Illusions hosts toga party Saturday night

Forget about your surroundings and humor me for a minute.

The request is simple: I want you to stand up, take a deep breath and read the next line aloud.

“Toga! Toga! Toga!”

In my fantasy world, you just unlocked a vault of hidden Roman cheer. Maybe your co-workers have created spontaneous togas out of curtains and tablecloths. Maybe you’re enhancing your getup with greenery pulled from a desk plant.

Or, maybe you’re just a little more excited about Saturday’s local toga party.

That’s right: Columbus hot spot Illusions (6499 Veterans Parkway) will host a toga party complete with cash and prizes for the best toga outfits, plus drink specials all night.

For many guests, it will likely be a chance to revisit college glory days.

I wondered if the toga party phenomenon -- usually associated with big universities in movies -- would extend to the small liberal arts college I attended in Wisconsin. But after I arrived on campus, it wasn’t long before I saw posters for our very own toga party.

Soon, an annual tradition was born: I’d walk to the local craft store and pick out some eye-catching fabric during the week leading up to the party.

On the night of the event, I’d spend at least an hour using safety pins to create a look that screamed, “Isn’t this bulky piece of fabric figure-flattering?”

I never quite mastered that goal.

But if you’re thinking about attending Saturday’s toga party, you might want to consider these tips while creating your look.

Resist an urge to use a bedsheet. I perused several toga how-to websites -- yes, I’m slightly obsessed -- and learned bedsheets sometimes aren’t ideal for the most coveted toga styles.

How much cloth? Answers vary, but most people recommend between 4 and 6 yards of fabric for the average adult toga.

Stay focused. There is a clear difference between a toga and a cocktail dress. That said, toga parties sometimes succumb to the common belief that theme parties equal a chance to wear as few articles of clothing as possible. Use discretion -- and regardless of your toga’s length, don’t forget about accessories.

For what it’s worth: While writing this story, I found a comprehensive toga tutorial site (howtomakeatoga.info) maintained by “Togaboy.” The site includes about 250 photos of togas.

“For some reason, Australians throw the most toga parties of any people on this Earth,” Togaboy writes. Good to know.

Other specials at Illusions this week include college night tonight and rock star night on Friday.

Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at ssorich@ledger- enquirer.com or 706-571-8516.