Ancient Greek Fashion: Janine Tierney

Let’s step back into time to ancient Greece and see what beauty was to them and where the foundation of fashion started. In this website I will be explaining the types of clothing, shoes, cosmetics, hairstyles, and also jewelry for men women and children.
Clothing in ancient Greece was mainly made of linen and wool and also cotton. Then after trade became more popular silk was introduced into Greek clothing. Garments were either hand sewn or fastened by long pins. Using pins were most common. Other things they used to gather material in one area was fibulae, brooches or buttons that were made out of bones or other animals. Wood was also sometimes used depending on the season. different kinds of material were used. For the winter they wore clothing made of wool. As for summer they wore linen because it was light. Materials could be purchased in the market place but it was very expensive. This is why most Greeks made their own clothing and material. At home, this was a women or slaves job. Men normally wore loose tunics that went down to their knees with short sleeves because having long sleeves showed weakness. The most common outfit worn was a loose tunic but was also called a peplos or chiton. Thios piece of clothing was worn by both men and women. When it was winter they would place a heavier tunic over the first one, this was called a himatiorn. Around 1.200 B.C. Greece went through a stage called the “Dark Age”. During this time Greeks dressed in bell shaped skirts and tight fitted bodices. At the end of the “Dark Age”, their clothing became loose and draped with layers.
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This kind of peplos was worn only by women. The next one is worn by only men. The Himation was worn during the summer this light material outfits was draped along the male bnody. It was normally draped from left shoulder to ankle. Lead weights were sewn at the ends of the dress to make the material straight. There were a lot of designers who were good at math because they needed to be able to fit clothing perfectly on somone and needed to know how to measure it.
The chlamys was a short cloak. Material was gathered to one shoulder then pinned. This piece of clothing was typically worn by men and soldiers. Soldiers only wore this as a cover up. A chiton was worn by both men and women. The chitzn was made of a large piece of material normally made of wool. The women version was pinned together at the shoulders using brooches and then when let go it layer with folds. A girdle or in other words a belt was worn around the waist to give a women more natural curves.
The men’s version was able to be worn by both men and women.
The Ionic Chiton was made from linen or silks. It was hung by fine pleats of diaphanous crepon and muslin were used. The sleeves had elaborate designs and they also used more material and fitted loose on the shoulders. This garment was made to add accessories. They normally added more brooches to show off how wealthy they were. The Greek clothing were not just white as they are normally portrayed but also came in multiple colors such as yellow, red, purple, blue, and even green. Men normally wore white or beige. Clothing normally had some kind of pattern on a part of it. Or on most of their garments. They found this out by looking at wall paintings and also pottery. The different arrangements of patters made it easier for people to have their own taste of styles. Like multiple belts, off the shoulder, long and short sleeves, sleeves that were cut in the middle. Cross backs, long flowing sleeves, and even belts that added a puff to the stomach area. This is mainly for women. Men had two main kinds of clothing they are able to wear, the chiton and the himation. These covered the man from neck down to knee length. Then pinned together with gold or silver pins. The tunic was also a piece of clothing a man was able to wear. This outfit had short tight sleeves with mid-thigh to ankle length. Long sleeves were in some pieces the men wore but were not common due to the fact that it was a sign of weakness and effeminacy. Men also normally belted their clothing at the waist. Some Greeks kept sheep and goats and used their fur to make clothing. Flax was grown to make linen. This was then valuable to trade last on. Cloaks and wraps were normally weighed down with bronze or lead corners. Exomis was worn by men and were on one shoulder, belted and went down to the knee. Children wore the same thing as their parents but with less decoration and they also never wore makeup and never wore shoes unless needed.
For Greek women hair was key to completing any outfit. They would add fillets, flowers, tiaras, or a huge arrangement of other decorations. Rich women would normally wear veil or hoods. They also used gold, silver hair pins, cone head styles. Young girls used flowers that were fresh picked from around their area and also ribbons. Only boys had long hair because if you had short hair as women it was a sign of slavery but when a boy became a man he cut his hair. Plaiting, crimping, and curling was also another form of hair styles.
As for shoes the Greek normally went bare foot. Even though we always portray them as wearing leather made flat sandals, they only wore them when necessary. Women, girls, and slaves were normally barefoot. They say the reason why slaves were barefoot was so it would be harder for them to run away when they want to escape from your owner’s house.
Finally cosmetics/make up. Believe it or not but Ancient Greek people wore make up, though it is not the same kind of materials make up is made of now. Their makeup consisted of white lead to whiten their skin and make their face look lighter because white skin was a sign of beauty and wealth. Compared to someone who worked in the field who would become darker over time due to being in the sun for so long. Even now a day’s some countries around the world see whiting skin as a beauty such as the Philippines, Japan, and China. They also took the alkanet roots from the plant and squeezed the juice, when they did so they would get a reddish color that they would put on their cheeks to give them a reddish pigment. For eye shadows they used ashes. Lipsticks were also used preferably red to give the lips a plump bold lively color. Perfumes were also important to them. Flowers were grinned and the juice was used for sweet fragrances. Children were not allowed to wear makeup until they were older because it was not proper.
Jewelry and accessories were a huge role. This showed how much money you had and separated the poor from the rich. Like hair styles the more money you had the more expensive accessories you owned. Rings, bracelets, necklaces played a huge role in the Greek society. Ribbons, veils, gold/silver, gems were all signs of wealth.
I have concluded that fashion in the Greek ages were not just who looked the best but it was a sign of wealth and power. Someone who was poor would have not been able to wear gems and gold in their hair and then wear a simple tunic that had to silk designs and just regularly belted. The wealthy had certain clothing to wear so people would know the difference between the poor and the rich. Rich would also live the lief style told to them my society they also went to the theater, watched games and had slaves to do all their work.

Work Cited
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