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Ancient Greece Clothing

Ancient Greece clothing was fairly simple. It consisted of a tunic and a cloak or shawl of varying lengths and types of cloth. The cloth would be pinned or belted to shape to the body. Read on for details about ancient Greeks and what they wore.

Ancient Greece Clothing

Ancient Greece Clothing

Those interested in learning about the clothing of ancient Greece can begin by looking at the ancient Greece clothing for woman.

  • The tunic women wore was called a peplos or a chiton, depending on the fabric.
  • It was a large rectangle of fabric, usually wool, folded over at the top so the part that hung over would reach to their waist.
  • It would be connected at the shoulders with a brooch or clasp and was always belted.
  • Sometimes the open side of the garment, or the side seam, would be sewn or pinned.
  • Women sometimes wore a band underneath the tunic around their torso called a strophion.
  • The tunic women wore was always full length.
  • In colder weather, a woman might wear a shawl, or epiblema, for warmth or perhaps a cloak, or himation.

Clothing for Men

Ancient Greece clothing for men was very similar to the clothing for women.

  • They wore the chiton made of linen, more often than women as they were outside the home in the warmer weather and needed comfortable and cool clothing.
  • Both the peplos and the chiton were long enough to pull up some material to drape over the waist.
  • The chitons would sometimes be knee length or even shorter, especially in the summer.
  • If the man was riding, exercising, or working, he might have worn a short chiton fastened on the left shoulder called an exomis.
  • A cloak for men and women was called a himation and was made of wool or linen. Young Greek men sometimes donned a short cloak for riding called a chlamys.

Accessories

Footwear for men and women included slippers, sandals, boots, and soft shoes. Usually they went barefoot at home but some Greeks preferred to wear no shoes at all. Occasionally, women would wear a flat brimmed hat that had a high crown. All men might wear a hat, or petasos, from time to time that had a wide brim.

Color

Cloth worn by men was usually white or tan in color. The women would have cloth that was red, green, purple, blue, or yellow. Sometimes the edges of the fabric were decorated with embroidered patterns to make a border.

Making Clothes

To make a chiton, you need a rectangular piece of cloth the height of the person plus 12 inches. The width of it needs to be the length from one hand to the other when you arms are widespread. Fold over 12 inches at the top and drape around your body, securing the material at one or both shoulders. Pin the loose sides together and add a belt at the waist.

Battle Attire

Greek soldiers had tunics made of leather with metal reinforcements. Sometimes the metalworking would have an image of a god for protection. The helmets covered almost the entire head and the face cover could be pushed back when not in battle. The top of the helmet had a very tall crest usually made of horsehair. This helped make the warrior look taller and more imposing and added an element of protection as well.

The soldier would also have a cloak, or himation, that could double as a blanket on cold nights. His legs were protected with greaves made of leather. They covered the lower leg and extended above the knee. Lastly, they had a shield and the higher the rank, the better the shield. It was made of wood covered in bronze and weighed around 17½ pounds. It had leather inside and an armband.