Fashion in Ancient Greece

Fashion in Ancient Greece: Most of the ladies in ancient Greece were familiar with how to spin wool and weave it into cloth and a Greek wife was projected to provide all the cloth for her whole family.

Ancient Greek

Some women did all of their household spinning and weaving themselves, but rich women often had slaves to do the work instead.

One famous example of a virtuous Greek woman is Penelope, the wife of the hero Odysseus, who kept busy with her weaving for twenty years, while Odysseus was away on his adventures!

Once the wool was spun, it could be colored using natural dyes made from plants, insects, and shellfish. Women wove their thread on a tall, upright loom and sometimes included patterned borders in their cloth.

Geometric shapes were very popular, and mythological creatures also featured in borders. Greek clothes were usually made from wool, although some women wove thread from flax to make linen cloth.

From the fifth century, a few very rich people wore garments made from imported silk or cotton. In the warm, dry climate of Greece, people did not need many clothes.

Both men and women wore a simple tunic, and added a cloak for cooler weather. Tunics and cloaks were held in place by pins or brooches, which could be plain or very elaborate. Usually people went barefoot, but sometimes they wore simple leather sandals.

The basic dress for women was the chiton. It was made from a single piece of rectangular cloth, fastened at the shoulders and left opens at one side. A girdle was also tied at the waist to hold the chiton in place. There were two main styles of chiton.

The Doric chiton was a sleeveless tunic, while the Ionic chiton had elbow-length sleeves, which were fastened at intervals across the shoulders.

Over the chiton, women wore a himation. This was a rectangular wrap, which could vary in size and weight, from a light scarf to a warm traveling cloak.

Most Greek men wore a simple tunic sewn up at the side and fastened with a pin or brooch on one or both shoulders. Young men wore their tunics short, while older men and nobles had ankle-length robes.

Craftsmen, farmers, and slaves often wore a loincloth. Sometimes men wore a himation, which they wrapped around the body with one end thrown over one shoulder. This could be worn on its own or as a second garment over a tunic.

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