Since the ancient times, Greece is famous all over the world for its constant growth and development in the field of Ancient Greek Fashion. Ancient Greek people wore clothes that were was loose and flowing and hardly were the garments ever sewn together.
The fabrics used were mainly linen or wool. Instead of going to the market for their clothes, most of the families made their own clothes. The linen and wool apparel included basic tunics, as well as warm cloaks.
Ancient Greek Fashion
They would then dye their clothing, often a bright color or if it was desired, bleached some of their clothes white. It is believed that ancient Greeks did not wear colorful clothes, which is a misconception. Wealthy aristocrats wore purple clothes dyed from a species of shellfish or pure white linen robes.
Yellow clothes were worn mostly by women. Black clothes were worn by those mourning the death of a loved one. Peasants dyed their clothing a variety of greens, browns, and greys.
Soldiers wore dark red garments to minimize the appearance of blood on the battlefield. There were certain typical garments that belonged to the Ancient Greek Fashion. Women also wore a veil with their clothing whenever they stepped out of the house.
The Ancient Greek Fashion was quite modern in its outlook as far as men were concerned to the extent that male nudity was really not a big deal in ancient Greece.
A type of hat was also used in Ancient Greece, which is probably one of the earliest usage of hats It was a broad-brimmed specimen, which was called a petasos.
This was the sort of accessory that was worn only when traveling. It came with a chinstrap and was also used to shield one from the effects of the weather.
There were main types of clothes used by ancient Greeks:
- Chitons: It was the most common type of clothing used by both males and females. It was a large rectangular cloth wrapped around the body from the right to the left side and was made of wool. It was designed in such a way that it allowed the free flow of arms. It was sometimes designed on its borders and even had buttons made of bone.
- Chalmys The men and even some women wore a short cloak like cloth over their chiton, like a Cape which was fastened to the neck and fell over the shoulders. This was mainly used by upper class servants, soldiers, etc.
- Himatan :Another type of cloak used by Greek generals, kings, queens and nobles was the Himatan which could be used as a cloak or a robe or even a blanket. It was mainly used to shield themselves against the cold Greek winters, being made of thick wool
- Peplos: Some women wore a large square piece of cloth known as Peplos instead of chiton. In many cases, upper class women wide a chiton as an undergarment with an ornamented Peplos over it. It was made of wool and could be classed at the shoulders. It was quite light and often pleated which was made of linen and could be worn by both genders.
Apart, from this clothes’ women also had to wear the Perizoma, or an underwear and a strophion, or a bra. An ornamented shawl was also sometimes used by the women during the winters known as the Epiblema.
To spice up their attire, jewelry was quite popular. Although this was a luxury that most of the rich were accustomed to, others might have the means to buy a piece of jewelry from a wandering individual. Some of the common pieces of jewelry during ancient Greece included hairpins, earrings, as well as rings.
Makeup was used in ancient Greece. Rich women stayed indoors most of the day. Pale skin was fashionable and a sign of prestige. Women applied white lead (which was toxic) to their faces to lighten their complexion.
Chalk was also used to lighten their complexion, but it wore off quickly. Connected eyebrows were also fashionable, so women decorated their eyes with dark powder. Red powder was also applied to their cheeks.
Most women back then or even men, as a matter of fact, were not born with a pale or white skin tone. Hence women learned to fake their skin color with the use of makeup. They would use white lead on their face to make it look white.
This lead had toxic substances in it which in the long run had adverse effects on them. They would use white chalk but it was not very popular as chalk would disappear very quickly. They would mix honey and make a cream to keep their moisturized and sometimes added some drops of olive oil for a glowing skin.
Ancient Greece women used olive oil extensively, not just for cooking but for makeup as well. They would mix olive oil with grounded charcoal and used the mixture to apply it around the eyes as an eyeliner.
To make lipsticks they would mix olive oil with beeswax or use red iron oxide with ochre clay. They also used red colored pastes to brighten their cheeks. The makeup was mostly subtle if the natural skin tone was bright.
Ancient Greeks were very fond of smelling good. They boiled flowers and herbs to create various scenes. Also, the first hat in history is attributed to the ancient Greeks. Their fondness for indulging in sweet-smelling fragrances goes back to the start of their civilization.
They considered wearing perfume as an act of pleasing their gods. They used perfume in almost all traditional rituals and programs. The dead bodies were also wrapped in perfumed shrouds as a way to ensure happiness in the afterlife.
Alexander the Great in particular was a great lover of perfume and even sent large amounts of perfumes, spices and incense to Greece for creating perfume for himself.
The ancient Greeks had the custom of bathing their guest’s feet with perfumed oils and even took baths in perfumed water.
Ancient Greek fashion influences today
Ancient Greek culture has continued to modern fashion and even famous designers use ancient Greek artworks for their brands. Even though no remains of ancient Greece survive, pictures on walls, statues and vases give a sufficient idea about their dresses.
Cotton and linen clothes for hot weather and wool for the cold were worn by the Greeks just like today. Their style of simplicity punched with harmony is a common style for modern designers for their summer trends. Linen dresses with a soft fold give the look like an ancient greek goddess which has been getting popular.
Even renowned fashion brands like Chanel made a complete collection based on ancient Greek art which gave a Goddess-like look to the females. The use of white and nude colours is also inspired by Ancient Greek fashion.
The Meander is the most commonly used ancient Greek motif in the modern era which was a geometric pattern used by the Greeks in their jewelry and clothing. Many brands like Versace had ancient Greek-inspired logos like that of logos which attract the attention of the people.