clothing was made out of three types of materials.
The first mostly used was wool which was woven from
very coarse to very soft. They used linen grades from
fine to very soft. Drapery in Greek culture did not
fold crisply like Egyptian folds fell and the linen
was not as stiff as the linen used in Egypt.
Greek garments were essentially the same for men
and women and were not shaped or fitted to the body
but draped on the body in soft folds. There were four
types, which were all rectangles: the chiton (dress),
Doric and Ionic over draperies, the himation and the
Men wore their hair long at the beginning of Greek
culture but it soon became fashionable to have
shorter hair with little facial hair. Older men would
wear mustaches with a shortly-trimmed beard and if a
man had a mustache and no beard they were not Greek.
In the archaic period women wore their hair hanging
in snaky curls held by a fillet but as time passed
women would wear their hair up and confined in bag,
kerchiefs or nets.
Colors of this period were bright-hued like
yellow, indigo, green, violet, dark red, dark purple
and colors that were from the earth. Motifs ranged
from geometric like the dentil and arrangements of
circles and squares to vegetable forms like the
laurel, ivy and waterleaf.
Notable Greek Clothing Elements
|Doric ChitonA garment worn
to the sixth century. It was of wool
dyed indigo, madder or saffron, frequently patterned,
especially at the turn of the fifth century. Its
upper edge was folded over to hang down on the
breast; it was folded around the body, caught
together on each shoulder by bins, leaving the arms
uncovered, and though open down the right side, was
held in place by the girdle, over which it bloused.
In Corinth and Attica, it was sewn together down the
side below the waistline. With time, the garment grew
wider and was known as the Doric chiton, and over-fold
deepened so that it was included in the girdling or
hung over and concealed the girdle. When not girded,
the over-fold could be raised over the head in back as
ChitonOf Phoenician origin. Most often
seen in sources as a female garment. It was made of
thin woolens, probably crepe-like, similar to
materials still woven in Greece; also of linen, or
the gauzy materials from Cos in Asia Minor, patterned
in murex (Tyrian) purple. It was cut with ample width
from two pieces, then sewn together along the top of the extended
pleated, and long, sometimes trailing. It was often
sewn or caught together all the way down the right
side with the left side open. It was worn in many way
by both men and women, and particularly by musicians
and charioteers. The chiton was often worn with a
short wrap the chalmydon.
rectangle of wool with weighted corners, slung over
the left shoulder, leaving the right arm free; or
worn , by married women, with the corner over the head
like a shawl. Dorian older men wore it as their only
garment (as did the Athenians in their return to an
earlier simplicity, in the third to second centuries,
B.C.) A man wearing the himation alone was alas
adequately dressed. It served also as a blanket. The
colors were natural wool colors: white, natural,
browns, and black; or died scarlet, crimson or
purple. The garment sometimes had woven patterns,
selvages, and embroidery.
smaller woolen rectangle than the himation, of
Macedonian or Italian origin; sometimes bordered,
pinned at right shoulder or front; worn with short
chiton or alone by younger, more active men.
to the fabric folded over and hanging down across the top of the Doric chiton.
Updated Summer of 2002 by
CWU FCS-Fashion Major