How to Throw a Vintage, Rock’n’Roll Themed Party

Cool jazz, malt shops, and sock hops are all hallmarks of a kinder, gentler era. Bring back the spirit of the 1950s by throwing a rock and roll themed party, complete with all of the cool decorations and fashion that this era is best known for. As you start planning for your vintage party, keep these following nostalgia-friendly tips in mind!


Image Source: Caitlin Regan/Flickr

The Décor

Outfit your house in a kitschy, retro theme for your rock and roll party. Display vinyl records and accents of chrome if you have them. Pink and black is a popular colour scheme for a 1950s sock hop, so you can buy streamers and balloons in these colours to create a cool vibe. Posters of hot rods, Elvis, and other iconic 50’s imagery can bring the room to life.

The Outfits

Although a bit of retro décor and some rocking 1950s tunes will put any vintage party into full swing, to really get into the vibe you’ll want to have the right costumes. Look for beatnik looks and poodle skirts at costume shops, some of which you can find at You can accentuate your look with bobby socks, saddle shoes, cats-eye glasses, fuzzy dice, and chiffon scarves for a put-together look. You’ll find many of these themed costume ideas buried among other funny Halloween costumes, so have a look! It’s also possible to make do with clothing you already have, whether it’s a fab 50’s cocktail dress or simply a pair of jeans and white buttoned down shirt with converse. A perky ponytail or headscarf will complete the look. If you have the cash to spare, consider hiring a hairdresser and makeup artist to give your guests vintage makeovers.

The Activities

Naturally, a 1950s rock and roll party should focus on the music from that era. If you have a record player, bust it out and spend the night dancing to Buddy Holly and Fats Domino. A jukebox is also a nice touch! Hold a dance contest to see who can do the Hand Jive and Cha Cha, with Youtube videos as guidance. Other popular party games from this era include a bubble gum blowing contest, Mad Libs, Limbo, and a Hula Hoop contest. These are fun for all ages, although older partygoers may have an edge if you play Name that Tune or hold a 50’s trivia contest. Drag racing was all the rage during this time, but you don’t have to risk life and limb to do it! Use hot wheels instead and drop a scarf to race them on a table top.

The Cuisine

Food for a rock and roll party doesn’t need to be fancy. The best options are straight out of a diner, including cheeseburgers, milkshakes, and coke floats. Give your cake a bit of an edge by icing it in black, with a hole cut out in the middle to look like a vinyl record. You could also choose era-specific recipes like a chiffon or pineapple upside down cake.

With retro decorations, killer outfits, and a great selection of classic rock and roll, you’ll be ready to shake, rattle and roll well into the night!


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  1. September 30, 2014 / 9:03 pm

    You could have really really great fun with that theme. You would have to hire a jukebox as well, surely? 😀

    • October 1, 2014 / 9:37 am

      We nearly bought one the other day, until it was too big to fit in the van my OH had taken with him to collect it!

  2. September 30, 2014 / 9:33 pm

    so when is this party? i’m on my way!!!!

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