Female, Full Entry

27 CE Female Roman Ionic Chiton/Tunica 2

Title27 CE Female Roman Ionic Chiton/Tunica 2
Entry #GGB2021.0002
Alternate NamesTunica, ionic chiton, tunica matron,
Time range27 – 400 CE
EraRoman Empire
MakerIulia Kaloetina Eirenikina
ConfidenceImage Examples


This basic garment, sometimes called an ionic chiton, could work for either a Grecian chiton or a lower class roman tunica.  Two pieces of fabric sewn at the sides and tacked at the sleeves.


These are light and cool and fast to make.  The chiton is very much like a tunic. There are versions done with a single piece of fabric folded and tacked along to the top in a number of places or it can be done as two large rectangles of fabric that are sewn down the sides and tacked a few places along the top.  Using a rope it can be cinched in at the waist.  The palla can just be wrapped around and held.  Sandals that work to complete the outfit can be found in modern shoe stores.  Romans also had a variety of jewelry that can be made or purchased from retailers selling recreations or by modifying some modern costume jewelry.

There is a distinct variation between the Doric and Ionic chitons, as well as the roman woman’s tunic, it will not be entered into here but all of the dresses serve as easy and fast warm weather garb.

Further distinctions can be made between earlier Greek and later Roman clothing.  It will not be discussed here.

Inspiration Images

Common Materials

  • Fabrics:
    • Wool
    • linen
    • silk. 
    • The wools used would have been very fine wools that are sometimes hard to find now.
  • Ornamentation:

Effective Substitutions

  • Fabrics:
    • Avoid polyester, polyester blends. 
    • Linen
    • linen blends
    • cotton
      • The cotton broadcloths (the cheap cottons that fill Walmart and the quilting fabric stores) are weak fabrics that don’t last long and never look quite right.  They never drape and lay the way the period images show. 
    • silk
      • silk like poly will be uncomfortable in the heat. 
  • Ornamentation:

Ensemble Components

  • Chiton/Tunic
  • Palla
  • belt or cording

  • sandals
  • jewelry
  • Stola


  • “Roman” sandals are still sold today and work for starter garb. 
  • Belts can range from ropes to modern fashion chain belts. 
  • Many examples of roman jewelry are not complex and can be made easily.   There are some styles that look very similar to modern costume jewelry.









Source of Period PicThe Charioteer of Delphi, 470s B.C. Bronze. Delphi Museum, Greece.
ModelIulia Kaloetina Eirenikina 082413-09
PhotographerVincent De Vere

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