Role Of Clothing In The Roman Empire

1911 Words8 Pages
Manuela Fuentes
Ms. Santos
English Honors 9
14 March 2016
Fashion during the Roman Empire
In the Roman Empire social status determined what people would wear. Those who are privileged like the Emperor and Senate were able to afford clothing that was much more expensive and higher quality compared to slaves and non-citizens who were unable to afford these luxuries. Social status also had an effect on what people would wear. Those who were of higher social and political importance wore specific Togas and Tunics to demonstrate their status. Clothes could represent social status, but it also showed what the people would do for a living. It also differed citizens from noncitizens. These points will show how in the Roman Empire the social status
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Togas were exclusively for citizens and was a garment that was mostly to show status. The main difference between togas are the styles. Toga virilis was the main basic toga worn by men it was simple and had an eggshell off-white color. (Heaton). Toga praetexta or laticlavia had the exact same style and base color as toga virilis but the difference was the broad purple horizontal stripe that went from the top to the bottom of the tunic. There is a similar version to this togas which is called the angusticlavii which also has the purple lines but they are much thinner. They are worn by equestrians and the laticlavia was worn by senators. Then there’s the toga picta “The toga picta was a special all purple toga embroidered with gold thread worn by a Roman general during a triumphal parade. Julius Caesar later adopted it as part of his regular dress and the emperors followed suit by using this type during many state occasions.” (Heaton). This information is a good example of how emperors were able to change the rules of fashion because previously Emperors were only able to wear a trabea which is a completely purple toga. Making the toga the main garment that showed social…show more content…
The actual things they wore were important too. Women had a similar style to men, but there were some differences. They would wear tunics like men, but rather than a toga. Women who were married had to wear a stola. The stola was best described in the book Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome as a “long, full dress gathered up by a high girdle, with a colored border around the neck.” (345). Women would also wear cloaks during rainy or cold weather. A huge part of women 's fashion had to be the hair, jewelry, and makeup. Usually women would have their hair done at home by their slaves. Elaborate updos were extremely popular, and would be accessorized with hairnets and/or bonnets. Blonde hair was the trend causing the Romans to shave the heads of captured Germanic Barbarians to make blonde wigs. The natural pale look was very in causing women to use chalk and white lead to lighten their face. Roman women were also into jewelry. They would wear brooches to fasten their stola/toga. They would also wear rings, necklaces, anklets, bracelets, and armlets, and much more. All of these components made up women 's fashion in

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