How to Dress Up as an Egyptian

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Things You'll Need

  • Needle and thread or sewing machine
  • White fabric (1 to 2 yards, depending on your height)
  • Slip, shorts, or other modesty garment
  • Gold jewelry
  • Sandals
  • Hair crimper
  • Elastic hair bands
  • Bald cap
  • Black wig (optional)
  • Mascara
  • Eyeshadow
  • Eyeliner
  • Lipstick
  • Self-tanner/bronzing powder

Whether you want to channel Cleopatra or King Tut, dressing up as an Egyptian is a relatively easy Halloween costume to throw together, even at the last minute. With just a few simple materials, you can create a look that mimics the traditional garb of ancient Egypt.

Create a base for your costume. While a long white dress will do well for most women, many men and women will want more coverage from their costume. It is easy to create a unisex caftan. Purchase a piece of white fabric, about one yard long, depending on your height. Fold in half the long way, cut a hole in the fold at the top to stick your head through, and sew up the sides. Women may want to wear a slip underneath the base costume, and men may want to wear a pair of shorts. For more information, see "How to Make a Simple Caftan" in the Resources section.

Accessorize with gold bangles, bracelets, earrings and armbands. Both men and women can wear armbands or thick wristbands or bracelets to complete their look, as pharaohs often showcased their opulence with gold accessories.

Choose footwear. You may choose to go barefoot if you will not be leaving the house; otherwise, gold or white sandals or even flip flops will do in a pinch. Gladiator-style sandals with straps that crisscross up the leg work well for women, whereas men may choose to wear leather sandals, such as Birkenstocks.

Style your hair. Traditionally, Egyptian men/pharaohs would have shaved heads, paired with a chin beard and headdress. Men who do not wish to shave their heads may consider wearing a bald cap, or simply leaving their hair as is. Women should have long dark hair that can be worn straight, pulled into tiny braids or crimped. A long black wig is another option that may work for both sexes, and can be cut to just above the shoulder for men or women.

Apply your makeup. Men should outline their eyes with black kohl eye pencil. Women will do the same, further accentuating the eyes by adding mascara and blue or gold eyeshadow to finish off the dramatic look of the Egyptian eye. Lipstick should be crimson, and the whole face can get a light dusting of bronzing powder. Self-tanning spray, lotion, or bronzing powder should also be added to exposed skin, especially if you have a naturally fair skin tone.