Clothing and fashion in Roman Britain

The most common materials used for the production of clothes in Roman Britain were wool and linen. Cloth and leather are rarely preserved in the archaeological record, except in wet conditions. However, some textile and leather remains have revealed the sophisticated nature of clothing and shoe production in the Roman period.

The Roman toga could be worn by every free-born citizen. Woven of one piece of cloth and worn over a tunic it was somewhat cumbersome to wear. Only the more wealthy Roman men consistently wore a toga, whilst the working classes dressed in a more simple tunic. Similarly, women's dress involved a stola (tunic), and was worn with a palla (shawl) around the shoulders. Pins and brooches would have been used to fasten both men and women's clothes and though functional were also highly decorative.

Written evidence tells us, that like today, many of Rome's wealthy women spent many an hour having their hair dressed. Elaborate hairstyles were decorated with hairpins and hair pieces and often copied the hairstyles of the Imperial court.

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