The earliest of these, the Oppian Law, dates to 215 BCE, at the height of the Second Punic War. It prohibited women from owning more than a certain amount of gold, wearing purple-trimmed or otherwise multicolored clothing, or riding in animal-drawn vehicles in cities and towns. There were two reasons for this specific focus on women. First, with the deaths of so many men in the war, women inherited most of the wealth. Second women were associated with extravagant and useless displays of luxury, considered inappropriate with the fear of Hannibal’s approaching armies and with so many in mourning. Men, it was presumably assumed would spend more on the war effort than women. The law wasn’t repealed until 20 years later, six years after the end of the war, when the women of Rome demonstrated in the streets.
The Voconian Law, from 169 BCE barred the wealthiest of Rome from making a woman their heir or allowing a woman to inherit more than a small portion of their property. It only applied to cases where a will existed. Women could still inherit in cases where no will was made.* Again, the point was to keep wealth out of the hands of women, who it was assumed would spend it on frivolous things. Augustus’ marriage legislation relaxed the terms of this law enough that it essentially had no force.
The Emperor Elagabalus instituted a series of laws detailing what specifically women of different ranks could wear and display. The story of a senate of women put together to decide one the details is almost certainly not true. The laws were repealed on Elagabalus’ death.
*Another way around this was by fideicommissum, or nominally making someone one’s heir with the understanding that they would pass it on to a third party after one’s death.
Pomeroy, Sarah B. Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves. New York: Schocken, 1995.
Pomeroy, Sarah B. Women's History & Ancient History. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991.