How to Throw a 1940s Themed Party
The 1940s in a Party
Coming out of the Great Depression and dealing with a second World War, the 1940s was difficult for every American. That being said, we still knew how to party...and perhaps the parties were even more wild as Americans were so used to working hard and dealing with problems that when there was a party, that party was wild!
In addition to the amazingly fun parties in the 1940s, the people knew how to act and how to dress. Many women and men today find themselves trying to mimic the style and simplicity of the 1940s decade. In this article, we'll talk specifically about how to throw a 1940s themed party in modern times.
If you're throwing a 1940s themed party for a birthday, anniversary, etc., you've come to the right place. Let's talk about decorations, costumes, and food for a rockin' 1940s party.
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Decorations for a 1940s Theme Party
There are a couple options for themes within the 1940s themed party. One extremely fun and easy theme is the vintage Hawaiian luau theme. In the 1940s, the second world war was either occurring or had just occurred, and many men were stationed in Hawaii for military duty. Naturally, the Hawaiian luau theme became something that made its way into the fashion and décor scene in the 1940s. You can put together an awesomely tropical, vintage Hawaiian luau party that is reminiscent of the 40s and unique in and of itself.
- brightly colored tiki cups
- tiki poles and tiki huts
- multi-colored stringed lights and lanterns
- faux hibiscus flowers, garlands, and leis
- drinks in coconuts and a bar lined with grass skirts
- vintage Hawaiian postcards and posters
Another theme within the 1940s themed party could be 1940s soldiers and pin-up girls. This could be really racy and fun, especially for a party that might have more singles than couples. Men in uniform and ladies in sexy vintage hairstyles and lingerie...what gets better than that? Posters of pin-up girls and items representing the military are perfect for this 1940s themed party.
- make the party ambiance focused on military and pin-up, decorate it like its the barracks (tents, camo, etc.)
- elvgren and vargas girl posters should grace the walls of the party
- food and drinks should be themed around ships, airplanes, and hum-vee's
1940s Themed Party Decorations
Get Inspired by Real 1940s Photos:Click thumbnail to view full-size
What to Wear to a 1940s Themed Party
So now comes the really fun part...what to wear to a 1940s themed party. Both ladies and gentlemen will have a good time picking out their 1940s costumes.
In the 1940s, women were very feminine and guys were dapper. They both dressed to the nines whenever they went out, which included accessorizing to match their outfits. Women wore flattering dresses with matching hats, gloves, shoes, and purses. A true lady never left the house without a pair of gloves and hat. Her make-up was always done, usually with black mascara and red lips. Eyebrows were dark and dramatic. My suggestion for the ladies to emulate a gorgeous 1940s look is to find a vintage 40s dress online (or in a thrift store/estate sale if you can), and then add the accessories to match. Some awesome places to look include pinupgirlclothing.com, etsy.com, mybabyjo.com, and babygirlboutique.com. Modcloth also has some wonderfully retro dresses and shoes that are unique and classy. If you're going for a vintage Hawaiian luau look, find a dress in a red or tropical pattern. Don't forget to do your hair in a vintage 1940s style - you can find hair tutorials online at youtube (I've posted one below as an example).
For the guys - you might already have your costume pieces in your closet, depending on what look you want to go for. If you're going for a tough-guy look, wear a pair of levi jeans with a white t-shirt and a pair of boots. Easy enough, right? Or go with a more dressed up approach and wear a suit with a vintage-style hat. Don't forget the vintage-style tie.
- A 1940s Menu: Food in the 1940s
It is my goal to bring back food in the 1940s to the new millenium's menus. So what did people eat in the 1940s? Let's have a look down memory lane at some recipes of food in the 1940s.
1940s Themed Party - Menu Ideas
You can't have a 1940s themed party without the perfect food and drinks. The best way to create your 1940s menu is to use vintage cookbooks from the 1940s. You can purchase these online or at thrift stores, etc. My suggestion is to keep the menu light and serve appetizers and cocktails instead of having to plan and cook an entire meal.
Here are some appetizer ideas for your 1940s themed party:
- frozen fruit salad
- endive salad
- watercress and grape salad
- clam chowder
- stuffed olives
- stuffed celery
- caramel custard
- deep dish apple pie
- lemon meringue pie
- oatmeal cookies
- icebox pie
- sponge cake
- scotch shortbread
© 2012 Author Nicole Canfield
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