Cleopatra Costumes

Written by Sarah Provost
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Cleopatra costumes offer infinite variety in color, richness and design, though the dress can be as basic as a white toga or a black or gold sheath. Cleopatra costumes range from the historically accurate undertunic and chiton to something that wouldn't look out of place in a disco inferno. But the lady's combination of beauty and power makes Cleopatra costumes one of the great standbys.

The two styles, toga and sheath, are both relatively easy to put together. The toga is usually wrapped to create a deep v-neck, white the sheath is often tight to the chin. Both styles do well to show off the wide beaded collar that combines with the headdress to say, "Cleopatra." The toga is often white, with a gold or violet cloak over the shoulder. The sheath style can be black, white, gold, or any rich color. Cleopatra was not a lady for pastels.

Headpieces and Accessories for Cleopatra Costumes

In a pinch, you could probably wear a nightgown and get away with it as long as you had a really great headdress. There are several styles to choose from. The simplest is the gold circlet with a cobra head rising from the forehead. A beaded wig that hangs down over the hair is very exotic, and for most women, more flattering that the tall solid hat with the hair tucked under it, as is often seen. A Pharaoh-style headdress is created of draped, striped fabric. The most elaborate, and most historically accurate, is the crown of Isis. Two curved horns rise from the temples, holding a gold disk, which represents the sun.

If you've got a blonde pixie cut or auburn ringlets, you'll need a Cleopatra wig to be convincing--though the real Cleopatra may well have reddened her hair with henna. Eyeliner drawn well past the corners of the eyes and even decorated with Egyptian glyphs, will perfect the image. And finally, don't worry if you aren't built like a supermodel. The real Cleo was less than five feet tall and definitely on the plump side!


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