– By our student , Tanu
The Ancient Greek were not fussy about their clothing. The garments they wore made for function, and they were simple. A single piece of fabric could be styled and restyled, to fit a particular occasion (or) a fashion.
And with Greek summers being brutally hot, the less fabric and complicating seams to deal with the better.
Types of Garments
The style and type of the garment depended on who was wearing it, and the job (or) function required of the person. There were several types of garments derived from a basic tunic. The tunic was worn by both men and women, and varied in length according to job and gender. It was often tied at the waist, and might also have been pinned at the seams, depending on the style of the garment.
A chiton was a type of tunic worn by Greek men, and was often made of a lighter linen material, as men were often outdoors more and would require more comfortable clothing (Especially in the summer). It could be draped over both shoulders, usually the left, it was known as a Exomie. This type of chiton was usually worn for horseback Riding, Work or Exercise.
A peplos (or) peplum was a type of tunic worn by women. Usually made from a heavier wool material, this garment was made from a large rectangular piece of fabric, and could be draped and fastened (with buttons, pins, or brooches) in different styles. A peplos was worn as a full length garment, because a proper Greek woman revealed nothing.
In colder weather, Greeks wore a cloak over their tunics for warmth, known as a himation. This garment was usually made of wool, and was fashioned from a rectangular piece of cloth that was draped over the person, sort of like a Roman toga. It served a dual purpose, especially from men. The himation came in handy for soldiers away from home, also serving as a warm blanked on a cold winter night. Other types of cloaks worn by the Greeks included the Epiblema, a shawl worn by Greek women and the chlamys, a short cloak worn by young Greek males.
Shoes & Hats
The Greek were not particularly fond of shoes, usually eschewing them, especially at home. But on special occasions or on matters of business, Greeks would wear leather sandals (or) boots with their tunics. However, it was not uncommon for a Greek to go barefoot for his entire life.
A wide-brimmed hat that helped to protect them from the summer heat. Women occasionally could be seen wearing hats that featured high-peaked crowns. This was no doubt only for the most special of occasions though.
While certainly not fancy, Greek clothing was functional, and built to last. In fact, in today’s haute couture we often see a bit of Ancient Greek fashion influence. The columnar style of the tunic especially the women’s peplos, is not an uncommon style to be worn by women today.
Different type of jewellery were produced in the Hellenistic period of Ancient Greece – Necklaces, Ear rings, pendants, pins, bracelets, armbands, thigh bands, finger rings, wreaths, diadems and other elaborate hair ornaments.
Bracelets were often worn in pairs or in matched sets. Pieces were usually in laid with pearls and dazzling gems (or) semiprecious stones – Emeralds, garnets, carnelians, banded agotes, sardonyx, chalcedony and rock crystal. Artists also incorporated colourful enamel inlays that dramatically contrasted with their intricate gold settings.
In Hellenistic times, jewellery was often passed down through generation Occasionally, it was dedicated at a sanctuaries as offerings to the gods. There are records of headdresses, necklaces, bracelets, rings, broaches, and pins in temple and treasury inventories, as for example, at Delos. Hoards of Hellenistic jewellery that were buried for safe keeping in antiquity have also come to light. Some of the best preserved samples come from tombs where jewellery was usually placed on the body of the deceased. Some of these pieces were made specifically for interment; however, most were worn during life.