How to Put on a Stola & Palla

by Leah Perry ; Updated September 28, 2017

Roman women dressed in flowing stolas and pallas in many colors.

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A stola is a long garment that was worn by women in ancient Rome to counter the traditional toga worn by men of the period. To keep warm and covered when going outdoors, a Roman woman would top her stola with a palla, which was a draped shawl. Whether you are taking part in a play or attending a themed party, if you want to achieve an authentic stola and palla look you will need to know hot to put them on.

Put on whatever undergarments you want to wear with the stola and palla. If you are uncomfortable with your arms showing, put on a well-fitting t-shirt that matches the stola you will be wearing.

Hold the stola with the shoulder straps at the top then step into it. Pull the stola all the way up to your under arms and drape the shoulder straps over your shoulders.

Overlap the straps over your left shoulder and secure them closed with a decorative brooch. Do the same on your right shoulder to keep the stola held up. Wrap a rope belt around your waist to cinch the stola into a more flattering shape.

Hold the palla behind your back and gather up the left end into a bundle. Toss the bundle over your left shoulder then spread it out over your left arm and shoulder so it drapes.

Pass the right side of the palla under your right arm then drape it over your left arm. Use your left arm to hold and carry the length from the right side.


  • Pull the excess palla fabric that is draped near your neck up and over your head to protect your hair or keep warm.

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About the Author

Leah Perry has been writing articles, product descriptions and content since 2006 for websites like My Dear Child, Modular Kitchen Cabinets and On Track Lighting. The subjects of her works span topics from children to home and garden, home improvement, sewing and cooking.