A toga party is a type of costume party with a Roman or Greek theme and in which male and female attendees are expected to wear a toga, or a semblance thereof, normally made from a bed sheet, and sandals. At toga parties, the costumes, party games and other entertainment often follow a Roman or Greek theme.
The first recorded college student toga party was in 1953, when Pomona College students wore togas and ivy wreaths, and brought their dorm mattresses to freshman Mark Neuman's home on Hillcrest Avenue in nearby Flintridge. The Guinness World Record for the largest toga party is 3,700 participants. The event, organized by the University of Queensland Union and the Queensland University of Technology Student Guild, was held on 24 February 2012 at Riverstage in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The largest toga party in modern times took place on September 30, 1978 with 13,200 people participating.
Toga parties were depicted in the 1978 film National Lampoon's Animal House, which propelled the ritual into a widespread and enduring practice. Chris Miller, who was one of the writers of Animal House, attended Dartmouth College where the toga party was a popular costume event at major fraternity parties (such as Winter Carnival and Green Key Weekend) during the late 1950s and early 1960s. First lady Eleanor Roosevelt held a toga party to spoof those that compared her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt to "Caesar".
A toga party was also briefly described in Tom Wolfe's 1968 story "The Pump House Gang", although somewhat different from the version in the film. Another example of a toga party is shown in the first episode of season four of the television series Greek.