Roman clothing in its diversity and development within history.


The Toga was the national costume of the Romans who preferred sumptuousness to the real beauty of line and grace. It was made mostly of wool which was dyed many beautiful shades of blue, green, yellow, and red, but the Toga was also often worn in its natural yellowish color or sometimes bleached.

Their jewels consisted of necklaces, bracelets, and rings which were made of gold and silver, and even of the base metals; semi-precious stones were sometimes used. However, their jewels emphasized the rank of the women who wore them. A difference in the hair-do was also noticed between the classes, as the slave wore their hair short while the high class ladies kept their hair very long.

The type of decoration used by the Romans, in the various parts of their edifices and decorations varied considerably from that of the Greeks, their art appeared as if it were entirely for self-glory.

We derive the major part of our information about Roman forms from the excavated city of Pompeii, hence the reason this style is often called Pompeian. Their whole system of decoration seems to have been based from very few motifs and figures. It may be said also that many of these compositions now are considered rather vulgar. However, the execution of these designs was so exquisite and so perfectly rendered that they are extremely pleasing to the eye. Very few printed ornaments are to be seen, and these are really the same as those in Pompeii. There is no originality in the coloring and most forms are copies of Greek Art.

The most used motif in the Roman composition is the scroll, grouping together leaf after leaf of the Acanthus plant which the Greek had used with more artistic skill. In their arrangement of this particular design, the Roman exaggerated a great deal from their desire to create a feeling of admiration. This pattern of the Acanthus leaf is so easily reproduced that modern designers have used it profusely.

Lictor, Roman, emperor, Noble Roman, Clothing, dresses,
Lictor. Roman emperor. Noble Roman