Party Equipment in the 1920s

Written by leah logan
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The 1920s was a time that marked great change in women's fashion and the way alcohol was served due to strict Prohibition laws. Women used long holders to smoke cigarettes, and wore straight-but-short flapper dresses at or above knee length. Meanwhile, gangsters ran popular speakeasies (illegal bars) and back room casinos that were hidden from the police. Your party equipment will reflect this time, and can be used for any occasion, including birthday parties, anniversaries or holidays.

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Tableware

Use any type of art deco tableware, including French fruit platters, bronze vases or glass or silver deep-dish servers. An upside-down metal top hat or a reflective-mirror serving tray serves as alternative ideas. Of course, flowers, fruit, and candles are complimentary. No matter which art deco piece you choose, select a contrasting tablecloth with shimmering or opalescent colour. Ideally, use a solid black or dark tablecloth. Cover it with mini-top hats filled with confetti, or spread larger-confetti pieces all over the table, such as swirls and stars, holographic stars and diamond star confetti. Champagne glasses are good for any era, but you can use several beer Pilsners as snack holders. Wrap faux pearls around napkins for a touch of authenticity.

Back room Gambling Casino

Cover chairs in a contrasting colour to the tablecloth, but add fabric bands or satin sashes to the chairs in the same colour as the tablecloth. To bring out the 1920s gangster look for your party, use a separated area as a back room-casino club. Add a few game tables and use low-placed lamps with coloured sashes around the shades to set the mood of secrecy and sensuality. Place jazz-player standees (life-size cardboard cut-outs) or jazz-trio silhouettes around the room. Add a ritzy couple mural or moonlit-whirl mural to the walls, along with plastic musical notes.

1920s Music

Although it is hard to locate a Victrola player, you can purchase 1920s jazz music at speciality shops or acquire downloads. Some popular 1920s dance-music artists include Paul Whiteman and his Ambassador Orchestra, Paul Biese Trio, Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra and the Yekes Marimba Band. A few popular dances of the Jazz Age include the lively Charleston, the Foxtrot and the late 1920s lindy hop. For an authentic touch, you could hire a jazz band to play the 1920s hits, and create a makeshift stage for them with hanging lights.

Clothes and Food

Your party will not be 1920s without the proper attire. Women should wear short dresses at or above the knees, feathered hair combs cloche hats or sequinned head bands. Men should wear classic double-breasted and high-waist suits and clip-on bow ties. Provide party favours for your guests, including faux pearls and a variety of hats, including plain-plastic top hats, gangster fedora hats or plastic velour top hats. You can also give away items such as Hollywood Boas (feathered scarves) or ostrich-plume tiaras. To store your drinks, acquire a large-metal tub and fill it with ice. Include drinks such as beer, gin and ginger ale. Add strands of pearls around serving bowls of Italian dishes and other food your guests will enjoy. For dessert, provide Connolis and Gelato.

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