CLOAKS & CAPES
Cloaks were the common outdoor wear in the Roman Empire, but cloaks were also worn indoors, particularly at meals and banqets. It was impolite to leave off your cloak unless you were in your own house. It was a little like the wearing of hats in Victorian times.
The soldiers of 200AD favoured a thick warm rectangular cloak called the sagum. It was used to protect from bad weather on the march or sentry duty, and doubled as a blanket at night. Cloaks were fixed in place by a metal brooch. Fortunatus wears a bronze penannular brooch, popular in the British province.
These cloaks were often left with the natural sheep oils in, keeping them waterproof (though smelly!). They varied in colour, since they weren't dyed, they were the natural colour of the sheep that the wool was taken from.
Civillians in the 3rd century preferred to wear hooded cloaks (capes) when outdoors. Soldiers found capes especially useful in places like Germany and Britain, where the weather could turn nasty and the winters were bitterly cold. Local Germans in the late 2nd century had been wearing ankle length capes for years and it seems the legionaries liked and used them too. They called them caracallas. When emperor Septimus Severus' son, Gaius, began dressing like a soldier (complete with his own caracallus) they nicknamed him 'caracalla'. The Britons also had a type of long hooded cape that was nicknamed the Birrus Britannicus or cucullus. Fortunatus has a cucullus and uses it in winter-time, and at night when camping, as a blanket. It is very comfortable!
Left A cucullus can be worn over armour, perfect for staying dry while on the march to war.
Below Trying to sleep on a beach in northern Britain, Fortunatus and Victor stay warm in their long hooded cloaks [cucullus or caracallus].
Popular with farmers, travellers and others spending time outdoors, the alicula was a short cape with a hood that covered the shoulders. Most representations show it stitched up at the front. Many sculptures show the alicula 'stippled' as if made of thick wool or fleece. At least one representation (small statue of a Roman ploughman found at Triers) shows a worker in a goatskin leather alicula.
Easy to pack, and useful in bad weather, the alicula may have been popular with soldiers like Fortunatus.
Left Sculpture from Housesteads fort on Hadrian's Wall, showing the three 'Hooded Dwarves' or 'Cucullati'. These three figures crop up in Roman Britain and seem to be a set of lucky spirits. They always wear the British cucullus.
... but then they're local spirits, and they just know its going to rain...