“Mad Men” mania has swept across America and Europe over the past five years. Since the show debuted in 2007, it has won fifteen Emmys, four Golden Globes, much critical acclaim and, most importantly, the hearts of the nation. If you too have succumbed to the charms of Don Draper or Joanie, what better way to indulge your love of the series than to throw a swinging sixties “Mad Men” party? Perhaps a birthday is coming up or you might want to throw a swanky Christmas party or you may be trying to think up original New Year’s party ideas – you can use any excuse for your “Mad Men” party!
Suiting Up for the Sixties
When you send out invitations, be sure to specify that it’s a fancy dress party as you don’t want people turning up in more modern attire, ruining the party’s sixties vibe. As for your own costume, try raiding costume shops or vintage stores to find an outfit suited to the “Mad Men” era. Hats are a must. You should also try to get your hands on a funky pair of sixties glasses. As for what clothes to wear, women should opt for dresses with a high neckline, paired with fur shrugs and a pair of low heels, and men should don glasses with thick rims, skinny ties and old style suits. If you need further inspiration, just watch an episode of “Mad Men” – call it research!
Decorating for the Don Draper Era
For a “Mad Men” party to feel authentic, you should banish all signs of modern technology when decorating the room. Browse through flea markets for old magazines like “Vogue” or “Playboy”, which can usually be bought cheaply. An old style phone would also make the room feel more like a sixties time capsule, if you can get your hands on one. In the sixties, chairs would be cleared from a room for a party to encourage people to mingle and circulate, so you could follow suit by clearing the floor in your room.
Food and Drink with a Sixties Feel
Drinks and plates of food that hark back to the sixties will also serve to give your room more of a “Mad Men” feel. Try making Old Fashioned cocktails and Martinis for your guests as these are some of the “Mad Men” characters’ favourites. Why not put a large bowl of punch on the table as well for an old style American feel? As for food, think devilled eggs, shrimp cocktail, avocado dunk and other such hors d’oeuvres. For dessert, you could bake a pineapple upside-down cake or poached pears.
Although costume parties take that bit more thought and planning, they’re worth the extra effort. People are far more likely to remember a nostalgic sixties costume party à la “Mad Men” than they are a run-of-the-mill house party like any other.
This article was written by party planner Stephanie Warton who loves to organise parties with fancy dress costumes.