ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What did the ancient Greeks wear?

Updated on August 17, 2010
Photo by Mohamed Aly
Photo by Mohamed Aly

From the Homeric age (about 1000 B.C.) to the Hellenistic age (ending 1st century B.C.), Greek dress was noted for graceful simplicity, which allowed the sport-loving Greeks maximum freedom. It consisted of two basic draped rectangles worn variously by both men and women- a shirtlike garment (the Dorian peplos and the Ionian chiton) and a wrap (the himation and the chlamys).

The Dorian peplos, worn by all women on the Greek mainland vintil the 6th century B.C., and by some later, was a relatively narrow rectangle folded on the left side, often opening on the right, and caught on the shoulders and bloused over a belt. The upper edge was turned down in a deep overfold, which could be held under the belt or raised to cover the head. The peplos, of colorfully dyed wool, was heavy and close-fitting.

The Ionian chiton, of Phoenician origin, was worn by men and women in Greek cities in Asia Minor before it reached the Greek mainland about the 6th century B.C. It was made of two wide pieces of fabric sewn up the right side and sewn or caught along the upper edge from the neck to each wrist. The chiton, girdled in various ways, was at first long and was later shortened for younger men. The material was white linen, often gauzy or creped and sometimes patterned in purple, that fell in flowing folds or pleats, shown on vases and in statues and bas-reliefs.

The himation, worn by married women and by men, was a large woolen rectangle often patterned or embroidered, with weighted corners that allowed it to be gracefully draped around the body. Dorian men and, later, some Athenians might wear the himation only and be considered properly attired, while the chiton alone was considered informal. Other wraps included the man's chlamys, a small wool rectangle of Macedonian origin pinned at the right shoulder, sometimes his only garment.

Men's hair, originally long, later was worn shorter. Peasants and travelers wore the pilos, or Phrygian bonnet derived from the Scythians, and the broad-brimmed petasus. Women's hair was bundled up in back and bound with nets, fillets, and pins, sometimes with a diadem or a hat rising to a point. Jewelry, such as gold fibulae, was worn chiefly by women.

Both sexes went barefoot at home. Later, men wore sandals, or high boots for hunting and travel. Peasants and workers swathed their feet and legs in hide or cloth. Soldiers wore armor of hide or bronze consisting of a tight molded corselet over the chiton, a helmet, often crested, and greaves.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      7 years ago


    • profile image

      Lucy Stola 

      8 years ago

      This site is Rubbish. I mean i'm 12. this website is too geeky. I don't understand it. No one makes kids websites!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)