The Ionic dress in Ancient Greece.

Greek, Ionic, dress, ancient, Greece, clothing
Greek Ionic dress. 400 BC. – 300 BC:


This picture shows two figures clad in what is known as Ionic dress. This style became popular later in Greek history and was more complicated. It was probably developed by the Ionian Greeks in the north, hence its name.

The young man’s dress indicates that he might be a traveler who has returned to his native city and is being rewarded by the young woman handing him a wreath. He is wearing a hat, the kind usually worn by travelers. It is made of straw, though sometimes the same type was made of felt. It is tied on over his long hair. The Greeks called it the petasos. What appears to be a short dress is really the man’s short Ionic chiton. It is made exactly like a Doric chiton, except that instead of pinning it only on each side of the neck, it is pinned with two or three brooches along the top. Because of the nature of the material, when it was brooched in this fashion, it formed a sort of sleeve, especially when sewn up the side, as the man here is wearing it. He is shown with the chlamys or short cloak, which he was fastened with a large brooch on the right shoulder. Note the small weights on its two free corners.

His feet and lower legs are covered with heavy, serviceable boots. They were similar to our modern high tops, except that their tops were scalloped (cut out in points) and turned down and the new top trimmed with a leather braid. It is from the boots and hat that we recognize him as a traveler, probably from northern Thrace, where these two garments originated.

The woman has her long hair tied up in a knot, and held in place by a long scarf, which is wound around her head like a turban. You can see the end tucked through and hanging in front of her left ear. She is wearing a Doric chiton. We know this by the pleated section at her throat and around her ankles. Over this she has put on an Ionic chiton. It has, in this case, a deep kolpos (pouch) and a shorter overfold. She wears her girdle over the entire thing. The sandals she is wearing are but leather soles to which are attached heel coverings and several straps that pass between the toes.

The Ionic dress is more ornamental and richer than the Doric. Note all the jewelry she is wearing with the two chitons. This was very seldom seen with Doric costume.

Source: Museum Extension Project. History of Costume.

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