Creating a 1940s-themed party begins with the invitation. The invitation is the first impression for your guests about how the party will look and feel. Make sure that they arrive in costume, since it's just as vital to the atmosphere as your decor. The 1940s were filled with feelings of patriotism due to World War II. Encourage an enlivened environment with song and dance and your guests will experience a blast from the past.
Create a replica of a vintage 1940s Western Union Telegram (see resources for sample). You can either send a vintage-inspired telegram through e-mail or by regular mail. If you're sending a telegram through the mail, for authenticity purposes, look for antique-style paper. Another way to create an invitation is by purchasing or making cards with vintage pin-up girl art or other images that conjure notions of the 1940s.
An invitation is the ideal time to communicate dress code. Just like decor, the guests' attire greatly influences the ambience. Request 1940s glamour, Allied military uniforms or home-front utility attire. The more specific your dress code request, the more likely your guests will show up in costume. You can include images or places where they can find pictures to draw inspiration for ideal attire.
Find a venue that either already has the feel of the 1940s or a place that works as a blank canvas to create the '40s ambience. Hang an American flag for World War II patriotism and use the theme colours of red, white and blue. Post vintage war propaganda posters, '40s movie art or pin-up girls. Keep tables and table cloths simple, but uniform and consistent.
Music and Dance
Decor doesn't have to be extravagant, since certain styles of music and dance defined the 1940s. Find songs from the 1940s with Benny Goodman, Dinah Shore and Doris Day. Go a step further and hire a big band or swing band. This will help bring your event to life. Get a dance floor in front of a big band and dance some lindy hop, Swing and Jive. Hire a dance instructor that specialises in these dances to give a lesson at the beginning of the night.