What Did Rich Roman Women Wear?


Quick Answer

Wealthy Roman women wore long tunics, called stolas, over a second, longer tunic, referred to as the tunica interior. The stola was usually longer than the under tunic, for the purpose of showing off the layers, which was a sign of wealth.

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Full Answer

Roman women of wealth also wore stolas and under tunics with a wide ornamental border at the bottom as a symbol of prosperity. Stolas and tunics came in a variety of colors for women, whereas the men wore mostly white. The stolas were accompanied by over garments called pallas. Silk was imported to the Roman Empire from China and expensive garments of silk were also available for rich women.

Prosperous women spent a great deal of money on jewelry. Women of all statuses loved jewelry, but wealthy women often had precious gems adorning the rings, bracelets, brooches and coronets that were worn. Pearls were a favorite. Some Roman women even had pearls woven onto sandals.

Hair was a subject of great attention for Roman women. Ivory, silver or gold hairpins were set with precious gems to help keep elaborate hairstyles in place. Women also dyed their hair red-gold to imitate Greek hair colors. Coronets of pearls and gems were worn to accent the beauty of the hair.

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