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Often we have to look to our past to understand our future. Considered one of the first great civilizations, Greek culture is studied in depth. This brings us to the subject of the practical attire of the people.

The culture of the city-states of the early Greek civilizations has been easily researched from carvings, tombs, ruins, sculptures and art depicting scenes of their every day life. Greek clothing was very simple and light, even for the mythical religious figures. A comprehensible fact to keep in mind is the hot climate of Hellas, the historical name of Greece.

Greeks wore loose clothing generally white or otherwise dyed in bright color or bleached. Typical attire consisted of several pieces with the chiton confectioned in linen for summer and wool during winter. The chiton was a long square garment attached along the arms with pins to make sleeves and a belt round the waist. It is quite similar to the tunics we wear today. Chitons were unisex pieces made by mothers, daughters, and female slaves using long pieces of fabric. Chitons generally were decorated with embroidery on the bottom representing the city-state in which the individual lived.

Historians and archaeologists have found that the clothing, like art, was influenced by the different Greek periods. They found particular Doric clothing existed from the beginning of the archaic period, and other versions from the Ionic that was a later adoption of the original. Research found that women wore peplos, a sort of shorter embroidered tunic, placed over chitons.

Depending on the weather, some Greeks wore cloaks or loincloths, sometimes used as a blanket if needed. Greeks used to walk barefoot, particularly in the house. Outdoors they sometimes wore light leather sandals or boots in rocky terrain. Babies usually wore nothing, except linen diapers, while children's clothing consisted of cloth wrapped around their middles. Older men wore draped mantles either alone or over their chitons. An item typically only worn by travelers was the Chalmys, a smaller rectangle placed over one of their shoulder.

Chitons and peplos were the basic garments worn by Greeks for centuries. When it came to attire, the people of the city-states of Greece were definitely interested in simplicity and comfort.
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