What Did the Poor Wear in Ancient Greece?

In Ancient Greece, clothing was an essential component of one’s social status, and it played a considerable role in Greek society. The wealthy and the poor had different styles of clothing, which could be identified by their quality, color, and fabric. While the wealthy had access to luxurious fabrics like silk and linen, the poor had to make do with simpler materials like wool or rough linen.

The Clothing of the Poor in Ancient Greece

The poor in Ancient Greece had limited resources for clothing and often wore clothes that were homemade or passed down from previous generations. These clothes were typically made from wool or rough linen as they were readily available and affordable.

Men’s Clothing

Men’s clothing was relatively simple and consisted of a tunic called a chiton. The chiton was made from rectangular pieces of cloth that were draped over the body, with one end fastened over the shoulder.

The length of the chiton varied according to an individual’s status. Poor men wore shorter chitons that barely reached their knees.

Women’s Clothing

Women’s clothing was also straightforward and consisted of a tunic called a peplos, which was made from two rectangular pieces of cloth sewn together at the sides. The peplos was draped around the body and fastened at the shoulders with pins or brooches. Women often wore a shawl called a himation over their peplos for warmth.


Footwear for both men and women was simple sandals made from leather or woven materials like reed or papyrus. Poor people often went barefoot.


Accessories were rare among the poor in Ancient Greece due to their limited resources. However, some women wore jewelry made from inexpensive materials like bone or glass beads.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, the clothing of the poor in Ancient Greece was simple and practical. Clothes were made from affordable materials like wool or rough linen, and accessories were minimal. Despite the lack of luxury, the poor made do with what they had and managed to create practical clothing that served their needs well.