Things, like people, have their own history. History is always interesting, especially the history of clothing — oriental clothing! How did they dress in Egypt a hundred years ago and what are they wearing now? What fabrics, decorations are used?
Egypt is a land of gods and pharaohs. The ancient Egyptians loved beautiful clothes and jewelry. The style of dress was simple and elegant. They devoted a lot of time and attention to their appearance; they modeled, manufactured and wore costumes with special care. The Egyptians designed light clothing for themselves to be comfortable in the heat. The fabrics used at the time were natural fibers. Flax was especially popular.
For the entire 3000-year history of Ancient Egypt, fashion has changed slightly. During the Old Kingdom of Egypt, people wore simpler clothes that did not require lengthy tailoring. Men and women wore mostly wrap-around clothes that were tied with a knot in one place and held at the waist. The main color of the clothes is white. The cream of society wore long, folded, sheer robes.
In Egypt in the last century, as well as hundreds of years ago, men wore long shirts of a simple cut, wide trousers that narrowed downwards, and trousers were tied with a very thick sash. A vest or caftan was worn on top. A scarf tied in a turban was worn on the head. Women then dressed very similarly, the same shirts, but longer, rectangular caftans over shirts, a large shawl like a shawl.
Galabeeans came to Egypt from the neighboring Emirates, but this type of clothing has also undergone changes. Later, when the Turks occupied Egypt, and they contributed to the national costume of the Egyptians, for example, a vest and a fez — a red, cylindrical felt hat with a tassel was borrowed from them. From the Emirates and Saudi Arabia, the Egyptians adopted the galabeya, dishdash and shemagh shawl in a checkered ornament, it is popularly called arafatka, after the Arab leader Yasser Arafat, because it was he who introduced the fashion for this headdress.
Egyptian male galabeya — differs in a slightly expanded trapezoidal shape towards the bottom. Most often, male galabeas are white. This outfit is still popular with the Egyptians. Such clothing protects well from heat, sand and strong winds.
Muslim men never use silk fabrics and gold processing, as this is contrary to the principles of Islam, jewelry is only for women.
Women’s costume always implies more fantasy in cut and style than men’s clothing. The female costume changed much more often than the male one. At the beginning of the century, these were abai, with embroidery and ornaments. Shawls decorated with colored pompons and fabric flowers at the edges. Later, with the development of the textile field, good quality fabrics began to appear in Egypt, with machine embroidery. During the reign of President Nasser, Egypt became a secular state, women were forbidden to wear a hijab, and women’s clothing was completely European. Under the rule of President Nasser, men were prohibited in the state. institutions wear galabeas. But the Egyptians found a way out, they began to wear jackets on galabeas, such a combination can be found even now. Already during the reign of President Mubarak, the original Egyptian clothing returned.
The women again donned abayas and hijabs. The word “hijab”, translated from Arabic means “veil, shelter”, is still understood by this word as the clothing of Muslim women. The niqab came from Saudi Arabia, in the form it is worn now, the fabric is light, to which it is easier to breathe. Khimar is another attribute of a Muslim woman. A long, waist-length shawl, similar to the headdress of nuns, is worn with galabeya, they come in different colors from opaque fabrics.
Egypt is the country that most of all of the Arab countries receives tourists and is subject to Western influences. Western culture has made changes to the wardrobe of the local population. You can hardly meet urban youth in national costumes. Most dress in European style. But many Muslim women of the older generation wear fashionable and modern silk, satin shawls, long skirts, long dresses, raincoats, and modern hijab models, with embroidery, rhinestones, and bugles. They are made from crepe, silk, cotton and synthetics. And only the old generation of Egyptian women, brought up in strict Muslim traditions, adhere to the national Egyptian dress.
There is also haute couture in Egypt. Fashion shows of Arabic clothing are no longer uncommon. Dresses made of breathtaking fabrics, embroidered with Swarovski crystals, costing a lot of money. These are bought only by the very rich people of Egypt and other Arab countries. In spite of everything, Egypt has preserved its traditions in clothing and will pass them on through generations and time.
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