| ||---------- introduction---------- quick facts ---------- social classes ---------- clothing ---------- citations & credits ---------- |
• The women of the Roman Empire were not considered important like the men were. This social distinction left an impact on the female clothing.
- The first distinction is noticed in the tunic. Whereas the men’s tunic only goes down to his knee, the women’s reaches her feet.
• The peplos is made up of two rectangular pieces of cloth partially sewn together on both sides; the open sections at the top were then folded down in the front and back. It is then pulled overhead and fastened at shoulders with two large pins, forming a sleeveless dress. It can then be belted or tied over or under the folds.
- There are two styles of female tunics, the peplos and the chiton, both made out of either linen or silk.
• The chiton is the more common and sleeved tunic worn by the women of Rome. Two pieces of wide cloth are sewn together, leaving room for the arms and head. It is pulled overhead and pins or buttons are used as fasteners at intervals over the shoulders and arms. When fully assembled it forms a dress with sleeves and it can be belted under the breasts, at the waist, or at the hips.
- When a woman would get married, she would be permitted to where a stola. The stola was a long, sleeveless tunic, which would be worn over the chiton or peplos suspended from the shoulders by short straps. The stola was made out of un-syed wool. In the late Roman Republic, most women would wear the stola to proclaim their “respectability and adherence to tradition” even though it was quite unfashionable.
- When going outdoors, a palla could be put on over both garments. The palla was typically worn by respectable women. It was made of a piece of rectangular cloth draped over the left shoulder, under the right arm and back across the body. It would be carried by the left arm or thrown back again over the left shoulder.
- The hairstyles women wore distinguished each woman rather than their clothing. Hairstyles were influenced by the empress. One would typically need a hairdresser to style the hair and pins would be used to hold it all up. Women also used hairnets made of finely woven gold wires to keep the hair in place.
- If a woman were in the upper class, jewelry was a major distinction. From gold fibulas used as safety pins in attaching tunics, to gold bracelets in the form of snakes, rich women had practically anything available during the time period. (Rome: Republic to Empire)
• The male citizens of the roman society were the most important people. Each class of men wore distinct togas to differentiate one from another. The basic undergarment, the tunic, was pretty much the same for all men except the upper class’s one would be more comfortable and possibly better looking.
- The tunic was made of two pieces of un-dyed wool sewn together at the sides and shoulders and belted. Openings were left for the arms and for the head. The resulting garment just covered the knees.
- Upper classes such as the Senatorial Class or Equestrian Class had stripes on their tunics to denote their higher authority.
- Working class men or slaves wore a darker colored wool tunic, which was shorter to allow easier movement.
- All male citizens were expected to wear a toga anywhere in public. Of course, if a citizen were too poor, he would not be wearing a toga due to the cost.
- The toga was made out of a large wool cloth and draped over the tunic but not pinned or sewn.
- Even though it looked beautiful, the toga was heavy and cumbersome to wear.
- Men usually wore only one piece of jewelry, their signet ring.
- Men wore their hair short most of the time and were clean-shaven. (Rome: Republic to Empire)