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Greek Women's Fashion (Alexa Delaney)

Updated on October 3, 2010

Ancient Greek Fashion: Types of Clothing

The kind of clothing worn in ancient Greece was loose and flowing and were hardly ever sewn together. The fabrics used were mainly linen or wool. There were certain typical garments that belong to the ancient Greek fashion. Women also wore a veil with their clothing whenever they stepped out of the house. In fact, the ancient Greek fashion was quite modern as far as men were concerned to the extent that male nudity was not a big deal in ancient Greece.


The chiton was worn in the ancient Greece by men as well as women. This form of clothing was quite popular in ancient Greek fashion. The chiton could be worn with a himation (type of cloak) or it could be worn without it as well. When worn without the himation, it was known as the monochiton. The chiton was also seen in two varieties: 1) the Doric chiton and the Ionic chiton. The Doric consisted of two pieces of cloth, which were rectangular in shape, and was worn long. The Ionic differed from the Doric chiton in terms of the fold. The overfold was worn longer on the Doric chiton.

When the himation was being worn in ancient Greece, it represented a form of outdoor wear. The himation is also an important garment of ancient Greek fashion. This was generally made from a rectangular piece of wool. With the use of lighter fabrics, the himation was worn at any time of the day. The himation was loose and flowing, therefore, it can be termed as a modern cloak. It was also used as a form of drapery to be worn over the chiton. The himation can be compared to the Roman toga, the only difference being that the himation has less volume in the fabric. When worn solo, the himation was known as the achiton.

Make up:

Makeup was also used in ancient Greece. Pale skin was very fashionable and a sign of prestige, so rich women would stay indoors most of their days. Women would apply white lead (very toxic) to their faces to lighten their complexion. Chalk was also used to lighten their complexion, but it wore off quickly. Uni-brows were also, surprisingly, fashionable, so women would decorate their eyes with dark powder. To obtain the look of wearing what we call lipstick, women would apply red powder to their lips and also use it to make their cheeks look rosy.

Citation: "American's Greek chic: fashion's versatile fabric makes a toga-loving turn.." Globe & Mail. N.p., 9 June 2001. Web. 23 Sept 2010.



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