• Historical Clothing
  • 2 mins

By Crusader1307

As we have seen with The Toga, the female form of National dress in Ancient Rome was known as The Sola. It too was based on similar designs initiated in Greece and adopted by Rome. Made of wool (for Common women), and fine Silks or related material for the more wealthy, The Sola was a full body garment which was designed to cover the entirety of the feminine form. Although White was considered the traditional color for Men, Women seldom used the hue – often using richer colors (blues, greens, reds and pinks). The Sola was designed in folds, which added both weight and body to the dress design. The Sola was often worn with a veiled Hood known as a “Palla” (or Mantle”). This was used to often convey Marital Status. The Stola traditionally did not come with sleeves, as the many folds of material were wrapped around the upper body and draped. Later in Roman Culture, a short sleeved variation was seen. Common women emulated the wealthier style, and designed a version of The Stola for their use. These varieties were made of coarse and inferior materials. Underneath The Stola was worn a slip-like garment known as The Limbus. This too was designed to be multi-folded and was seen as another status symbol – liked to only the most wealthy of Women. The Stola was embellished with variegated stripes and patterns (again a form of status). The more embellished and decorated, the wealthier The Wearer. As with The Toga, often expensive Gold and Silver Brooches were used as fastening claps. The all White version of The Stola, was seen as a virginal color reserved for The Religious Class known as The Vestal Virgins, and extremely important female religious figure within Republican and Imperial Roman Culture. Variations of The Stola would continue into The Byzantine Culture and even into early Muslim and Turkish Society.