Rollin' on Retro
We’re gonna help you party like it’s 1989
Retro… that trendy word that gets thrown around as often as Seinfeld quotes. Retro is the chance to relive our glory moments in the past, or explore an era that seems far more entertaining than the one we’re in now. It’s also an excuse for recycling ideas. So dress up, laugh over past fashions and ancient history and enjoy cocktails in the process. It’s also a fab theme for a party, so plan away.
Pick an era. While that sounds like an obvious choice, it’s often ignored. People throw retro 70s parties that have 80s written all over them. Pick one already and start doing a little research. You want to impress your friends, not have them nitpicking about your choices through the night. Think, also, about the vibe you want for the party. The 20s and 30s are going to be more glam than the 60s and 70s. Decide on your outfit theme then pick your era. Much easier.
Do some research. You want to impress people. If you know things about the era, you can make creative choices. If you don’t, make clichéd choices. Did you know marshmallows were huge in the 30s? They were.
Get funky with food. Decorations are easy. Recipes are more of a challenge and by far more interesting. Each era has its food trend. Fondue was very 70s. French food, very 60s. Barbecues, very 50s. Most retro parties are about costume and decoration. You can take it one step further.
Cocktails, dahling. Like the food, if you create retro cocktails for your guests appropriate to your theme, you’ll really blow their minds. Not that you have to blow your budget on booze, but you could offer one free drink. After all, you are a generous host.
Create the space. Sure, you could do the usual “newspaper articles” from the era deal. People might actually read all those carefully photocopied pieces, or they could just rip them down and write phone numbers on them before leaving. Instead, focus on the mood of your era. That includes appropriate music, décor and more. It’s much more fun to find some vintage postcards and create fun table cards or coasters. Even better – think of party trends in the era. Have a 40s tiki party instead of a 40s party. If you have a 70s swingers party, make sure you’ve got a good bowl for those car keys and some willing guests.
Dress it up. That’s right. Costumes. What is the point of having a retro party if no one is dressed for it? Aside from Halloween, this is an opportunity to really doll yourself up in fashions past. Finding retro ware is so incredibly easy nowadays, there’s no excuse. Try Vintage and secondhand stores. Make sure your guests know that they’ll be turned away at the door if they come sans costume.
Get funky with the details. This does not mean turn your house into a factual museum. In fact, that is a very bad idea. Instead, play with cocktail napkins and fun retro goodies.
Most importantly, play yourself. It’s a party. Relax. A couple hours into it, odds are most of your guests won’t remember the present era, let alone previous ones.
Written by: Robyn Burnett