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Dress and modern dress Essay

In this assignment I am going to be comparing Ancient Greek clothing to modern clothing, I am also going to use diagrams to show some of my examples of clothing.In Greece today the weather is very hot nearly all year round, so the people do not need to wear as thick and as many clothes as we do because of our colder climate. In Ancient Athens the weather was exactly the same as it is now.The material used was very light and airy as to keep them cool, it was usually wool or linen which was woven at home by the women, it was then made into clothes, nowadays clothes aren’t hand made, they are manufactured by machines and sold in shops, even if we had to make our own clothes it would be less of a job because we have got sewing machines and other things that were not used back then.Many colours were used for there clothing such as yellow black and green but amongst the most popular were purple, violet, saffron and red. To decorate their clothes they used stars or spots but it was mostly geometric designs, round the edges they would weave pictures of scrolls, cartoons and animal-scenes (shown on 5 diagram C). Currently we have clothes in every colour you could imagine and have pictures and designs all over them. Machines also do this nowadays, but in some circumstances people put their own designs in clothes (shown on page 6 diagram b)The main type of clothes worn by women was the “Chiton, which is a type of loose fitting dress, this similar to what women wear now except for one thing, one is women wear now are just one piece that you just slide over your head. (Shown on 6-diagram c). There were two main styles of Chiton that women wore, “Doric” or “Ionic”. The Doric (shown on page 5 diagram b) had a very simple design. It consisted of one large piece of cloth, usually wool, which was folded. It was then placed round the body. It was fastened at the shoulders by broaches and then allowed to fall into folds. Then a belt was worn around the waist to hold the dress in position; this was called a “Girdle”, (shown on 5 diagram b). Women at the present do not have to wear belts because women only wear belts today through choice, and not as a necessity to hold their dresses together. A much longer version of this dress was called a “Peplos”. The Doric chiton shows more flesh than the Ionic because it exposes the arms and the neck, there are varying styles like this now. This type of dress sounds more like the sort of dress celebrities wear to walk down the red carpet, at movie premiers.The Ionic style was much more like modern day dress. The material, was almost always linen, was folded and sewn, leaving wholes for the head and arms. A belt was also worn with this dress too to hold in into position and try and make it fall into folds from the waist down (shown on page 5 diagram a). This type of dress looks more like a ball gown because they are big and fancy in design.Sometimes people wore a “Himation” (shown on 5 diagram a) over their chiton, which was a kind of shawl or cloak, this was especially good outside ain the evening or on a cold day. Women also wear these in this day and age, but not to keep them warm, but just as a supplement on top of their dress.Men’s clothing was even simpler than women’s, but that was to be expected. The garment worn most by men was the chiton, it was just a shorter version than the women’s, about knee length. Most often the right shoulder was left bare if he was doing exercise or some hard work. This doesn’t really compare to any mans modern day clothes because men don’t wear dress like clothes. The only thing it is like is shorts and t-shirt because all they are really is a chiton cut in half at the waist. Men now were trousers more often than not with a jumper, but of course they didn’t have these because their climate was much hotter than it is in our northern country. Men also used the himation, mostly when they were outside or on long journeys. For men nowadays this is a bit like a scarf, but too keep them warm they usually wear a fleece or thicker jumper. This garment was fastened at the shoulder, with a broach or pin. On special occasions a long robe was worn and the right shoulder was often left bare. Men wear suits on special occasions now, but then if they wore suits they would get too hot.Young children rarely wore clothes because they grew out of them very fast. As girls began to get older they started to wear a simple sort f “smock”, which was above their knees. When boys grew old enough to go to school they began to wear garments similar to the mans chiton. In the modern day children wear clothes from the day they are born, just a simple one-piece suit. This is mostly too keep them warm. Then as they grow up they just wear smaller versions of adult clothes.The way you wore your clothes also mattered back then, at one time it was thought sloppy to let the hem of your himation touch the floor.At home sandals were not worn, but when they went out into the streets or on a journey leather sandals were worn. We wear slippers or just socks around the house now to protect our feet and keep them clean. The sandals were very simple and made to measure, they were measured by a cobbler who would place the persons foot on a piece of leather and then cut the sole out around the foot. The sole was attached to the foot by leather thongs tied across the instep and across the ankle. Leather thongs are long thin strips of leather. At the present shows are ready made in a selection of sizes varying from 1-12 in children’s and 1-13 in adults. Only shoes over a size 13 are made specially.Headwear was not very common, although like today people going on journeys wore hats except theirs is called a”petasos”, a wide brimmed hat. Women were protected from the sun by a parasol that was held by a slave. Poorer people or those without sun protection just pulled their himation over their head.Hair was worn in a variety of styles (shown on 6 diagram a). Ribbons, veils or small caps were used to keep the hair in position. Sometimes ringlets of hair were allowed to hang down in long strands. Women have styles like this nowadays, but have much more choice. Combs were used for hairdressing; they were made of wood or ivory and were delicately carved. Currently combs are made out of plastic or metal because it is cheap. Some women dyed their hair to their preferred colour.Jewellery was very popular with women. They wore rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Bracelets were worn at the elbow and shoulder as well. This is virtually the same as what women wear at the present except there are many more materials to choose from now.Women used make-up then just as much as they do now. As white skin was regarded as a sign of beauty white lead was used to whiten the skin and alkanet juice was used to highlight the cheeks with a slight hint of rose-colour, just as rouge is used today. We know now that lead is poisonous and can bring you out in a rash or even kill you if you use too much, that is why it is not used any more. Lipstick and eye shadow were also used (probably made out of an ash of some kind). Some women tended to over do their make-up and this poet tells the hazards:If you go out in the hot summer weather, two streaks of black run from your eyes; sweet, running from your cheeks, carves of red furrow all the way down your neck, it covers it with white-leadThis is only part of the poem but it tells the embarrassing truth about what would happen if you went out with too much make-up on back then in Ancient Greece.Currently clothes are all different shapes and we use wardrobes so when they have been ironed they don’t get creased, but then, most Greek clothes were rectangular so they could fit into chests.There wasn’t much too choose from in the underwear department then because women wore a strip of cloth as a bra and that was it, there weren’t any boxer-shorts or knickers.A boy’s chest might contain pairs of sandals, boots and a pair of slippers for clod mornings. He’d also have a few hats, a belt and a short cloak if he rode a horse. If a boy was found with only this now he would be regarded under privileged, but it was different then because they didn’t need as many clothes.In a girls room you might find a trinket box with bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Another box for ribbons combs and scarves. In a girls chest you might find sandals but not boots and if she was daring she might have high-heeled, cork-soled shoes to make here look taller, the Greeks liked tall women.

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