Greek Costumes

Greek Costumes Clothing in Ancient Greece consisted of four main pieces, the chiton, the peplos, the himation and the chlamys. We draw information from descriptions in surviving texts as well as artistic depictions. Although nowadays it is a popular belief that Ancient Greeks wore white clothing, it is known that they preferred colourful clothes and elaborate design.

The chiton and the peplos were worn as inner tunics, the latter being worn by women only. This was usually made of wool and had shoulder clasps. On the other hand, the chiton was worn by both men and women and was made of linen; men worn chitons that went down to their knees, while women’s chitons went down to their ankles. The chlamys was a seamless rectangle woolen piece worn as a cloak exclusively by men, especially soldiers; it also had a military use as it could be wrapped around the arm to form a basic shield. Finally, the himation was the main outer piece of clothing worn during winter by both genders.

It should be noted, however, that in Classical Greece, men participated nude in athletic competitions such as in the Olympic Games. During the Games, females were prohibited from participating or even watching, except if they were chariot owners.

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