress of Empire days.
Children of both sexes went about, till their teens, naked except for ear-rings and necklaces; the girls, however, showed a beseeming modesty by wearing a string of beads around the middle.
Servants and peasants limited their everyday wardrobe to a loin-cloth.
Under the Old Kingdom free men and women went naked to the navel, and covered themselves from waist to knees with a short, tight skirt of white linen.125 Since shame is a child of custom rather than of nature, these simple garments contented the conscience as completely as Victorian petticoats and corsets, or the evening dress of the contemporary American male; "our virtues lie in the interpretation of the time.
Even the priests, in the first dynasties, wore nothing but loin-cloths, as we see from the statue of Ranofer.
When wealth increased, clothing increased; the Middle Kingdom added a second and larger skirt over the first, and the Empire added a covering for the breast, with now and then a cape.
Coachmen and grooms took on formidable costumes, and ran through the streets in full livery to clear a way for the chariots of their masters.
Women, in the prosperous dynasties, abandoned the tight skirt for a loose robe that passed over the shoulder and was joined in a clasp under the right breast.
Flounces, embroideries and a thousand frills appeared, and fashion entered like a serpent to disturb the paradise of primitive nudity.
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