How do I Dress As a Roman Woman?

Updated February 21, 2017

The quintessential garment associated with Roman fashion is the toga. Women wore a slight variant on this item known as the stola and the palla. Roman women adorned themselves in these loose fitting garments that are draped and wrapped around the body. Because of the simple nature of the garment, Roman women oftentimes adorned their outfits further with sandals, jewels and headpieces. The colours and types of fabric of the togas and the accessories were dependent on the status of the woman, so the wealthier women wore more ornate clothing. If you are dressing as a Roman woman for a re-enactment or a themed party, there are several different ways to complete your authentic Roman look.

Start your look with a stola, which is a basic floor-length dress or tunic. You can choose simple white linen or opt for a more ornate fabric like silk in a rich colour like red, blue or purple if you are dressing to represent a Roman woman of high society.

Add a palla for a more ornate look. A palla, according to, is a draped cloak that is often adorned with a designed border in bright colours.

Wear Roman-inspired sandals that consist of small leather straps. Find sandals that tie or fasten partway up the ankle for a truly Roman look.

Curl your hair and coil it into a bun on top of your head. Add jewelled hair pins or clips for a little colour. Allow loose tendrils to fall around your face. Roman women were known for their elaborate hairstyles and the look will complement your outfit. Consider adding a hairpiece or wig if you do not have enough hair to achieve this look.

Finish your look by accessorising with an ornate brooch or fabric pin to keep the draped fabric in place and add some flair. You can also wear necklaces or earrings made of brightly coloured stones or jewels which will contrast nicely with the fabric and complete your look.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor-length tunic (stola)
  • Long cloak (palla)
  • Leather sandals
  • Brooch
  • Hair pins
  • Jewellery
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About the Author

A West Coast transplant currently living in Washington D.C., Rhiana Quick has always had a passion for writing and started her freelance career in 2010. Quick earned her bachelor's degree in political science and French from Boise State University and is currently working at a nonprofit organization.