Roman Life - Cetera

Greek Dress

Greek clothes were very easy to make and to put on. They were usually just made from a single piece of rectangular material, with no special shaping and very little sewing. On this page you can find out how to make clothes like the Greeks wore.

The most common piece of clothing worn by men and women was like a loose-fitting tunic, It had various names, but the most usual are peplos and chiton. Over this a heavier tunic or cloak could also be worn; the cloak was called a himation.

The peplos was long and was worn only by women. To make your own peplos:

  1. Take a large piece of material (like an old sheet). Its length has to be your height plus at least 18", and when you fold it in half it should reach from elbow to elbow. Fold over the top 18 " or so.
  2. Wrap it round you, with one side open. Fasten it at the shoulders with safety-pins or brooches.
  3. Tie a belt round your waist. Pull the extra material up so that it hangs over the belt and so that you don't trip up!

The chiton was worn by men and women and could be long or short. To make a chiton:

  1. For a long chiton, the length of the material has to be the same as your height. When you fold it in half it should reach from finger-tip to finger-tip.
  2. Sew along the side seam. Join the top edge at intervals with safety-pins or brooches, or by sewing. Don't forget to leave holes for your head and arms to go through. Slip it on over your head.
  3. Tie a belt round your waist and pull up the extra material so that it hangs over the belt.

Roman Life - Cetera

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