Seven Tips for a Great “Gatsby” Party

Once in a while, a movie comes out that is destined to be a party theme.  The Great Gatsby is one of them.  It has it all the elements: costumes that make everyone look good, great visuals, and great music. I’m sure there will be no shortage of Gatsby parties this spring; stand out by paying attention to these seven details for an authentic—and impressive—soiree to remember…whether or not you live in a Long Island mansion.

7.The right style:

Everyone looks good in flapper clothing.  The basics are easy to master: a drop-waist dress and a stole for ladies; any kind of foppish finery for men.  However, we have a couple of finishing touches.

For guys: Tweed. This fabric came over from Britain and was the textile of the decade.

For ladies (or especially festive guys): The flapper headband.  The especially daring/creative/ambitious should try this DIY version.  It looks great!











6.The right food:

The book mentions lemon scones and carved ham; if you’re so inclined, you can have a honey-baked ham to play homage to the book itself.  If you want to keep your food lighter, a lot of today’s classic appetizers were served in the 1920’s, too. Try canapés, deviled eggs, and shrimp cocktail.


5. The right cocktails

Champagne goes without saying; it’s mentioned time and again in the book. During Prohibition (1920-1933), French champagne was probably some of the best-tasting alcohol that was smuggled in. It may have the same effect on you that it does on Nick Carrway: “I had taken two finger-bowls of champagne, and the scene had changed before my eyes into something significant, elemental, and profound.”


If you’d rather have a mixed drink to wow your guests, this list from the Food Republic includes 10 cocktails that were popular during the Jazz Age and still taste good today. Little known fact: good hard alcohol was really hard to find during Prohibition, so many drinks had strong flavors and sweeteners added just to cover the taste of homemade booze.


4. …and the right glassware

Trendy cocktail bars across the country have been adopting elegant, ‘20’s-style goblets for the revival in cocktail culture.  I love these William Sonoma glasses, because I think you could serve champagne or cocktails in them.  If you’re on a budget, try searching Etsy for the term “Vintage goblet.”




3.Pearl necklaces…for everyone

It’s not a party without party favors, and what better gift than the emblematic accessory of the Jazz Age? With pearl necklaces, you add a little bit of class—whether or not you choose to go flapper-style and tie a not.  Amazon has a lot of options for cheap multi-packs!


2. A good conversation

What could be more appropriate than a conversation about the real life behind the book.  This article covers the interesting life of F. Scott FitzGerald—and gives an idea of how the illustrious areas of East Egg and West Egg felt.  All of your guests will be wowed by your knowledge of the roaring 1920’s elites that the book describes.


1. Music and dancing!

Everyone is talking about the soundtrack, featuring such contemporary heavyweights as The xx. If you want a more traditional (or period) collection, check out the hottest songs from 1922, when the book takes place.


Another fun idea: Do The Charleston.  This video teaches you everything you need to know.  For added competition, have a contest.



Anymore ideas on how to create a fantastic 1920’s party? Any soiree stories of your own? Let us know on Facebook!

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