A quick presentation of the Greek Traditional costumes,clothing,over the times,history,fabrics,methods,the most popular Amalia and Evzonas
Traditional Greek Clothing
Ancient Greeks wore simple garments that draped over their bodies. The chiton and peplos were both simple outfits made from one-piece rectangles of fabric, with holes cut out for the head. The peplos was sleeveless, while the chiton covered part of the arms. Over this, people could wear a cloak called a himation. These outfits were usually made of wool, a fabric used frequently in Greek clothing, due to the prevalence of sheep farming in Greece and the country's surprisingly cool winters. Linen was also traditionally used for clothing worn during the hot Mediterranean summers.
While Greeks today mainly wear modern "global" style clothing, they still don traditional regional costumes for festivals and national holidays [Source: Riehecky]. These costumes' styles vary between the mainland and the islands, but many contain some elements of the ancient draped garments, and they all have some similar components in terms of materials and basic construction.
Once worn by fighters in the 1821 War of Independence, the traditional costume for men on mainland Greece features a kiltlike garment known as a foustanella. For example, the national costume -- today the uniform for the Evzones, the presidential guard -- includes a white foustanella that has 400 pleats, symbolizing the 400 years Greece was ruled by the Ottomans. That's paired with a wide-sleeved white shirt and topped off with an embroidered woolen vest. Long, white socks, a sash and pointed shoes called tsarouhia -- topped with their recognizable large pompons -- complete the outfit.
On the islands, the men's traditional costume starts with a white undergarment and is layered with baggy pants, known as vraka, a white shirt, a sleeveless coat, a sash, a jacket and a tasseled cap.
Traditional women's clothing in Greece also varies from region to region, but these outfits also contain similar elements. Most traditional costumes for women have a simple cotton dress as a base, with a sleeveless wool vest over it. To this, women may add aprons, sashes and, perhaps most importantly, large head scarves.
One example of a traditional outfit for women is the karagouna. This traditional wedding dress from Central Greece is very colorful and can be quite heavy. Like some other traditional Greek costumes, it includes many layers, starting with a black-fringed white underdress. Over that, women wear a few different coats, starting with an embroidered wool coat, followed by a long white sleeveless coat and then another embroidered waistcoat. This is all topped by a red apron. A woman wearing a karagouna will also don a head kerchief and chains of gold coins across her forehead and bosom to signify wealth.
Traditional costumes have their place, but so do traditional customs.
There are two main types of costumes for men. Foustanella and Vraka.
In the central and southern regions of Greece wear the "fustanella". After the liberation of Greece in the first quarter of the 19th century, all male costumes in Peloponnesus took the form of the fustanella.
Fustanella was worn by the Greek fighters of the 1821 revolution and today it serves as the official uniform of the Evzones, Greece's Presidential Guard.
The fustanella skirt consists of 400 pleats symbolizing the years during which Greece was under Ottoman rule.
The remainder of the costume is composed of a white shirt with very wide flowing sleeves, an embroidered woolen vest, a sash worn around the waist, and shoes (tsarouhia) with large pompons.
The embroidery is made of spun wool and the belt is of a fine leather work.
The Fustanella has changed in the meaning of detailed work, the length of the fousta, and, sometimes, the number of jackets worn. The sleeves have become decorative, resembling wings without the function of sleeves. After all the changes, it has become the standard Pan-Hellenic male costume used to the modern times. Extremely popular, this costume is now one of the world's most well-known traditional garments: Vraka The word vraka means generally the male Crete costume although this kind of trousers worn by the islands inhabitants of Greece instead of a fustanella. The men's costume is made of heavy wool felt to protect against the cold and is embroidered with black cord.
In some island 'vraka' was worn by women too and was long, to the ankles, because during the Turkish occupation women wanted to hide their legs from the eyes of the Turks.
The male Epirotan costume has also characteristic pair of pants, called 'bourazana' or 'panovraki', which resembles the Macedonian 'salvaria' or 'vrakia'. The pants are either white or black.
One general rule about the Women's costumes concerns the main parts of their traditional dress. Most of the mainland costumes in particular have a cotton chemise (poukamiso) as the basic garment. On the body, over the chemise, there is a sleeveless vest which is usually made of wool. These may be short or long.
Sometimes dresses are of homespun wool, but in some areas they are made from finer factory woven wools. Colors are sometimes black, sometimes white. Sometimes in urban areas, they are made from velvet.
Other important elements of the women's costumes are various types of aprons, sashes, and head coverings. The head coverings are usually large scarves of various materials and colors.
Women's dresses were handmade embellished with detailed needlework and decorated in a rich and colorful fashion.Although there are some generalizations that can be made about the women's dresses and their styles and components, costumes of each area tend to be different. Look at these examples below.
In our days the national costume of Greece, the one designated by Queen Amalia. She was the first queen of Greece, and was of Bavarian descent. The true Amalia skirt was originally green, but was later changed to blue. A long sleeved jacket is worn with the skirt. The hat has a long cord, (traditionally made of the woman's own braided hair), with a tassel. It was said that the longer the cord, the more favor that particular girl had in the court of Amalia.
Tsolias - Fustanella
In the Peloponnesus, Attica and generally Main Greece men wore the fustanella, a pleated white skirt that has prevailed as the official Greek man's costume. The Greek warrior of the revolution against the Ottoman rule/ occupation (1821) adopted the fustanella and later on it became the official dress of King Otto's court.
Worn by diplomats and warriors, this costume was declared the national costume for men. Today we see men wearing this costume on certain celebrations, national holidays and by the soldiers/members of the special regiment (euzonoi).