The most popular and distinct garment worn by the Romans was the Toga. It could be only worn by the citizens. The specific reason behind the outfit was for the portrayal of peace. It stretched up to 9 yards of material and was composed of white wool. Over time due to its bulky nature, it got replaced by a relatively more comfortable tunic covered by a cloak known as the lacerna. The Roman women also wore the tunic in a similar fashion as the men. Two varieties were available that were inspired by Greek clothing- the peplos and the chiton.

Ancient Greek Clothing

Fig 1: Ancient Roman Clothing

The garment that was made from two rectangular pieces of cloth partially sewn together on both sides with open sections at the top, folded down in the front and back was known as the peplos. It was well fastened with two large pins and pulled over the head and formed a sleeveless dress. The more common among the two was similar to the Greek chiton. It was a sleeved garment that was made from two wide pieces of cloth sewn together near the top. It could be belted at the hips, waist or just below the breast. Colours and fabrics used depended on the social class of the wearer. Married women wore a garment called the stola which was loose in structure. It was strapped at the shoulder, gathered in and girdled to the waist with the cloth extending to the feet. A pulla was like a stole worn over the whole figure when out of doors.

Ancient Roman Women's Clothing

Fig 2: Ancient Roman Women’s Clothing

Calceus and soleae were two types of footwear available at the time and their usage wasn’t as controlled as compared to the garments. For internal wear, the calceus was a sandle like shoe which was strapped to the foot. The full shoe also known as the soleae enclosed the foot and is similar to the shoes of the modern times. There were differentiating materials and colours which again depended on the social status of the person wearing it.

Ancient Roman Footware

Fig 3: Ancient Roman Footware


Fig 4: A fresco

Various art forms used by Roman artists were free-standing sculpture, bronze casting, vase art, mosaic, cameo, coin art, fine jewelry and metal work, funerary, perspective drawing, caricature, portrait painting, architectural sculpture. Wall paintings on plaster is one of the most popular art works of Ancient Rome.They were also done on ivory, wood and other materials. The medium on which these paintings survived the most are frescoes. Its ornate nature was used to adorn the countryside and interiors of homes.

Women playing sports in Ancient Rome

Fig 5: Women playing sports in Ancient Rome


1. Wikipedia, 2014, Clothing in Ancient Roman, Accessed on September 9, 2014

2. The Fashion Spot,  2009, FASHION THROUGH THE EYES OF PAINTINGS AND ILLUSTRATIONS,,  Accessed on September 9, 2014

3. UNRV, 2012, Ancient Roman Clothing, Accessing on September 9


1. Figure 1, Pinterest, 2013, Ancient Rome, Accessed on September 9, 2014

2. Figure 2, The Fashion Spot,  2009, FASHION THROUGH THE EYES OF PAINTINGS AND ILLUSTRATIONS,,  Accessed on September 9, 2014

3. Figure 3, Ancient Rome, 2011, Rome Daily Life, on September 9, 2014

4. Figure 4, Ancient Art, 2009,, Accessed on September 9, 2014

5. Figure 5, Facts & Figures, n.d,, Accessed September 9, 2014