Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Fashion of Ancient Greece


An appropriate word to describe Ancient Greek clothing would be “minimalist.”  Clothes were typically rectangular in shape, rarely cut and worn in various ways with little or no sewing required. Women were responsible for making them and the clothes were usually crafted of linen, silk, and wool. 

The style and type of garment depended on the individual and the occasion. A chiton was the most basic type of tunic for Greek men.  It was typically fashioned of a lighter linen material, which provided comfort during the hot Mediterranean summers. This rectangular garment could be draped over one shoulder or both. It was known as an exomie when draped over one shoulder, usually the left. The exomie was worn for outdoor activities, such as horseback riding or exercise.

peplos (also peplum) was the female equivalent of the chiton. This was made from a heavier wool material, and the rectangular piece of fabric could be draped and fastened with pins, brooches, or buttons. A peplos was a full-length garment as a proper Greek lady exposed very little.

The Greeks wore a cloak over their tunics during the winters, known as a himation. This garment, usually made of wool, was worn much like the Roman toga. The himation also served as a warm blanket for soldiers on cold terrains. 

Another type of cloak was the epiblema, which was the Greek version of the “shawl.” It was more popular with the women and frequently worn during the fall season. The epiblema was also more colorful than other pieces of clothing.

Then there was the chlamys, a popular garment favored by young Greek males. Like most Greek clothing of that period, the chlamys was also rectangular and was made of wool. About the size of a blanket, it was the smaller version of the himation. 

What about footwear? The Greeks liked going barefoot, especially indoors. However, they would bring out their leather sandals and boots during special occasions. 

They also used headwear, albeit infrequently. A petasos was a wide-brimmed hat that was worn in hotter days. Women also wore hats exhibiting high-peaked crowns, though they were reserved for exclusive events. 

In conclusion, we can say that Greek clothing was functional at best but, more importantly, durable. Its influence is apparent in modern fashion, especially the peplos that is worn by women even today. Ancient Greek clothing is quite popular in cosplays and history-based fairs. And if you are planning to flaunt the ancient Athenian look for the next fair, there are enough places offering high-quality Greek costumes, online or in stores. All that is needed is a little research.

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