Ancient Rome Clothing

The early Romans wore togas. They were a piece of material that was about 9 yards long. Togas were cut in a semicircular shape. The toga was arranged around the body in a stylish fashion. The toga went out of style because it was hard to wear with the many folds and people were cold when they wore them.

Roman Clothing

The Roman clothing changed to a more comfortable tunic because of the bulkiness and heaviness of the toga. Tunics were made of linen or wool depending on the season. Different colored stripes on the tunic indicated the wealth of its owner. On formal occasions, Romans wore togas over their tunics. Slaves wore tunics that were made of two pieces of fabric that were sewn together at the shoulders with opening for the head and arms. Well-to-do women wore longer tunics than the men. Over the tunics, they wore long pleated robes called stolae that were tight-fitting at the waist and decorated along the bottom with a band of red fabric or embroidery.

In Europe, France, England, and Germany, many people wore warm hooded cloaks. Closer to Rome the people wore short, dark, woolen coverings called lacernae. These were worn over the togas and attached at the shoulder or buckled under the chin. Lacernae were made from bright colored fabrics and decorated with embroidery or fringe. Simple coats called paenulae were worn when traveling. Paenulae were made from a circular piece of fabric with a hole cut in the center for the head. Some were made with hoods. Most paenulae were made from animal skins.

Women carried fans and parasols made from peacock feathers, wood, or stretched linen.

Both men and women wore sandals around the house. The women's were brightly colored. They were sometimes decorated with pearls. When going outside, both the men and women wore boots.

Boys wore knee-length tunics. They were white with a red border. When the boy reached manhood, his tunic changed to all white. Girls wore simple tunics that were belted at the waist. When going outside a second tunic was worn over the first.


Children wore a locket called a bulla. It contained an amulet to protect the child against harm. Girls wore the bulla until their wedding day. Boys wore the bulla until they became citizens at the age of 16 or 17.

The only jewelry worn by men was rings. Manners prohibited wearing more than one ring at a time. Women wore ornate necklaces, pins, earrings, bracelets, and friendship rings. Pearls were popular. Women also wore headdresses or jeweled crowns in their hair.


Women liked to wear makeup when going in public. Slaves applied it for them. The style was to have very white skin. White creams made from powdered chalk or lead were used to make the skin appear white. Eyeliner was used to darken the eyebrows. Cheeks and lips were colored with a red iron ore called ocher.


Hairstyles and beards varied over time. In early Roman times, the men wore long hair and full beards. Later clean shaven faces and short hair was stylish. In the first century AD, hair was styled, and beards became popular again.

In the early Roman times, the women simply parted their hair in the middle and pulled it back in a bun. When women were given more rights and could go out in public in the second century A. D., they began to spend more time grooming their hair. Women often dyed their hair. Golden-red was the favorite color. Some women wore false hairpieces to make their hair appear longer and thicker. Styles varied between pinning it up with jeweled hairpins and wearing it down in ringlets. Wooden hairsticks or wooden combs were used to style and comb the hair. Some combs were made of bronze, ivory, shell, or animal horn.

Click the images to go to the individual pages.

Ancient Rome Introduction
Romulus and Remus
The History of Rome


The City of Rome
Ancient Roman Emperors
Roman Gods


Ancient Roman Gladiators
The Roman Meal
Ancient Roman Entertainment


Ancient Roman Baths
Ancient Roman Clothing
Ancient Roman Children


Ancient Roman Slaves
Ancient Roman Soldiers
Ancient Roman Homes


Ancient Roman Art
Ancient Roman Calendar
Ancient Roman Building


Roman Numerals
Roman Catacombs