"magnificently turned out in the formal dress of a Roman matron"

Statue of Livia Drusilla in a Roman Matron's Clothes
Public DomainStatue of Livia Drusilla in a Roman Matron's Clothes - Credit: Zaqarbal/Wikimedia Commons
Roman women would normally wear a peplos or a chiton, two variations of a long, full tunic, tied at the waist. Elaborate shoulder pins and belts might then be added. The traditional dress of a Roman matron included the stola, a long tunic worn over the top of the dress, usually hung from the shoulders with short straps. This was a symbol of marriage, but not all women chose to wear it; it was not a very flattering or fashionable piece of clothing. Respectable women might also wear a long cloak (palla) when venturing outside. This was draped around the body and over the shoulder, a little like a man’s toga. This cloak could be pulled up to cover the head, another sign of respectability. Find out more about Roman clothes and fashions here.