The 50’s were a time when America was finally recovering from the war, rock ‘n’ roll was emerging, Hollywood ruled, and screaming teenage girls were swooning over Elvis. Are there better reasons to throw a party? Ladies, break out your poodle skirts, and guys, slick back your hair. It’s time for a 1950’s Party!
Decorations and Costumes
Vintage diners can provide inspiration for a great backdrop for your 50’s party. Think black and white checkered floors, and bold, retro fonts on your invitations and signs. Pink, aqua, and black are also traditional “diner” colors but feel free to be creative!
Thrift stores are a great place to find old records that can be re-purposed for all kinds of things. Create cupcake stands or mold them into serving bowls for chips. You can also stick them on the wall for quick and easy decor! Look for old Coca Cola crates to use for serving drinks, or antique tin ad signs to use in your decor.
You could also go more Hollywood glam, and decorate with silver, crystal beads, ostrich feathers, and red carpet. Fill martini glasses with crystals, or tall vases with white ostrich feathers for easy centerpieces. Leave feather boas or beaded necklaces on the tables for guests to try on. Old Marilyn Monroe movies are perfect for inspiration, or just surf the web for images from that era.
Wondering what to wear? Think Grease. For ladies, the 50’s look was longer skirts with collared blouses or T-shirts, a coordinating scarf tied around the neck or ponytail, and bobby socks with saddle shoes. High ponytails with tightly curled bangs are a classic girly hairstyle. For guys who want a tough look, pair a leather jacket with tight jeans and a plain white T-shirt. Don’t forget the greased pompadour! For a more conservative look, tuck a short-sleeved collared shirt into slacks and add a bow tie. Part your hair to the side and you’re set.
Old Hollywood costumes are all about the sparkle. Beads, sequins, glitter, and form-fitting dresses were “in” as women started embracing their curves. Throw on a feathered boa or sheer shawl to top it off. For guys, tuxedos are perfect. If not, a tailored suit will also work!
Food and Drink
Serve the classics! Hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, and milkshakes are great for a retro menu. Toss some glass soda bottles in ice, and don’t forget the red and white striped straws! Fill old candy jars with classic candy like gumballs or licorice, and set up a root beer float station to complete the vintage vibe.
For a fancier palate, upscale finger foods like crustinis, flatbreads, and crustless sandwiches. Martini bars are also fun, and guests can create their own concoctions. Spiked punch and chocolate covered strawberries add a final touch.
Keep your guests talking about your party long after it’s over with a little 1950’s Entertainment. Celebrity Impersonators like Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley will add excitement to the party, while a Big Band or Oldies Tribute Band can get your guests up and dancing!
Hire a Photo Booth and provide some 50’s-themed props (cat-eye glasses, paper soda jerk hats, bow ties, scarves, boas, sunglasses, etc.), or set up your own. You could also provide photo ops with larger cutouts, like convertibles, Hollywood premiers, or vintage signs.
Games like the limbo, hula-hooping contests, and hopscotch were all popular back then, so set up a space to hold some friendly competitions.
Now that you’ve got some ideas, get the party started!
Need more inspiration? Check out our Pinterest board!