Due to rudimentary sewing instruments and blunt needles, Roman dress was relatively simple; the most common garments included the toga, the tunic, the stola, the pallium coat and sandals. Roman dress and fashion changed constantly over the course of history. Social rank and occasion often dictated the appropriate choice of clothing.Continue Reading
The basic item of clothing worn by plebeians (commoners or working class) was the tunic. The tunic was a single piece of fabric that, like most Roman clothing, was usually made out of wool. Men's tunics reached the knee, while female tunics often reached the floor.
Only free Roman citizens were allowed to wear the toga, which was basically a large blanket draped over the body. Because of the toga's impracticality for physical activity, it was a sign of the upper class.
Women of the upper class used a garment known as a stola, which was like a long dress that reached the floor. Unlike the uniformly white toga used by men, women's stolas could be any color. It could be long-sleeved, short-sleeved or sleeveless.
Men and women used a variety of cloaks, most notably the pallium, which could be sported in a diversity of colors.
Children normally wore belted tunics.
Sandals were standard indoor footwear, while a form of early shoe known as calcei were the norm outdoors.Learn more about Historical Dress