They were allowed to spend the money and some chose to buy more expensive clothing. Slaves never wore a toga. The right to wear a toga was only given to Roman citizens. A Roman slaves clothing was dictated by the type of job they had to perform. The Roman slaves clothing worn by House slaves was always of a better quality than other slaves.
Roman Slaves Clothing - The Slave Auction
A Roman Slaves Clothing was dictated by his owner and the job he was allocated. Roman slaves were purchased at slave auctions, sold just like any other commodity by traders. The integrity and honesty of slave traders was often questioned and the traders at the auctions had to guarantee that the slaves they were selling were sound and that any faults were pointed out at the point of purchase. Slaves were therefore commonly exposed for sale naked. Roman Slaves were displayed to their best advantage on platforms or revolving stands and potential buyers could demand that slaves who were clothed were stripped in order that a closer inspection of the 'goods' could be made. Each slave had a placard (tituli) around his neck describing his details and if a slave dealer was unable to offer any guarantees about the slave then the slave was made to wear a special cap called a pillei on his head.
Roman Slaves Clothing - The roles of slaves
A Roman Slaves Clothing was dictated by the job they had to perform. And the number of jobs and roles performed by Roman slaves were extremely diverse. The majority of Roman slaves were placed in positions where they had to undertake the most menial and unpleasant tasks, however slaves with suitable backgrounds were given the roles such as teachers and artists.
Roman Slaves Clothing - Menial Slaves
Slaves who were uneducated and had no special skills or attributes were given the most menial tasks. Such slaves would be put to work on farms, on building projects, cleaning, working in sewers, public baths. Other slaves were condemned to working underground in tin and copper mines. Male slaves were also condemned to work under the lash in the Roman galleys. These slaves wore a loincloth which was practical to the task such as the galley workers. Other slaves such as the agricultural workers would receive a tunic every year and a cloak and pair of wooden shoes every two years. The heads of many farm workers were regularly shaved and their hair was used to make wigs and hairpieces for wealthy Romans.
Roman Slaves Clothing - Educated and Skilled Slaves
The Roman Slaves Clothing of educated and skilled slaves was of better quality materials as their appearance reflected on the status of their owners. Special skills were valued by the owners who used the slaves as artists, musicians, accountants and teachers. House slaves who attended to the every day wishes of their masters and mistresses were dressed accordingly. Special value was placed on female slaves who were skilled in creating the elaborate hairstyles favored by wealthy Roman women. The Roman slave hairdressers were called ornatrices.
Roman Slaves Clothing - Gladiators
The Roman Slaves Clothing worn by gladiators in the arena were limited to simple loincloths and the armor required by the different types of gladiators. For everyday wear gladiator slaves were given a basic tunic and occasionally cloaks to wear. Almost all of the different types of gladiators fought with bare chests, which the Romans viewed as a symbol of masculine virility. For the sake of modesty they wore a canvas loin cloth, called a subligaculum, which was worn in a variety of colors.