Fashion is ever evolving and yet redundant. New trends keep getting revised and accepted in the world. Sometimes new designs are called innovation and during other times slight alterations in old designs is called designing. Hence, fashion and style are subject to constant changes.
The clothing of women from the land of Greece of the ancient era also changed from the fifth to fourth century. These changes were a part of the change in the accepted norms of the society. Clothing of any group of people in a society depends on their social status. Women in ancient Greek had little rights, they were not even allowed to watch the Olympic Games yet they had a very important role to play within the set up of their houses.
Material Of The Garments
Greek styling of clothes was simple. Women mostly sported tunics which were sleeveless and made of linen and wool. The clothing was not limited to the use of these two materials rather flax was also used. IN times of cold the Greek women were favorable to use of coats. Pins and several trinkets of jewelry were used to wear the tunic properly.
Most of the households in ancient Greece weaved cloth for their use at home. Some of the rich members of this society also dyed their tunics and printed designs and borders on them. The poor families too dyed their garments even though they used a coarser material for their clothes. With the advent of the fifth century the Greeks began to even sew and design their clothes.
Designs of Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is famous for its bamboozling art and literature. The designs of clothes worn by Greeks were equally fascinating and had certain peculiar characteristics. Women were modest creatures and wore decent and non revealing clothing. The garments which were worn in Greece were found to be loose and had a flowing quality.
Women were also seen supporting veils with their garments when they ventured out of the house. The colors used to dye which were commonly used were violet, grey and green. Though the women in Greece were extremely modest, they still wore elaborate dresses and the colors used in such clothing became even brighter as the century went by. With the changing times the Greek fashion scene too developed.
Chitin – A dress For Both Sexes
Chiton was another popular style of clothing worn by both men and women in ancient Greece. Chiton was worn along with himation, a type of cloak. However, a chiton could be worn without a humation too and this style was called monochiton. Chiton was introduced in streets of Greece after the event of invasion by Persia. Zoster, a kind of belt was worn along with chiton. There were two types of chiton – Doric and Ionic chiton. Doric had two cloth pieces both shaped rectangular and were worn length wise. Ionic chiton was a bit different from Doric one as the over fold in Ionic was longer than Doric chiton.
When Himation Was Worn….
Himation was a kind of clothing introduced in ancient Greece mean for outdoor use. This was an important style of garment for Greek fashion scene. Himation comprised of wool used as a piece in the shape of a rectangle. Himation could be worn at all times in the day depending on the type of fabric used. It can be identified more like a modern form of cloak, flowing and loose. It was also used as a drape when one wore the chiton. Roman toga is something similar to a himation and only differs in volume of fabric used. At time only the himation was worn, at such moments himatin was called achiton.
Peplos- Another wonder
Peplos was mainly worn by the women of ancient Greece and the origin of its designs can be traced back to 500 B.C. The peplos was basically made of wool and was customised depending on the height of the person intended to wear the same. Peplos was found to be tubular in shape which was folded inside out. The top part of the tube was tied at the waist whereas the rest extended like a long skirt, till one’s ankles.
The cloth of the upper half was secured using tapes, pins and threads near the right shoulder. The peplos had an appearance of a two piece garment. There were several patterns which were designed on the peplos such as flowers, stripes, waves or checks. In case of women wearing peplos the arms remained unwrapped and bare. With the fastening of the clot, natural folds were formed giving the garment a classy look.
Yet another Piece of Garment- Chlamys
Yes, we did not end with the chiton, himation and peplos there is another style of clothing which the Greek women greatly preferred. This was the chlamys. Chlamys had a blowy appearance and was worn by the soldiers of ancient Greece but in many cases of poor families even women were seen supporting a Chlamys.
It was used as a form of cover and could be worn with the other clothing too. The jewelry used with these clothes was also very important and significant. Many archaeologists have come across pieces of jewelry at the sites of excavation of Greek architecture. Bracelets, necklaces and earring supported the ancient Greek attire. Not only women but also men also sported jewelry in ancient Greece.
Women of Greece also used a lot of makeup. The myth being that a light skin meant higher status for women in society. Hence women used olive oil and honey to improve the texture of their skins. Red powder was used on the lips and dark powder dusted around the eyes. They usually wore their hair long and were found to be extremely comfortable in their clothing.
Fashion is about comfort and convenience and the Greek women had these as main characteristics in their choice and style of garments. They might not have experimented a lot but then the world was just born.