Your list is empty.

Save musicians, entertainers, speakers and services, and they’ll appear here.

Or, request a…

Sign Up

1950s Theme Party Ideas

Throw a 1950’s Party

Valentine's day with pin up girl

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 EntertainmentCelebrity 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! 

Follow Gig Salad’s board 1950’s Theme Party on Pinterest.

Other Theme Party Ideas:

Featured booking options for Ashburn, VA events:

Mixin' Mimi

Mixin' Mimi is a professional event staffing company that services the District…


Washington, DC

A1 Bartending Service

Bartending in the Washington DC metro area is our passion! While bartending at a…


Washington, DC

Ernie Fields, The Total Entertainer


Motown Group

Washington, DC

Soundz Mobile DJ Service

Soundz Mobile DJ Services is a professional and high-quality mobile disc jockey…


Baltimore, MD

Browse all performers and services near you:

Should I be Sandy or Rizzo? Rebel, jock, or nerd, you better be ready to party the night away with some classic rock n' roll tunes roaring. Adorned with poodle skirts, leather jackets, or letterman jackets... the people in the fifties knew how to have a good time!
The Era of Rock and Roll

The 1950’s was an exciting era filled with fun. Elvis was the king, poodle skirts were the style, and American Bandstand was the talk of the town. Rock and Roll was new and fresh to the music industry and people couldn’t get enough of it. Sock hops, drive inns, and soda shops set the scene of the 1950’s. If you want to get those saddle shoes tapping and rock the night away, then the fabulous 50’s is the perfect theme for your party and GigSalad has all the right tips to make it a night to remember!

Get your Guests Gabbing

Send out your party invitations in style and get your guests talking about your 50’s party that they will be dying to go to! The first impressions people will get about your party will be derived from your invitations so make sure they are fabulous and exciting! Keep them congruent with the color scheme you are using to decorate your party. Fill your invites with poodle skirts, records, milkshakes, jukeboxes, and any other popular iconic 1950’s items. Get you guests excited, letting them know it’s a costume party. Guys can be 50’s bad boys wearing leather, slicked back hair, and white T's with a cigarette pack rolled up in their sleeve or they could be a classic jock dressed in a letter-man jacket and tight cuffed blue jeans. Girls can be preppy wearing poodle skirts, cardigans, pony tails, bobbie socks, and saddles shoes or they can be rebels clothed in capri pants and tight sweaters. Make sure you get your invitations out early so your guests can have enough time to pick out and rent or buy their costumes. Your guests will be counting down the days in anticipation for your party after receiving their invitations!

Twisting, Hand Jiving, and Jitterbugging the Night Away

The 50’s were all about rock and roll! Get your guest’s hips swaying with a live band. A doo wop group, motown group, a cappella singing group, oldies band, or a party band are perfect way to transfer the party back in time. Event DJ’s are also a great way to get your party moving and grooving. Try creating an even more authentic 50’s feel and hire an impersonator that impersonates Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lewis, Buddy Holly, or Dean Martin. In between or during the dancing, have some fun games people can play. Hula hoops were extremely popular in the 50’s so have a contest seeing who can keep it circling the longest. Also, have your own American Bandstand contest and give prizes to the best couples. Another fun activity is having karaoke with a big selection of old tunes that were hits during this delightful decade. With all this 1950’s era entertainment your guests are going to be having the time of their lives twisting, hand jiving, and jitterbugging the night away.

Turn Back Time

Transform your room into a sock hop or soda shop with party decor that will turn back time, making your guests feel like it really is the 1950’s. An easy and pretty standard color scheme of the era was light blue, light pink, light yellow, white, and black. Use balloons to make archways at the entrance, float them to the ceiling, and gather them in groupings on tables. Another easy and fun idea is to hang records to the ceilings, walls, or placing them on tables. Also, jukeboxes were all the rage during this time, so try to rent or buy one. Cardboard cutouts of classic 1950’s cars, singing icons, and musical instruments are fun and can be great picture opportunities for your guests to pose by. Add fun touches like; changing the bathroom signs to "Guys" and "Dolls" like they did in the 50’s and make a sign that says, for example, "Jen and Rob’s Burg-O- Rama" where your dining area is.

Diner Delights

Food during the 50’s was simple and all American. Make it easy on yourself and serve fries, burgers, and milkshakes at your own makeshift diner. Besides milkshakes for desserts, go with pink and blue iced cookies, cake, and cupcakes with black or white poodles, records, and music notes topping them. If you want to make gourmet dinners like the housewives of the 50’s did every night, go for it, and don’t shy away from hiring a caterer to do your cooking for you. For drinks, do it like they did it back then and serve bottles of coke out of a large ice bucket and have the root-beer floats flowing. Offer pink and blue cool aid or cocktails topped with cherries and whipped cream. Hire a bartender that can make delicious drinks while sticking to your color scheme. Your guests will love having food and drinks with a 50’s feel to them!

Throwing a Fabulous 50’s party can be a great deal of work so do not hesitate to hire an event planner. They will work side by side with you, turning your vision into a reality. Weather you choose to hire an event planner or do it yourself, GigSalad is here to help and guide you through the planning process, making sure your party is perfect!