Rockabilly Party Ideas

Written by randi bergsma
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Rockabilly Party Ideas
Send invitations ahead of time so people can put together outfits relating to the rockabilly theme.. (Burke/Triolo Productions/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

A rockabilly-themed party is unique, so you should inform your guests ahead of time. Invitations should describe what the rockabilly movement was about and the major players who were involved. Essentially, rockabilly refers to a blend of rock & roll and hillbilly music, as early country music was called, that evolved during the 1950s. It is epitomised by Elvis Presley's early music and originated in honky-tonk bars in the South.

Include links to websites for further information. This way, guests who are unfamiliar with rockabilly style will know what to expect and dress accordingly.

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Music is the most important element for a rockabilly party. Research rockabilly singers and bands, pick out songs that you like and make a playlist. Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison are great artists from the rockabilly era. Instead of playing music on a laptop or stereo system, rent a jukebox or hire a local cover band that can play songs in this style. Live music will add to the 1950s atmosphere.

Rockabilly Party Ideas
Today, jukeboxes are considered kitchy collectibles. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)


Rockabilly style is full of edgy 1950s fashion. Men should wear jeans with a black leather jacket and a either a black or white T-shirt. Women should wear flashy either 1950s outfits like polka dot dresses, or traditional 1950s dresses with full, knee-length skirts. Girls often wore flats or low heels so they could easily dance. Red lipstick was a popular touch.


Men should wear their hair slicked back with lots of gel. If time permits, men could grow sideburns for the occasion, or create fake ones.

Women should model their hair on 1950s pin-ups. Bettie Page fringe, finger waves and victory rolls are all acceptable hairstyles. Look up online tutorials for instructions on how to achieve these looks. If you don't have time to create an intricate hairdo, pull your hair back in a high ponytail and tie it with a ribbon.

Rockabilly Party Ideas
A rockabilly hairstyle for men. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)


Have relevant movies playing in the background at your party. Pick films that capture the rockabilly aesthetic, but turn down the volume or keep them on mute. They should act as additional decorations unless guests want to watch them. Elvis movies are a great option, especially "Jailhouse Rock." The movie "Cry Baby" with Johnny Depp also has a great rockabilly aesthetic.

Rockabilly Party Ideas
Put on old movies that capture the rockabilly aesthetic. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

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