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New Kingdom dress was more complex than theretofore.
This reflects the fact that in any group of people—whether constituting a small community or a great nation—it is usually those with wealth and power who influence, and even dictate, fashions to other members.
The discussion does not concentrate solely on apparel but also covers, as appropriate, certain aspects of hairdressing, jewelry, and the use of cosmetics.
There were many ways of draping the material, but with most methods all the pleats and folds seemed to be gathered around a single point at the waist.
The cape, decorative collar, skirt, and pendant girdle also continued to be worn.
A cape might be draped around the shoulders and knotted on the chest.
Late in the period a double skirt was introduced; alternatively, a triangular loincloth might be worn under a skirt. King Tutankhamen wearing a double skirt, long and full, with the upper one doubled and gathered in front; Queen Ankhesenamen in a draped robe tied at the breast and leaving the right arm free.
This draped type of dress conformed to that of other civilizations in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern region, such as Greece, Rome, and Mesopotamia, but differed from the styles of Persia, northern India, and China, where people wore more fitted, sewn garments based upon pendant hanging in front from the waist belt and a shoulder cape or corselet partly covering their bare torso. This encased the body from the ankles to just below the breasts and was held up by decorative shoulder straps.
Woman wearing sheathlike gown held up by shoulder straps, typical of Egyptian dress of the Old and Middle Kingdoms.
The earliest records indicate that Egyptian men grew hair on their chins.