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FAQ: Do they all wear black?

In a word – yes.

I was puzzled when I first heard the question but, after taking some time to observe the people around me, I came to realise that black is indeed the undisputed king of Greek wardrobes.

Commuters at the entrance of the Syntagma Metro station, Athens, Greece

Commuters at the entrance of the Syntagma Metro station, Athens, Greece

Thinking back (and asking women friends and relatives who seem to notice such things more than I do), I believe that black waltzed into Greek closets in the ’80’s and never left. It seems to have struck a chord with Greeks who embraced it with enthusiasm, turning their collective back to the colorful prints of the ’70’s.

Greek traditional costumes: a woman's costume from Epirus and a man's from Pontus

Greek traditional costumes: a woman’s costume from Epirus and a man’s from Pontus. Images from here.

Greeks have long been familiar with black, which played a prominent role in most traditional costumes. When Greeks adopted modern garb, they still grew up surrounded by people, especially women, dressed in solid black, the mandatory colour for those who have experienced a death in the family.

Grandmother and granddaughter at a playground, Athens, Greece

Grandmother and granddaughter at a playground, Athens, Greece

Today, Greeks find black versatile. As all dark colors, it complements mediterranean complexions well. It also doesn’t get dirty easily, a plus in a city where smog soon turns whites grimy. Besides, as I always say, black goes with every color, especially black. 

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