The Toga is a distinctive outfit from the times of Ancient Rome. It seems to now be most popular for toga parties or dressing up in a costume at Halloween or other such fancy dress events. Here’s a bit more on the background and substance of a Roman toga costume.
The toga is actually the outer garment in the “toga costume”. It consists of a square cloth that is draped over one shoulder and around the body. Under the Toga, a typical Roman citizen would wear a tunic. A tunic could be sleeveless or have short sleeves. It would slip over the head and had a hemline half way between the groin and knees.
The toga is identified with ancient Rome because only Roman citizens could wear a toga. It became a symbol of Rome and also a peaceful symbol as soldiers could or did not wear togas. This may have been a more practical motivation as a toga in a Roman soldier costume would probably make it harder to fight and make the wearer more clumsy.
However if a Roman citizen was receiving guests or having a party he would don the Toga. This also applied if he was going outside or into the town. So in ancient Rome, a toga was your going out, dress up smart gear.
Toga’s also had ceremonial aspects to them. Senators and important officials of the empire would wear more elaborate togas as part of their duties. Citizens that came to forums were required to wear a toga too.
Caesars would also wear their own style of toga when on official duties.
Today, most people going to a toga party might simply get a bed sheet and form it into an over the shoulder drape. If you decide to get a more authentic looking Roman toga costume, get it from a costume shop or online costume store. These type of costumes generally come with a tunic and toga together. They may have extra accessories to make the whole ensemble stand out from all the other bed sheet costumes on show.