What Were Tunics Called in the Ancient Greece?

In Ancient Greece, the clothing worn by both men and women was known as the “chiton.” The chiton was a simple garment made from a single piece of fabric, draped and fastened in various ways to create different styles. Let’s explore the different types of tunics worn in Ancient Greece.

The Chiton

The chiton was the most basic form of tunic worn by both genders. It consisted of a rectangular piece of fabric that was wrapped around the body and secured with pins or brooches at the shoulders and waist.

The fabric used for chitons varied depending on social status and occasion. Wealthy individuals would wear chitons made from fine linen or silk, while commoners would wear chitons made from coarser fabrics like wool.

Men’s Tunics

For men, there were two main types of tunics – the “Doric” chiton and the “Ionic” chiton.

The Doric Chiton:
The Doric chiton was a simple garment that reached down to the knees. It consisted of a rectangular piece of fabric that was wrapped around the body with one end thrown over the left shoulder. This created an asymmetrical look, with one arm left free while the other was covered.

The Ionic Chiton:
The Ionic chiton, on the other hand, was a more elaborate style worn by wealthy men. It featured pleated fabric that extended below the knees, giving it a fuller appearance. The Ionic chiton also had sleeves that covered both arms, unlike the Doric style.

Women’s Tunics

Women in Ancient Greece wore different styles of tunics depending on their age and marital status.

The Peplos:
Young unmarried women wore a garment called a peplos. The peplos was made from two rectangular pieces of fabric sewn together along the sides, leaving an opening for the head.

The top edges were then folded down to create a decorative border. The peplos was often belted at the waist to create a more defined shape.

The Chitoniskos:
Married women, on the other hand, wore a garment known as a chitoniskos. This tunic was similar to the peplos but had an additional piece of fabric draped over one shoulder and secured at the waist. The chitoniskos provided more coverage and was often worn with a veil or head covering.

  • Key Points:
  • The basic tunic worn in Ancient Greece was called the chiton.
  • Men wore either the Doric or Ionic chiton.
  • Women wore either the peplos or chitoniskos.

In Conclusion

The tunics worn in Ancient Greece played a significant role in defining social status and gender roles. Whether it was the simple Doric chiton for men or the elaborate peplos for young unmarried women, these garments represented more than just clothing – they symbolized tradition, culture, and identity. Understanding what these tunics were called provides us with valuable insights into Ancient Greek society and its fashion history.

So next time you come across ancient Greek artwork or read about their customs, you’ll have a better understanding of what these tunics were called and how they were worn.