How do social, political, or economic factors influence fashion during the Archaic Classical era?

Expert Answers
M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Luckily for Archaic-Classical Greeks, their clothing had nothing to do with the ongoing trade economy that, itself, may have become affected by political uproar, wars, or the constant fighting that Greeks had, amongst others..with each other!

Contrarily, clothing was very simple during this time period, consisting on four basic pieces of clothing designed for both males and females. Moreover, clothing was loomed by women in their own homes and the fabrics were easily found inland while not detouring from the norm of using only wool and linen. This means that the simple nature of the clothing, and the simplicity of making it, was not affected by many factors. 

Social factors may have influenced Archaic-Classical Greece fashion because of status. First, although males and females basically wore the same thing, in the same color, and in the same manner, there had to be a distinction between the genders. In this case men wore their robes shorter than females. Only the elderly males were able to choose whether they wanted their robes to be short or long. Then there are the slaves. Slaves had to wear their hair very short, their clothing was not floor length like the other citizens, and the material of their clothing is always loincloth. Those who could afford it would wear more jewelry than others. This is evident in the many pieces of jewelry found in excavations. 

The political factors did influence fashion. There is a remarkable difference between the fashion of the earlier Minoan and Mycenaean and the fashion of the Classicals. This is due to the changes in government style, in the leadership and stability of the country, and on the ongoing changes. The Mycenaean, after conquering the Minoans, retained their rigid, line-based, geometric clothing in a manner that almost reflected their mainly-military style. Contrastingly, the Classics lived during the era of democracy; it is a new world where stability, fairness and philosophy took a center stage. As a result, the fashions of the Classicals became just like their lifestyles: simple, moderate, and elegant. 

Therefore, Archaic-Classical Greek fashion was merely affected in a secondary way by changing politics and social differences. Fortunately the most important factor, the economy, did not affect the implementation of one of the most remarkable fashions in history.