We come not to plan a sophisticated soiree but to drape ourselves in sheets and raise some serious Hades!
What to Drink
If college taught us anything, it's that toga parties are primarily beer-fueled events. However, if an actual Roman saw you knock back some tasty suds, he would probably consider you a barbarian. Romans of all classes drank wine. And they often "cut" their wine with a little water and flavored it with herbs. Make a big bowl of punch and call it Roman wine.
What to Eat
Anything too sloppy and drippy--barbecue, chili burgers--could quickly turn your toga into an enormous napkin. We think you're probably safe with this selection of toga-friendly apps.
How to Wear a Toga
- What you're going for here is a draping effect. Fold a bed sheet in half lengthwise (or go to the fabric store and buy about 5 feet of cloth), then wrap it around your waist a couple times, throw it over your shoulder, and tuck it into your waist. Pin the fabric down, or wrap a sash around yourself. This is not strictly authentic, but then, neither is wearing a bed sheet.
- Go with some fun colors. Try red, purple (the emperor's color!), or blow it out with patterned sheets that would not be entirely familiar to the gens togata ("the people who wore togas," the Romans), like Hello Kitty sheets.
- If you want something a little swankier, and you're looking for a sewing project, buy several yards of fabric and sew a nice colorful border along the length of one hem. Hint: Triumphant Roman generals rode through Rome dressed in gold-bordered togas.
- Now that you're duly draped, don't forget to accessorize with sandals (the strappy kind that wrap up the leg are best). Though Julius Caesar would not have been caught dead in them, flip flops will work in a pinch. Top your kopf with a laurel wreath, and you're ready to roll out to the Forum.
Notes: Underneath it all, you might consider wearing shorts and a T-shirt. The Romans themselves would not have bared their shoulders; they would've worn something approximating a T-shirt--technically, a tunic.
For a studied look at how to toga appropriately (or inappropriately depending on your take), please reference the toga-party scene in Animal House.