The image of a goddess is the inspired look a toga-style dress promises. However, for statuesque elegance, the proportions have to be just right. The Grecian effect comes in variations of toga-like gowns and fabrics, but certain dress styles fit different body shapes better — and some will make you stand out in a classical way.

Plain Sheath

A sheath gown with a flatly draped, one sleeve, satin shawl that falls over one shoulder is a conservative toga style. The length of the shawl glides over the body to the floor. A one shoulder sheath is best on women with smaller busts; a straight non-cling style suits all body shapes. It is most refined in satin fabric and should be lined. A body-hugging jersey sheath is sleek and summer-ready in white. A boat neck draped on the shoulder offers a modern blousy flow, gathered at the waist with a belt. Its relaxed, slouchy fit has a casual grace. The clinging fabric and curvy style are best on apple, rectangle and hourglass shapes.


A floor length, pleated, sheath toga has loosely flowing fabric and is the most traditional Greek style. It has thin shoulder straps that are gold trimmed. It is often rope belted with the sleeveless top loosely draped over the skirt. This Grecian dress is the easiest style to wear with ample midsection material and room for bra straps. Its gathers have a loose fit that can be lined to be worn on all body types. A form-fitted bodice with one strap and a loosely draped center panel work especially well on rectangle and pear body shapes. Traditional colors of white or pale blue give an authentic look.

Slinky Bodice

Authentically Grecian, a gown with a criss-cross bust scarf that goes over one shoulder and falls down the back to the floor is a beautifully modern toga. This gown offers a ’40s glamour with a form-fitted shape. It works well on rectangle and hourglass body shapes. A flowy, slightly A-line skirt version will transform this style to work with all body shapes. For a dramatic style like this, classical colors are often replaced with jewel tones such as emerald or royal blue.


Another toga style is the halter, or center strap. This tube-style, drapey sheath is worn short or long and looks best in silk or jersey. A slip works wonders to provide flowy movement without cling. The gown’s neckline may be a jeweled or gold brocade neck halter or choker-style that ties behind the neck. Flattering on most body shapes, in white to jewel tones, this timeless dress can be worn casually or formally.