Togas and Roman Dress - Worn Nowadays?

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Togas and Roman Dress - Worn Nowadays?

Postby Valerius Claudius Iohanes on Tue Apr 03, 2007 12:44 am

Claudius Iohannes Sodalibus Omnibus s. p. d.

Something occurred to me during a walk the other day, and I had to ask:

Where I live there are a certain number of African-American folk who improve and celebrate their private and social time by dressing in elegant African attire. So I wondered if any of our number do this; that is, aside from public re-enactment, wear the toga or other ancient Roman dress for his or her own sake, privately, at home? (If I could figure out how to create a proper toga, I think I might do this for myself - at home, at least.) It seems to me that in terms of Romanitas, this might be a very good thing to do.

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Postby Aldus Marius on Tue Apr 03, 2007 3:55 am

Salve, mi Valeri!

I very frequently wear my red Legionary tunic and caligae with a rope belt and jeans. It was one of my favorite outfits for work, and is featured on my current Texas driver's license. (I also keep that sagum cloak handy for cold nights or wet weather.) >({|:-)

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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:35 am

Salve Valeri Claudi

A tunica around the house because it's quite comfortable and cool in summer. (Took my wife and her girlfriend by surprise the first time, but they liked it.] I usually don't don a toga except when performing ritual, and then most often outdoors. It gets to be difficult running up and down stairs all day in a toga. But if I am going to sit for a while at the 'puter I might wear a toga also. I have three togae for different occasions. A plain white cotton toga virilis for most rituals, a toga sordida for certain rituals, and then a toga praetexta for certain ceremonial functions.

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Postby Aldus Marius on Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:07 am

(He had four, but he gave me one.) >({|:-)
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Postby Cleopatra Aelia on Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:05 am

When traveling to some Roman events I put on already at home my long brown tunica in order to have less pieces in my luggage and when on the train or on a car I wear it together with my regular jeans jacket so it makes me look more like a Greenie than a reenactor :wink:

My gladiator clothes come in handy, too: Last summer I went with a couple of friends to a Medieval festival where there was a lake right at the venue site, so I put my feet in the lake (I hate swimming) and was sunbathing afterwards and for that I was wearing the strophium (breastband) and subligaculum (loincloth) which made me feel more dressed than just wearing a bikini.

Here in Hamburg we have a hard n' heavy club which plays once per month this "Medieval" rock like Corvus Corax, Subway to Sally, Saltatio Mortis etc. which is very popular in Germany. Many medieval reenactors, LARPies and Gothics go to this party. The first time I went there I thought it was so unbearably hot wearing a regular T-shirt and a pair of jeans that I was saying more as a joke to a friend of mine "next time I'm gonna put on my gladiator kit". So he took my word and I had to go there in subligaculum, strophium and pectorale (breastplate). I was leaving my greave, helmet and sword at home, of course. Nobody really took notice of me due to the fact many weird people hanging around there, except for this one girl who liked my pectorale asking me if that is expensive (which I could confirm, of course).
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Postby Cleopatra Aelia on Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:09 am

I think we could extend this discussion to jewelry which is less obvious than a piece of clothing but nonetheless could also express our Romanitas.

I for example wear always a lunula pendant around my neck. On some days I put on some silver rings in the shape of snakes which are replicas after finds from the 2nd century, or some fibulas which are also replicas of original finds.
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Toga et Tunica

Postby Valerius Claudius Iohanes on Thu Apr 19, 2007 2:09 am

Salvete Sodales - atque gratias omnibus pro bonis responsis.

In the modern world, what fabrics do recreationists use for tunic or toga?

I'm reading that the original tunics were made of linen for the summer, wool for the winter. And that the togas were always of wool. But what is used by recreators?

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Postby Aldus Marius on Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:04 am

Salve iterum, Iohannes!

We use the same fabrics as the ancients did, if we know what we're doing. Wool and linen may still be had today. Those who know how will even hand-stitch their items. The truly obsessive among us have been known to raise their own sheep--of one of the more antique breeds, for preference!

The rest of us just buy what we need at the fabric store, dye it if it's not already the right color, and get our favorite seamster/seamstress to make it into something Romanly wonderful.

There is an unfortunate contingent who order "period" clothing and gear from companies like Museum Replicas. MR's resident Expert on weaponry did not deign to turn his attention to anything made before 1100AD, and wrote contemptuously of the Legions in the one book where he bothered with us at all...so what does that tell you about their Roman stuff? --The same as their Medieval stuff, actually: It's either right fabric, wrong cut...or right cut, wrong fabric...or wrong everything and ill-fitting besides. I've been getting, and laughing hideously at, their catalogue for over a decade and all I've gotten out of it since '95 is a lot of friends in the reenactor world who like to help me poke fun at them.

There's not a lazy-man's way to do it. We strive to be as accurate as we can. As the scholarship improves, so do our outfits!

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Postby Cleopatra Aelia on Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:13 pm

The same with me, I use wool and linen. Very thin wool could be worn even during the summer.

A friend of mine who does Germanic reenactment (but same century as me, i. e. 1st century AD) even wants to try to dye the material in old ways. So I helped her collecting onion skins with which you could dye from yellow to brownish.
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Postby cepasaccus on Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:49 pm

I love my hand sewn linen tunica, but I wear it only on events because of the work it had been.

Next weekend I will die my sagum brown with walnut. polluces vestros mihi premite!

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Postby Gaius Iulius Tabernarius on Sat Mar 22, 2008 1:41 am

My little sister makes costumes and such for herself an her friends (anime cos. play and Halloween) so I have asked her to make me a linen toga for the summer, but that may take awhile.

Also I think some day I will acquire a panoply I am thinking Linothorax Alexander's plumed helmet and a xiphos for a Greek general (maybe greaves an aspis and a Doru if I can afford it)

And then for my roman general I am thinking red cloak, Muscle cuirass, gladiolus, round shield (probably aspis I don't know what it is in Latin but red) and a big ridiculous plumed helmet!

I want to look like Suetonius from the history channel special about Boudicca!

And yes I would wear it in public, but only for some special reason, off hand I am thinking of making Socratic voyages into the city criticizing barbarians and such.

I have done this before, but never in full roman garb. I want to make a statement, I just hope they don't call for the men in white coats.
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Postby M.Apollonius Silvanus on Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:22 pm

Salvete Omes,

I dont have any Roman clothes.Would love to find something pretty cheap or get made for me cheaply. I wouldnt wear it around here(deep south USA) LOL. Might wear it around the house or out at Halloween,since that would be the only time I wouldnt be looked at like a fool. And since I dont know if I actually have any Roman blood it would be kinda hard explaining why I wear it. Whereas African Americans are actually African.


I believe the Latin for red is Russata,thats what its called on NR.

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