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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.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|