A garment worn mostly by poor and hard-working individuals. Men wear them with the lower seam on their thighs, a woman’s chiton reaches down to her ankles.
The chiton is nothing more than a rectangle of fabric which is folded around the left side of the body, covering the front and rear but staying open at the right side. The upper edge is held together by two fibulae or brooches located above the wearer’s shoulders, and the cloth girded around the waist.
An alternative way of wearing the chiton is to only use one fibula to pin the fabric together over the right shoulder, thus leaving the left side of the breast exposed. Women who wish to wear this style may chose to use additional wrappings to cover themselves.
Another (more complicated) option would be to sew-shut the right side of the chiton as well. After slipping into this tube one folds the fabric in a way that leaves the front broader than the back-part (by about 12cm/4.7 inches). Then one should gather the fabric slightly on both shoulders before sewing or pinning it in place, thus creating a natural v-neck. The lower edge of the back of this chiton, worn by men, should be cut round to ensure everything remains covered when the wearer attempts to bend down. . This is not necessary on a chiton intended for women, as the garment is going to be long enough regardless.
The chiton can be made from wool or linen. When using linen, you should pick a softer fabric, as this is important if you are aiming to achieve some good-looking drapery. When searching for patterns you might find different recommendations when it comes to favoured cloth widths. In general more fabric results in a more beautiful drapery.
Chitons may be worn by both genders. It is usually the garment worn by slaves and low-class citizens who are doing hard and physical labour. However, even politicians wear them from time to time if they wish to appear down to earth and connected to the common people.
If you are interested in more Greek fashion, in Simon Kirner’s style guide (in German) you can find it.