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Toga Party

A Toga Party is a type of theme party where the participants, usually college students, dress in white togas, robes, and even bedsheets, to look (and sometimes act) like Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman citizens and philosophers.

Written by DP | Updated

Two roman women enjoying a Toga Party on a beach
An outdoor Toga Party? Who knew?!

Other than the DIY togas, a Toga Themed Party can be identified by the bevy of golden rope belts, olive branch headbands, historic looking centerpieces, and of course, any other nod to the Ancient Gods of yore.

A Toga Party is among the best themed parties.

Though popular with Greek life on campus back in the day, the modern Greek and Roman Toga Party was romanticized by the 1978 hit movie, Animal House. In the movie Animal House, the brothers of Delta House throw a raging Toga Party for ... well, just because.

From there, it just took off and spurred in interesting ways. Some folks took to throw sexy toga parties, where everyone’s greco-roman couture was just a little bit more revealing. Others went further and threw naked toga parties, where people were required to wear nothing under their linens.

We’re willing to bet that at some point a person or two just showed up wearing only gold-leafed garlands and little else to this modern greek party. If you’re going that far, you better look like a Greek God or Goddess, or some sculpted statue out of Greek Mythology.

Toga Costumes

Togas were made of wool in the Roman Republic. Colleges students in the North take note, as you can be accurate and warm during a Winter Toga Party.

Anyway, back in the days of antiquity, there were five types of Toga. Those types included toga candida, toga picta, toga praetexta, toga pulla, toga virilis. Each was a symbol of the societal status of its wearer. This is the type of thing that would be good for a fraternity or sorority that wanted to host a Toga Party to know, as they tend to classify segregate who is qualified for certain privileges a bit more than the gen-pop of a campus.

Where to buy Toga Costumes

If you aren’t taking the DIY approach to your faux Caesar costume, then check out the in-person and online digital racks at these fine establishments below. If Bed, Bath & Beyond wasn’t on it’s way out of a business, we’d say to just grab a bedsheet from them.

  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Party City
  • Walmart

Toga Costume Alternatives

You’re probably better off accessorizing your Toga than ditching it altogether. If you’re not into the classic Greek Goddess look, then try different sash or belt colors. Maybe even try different fabrics. To sandal or not, tis the question.

If you wanted to skirt the rules a bit, we suppose you could try and get away with dressing like a Spartan Warrior or Roman Gladiator. But remember the golden (fleece) rule, No Toga, No Party.

Also, bonus points for anyone who safely treats a keg toss like a hammer throw. Remember that the key is safely.

A Greek Goddess dressed in a Toga Costume sitting in front of an Ancient Statue of what appears to be Icarus
Toga Costume AND Ancient Statue Decoration for the win!

Toga Party Decorations

Ancient Greece (and Rome by extension) was considered to be most tranquil by the great explorers, and philosophers, Bill & Ted. You will want many columns, and, an arena to gather and ponder in. Which should also feature many columns.

Along with vines, golden jewelry, anything olive related works too. And if you can sneak in a chariot, all the better.

Where to buy Toga Decorations

Much like Roman and Greek God costumes, you can expect to find high-quality decorations for the theme party at these online and brick-and-mortar stores.

  • Amazon
  • Party City
  • Target
  • Walmart

What Movies & TV to Watch

Your best for your hi-def television screens is to leave on some classic Greco-Roman pop flicks. Here’s a handful of ideas and suggestions for that.

  • 300
  • Ben-Hur
  • Clash of the Titans
  • Cleopatra
  • Gladiator
  • Immortals
  • Spartacus
  • Troy

If you’re throwing a Toga Party in the Summer or Winter of a year in which the Olympic Games are on, then by all means show that instead.

And of course, Animal House. And Van Wilder while you’re at it.

Types of Party Games to play

Why, the Beer Olympics, of course. If you’re in need of ideas for drinking games to play at a Toga Themed Party, look no further than an event so grand, it’s named after the Ambrosia Chugging Greeks and Romans of old. Further, you should appoint a Caesar of the games.

Other than a rousing Beer Olympics, you could always try Kottabos or Passatella, two ancient drinking games from, you guessed it, Ancient Greek and Roman History.

Toga Party Food & Drink

This is easy to solve for. Greek and Italian food. Wine. Lots of it.

If you want to keep it classy, think of a cocktail dinner with some light Hors d'oeuvres that would be found in any Mediterranean diet. If you want to rock, let the men (and women) act like Spartans and carry around fresh-off-the-spit shanks of lamb.

Because if you’re going to host the world’s best Toga Party, you’re going to do it right.

Toga Party FAQs

Is a Toga Party easy to dress for?

Yes, it might just be the easiest theme party to dress for. Why? Because most everyone has a bed sheet in their home.

It’s true, some bed sheets aren’t white. But the large majority that are make for an easy DIY toga costume. This helps when you’re a poor college kid who needs to save up their $$ to get to and from the costume party, as well as ante up for the solo cup of beer from the keg.

What is the largest Toga Party ever thrown?

The University of Queensland Union (UQU) and Queensland University of Technology Guild (QUT) threw a Toga Party in 2012 with 3,700 people, making it the largest Toga Party the world has ever seen. It was recognized by Guinness World Records as an official record, beating the prior record of 2,166, set in Cottage Grove, Oregon in 2003.

It’s been ten years, perhaps someone else needs to don Grecian headpieces and roll in a new round of kegs to assume the mantle of the World’s Largest Toga Party.

Where can I get inspiration for Ancient Greek & Roman Costumes for my Toga Party?

Glad you asked. There is a book entitled, Costumes of the Greeks and Romans, that was first printed in 1962 that delivers over 700 illustrations of Greek and Roman garb that you can use to augment your next Toga Party costume. Plus, we’re fairly certain that you can build on some of the motifs in the book for decorating your house or college apartment to match.

Bonus points for anyone living in a house with columns.

How do I tie a Toga?

Excellent question. A Toga is tied in three steps. If our words don’t make enough sense, check out the video below. It even features the font Papyrus. Outstanding!

  • Place one of the sheet's corners over your shoulder. Pull the corner through your hand until you have around six to eight inches of excess material length. Now under your arm and over your chest, drape the sheet.
  • Wrap the sheet around your waist while twisting it some.
  • Now wrap it around your back and secure it to the remainder in step one.

Wrapping Up

Better than a birthday party or being attached a New York baby shower guest list, a Toga Party invitation is the golden envelope that you’ve waited all semester for. Armed with a Bedsheet or Roman God/Goddess Costume, you can’t go wrong.

Just remember to wear enough warm clothes under it to last you through the night. Unless of course it’s a nude Toga Party. Then we can’t help you at all. Though, that would make Titties easier to play.

Have a ball!

References & Sources