Ideas for an Italian Costume

Written by tim mcquade
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Ideas for an Italian Costume
Italy's rich heritage provides for many costume ideas. (carte Italie image by Unclesam from

Italy is home to some of the richest and most diverse history and culture in all of Europe. From ancient Rome to the Renaissance to World War II, Italy has impacted the world for thousands of years. Because of this, you can create a variety of costumes that represent Italy and its people.

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Roman Warrior Costume

The Roman army was a magnificent fighting force, and it was one of the prominent reasons for the Roman Empire's success. Made of what was termed "legions," the Roman army thrived on extensive discipline and training. A costume that depicts a warrior in a Roman legion should be made of a red-feathered helmet, red cape (optional), metal breastplate, metal shield, short sword or spear, red undergarments (with red skirt/kilt) and leather-bound sandals. Because the Roman Empire was a quintessential moment in the history of Italy, a typical Roman warrior from around 100 B.C. would be a great Italian costume idea.

Roman warriors are iconic symbols of classical Italy.
Roman warriors are iconic symbols of classical Italy. (roman warrior image by hugy from

Benito Mussolini Costume

Benito Mussolini was one of the most significant figures in 20th century Italy. He served as Italy's leader for over 20 years. His powerful and vehement speeches, as well as his ruthlessness towards anyone who got in his way, made him the face of his nation. A Mussolini costume should consist of his iconic boat-shaped mutz hat, which resembled a bowler hat, a brown or tan military overcoat with pins and medals, military breeches and tall black leather boots, both of which were symbols of Mussolini and the fascist officers of World War II. Also, Mussolini's stern, rigid posture is an important component to this costume.

Julius Caesar Costume

More than any other Roman politician or military figure, Julius Caesar was the single figure that represented the Roman Empire. Caesar's actions and policies were a crucial piece to the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire, the latter more closely resembling a dictatorship. Because of this, a Julius Caesar costume would be a great choice for an Italian costume. The best costume portraying Caesar would feature his statesman's robe and tunic. This would consist of a long white robe or toga, a red sash over one arm, gold feathers over both ears and leather-bound sandals. A piece of rolled up parchment paper could also be used to depict his governing responsibilities.

Minerva Costume

Minerva is one of the best known Roman goddesses. The Romans associated her with many things, including medicine, the arts and war. She also represented wisdom, and her association with an owl symbol reinforced this. A Minerva costume should use a large, baggy white tunic or robe, plumed hat or helmet, spear, small shield and leather-bound sandals. Because Romans associated her with an owl, you can use a fake owl as an accessory with this costume.

Modern statues in Italy, like this one in Pavia, depict Minerva as an important figure to classical and contemporary Italy.
Modern statues in Italy, like this one in Pavia, depict Minerva as an important figure to classical and contemporary Italy. (Minerva pavia image by apeschi from

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