Roman clothing Essay

This essay has a total of 953 words and 5 pages.

roman clothing



ROMAN CLOTHING: MEN
Much of Roman clothing was designed to reveal the social status of its wearer,
particularly for freeborn men. You could tell from what class the person is from and
sometimes what they did. The men would wear tunics. There were three basic types of
tunics. See Diagram.


Production and Cleaning of Garments: Typically, Roman garments were made of wool. In the
early Republic, women spun the fleece into thread and wove the cloth in the home, and
doubtless many women of the less wealthy classes continued this practice throughout the
history of Rome. By the late Republic, however, upper-class Roman women did not spin and
weave. Instead, slaves did the work within the household or cloth was purchased
commercially, and Romans could also buy cloth made of linen, cotton, or silk. Garments
were cleaned by fullers using chemicals such as sulfur and especially human urine.


Undergarments: We do not know a great deal about Roman underclothes, but there is evidence
that both men and women wore a simple, wrapped loincloth (subligar) at least some of the
time; male laborers wore the subligar when working, but upper-class men may have worn it
only when exercising. Women also sometimes wore a band of cloth or leather to support the
breasts (strophium or mamillare).


Footwear: Sandals with open toes were the proper footwear for wearing indoors. There were
many different designs, from the practical to elegant Shoes, which encased the foot and
covered the toes. Which was considered appropriate for outdoors and were always worn with
the toga; when visiting, upper class Romans removed their shoes at the door and slipped on
the sandals that had been carried by their slaves. There were no dramatic gender
differences in Roman footwear though upper-class males (equestrians, patricians, and
senators) wore distinctive shoes that marked their status; the patrician shoes, for
example, were red.


The basic item of male dress was the tunic, made of two pieces of undyed wool sewn
together at the sides and shoulders and belted in such a way that the garment just covered
the knees. Openings for the arms were left at the top of the garment, creating an effect
of short sleeves when the tunic was belted; since tunics were usually not cut in a
T-shape, this left extra material to drape under the arm. Men of the equestrian class were
entitled to wear a tunic with narrow stripes, in the color the Romans called purple,
extending from shoulder to hem, while broad stripes distinguished the tunics of men of the
senatorial class. Working men and slaves wore the same type of tunic, usually made of
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