Women's Fashion in Ancient Rome
The women of ancient Rome wore a long tunic called a stola. The stola went down to the feet of the wearer and often had a woolen mantle, called a palla, over it. The positioning of the tunic was complicated due to the many layers of cloth used for the different styles of the garment. Unlike men’s tunics, the women’s tunic often had sleeves fastened with buckles, and a cloak fastened with buckles on the right shoulder completed any outfit. The over-garment was often sleeveless, so a heavy woolen cloak would be worn over it in cold weather. The tunic was made mainly of wool, or silk if the wearer was able to afford it. Tunics were dyed in different colors, which were usually bright because Romans loved vibrant varieties of colors.
Roman women often dyed their hair, usually to a golden-red color. They also used false hairpieces to make their hair thicker or longer. Sometimes Roman women wore their hair up, in carefully arranged styles held with jeweled hairpins, and sometimes they wore it down, curled in ringlets and spirals.
Jewelry, especially that of bronze and gold, was popular among upper-class Roman women. Parasols and fans made of peacock feathers were featured as part of the appearance of the Roman woman as well, and accessories were highly decorated and expensive. Some examples of the types of accessories ancient Roman women would adorn include: