** boys clothes: Greek families

Greek Boys Clothes: Families

Figure 1.-- This portrait of the Ioakimeidis family was taken in January 1935. The older boy appears to be wearing a one-piece shortall-like garment, although the image is not clear enough to tell precisely what he is wearing. The family's clothes suggest a prosperous if not wealthy family at the time.

Here we will follow family fashions over time. HBC has decided to also gather information on entire families. One of the limitations of HBC is that too often we just view boys' clothing without the context of what the rest of the family was wearng. This will help to compare trends in boys' clothing with that worn by mothers, fathers, and sisters. These images will also help highlight differences in both age and gender appropriate clothing. Here we will collect information about specific families over time as well as individual images of unidentified families to show glimses of Greek families in various historical periods.

Regional Differences

There are significant rgional differences in Greece. The rugged mountenous consitions as in many similar countries lent itself to the development of such differences. This only began to change signoficantly in the 20th century, espcially after World War II. Improved communications both transport and mdka as in mny other countris have helped create a more uniform national culture. We have some information on Greek families from different regions of the country.

Northern Greece: Ioakimeidis family

The Ioakimeidis family came from Turkey to Northern Greece in 1922. Conditions in Turkey were very unsettled after Turkey's defeat in World War I and many ethnic Greeks living in Turkey immigrated Grrece to at this time. In many cases these families had lived in what is now Turkey for centuries. They founded a company that makes oriental rugs and carpets. The portrait here was taken in January 1935 (figure 1). There clothes suggest a prosperous if not wealthy family at the time. Another portrait of the Ioakeimidis family was taken in September of 1943. It's hard to believe that this is the same wealthy family of 1935. Their clother are obviously chaeply made. But when you look at the date you realize that this was during the German occupation in World War II. The War had begun to go bad for the Germans and the conditions in the occupied countries were deteriorating badly. A family at this time had to have had money to have been able to afford a family portrait. At this time in Greece many families were hungry and some proplke were dying from starvation. A Greek reader reports, "I dont want to sound dramatic but at that time people tried to find food for their families and didn't mind about their clothes."

Crete: Unknown family

A photograph shows a peasant family on Crete in 1929 standing outside their white-washed home. We do not know their name. The bous wear short pants outfits. One boy wears a short pants suit and another appears to be wearing a sailor suit. It is hard to male out what the third older brother is wearing, Both boys wear closed-toe sandals without socks. The boys wear dark sandals, but I am not sure about the color. The girls also wear sandals, but their sandals are white. The boys have short haor cuts, bit not as short as we have seen in some other photographs.

Athens: Chamodrakas family

Panagiotis Chamodrakas was born in Athens in 1915. His wife Xenia came from Smyrna (in present-day Turkey) to Athens in 1922 when she was 5 years old. She maried Panagiotis there and gave birth to three children (Stavros b1942, Kaiti b1944 and Stelios b1950?) Panagiotis Chamodrakas was a merchant but his misfortunes forced him to leave Athens and immigrate to Alexandria, Egypt where he became a priest. In the (late 60s?) he was joined by his family and two years later they moved to Kinsasha, Congo. He again wrked as a merchant and later moved with his family to Cape Town, South Africa.

Other families

A HBC reader tells us, "I have pictures and information about (at least) two other families. One is Chamodrakas family from Athens. I can also work a bit on Venizelos family (a famous Greek politician)."

Chronological Trends

HBC has also developed information on Greek families during different chronological periods. We do not have much information on the 19th century. Greece was a very poor country and many families could not afford portrits, even low-cost photographic portraits. Ths was especially the case outside the major cities. We know much more about the 20th century as economic conditions gradually improved. This seems to be espcially the case after World War I. War for Greece did not end in 1918. There was a subsequent war with Turkey which the Greeks despite the disapproval of the British insisted on fighting.

Priest family (1903)

The photo was taken in 1903 in Zemeno, a village about 40 kms north-west of Korinthos, Greece. Orthodox priests could marry and have families. It shows the village priest with his mother (or mother-in-law), his wife and their children. Notice that they are dressed in home sewn folk outfits, presumably because that was the standard dress at the time.

Grandmother and grandchildren (1930s)

Here we see a Greek grandmorher who looks to be about 70 years old. She is photographed with four of her grandchildren, three boys and a girl. They look to be about 7-17 years old. The girl wears a polkadot dress. The boys wear different outfits. The youngest boy wears an embroidered vest and and foustanela (white Greek kilt) with white socks and strap shoes. We are not sure why he is the only one wearing a folk outfit. Perhaps he liked dressing up in costumes, ounger children do. Or perhaps the older boys resisted the idea. The middle boy wears a white dress shirt nd short pants. Te older boy wears a suit with an ooen collar shirt. We do not know their names. The paintings on the wall suggest an artistic family. There is writing on the back, but we can not translate it. Perhaps Greek readers can.

Three Generations (1930s)

Here we see see another Grek impage of three family generations in a portrait. We see the elderly grandmother, two daughters, and two grandsons. The boy look to be about 3-7 years old. The portrit is undated, but this and the postcard back portrait suggests the 1930s. The yoinger boy wears a Fauntleroy-styled short pants velvet suit. It may be a one-piece outfit, but we can not tell for sure. Floppy bows has gone out of style. But we have a slightly frilled collar and decorative front with matching wrist cuffs. The older boy has a white or light-colored, collared sweater and tie front worn with dark short pants. Both boys have white socks and strap shoes. We see both boys and girls waring strap shoes at the time. This was the case in many European countries. The younger boy wears three-quarter socks and the older boy kneesocks. The younger boy has his hair done in bangs while the older boy has parted hair. At the time many Greek boys had close-cropped hair.

Family after World War II (about 1945)

Many people lost loved ones during World War II. Many fathers were killed during the War, either as soldiers, gurerillas, hostages, and civilian casulties resulting from bombing or other military operations. For the Greek family this was a disaster because the father was the major wage earner. Few women had good paying jobs in the 1940s. Thus the loss of the father was not only a horendous emotional event, but in many cases doomed the family to poverty. In many cases the family could rely on other relatives, but relatives themselbes after the War often had few resources with which to help. Of course family income had a major impact on how the children were dressed.

Fisherman's family (early-1950s)

This is an unidentified fisherman's family on the island of Spetses off Attica in the Aegean Sea after World War II. We would guess the photogrph was taken during the early-1950s. We see three boys ad their mother. At the time a photograph lik this could have been taken anywhere in southern Europe. The regiion in genal and fishermen in particular were very poor. In southern Italy and Spain, in Portugal and in Greece bare feet were very common and almost the norm among fishermen's children, sometimes all year round. Mother wearsainafore ad is also barefoot. Notice how one boy has rolled up his short pahts to keep them from getting wet. We are not entirely sure why his brothers did not do the same. Perhaps they did not go into the water,

Village family (1959)

This photograph shows a Greek family of five young children in Drapetsona a village outsid of Athens durinh 1959. Greece wsas not part of the European economic mircles. This is how Grreks still lived in the mid-20h century wiyhout capitalism and industrilization. You can imagine what life was like in the 19th century and why Europeans stremed to America in their millions.


Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Greek pages:
[Return to the Main Greek country page]
[Greek choirs] [Greek folk costumes] [Greek movies] [Greek royals] [Greek schools] [Greek youth groups]

Created: April 25, 2002
Last updated: 10:54 AM 3/12/2022