Since my last research post seemed to be popular, I’m going to talk a little more about some research into Hellenic Greek culture. Today, it’s about clothes.

Hellenic clothing is probably what you imagine when you think ‘Greek clothes.’ The basics was a cloak over a tunic, both in a variety of colors. Popular culture got it wrong in this case, they didn’t wear just white.

There were two major categories of tunic, the peplos and the chiton.

Athena adorned in a peplos.

Man in ChitonThe peplos is well associated with Athena, in fact Athenians wove a huge one for her statue every year. Taking a rectangle of cloth, or a tube made by sewing the ends together, the peplos was wrapped around the body. Then the top was folded over to approximately waist length and a belt was tied around the waist. At the open portion near the shoulders, they would use clasps to hold the tunic in place.

The chiton, on the other hand, is less cloth. It had multiple styles, but consisted of a sewn body with buttoned, sewn, or clasped shoulders, similar to a tank top today. Another style had sleeved and was button or sewn from neck to wrist, then tied about the waist.

Either of these could be worn under a himation, which is a cloak that was also used for bedding, primarily a blanket. Not quite as covering as a Roman tunic, the himation was wrapped about the shoulders and clasped.

There’s the basics of ancient Greek clothing.