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Making your own toga is a simple, inexpensive process that allows you to have a costume without requiring the talent of a tailor. Still, there are some tidbits you should follow to making your own toga. To find out what we recommend, read the following five guidelines to making your own toga:
1. Unlike what you may have heard, don't use a sheet. You can go to the fabric store and buy something which looks much better and is less expensive than most sheets cost.
2. You can select something other than a white color of fabric whether you're creating a woman's toga or a men's version. Depending on what the costume is for and what character you're portraying, you can get fabric in purple, blue, or pink.
3. For a woman's toga, get anywhere from four to six yards of fabric. Base your decision on how much drape you want and how tall or big you are.
4. For simple togas for men or a child's toga, four yards of fabric will do.
5. Remember to allow three feet of fabric to wrap around your waist. If you're working with a toga that starts from the waist and goes over the shoulder, you'll need to wrap it around 1.5 times and then have fabric to spare to throw over your shoulder.
So you want to make your own toga, but not sure what to do with the piece of cloth? Learning how to make a toga for your next god or Roman character is a snap. Check out this guide on how to make a toga fit for a god.
1. To start making your men's toga, take one end of the cloth and place it at your waist.
2. Wrap the cloth around at least once so that it hangs about knee length. (You can always fold a wider material in half for thickness or to reduce the length.)
3. Take the remainder of the toga and throw it over the shoulder of your choice.
4. You can tuck or pin the fabric around the back at your waist level.
5. You can add accessories like sandals, armbands, swords, and a leaf crown on your head for your men's toga.
Have you always wanted to learn how to make a toga, but you weren't sure how? Togas make great Halloween costumes for Roman and Greek characters. Follow this guide on how to make a toga and you'll be fashioning immortal worthy attire in no time at all.
1. Measure from just under your arms to the floor to figure out the width of white fabric you'll need. For the length, calculate enough so that you can wrap the material around yourself twice with room to spare.
2. Take the fabric and wrap it from front to back right under your arms.
3. Take the top ends and criss-cross them over each other as you bring them back to the front over your chest. Remember to keep the fabric under your arms as you bring it back to the front.
4. Next, take the ends and tie the cloth securely behind your neck.
5. Adorn you goddess toga with corded rope or a length of gold ribbon at the waist.
6. Finish with gold or leather sandals and your goddess toga look is complete.
Any toga costume will show off a little skin, but for a sexy toga costume, why not try our list of flirty ideas?
Caesar's Girl - Dress up as a Caesar's girl. You'll be in an all white sexy toga costume that falls up above the knee. A gold band adorns your skirt and an over the shoulder detail caps off your outfit. Add high-heeled shoes and an armband for added sex appeal.
Goddess of Love - Put on a sexy toga costume as the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite. In a white toga dress that drapes down the back and ends as a halter at the neck, you'll have suitors proclaiming their love. With gold cord wrapping its way around your waist and adorning a bare back, you'll be sure to turn heads whether you're coming or going.
Grecian Statue – Just because you're supposed to be made of stone, doesn't mean you can't melt a heart or two. With a printed body unitard and a toga wrapped about your waist, what statue could be more seductive?
Sure, you know what a toga party is and you've probably even attended one yourself, but did you ever wonder how the toga party got started? In the 1960's, McMaster University in Ontario Canada popularized the concept among its Greek fraternities. The prevalence of Greek campus culture lead to widespread toga party events, even though the toga is actually a Roman garb. Today, the toga party is common among American college campuses where fraternity members as well as sorority members dress up in bed sheets, fashioned into toga type costumes. At a toga party, the beer flows freely as does the carousing atmosphere.
For a simple costume which allows so much versatility, start with a toga costume. Here are some of our ideas for characters you can play in a toga costume.
Julius Cesar – To play Rome's last dictator, you'll need a long white toga, a colored sash draped from one shoulder, and a leaf crown around your head. Add gold cuffs around your wrists and leather sandals at your feet. It also helps if you have short hair you can push forward in the classic Julius Cesar type hairdo.
The Goddess Athena – Use a length of white fabric to turn into a toga. For a belt, add a length of gold cord. Add an additional length of fabric as a drape over your shoulder. You can adorn the edge of your toga with gold ribbon banding. As the Goddess of the Hunt, you'll need to add a toy bow and arrows as your accessories.
Spartacus – You can use a toga to dress up as Spartacus, the gladiator who led armies in battles against the Roman Empire in the Third Servile War. Start with a short toga that ends above the knee. Add a rich colored cloak to drape from your shoulders. For the waist, tie a corded belt. For your feet, add leather sandals.
For a complete toga costume in the Greek or Roman character of your choice, shop at a major online retailer. You can find a toga costume for Caesar, Greek gods and goddesses, as well as Spartacus. Some toga costume accessories you can find online include a laurel leaf crown, gold armband, sandals, and gladiator weapons.
Who says real men don't wear skirts? The Roman toga costume is the perfect Halloween outfit choice. For different Roman toga costume ideas for guys, look at our suggestions.
Mark Antony – You'll be stately as the Roman general Mark Antony. Take charge in a richly colored tunic with Roman armor, cape, and wrist cuffs.
Roman Senator – Take on the floor as a Roman senator in a long tunic, a Roman toga, and a belt.
Roman Citizen – Wear a plain tunic underneath your toga. Your feet can be bare or add sandals when going outdoors. To add to the authenticity of the Halloween outfit, get a wig and beard with thick curly hair.
To begin your toga costume, take 3 to 4 yards of cotton, muslin or poplin drapery material. Hold the length horizontally and wrap the material around your waist 1.5 times. Togas can be pinned or tied. Throw the rest of the fabric over a shoulder. Bring fabric back to your waist. Tie it with a colored sash. Adjust your new roman costume toga to suit your taste.
If you watch “Gladiator” or “Spartacus,” you've probably noticed that Romans tended to dress elaborately, unless you were a peasant, in which case your Roman togas tended to be all one color with no ornaments. If you were one of the few people who watched “Alexander” or “Troy,” you also noticed that Brad Pitt and Colin Farrell went all out in the Greek toga costume department, and we don't just mean the armor. Accessories for your toga costumes go beyond the laurel wreaths people traditionally choose. The art of how to make a toga includes choosing decorations. Study children's history books, the illustrated kind. Those are usually terrific reference guides, and you can see what ancient Greeks and Romans actually wore for festivals, state occasions and everyday life. The upper classes of Greece and Rome glittered with jewelry, as, too, sometimes did the slave classes and the courtesans. Men proudly wore jewels with their chitons and togas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store often has ancient jewelry replicas or jewelry inspired by ancient Roman and Greek designs. This is another good place to look for ideas and not be distracted by Brad Pitt, Kirk Douglas or Russell Crowe.
Flip-flops with a Greek toga costume will make Brutus assassinate you, Cleopatra hand you an asp, and Socrates pass you the hemlock. Don't go there. You can wear regular leather sandals with Roman togas or Greek chitons. But if you've taken the time to learn how to make a toga or chiton, why not be Greek or Roman from laurel-wreathed head to toe? Ancient Greek shoes, or cothurni (impress your friends by saying it), came in a variety of styles: * Simple sandals made of a slip of leather strapped to the foot * Light slipper-like coverings similar to mules * Heavy nail-studded boots With their togas, ancient Romans mainly wore the caliga, a heavy sandal with a hobnailed sole and separate leather top, fastened by thongs. The Roman Emperor Caligula, who started his career as a soldier, was named for these shoes. You can wear these with toga costumes, or you can opt for the style available in costume shops with many straps crisscrossing around the half and ankle, almost to the knee.
Color played an important part in Roman costumes, including the toga, denoting not only the rank or office of the wearer, but some-times the occasion for which it was worn. Toga colors began to distinguish class and professions: blue for philosophers, black for theologians, green for practitioners of the medical arts. A roman costume for soothsayers was a white toga, unornamented. For a peasant toga wear one sober color. Officer's togas have two colors. Clan commanders, three colors. Toga costume for the members of the Imperial household wore as many as seven colors.
There is no Greek toga costume for women or men. Think Greek chitons, Roman togas. If your sister-in-law asks you if you know how to make a toga for an Athenian woman, smile and say, “Athenian women wear chitons.” What is a chiton? Greek women's chitons are gowns or tunics. Hot tip: Whether you're making a toga or a chiton, don't use a bedsheet. Go to a fabric shop and buy linen or wool for your Greek “togas”. Greek women's chitons, which were traditionally a yard longer than men's, came in two flavors: Doric and Ionic. The Doric style uses wool folded to form a double covering at the waist and pinned at the shoulder by a brooch. The later Ionic style is simpler, made of linen, and sewn at the shoulders. For both styles, wear a fancy girdle or jeweled fashion belt. If you want to get authentic, make a wool cloak called a himation or throw on one of the whole-body shawls or pashminas. Ancient Greek women never left the house without the himation. The women's Roman toga costumes should be white wool or comparable fabric. The style is similar to male togas. In contrast, Greek women's chitons were always longer than male chitons. Also, check your history, since fashion was just as unpredictable in the ancient world as it is now. In later Roman times, only women of ill-repute wore Roman togas. Proper young ladies and matrons, as well as slaves, wore short-sleeved tunics tied at the waist. Married woman covered their tonics with a stola, a long, full dress with a high waist girdle and a colorful border around the neckline. Of course, you could always wear the toga pullas, made all of black wool, and be a Roman widow at a funeral. Black also works for an ancient Greek woman's costume.
Diadems, tiaras, crowns and wreaths work well as costume accessories for Roman togas and any Greek toga costume, especially if you're dressing as an upper class ancient Greek or Roman. There's a reason instructions on how to make a toga don't include suggestions for headgear. Romans didn't wear hats. Greek and Roman women covered their heads with veils. In Ancient Greece, hats, usually made of felt, skin or leather, and with a strap around the neck, were only for bad weather. After the time of Alexander the Great, women sometimes wore conical straw hats. Unless you're trying to be an ancient Greek traveler in a storm, when it comes to hats with toga costumes, heed the words of the ancients: “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your hats.”
A mans Greek costume is a simple, tubular garment. It consists of 2 rectangles joined at the shoulders and down the sides, leaving slit openings for the head and arms. There is no such thing as a Greek toga. Togas were worn only by Romans. A mans roman costume included wearing a toga over a knee-length tunic that is sleeveless or short-sleeved with a wide shawl, draped over the shoulder and wrapped around the body.
You might see ancient Roman cavalry extras in “Spartacus” wearing trousers with their Roman togas. Most instructions on how to make a toga don't include trousers. However, ancient Roman soldiers, especially the cavalry, wore pants with their togas. You can pair military toga costumes with linen or wool trousers. Keep in mind that the most part trousers were considered the clothing of barbarians. If you dress as a Roman senatorial candidate, wearing trousers will be a bigger fashion faux pas than passing off your Roman apparel as a Greek toga costume.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|