To make a Roman soldier costume, make a red tunic long enough to reach about mid-thigh. Add a faux-leather skirt, a breastplate, shield, helmet and plastic weapon if appropriate. Leather sandals make ideal footwear, and a purple flag with an eagle on top of the pole is a nice finishing touch, although not necessary.
- Create or buy a thigh-length red tunic
A large red t-shirt works for this. If length needs to be added, cut enough length off the bottom of another red t-shirt, and stitch it onto the first t-shirt. The tunic should reach mid-thigh or a little lower.
- Create a faux-leather skirt
The Roman soldiers wore strips of leather hanging down from their waists for protection. To create this look, cut several strips of brown felt or fake leather long enough to reach from the waist to the bottom of the tunic. Attach these strips to an old belt, or make a belt with a strip of leather or felt that fits around the waist.
- Create or purchase a lightweight breastplate
Depending on desired size and local resources, plastic breastplates may be available for sale. If not, create one with craft foam. Cut a large vest shape from a silver or black sheet of foam. Attach strips of foam to wrap around the body. Attach the strips to the shoulders of the vest, cross them behind the back, and attach them at the waist of the vest. The breastplate can be attached to the skirt if desired.
- Add a helmet
Adding a strip of red faux fur along the top of the helmet is a good way to turn a regular, store-bought helmet into one appropriate for a Roman soldier. To create a helmet from scratch, use a gray baseball cap worn backwards and attach a face guard cut from silver craft foam to the front. The guard should leave the face bare so sight is not impaired. A strip of red craft foam, felt or faux fur from the forehead to the back of the hat gives it a nice Roman look.
- Add accessories
Add purchased accessories, such as a plastic shield, leather sandals, and, if appropriate, a soft plastic sword or spear. Keep in mind that some venues do not allow fake weapons, so if in doubt, do not include these. A purple flag with a fancy standard serves as a nice addition. If desired, add the Roman letters SPQR on the flag or somewhere on the costume.