Togas are a classic I-forgot-to-buy-a-costume costume, requiring just a white bed sheet. However, there is a fine line between a commendable toga ensemble and one that makes you look like a frat boy. To avoid the latter, I recommend having a reference point in mind when putting together your outfit.
Disclaimer: Some of the links below are amazon affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, by clicking through and making a purchase, you will also be contributing to the growth of Sartle.
Augustus of Prima Porta, 1st century AD, white marble, Vatican Museums, Rome.
For lovers of the Roman Republic, Augustus of Prima Porta is the statue for you. Julius is overplayed, so go as this guy, the other Caesar, his grand-nephew who did not get stabbed to death. Doll prop like this one recommended, imperial finger point required.
Winged Victory of Samothrace, 200-190 BCE, Parian marble, Louvre, Paris.
Another iconic piece from Classical antiquity, this is a statue of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, perfect as an allegorical representation of your victory of having the best costume. It may look familiar from its cameo in Beyonce and Jay-Z’s music video for "Apesh**t." Go for a loose bed sheet look to mimic the wet drapery and accessorize with a pair of wings like these.
Auguste Rodin, The Burghers of Calais, modeled 1884-89, Calais, France.
Looking for a group costume for a group of six? Try Auguste Rodin’s The Burghers of Calais. Just prepare your most angsty facial expressions. No props required.
Speaking of group costumes, another great idea is Jesus and the twelve apostles, specifically in Leonardo’s The Last Supper. There’s nothing like a hallowed Halloween costume.
Looking for something appropriately terrifying? Try Caravaggio’s David with the Head of Goliath. Pair your bed sheet with a pair of brown pants, dress up a severed head (like this one) with a brown wig (find one here), and complete it with a sword like this one. Or better yet, get your friend to go as Goliath and reenact the Biblical scene.
Looking for something more practical? Go for Michelangelo’s Pieta. It may take multiple bed sheets, but will keep you nice and warm on a crisp autumn night. (If you're going as Mary, at least.)
Alternatively, if a bed sheet is simply too much clothing, go au naturel as Michelangelo’s David and spend the night in your best contrapposto.
If you’re looking to spend a bit more time and money, check out 25 Amazing Ideas for Art History Costumes.
No clean bed sheets, but still the same amount of agency? Check out Art History Halloween Costumes for Lazy People.