How To Throw A 1940s Party

Halloween may be over, but that doesn’t mean that fancy dress parties have to be shelved until next October. Any party can be turned into a costume party, be it a birthday party, a Christmas bash or even just a Friday night house party, and fancy dress really does make for a more memorable and fun night. However, people may have enough of ghouls and witches post-Halloween, so why not choose a decade as a theme for your party? Decades with recognisable and distinct fashions such as the twenties, the forties or the seventies make for the best decade parties. Here are some tips on how to throw a rocking 1940s theme party.

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Events of the 1940s

The 1940s were defined by the Second World War, which had a profound influence on every aspect of people’s lives both in Europe and across the pond in America, so any 1940s costume party will be coloured by wartime fashions, music and décor.

Themed Invitations

As with all fancy dress parties, it’s vital to send out invitations well in advance so people have time to put together a costume. You could send mock telegrams to invitees by using antique paper and the language of telegrams (e.g. finishing sentences with ‘STOP’). Alternatively you could use pictures of pin-up girls, typical of the forties, to give your invitations a more illicit wartime feel. Don’t forget to tell people to come in costume!

1940s Decorations

Make an effort with the decorations as they will make the party feel authentic. Again, you could use posters of 1940s pin-up girls or you could go the patriotic route and hang the flags of the Allies on the walls of the venue. Other wartime posters or 1940s movie posters would also do nicely. Reprints of the “Keep Calm and Carry On” posters created by the British government at the beginning of the war have become incredibly popular over the last year, so you could consider using one of these for your 1940s party.

1940s Tunes

Create a playlist of music from the forties in advance. The 1940s was defined by lively swing music and crooners like Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. Jazz also saw an increase in popularity in the 1940s, so you could include some 1940s jazz musicians on your playlist such as Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.

There’s something about parties with a decade as a theme that really motivates people to put in the extra effort. You’ll be surprised by how much thought and creativity people put into their costumes. With a little preparation and due warning to guests, your 1940s party is sure to be a resounding success, transporting you and guest back to the decade of zoot suits, pin-up girls and wartime propaganda.

This article was written by party planner Leanne Davidson who always recommends fancy dress costumes for parties.

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