The toga is the definitive garment of the Roman male. Always made of wool, and coming in a variety of colours for various uses, the toga is more than a mere bedsheet. At the very least, it should be semicircular in outline, but a more genuine effect is obtained by having the outline of the toga in the following shape:
The letters found on the diagram below refer to the proportions of the dimensions of the toga. Each "unit" is measured on the wearer from the base of the neck in front to the floor, with shoes on. The following proportions are taken from The Roman Toga by Wilson, and are for the "large Imperial toga". Togas worn during the Republican era were somewhat smaller.
Points c and d are in the middle of their respective sides. Each side and end should be exactly the same length as its opposite (bC should equal aD, etc.).
|File:Toga diagram.jpg|| Line lengths (1 unit = floor-to-neck):
The toga is worn by folding the top half down along line BQA. It is then wrapped around the wearer and eventually is draped over the left arm, which is held up and which bears much of the weight of the toga. It is worn over a tunic.
Types of Toga
As far as the colouring of the wool itself, there were several types of toga:
- Toga pura (or toga virilis)
- The ordinary citizen's toga. It is undyed, and thus off-white or cream coloured.
- Toga praetexta
- The toga worn by magistrates (and also by boys under the age of 16). It bears the purple stripe, the width of which varies according to the wearer. Senators and magistrates holding imperium wear a broad (3") purple stripe. Members of the Ordo Equites and magistrates without imperium wear a thin (1") purple stripe. Such stripes do not go all the way around the toga, but instead are placed on edge BEFA on the diagram (the upper-half of the toga).
- Toga candida
- The stark-white toga worn by candidates running for office. The English word "candidate" comes from this usage.
- Toga pulla
- A dark toga, either brown, dark gray, or even black, worn while in mourning.
- Toga picta
- A special toga worn only by military commanders being given a triumph. It is pure purple with decorations in golden thread.
- Toga trabea
- A multi-coloured toga, bearing purple and scarlet stripes, worn by Augurs.