“Folk fashion doesn’t just reflect personal status: history is sewn into it too.”
Museum of the History of the Greek Costume
A draped white silk chiton might be the first image that comes to mind when you think of traditional Greek dress, but folk costume is far fancier and more varied. What Greeks wore has, since antiquity, communicated important social information such as someone’s village and marital status. These clues are literally stitched into the headdresses, bodices, skirts, and shoes of the Museum of the History of Greek Costume. Even the fabrics, layering, and embroidery are part of this subtle code, which the signage helps you to decipher. Folk fashion doesn’t just reflect personal status: history is sewn into it too. Cycladic costume shows a definite influence from the East, whereas 18th-century dress in the north had a Slavic air. As for the representative dress, the Amalia is named after Greece’s first queen, who adapted a Peloponnesian folk costume to suit the continental European taste for a snug bodice over a full skirt.