The ancient Egyptian costume for men was first a wrapped loincloth and later a kilt or skirt of pleated and starched white linen. Egyptian women first wore the kalasiris, a one-piece, narrow sheath of transparent linen, which was later adopted by men as the tunic. The Egyptian costume evolved into a highly decorative mode of dress characterized by the use of fluted linen, of jewelry (especially the beaded yoke collar), and of cosmetics and perfume; the wig was also worn. The basic Greek garment, noted for its simplicity and graceful draping, consisted of the chiton and girdle. Roman dress, influenced by that of the Greeks, was simple and dignified; the toga, which was worn over the tunic, was the distinctive garment of the Roman citizen.
Sections in this article:
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.