Toga, Stola, Chiton – it’s all Greek to me!
Roman Clothing

THE GOOD NEWS: Roman clothes were very easy to make and to put on. They were usually just made from a single piece of rectangular material, with no special shaping and very little sewing.

MORE GOOD NEWS!: There are a wealth of resources out there to help you. We have concocted this page with an overview on how to dress, but the internet is loaded with great ideas. We encourge you to search out your own as well. (If you find a really good link, let us know and we will add it here, too!)

THE EVEN BETTER NEWS: If you are not into making your outfit, and have no time to look, we have plenty of costume options. YAY! WHERE CAN I ORDER ONE?


Let’s begin with making your own outfit!

Benefits: cost and originality – no one will have a costume the same as you!
Tips:

  • Look for bedsheets on sale, at discount or second-hand shops.
  • Don’t like the color of your inexpensive sheets? Buy some fabric dye (approximately $3) and change it to a color you prefer.
  • Buying yardage of fabric can be less costly (and more original) than purchasing new bedsheets.
  • Look at the fabric store for gold tassels, cords, etc. to use as embellishments.
  • Don’t know how to sew? You can use pins, stitch withery and/or a glue gun for the construction of most outfits.
  • Don’t overstress. Anything goes!

 



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TUNIC:
The basic item of male dress was the tunic, made of two pieces of undyed wool sewn together at the sides and shoulders and belted in such a way that the garment just covered the knees. Openings for the arms were left at the top of the garment, creating an effect of short sleeves when the tunic was belted; since tunics were usually not cut in a T-shape, this left extra material to drape under the arm. Men of the equestrian class were entitled to wear a tunic with narrow stripes, in the color the Romans called purple (although it was more like a deep crimson), extending from shoulder to hem, while broad stripes distinguished the tunics of men of the senatorial class.

How to make a Roman tunic (eHow with pictures)

TOGA:
The toga was the national garment of Rome and only male citizens were allowed to wear the toga. It was made of a large woolen cloth cut with both straight and rounded edges; it was not sewn or pinned but rather draped carefully over the body on top of the tunic. Over time, the size and manner of draping the toga became more elaborate. The cloth was folded lengthwise and partly pleated at the fold, which was then draped over the left side of the body, over the left shoulder, under the right arm, and back up over the left arm and shoulder. It was held in place partly by the weight of the material and partly by keeping the left arm pressed against the body. Togas were costly, heavy, and cumbersome to wear; the wearer looked dignified and stately but would have found it difficult to do anything very active. Citizens were supposed to wear togas for all public occassions.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN TOGA

Ehow link on How to Make Your Toga

YouTube videos on How to Make a Toga


{SKIP THIS! I DON'T WANT TO MAKE MY COSTUME! WHERE CAN I ORDER ONE?}


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Similar to Roman men, the basic item of clothing was the tunic, though women's tunics were fuller and longer, usually extending to the feet. There were two basic styles of tunic, both similar to tunics worn by Greek women.

PEPLOS:
The peplos was made from two rectangular pieces of cloth partially sewn together on both sides; the open sections at the top were then folded down in the front and back. The woman pulled this garment over her head and fastened it at her shoulders with two large pins, forming a sleeveless dress; she then tied a belt over or under the folds. FInd more info here.
Peplos

CHITON:
The more common sleeved tunic worn by women was similar to the Greek chiton. Two wide pieces of cloth were sewn together almost to the top, leaving just enough room for armholes. The woman pulled this garment over her head and used several pins or buttons to fasten it at intervals over her shoulders and arms, forming a dress with sleeves which could be belted under the breasts, at the waist, or at the hips. The length of the sleeves was determined by the width of the cloth. Statues clearly show the manner of fastening the sleeves as well as various modes of draping and belting the tunic. Tunics could be brightly colored or made of lightweight fabrics such as linen or silk. FInd more info here.
chiton


HAIRSTYLES:
• Roman women were simple in dress, but elaborate in hairstyle.
• Often if their hair was not thick enough for the current hairstyle, a woman would wear a wig
• Red and blonde wigs were very in fashion
• Use false hairpieces to make hair longer, curlier or thicker
• Hair up: carefully arranged with jeweled hairpins to hold it in style.
• Hair down: curled with ringlets


Roman Hairstyles
SOME LINKS FOR HAIRSTYLES:
Look to this blog for inspiration!
One of our favorites for Roman hairstyles!
Roman women hairstyles
A little history on Roman Haistyles

I DON'T WANT TO MAKE MY COSTUME! WHERE CAN I ORDER ONE? (click here)


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Soldiers
Think this one is un-makable?
We found this AMAZING tutorial of how to make a Roman soldier costume out of cardboard! (pictured to the left)
• Check it out here!


• A simplified version

Tips on making your costume

One more resource on making your soldier costume!

Click here for Costumes

 

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Inspiration. Search on the internet for an image of a gladiator that you would like to portray. You can find many gladiators in the Hollywood world from Russell Crowe’s Gladiator, to Kirk Douglas’ Spartacus, to any one of the gladiators in the Starz Series Spartacus. Once you have that image of what you would like to create, go about collecting things that would help you create it. Be it, old belts, fake leather straps, old sports pads, spray paint, hot glue, etc.
Follow this link to help you complete your outfit.

Gladiator Accessories and Weaponry:
fascina: harpoon
• galea: visored helmet
galerus: metal shoulder piece
gladius: sword
hasta: lance
iaculum: net
manicae: leather elbow or wrist bands
ocrea: metal or boiled leather greave
parma: round shield
scutum: large oblong shield
sica: curved scimitar
subligaculum: loin cloth

A FEW MORE TUTORIALS ON WHAT TO WEAR:
Costumzee: How to Make a Gladiator Costume
Mahalo: How to Make a Gladiator Halloween Costume
Ezine: How to Make an Eye Catching Gladiator Costume
• Go Articles: A Very Detailed Article On How to Make an Authentic Gladiator Costume

I DON'T WANT TO MAKE MY COSTUME! WHERE CAN I ORDER ONE? (click here)

 

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Footwear can be a simple sandal or leather slipper that you have in your closet. This was very tpical of the time and would suit your outfit wonderfullty. OR, you can go all out and find some fun and funky Roman style shoes.

If you are ever so daing you can make your own
How to create Roman Sandals from scratch!
Another how to do it on your own!
Ehow!
 

 

 

 

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