Until about 100 BC, Roman costume is hardly
different from Greek costume of the same period
except for the toga. Roman formality in the
Republican periods reflected many of the Greek
costume. There was the difference of the construction
of the garments for the Greek chiton formed its
sleeves from the top of the doubled rectangles, where
the tunica and stola opened their sleeves at the
sides for armholes.
Men wore the toga, which was as sign of a
distinguished Roman citizen. There were many
different types of togas for different occasions,
from the Toga pura, the ordinary dress of citizens,
to the Toga trabea, a parti-colored toga with a
purple border which would be a king's toga or a
augur's toga. Men wore their hair closely clipped to
the head with short locks falling on the forehead and
neck. The men wore their face smooth-shaven and if
they had a beard it would be one that was close
clipped with mustache.
Women wore their hair much like Greek styles at
first but as they period matured women wore their
hair in elaborate coiffures. The women would frizz,
intricately braid, coil, and pile false blond or red
tresses in to grotesque designs. The would wear
decorations and headdresses in their hair as well.
The women would wear the stola, which was once called
the Greek chiton, most of the days. If a woman who
had shamed her honorable estate was deprived the
right to wear the stola she would wear the make toga
as a sign of her degradation.
There was more cream and white in the Roman times
than in the Greek scene because togas were usually
white. Rich people would wear purple because it was
an expensive dye. Men would have wore blue and
crimson too. Important men would wear red shoes.
Women would have larger range of colors like scarlet,
violet, marigold yellow, crocus yellow,
hyacinth-purple, sea-green and blue. The colors were
almost pastel but a little stronger. If a women were
to marry she would wear flame and white.
Notable Roman Costuming Elements
|TogaOuter garment, which was
the badge of the Roman citizen, rich or poor.
Originally the rectangular Greek pallium made into a
ellipse, the draping of which developed infinite
complications. Of wool, it was characteristically in
shirt-like, undergarment, the indoor dress of the
Roman; worn outdoors without the toga only by working
people. It was not, like the toga, distinctly Roman.
Originally sleeveless and woolen, usually white, it
acquired sleeves and was later made of linen and
cotton as well. The tunic was girded with meticulous
care to the exact length considered correct for the
rank and the sex of the wearer.
fold of the toga that can be put over the head like a
fold on the front of the garment that forms a pocket
at the bottom of he sinus.
purely military mantle, used as the official military
mantle of the general in command, or the emperor
while in the field. Used particularly in the earlier
years, before the first century AD. In cut, it
resembled the chalmys or lacerna with two corners
truncated to form an elongated, primitive semicircle.
|Tuncia Intimata/InteriorWoolen under tunic
worn beneath the regular tunic
breeches, tied with strings, worn by Roman
bands on the tunica, indicating the wearer's rank.
With time the clavus lost distinction, and the by the
first century it was worn by every one. The clavi
then became more elaborately decorative in character,
broke into spots of decoration, and amalgamated with
borders at the hem of the garment. Augustus clavus:
For equestrian knights: a narrow band running up over
each shoulder and down to hem on tunic or ungirded dalmatica. Laus
clavus: Single, wide clavus worn by
Roman outdoor garment, which could also be used as a
bed-covering. It was originally Greek and in Rome it
was draped like a Greek himation, held by a fibula,
not hooked as in Greece. It was a rectangle as wide
as from the wearer's shoulder to the floor and about
three times as long, and was worn by men, women and
children, civil an military. Women wore the palla
outdoors often draped over the head but always in
conjunction with a veil or cap. The pallium was the
characteristic sole garment of the scholar and the
philosopher; (it was also the conventional mantle of
garment. Worn over the tunica intima (which was of
similar cut, might or might not have sleeves, and
which served as a housedress.) The stola had sleeves
like the men's tunica, or was pinned along the
shoulder line and down the arms. It was girded once
under the breast and often girdled again at the hips.
|Lorica - This
was a cuirass of brass or bronze, molded to the shape
of the body with perfect fit and following the line
of the abdomen. Frequently enriched with relief and
ornaments in metal work.
|Solea - Shoe-like sandal
Updated Summer of 2002 by
CWU FCS-Fashion Major