Ancient Greek Clothes, Fashion, & Jewelry Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jenna Scifo

Jenna has 14 years of experience teaching elementary students and has a master's degree in Teaching and Learning.

Have you ever wondered what people in the ancient Greek culture wore or what type of fashion existed during that time? In this lesson, you will become familiar with the clothing and jewelry worn, and the general fashion of ancient Greece.

Ancient Greek Clothing

Wasn't it so much fun to collect wool from a sheep the last time you needed to make your own clothing? What? You mean, you don't make your own fabric and clothing? You go to a store and shop for new clothes. Well, in ancient Greece, there were no clothing stores! Anytime people needed clothing they had to make their own or have it made!

Linen and wool were two of the most common fabrics used for clothing in ancient Greece. Linen was made from flax plants and was a a lighter material, used in warmer weather. Wool was made from the fleece of sheep and was a warmer material, used in colder weather.

Both men and women wore loose fitted clothing, often draped and pinned, and there were three main types:

1. The chiton was a simple tunic made of two pieces of cloth sewn together on the sides and connected at the shoulders with holes for the head and arms. It was worn by men and women.

2. Women also wore a longer tunic called a peplos, which was an extra large piece of material that was first folded down partway to double over the waist, then belted at the waist and pinned at the shoulder.

3. Over the chiton or peplos, a piece of fabric called a himation was worn. It was worn by both men and women like a wrap, similar to a toga.

A woman wearing a chiton (left), combined with a himation (middle and right).
Chiton and himation

What if everything piece of clothing you wore was white? That might be kind of boring! Well, those in ancient Greece who were poor did not have much of a choice. They could not afford fancy clothing or fabric with colors. Families that were wealthy were able to afford dye to color their clothing and had more options for different types of colorful fabric.

We have the luxury of wearing many types of shoes, whether gym shoes, sandals, or dress shoes, we have many choices! However, ancient Greeks had leather sandals and sometimes leather boots. It wasn't uncommon for people to walk around barefoot!

Ancient Greek Jewelry

Greeks that were wealthy wore a lot of jewelry. Gold and gems were favorites in ancient Greece. The Greeks learned how to make jewelry with gems such as emeralds, pearls, and amethysts. Necklaces, bracelets, earrings, arm bands, and thigh bands were some of the most popular types of accessories worn. Some women even had jewels sewn into the fabric of their clothing.

Ancient Greek golden arm bangles including emeralds, pearls, amethysts, and other gems.
Gold and jewels

Fashion in Ancient Greece

How do you think you would look with a unibrow? Weird? Both men and women of ancient Greece connected their eyebrows to make one long eyebrow! They used dark, charcoal colored powder to connect their eyebrows together.

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