- Holidays and Celebrations
The Best Party Themes Ever - 60 | 70s
Fancy Dress Theme Ideas
This lens will give you loads of ideas for your 1960s & 1970s fancy dress costume party. If you need more information, just click on the relevant link that will take you to another lens with more detailed info.
I have tried to give examples of costume, these may be television programmes or films that were popular, and a guide to some of the music you can play. This lens will give you some ideas and hopefully the inspiration to go out and have a great party!
Please be aware that we are based in the UK and our 1960s & 1970s examples may therefore have a slightly British slant.
What Information You Will find On This Lens
- Fantastic Theme Ideas
- Great Costume Suggestions
- Top Party Tips
- How To Decide on A Theme
Why Have A Fancy Dress Party?
If you are thinking about having a costume party, just look at this list to help you make up your mind.
- You and your guests will spend the entire time laughing
- The party will get going straight away and will not rely on waiting for the effects of alcohol to take hold
- Strangers will begin talking (or laughing) with each other. this is why a costume party is great for functions like weddings and engagements where guests may form into two camps
- The pictures are fantastic
- It is cheaper to hire or purchase a fancy dress costume than buying a whole new outfit for a traditional party (I know all the ladies will be nodding at this point)
- The memories of your party will remain in both you and your guests minds for years to come
OK, seems like a good idea but, should I give guests a theme or allow them to wear what they want?
Theme or Not To Theme? That is the question!
There are pros and cons to theming or not. On the one hand allowing people to wear whatever they want sounds fair. However, from experience, if you give your guests too much choice they can get overwhelmed.
If the theme is too strict, it could put some people off from attending your party.
If you do chose a theme, give your guests plenty of costume ideas in the invitation, they will have no excuse not to dress up. Also give some very easy costume ideas - you must always keep in mind that not all of your guests will be thrilled to be dressing up. We have lots of fancy dress theme ideas - check out our other lenses at the bottom of this lens.
What Things You Should Consider When Choosing A Theme
Lets take a look at the things you should consider when deciding on whether to theme or not, and which theme to choose.
- Is the function a formal occasion? If you are having a themed wedding for example, I would recommend that you do theme the day. Your pictures will be more cohesive.
- What is the age range of your guests? Some themes are more suited to a younger group. You probably wouldn't expect your Gran to turn up as a sexy nurse for a Doctor & Nurses theme. The theme you choose must suit ALL guests.
- What is the size range of your guests? Some themes, like the point made above, are suited to smaller sizes. So be realistic, you want your guests to turn up and enjoy the evening.
- What time of year are you holding the party? A hawaiian themed party in January (talking about the UK here) is not as thrilling as one being held in August (not that you can rely on the good old British weather at any time of the year, but hopefully you understand my point!). Likewise, a Tudor party in July could be uncomfortable for your guests.
- Is it a busy time for costume parties? Do not give your guests a very strict theme at times such as New year & Halloween. Demand for costumes is much higher att his time of the year and supply may suffer. This is especially true if you have a very good local fancy dress shop that you know your guests will more than likely use.
How Can I Make Sure That My Guests Dress Up In The Correct Theme?
The more information you can give your guests, the better. A lot of your guests may never have been to a fancy dress party and will feel embarrassed at the thought of dressing up. Others may be confused by the theme. Follow these tips...
- Make sure your invitation says that fancy dress is NOT optional
- Make sure your invitation states the theme you have chosen
- Give your guests a list of costume suggestions that would be suitable for your theme
- Give your guests a list of local fancy dress shops (you may have a discount deal set up with one) or online stores that you have used in the past
- Make sure you also give your guests some options so that if they do not want to actually dress up completely, they are able to join in with the theme. This maybe just a wig or glasses. This is particularly important if you do have elderly guests who may not want to go the whole 'nine yards'.
- Be very clear in your theme. If you are having a Medieval wedding, you may not want your guests to dress as Tudors. Again, you must provide information so that they understand the difference. If you don't mind if they arrive as medieval or Tudor, you must also say this on the invitation
Lets Take a Look At Some Costume Party Theme Ideas.
Each Section will be dedicated to a particular party theme. Costume suggestions, music and in some cases even food suggestions will be made. For more detailed information regarding each theme, use the links that will take you to other pages.
1960s Party Theme Ideas
The 1960s is often teamed with the 1970s. There is an overlap of styles. It is also worth remembering that the 50s influences of Bill Hayley, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis did spill into the early 60s. For the purpose of this lens, all these eras are split into their own section.
Lets take a look at the 1960s films, television programmes, idols and the fashion.
Take a Look at a Small Selection of 60s Costumes That We Stock - Check out our website if you want to see more of the same and pricesClick thumbnail to view full-size
- Austin Powers. - Although made much later, a film set in the Swinging Sixties of Britain. Great selection of characters to choose from. Austin Powers, Felicity Shagwell, Dr. Evil & Foxxy Cleopatra
Barbarella - Cult film starring Jane Fonda (it made vinyl boots very popular!) and an opporunity to show off some futuristic space fashions.
Bond, James Bond - In 1962 the first James Bond film 'Dr No' was released, but most agree that the films hit their stride with 'Goldfinger'
Cleopatra Starring Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra & Richard Burton as Marc Anthony
West Side Story.. Romeo & Juliet done Hispanic-style. 1950s costumes
101 Dalmations.. A chance to become the evil Cruella, or dress up as a Dalmatian dog!.
Lawrence of Arabia.. Starring Peter o'Toole and Omar Sharif. Arabian costumes and camels!
The Pink Panther. - Originally a cartoon character in the film credits, then he got his own TV show!
For more information on 1960s films, follow this link
- Film History of the 1960s
Loads of information regarding the major films of the decade.
1960s Television Programmes - Including both children & adult programmes
- The Avengers. - Not the Marvel superheroes but the impecable Mr John Steed and his sidekicks - firstly Cathy Gale (Honor Blackman, who went on to be Pussy Galore in 'Goldfinger') and then Emma Peel (Diana Rigg). A third assistant, Tara King (Linda Thorson) joined him in the late 70s.
Richard The Lionheart, Ivanhoe (starring Roger Moore), Robin Hood and other historical dramas
Z Cars & Softly, Softly - The first of the grittier cop shows after the gentile Dixon of Dock Green
Thunderbirds - Groundbreaking puppetry (following Fireball XL5 and Stingray) featuring International Rescue
Forsythe Saga, Passage to India - Two of the many classic period dramas of the 60s on British TV.
Star Trek - Innovative sci-fi programme which spawned many imitations and spin-offs
The Prisoner - Enigmatic follow-up to the secret agent series 'Danger Man'.
Dad's Army - Comedy series based around the exploits of the Home Guard.
1960s Idols - Including Film Stars & Pop Stars
- Elvis. Yes that white jumpsuit was worn in 1969!
- Beatles. A great idea for a group or an individual. Choose from Sergeant Peppers' Lonely Heart Club look or go for the full John Lennon hippy.
- Mary Quant. The black and white A line dress. Just add a black bob and heavy 60s-style make-up including false eyelashes - top and bottom!.
- Richard Burton - best to chose a character like Marc Antony.
- Elizabeth Taylor - Her rendition of Cleopatra (1963) is iconic and set the style for Cleo impressions ever since.
- Lulu - short mini dress and bee-hive hairdo
- Frank Sinatra - just pop on your dinner jacket and a trilby hat
How To Theme Your Room For a 1960s Party
Think 1960s, and you immediately think of phychedelic colours, peace symbols and flower power.
Hang beaded curtain around in doorways and bean bags for the relaxed 'hippie' look. Insense burning will help create the atmosphere.
Scene setters are available to purchase quite cheaply and literally just attach to the walls using blue tac and your room is instantly transformed.
Invitations should be brightly coloured with large, round letters. Use peace signs and flowers and iconic pictures from the era.
1960s Food Suggestions
The 1960s was THE era of vegetarians. Serve raw vegetables with dips and carrot cake. Cupcakes or biscuits can be decorated with smiley faces or peace signs. Fondue sets were very popular in the 60s, use cheese or chocolate and provide items to dip.
Events of The 60s
- First Moon Landing. Astronaut costumes
- Marilyn Monroe Dies
- JFK Assassinated
- Star Trek Starts
- Martin Luther King Assassinated
- Vietnam War
- First Woodstock Festival
A list of popular music to get your guests in the mood to groove all night! You couold even hand out lyrcis to some key songs if you want everyone to join in.
- Beatles - Hard Day's Night, Eleanor Rigby, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, Twist & Shout, She Loves You, Help!, Yesterday
Beach Boys - I get Around, California Girls, Good Vibrations, Surfing USA
Elvis Presley - Are You Lonesome Tonight, Its Now or Never, Can't Help Falling In Love, Return to Sender, Viva Las Vegas
Mary Wells - My Guy
Tom Jones - What's New Pussycat?
Rolling Stones - I Can't Get No Satisfaction.
Dionne Warwick - Walk on By
The Kinks - You Really Got Me
Betty Everette - Shoop Shoop Song
Supremes - Where Did Our Love Go, Stop In The Name Of Love
Martha &v The Vandella - Dancing in The Street
Roy Orbison - Only The Lonely, Crying, Pretty Woman
Marilyn Monroe - Happy Birthday Mr President
Little Eva - Locomotion
Chris Montez - Lets Dance
Four Seasons - Big Girls Don't Cry
Sam Cooke - Twisting The Night Away, Another Saturday Night
Patsy Cline - Crazy
Marvelettes - Please Mr Postman
Dion - Runaround Sue
Drifters - Up On The Roof, Under The Boardwalk
The Drifters, Save The Last Dance For Me
Brian Hyland - Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini
Leslie Gore - Its My Party
Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody, You've Lost That Loving Feeling
Temptations - My Girl
Sonny & Cher - I Got You Babe
Link To Loads More 60s Hit Songs!
- 1960s Hit Songs
A retro nostalgia multimedia look at the music and musicals of 1960. A great site with loads of 60s information
1960s Hippy Man
Got a Question??? Call us on 01245 327156 7 days a week
Has This Section Given You Enough 60's Inspiration?
Would You Now Have a 60's Themed Party?
- 60's costumes
Quality fancy dress costumes for 1960s
More 60s Theme & Costume Ideas
- 1960s Costumes
This link shows the changes in 60s fashion and how it was influenced by the pop stars of the day. Also includes film and television costume examples.
1970s Theme Ideas
1970s Costume Party Theme Ideas
So we are now moving from the swinging 60s to the sensational 70s. An era of diverse fashion and music it presents a great theme for your costume party. As mentioned previously the 1970s are often teamed up with the 1960s as there is an overlapping of fashion. Be specific on your invitations. If you only want 1970s costume then make sure you give your guests a link to this lens or provide them with enough costume ideas that they can use for inspiration. For more 70s costume ideas make sure you take a look at all the links on this hub.
So make a cup a tea and lets take a look back at the 1970s.
Fashion Trends During The 1970s
The 70's was a diverse time for fashion. Quite often it is classed as the decade that taste forgot!
Music was a huge influence on 70s fashion with bands such as Queen introducing Glam Rock and Sex Pistols introducing punk to the young. 50s fashion made a re-appearance with bands such as Showaddywaddy and the Hippy fashion continued from the 60s.
Take a look at this lens that shows the variety of 70s fashion and how the music industry influenced it.
More 70's costumes...Click thumbnail to view full-size
1970s Films - Lets Take a Look at Some 70s Films That Provide Some Great Costume Ideas
- Grease - A theme in its own right. Pink Lady and T Bird Jackets are available to hire and buy. 1950s style costumes can also be worn
- The Godfather (& part II) - Gangster outfits
- Star Wars - The first film in the Star Wars series. Good choice of costumes from Jedi Knights to Darth Vader himself
- Bugsy Malone - Set in the 20/30s so gangster and flapper costumes are suitable.
- Watership Down - Yes get that rabbit costume out!
- Saturday Night Fever - Get out those white suit with black shirt and practise your dance moves!
Columbia from The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
1970s Television Programmes
- Antony & Cleopatra
- Dad's Army
- Julius Caesar
- It Ain't 'alf Hot Mum
- Just William
- Kenny Everett Video Show
- Henry VIII
- Liver Birds
- Charlie's Angels
Use For Porridge - Ronnie Barker (1974-77)
- screenonline: 1970s Television
Loads more 1970s television programmes to give you inspiration
1970s Idols - Including Pop Stars & Movie Stars
- The Osmonds
- Elvis Presley
- Olivia Newton John
- John Travolta
- Evel Knievel
- Muhammad Ali
- Rod Stewart
1970s Food & Drink Suggestions
It will be difficult to theme all of your food for the 1970s but you can always add a few of the following suggestions:
* Fondue set.
* Avacado (prawns in Marie-Rose sauce)
* Quiche Lorraine
* Duck a l'orange
* Black Forest Gateaux
* Macaroni Cheese
* Angel Delight
And some drink suggestions...
* Cinzano - who can forget the advert with Leonard Rossiter and Joan Collins???
* Blue Nun
* Black Tower
* Cocktails such as Pina Colada and Tequila Sunrise
Theming Your Room For a 70s Costume Party
So now lets give you some ideas to theme your 70s party.
Think 1970s and you think tacky! Lava lamps have recently made a bit of a comeback, so have a look around as these lamps will look great.
Glitter curtain is a fairly cheap way to cover walls, or to put in a door frame to create an impacting entrance.
Glitter balls are available to purchase cheaply and will help create a 'disco' feeling.
Bean bags scattered around will help to create a less formal atmosphere.
1970s Hit Songs - Just Looking At This List Of Fabulous Music will Get You In The Mood For A 70s Party!
- Abba -Chiquitita, Dancing Queen, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme (A Man After Midnight), The Name Of The Game, Mamma Mia, Knowing Me, Knowing You & Waterloo, to name just a few
- Queen - Killer Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, You're My Best Friend, Somebody To Love, We Will Rock You & We Are The Champions, to name just a few
- Bee Gees - Stayin' Alive, Jive Talking, How Deep Is Your Love & Tragedy, to name a few
- Village People - YMCA, In the Navy
- Blondie - Heart Of Glass, One Way Or Another & Hanging On The Telephone were all 70s hits
- Carl Douglas - Kung Fu Fighting
- Anita Ward - Ring My Bell
- Trammps - Disco Inferno
- Van Morrison - Brown Eyed Girl
- Barry White - You're My First, My Last, My Everything
- Rocky Horror - The Time Warp
- Sex Pistols - Pretty Vacant & God Save The Queen
- Pink Floyd - Albums include, The Wall, Dark Side Of The Moon
Has This Section Given You Enough 1970's Inspiration?
Would You Host a 1970s Costume Party?
Lady 1970s Pimp Costume
Party Themes To Follow - The following party themes will be added ASAP
Just click on the link of the theme you need information about
- London Underground Stations
- Medieval & Tudor
- Song Titles
- Heroes & Villains
- Letter Parties
- Victorian & Edwardian
- Book characters
- Wig, hat or Mask Party