Vintage Chic: Cocktail Party Ideas Inspired by The Great Gatsby

Words by:

Nyssa P. Chopra
I LOVE, LOVE the book, The Great Gatsby. I’ve loved it ever since I was first introduced to it in high school. Fabulous 1920s fashion, extravagant parties, free moral climate, Prohibition, gangsters, excess prosperity, and female independence–that’s how I remember the book. I loved reading about the lavish, classy parties that Jay Gatsby hosted for his guests and ladies. Since then, I’ve wanted to host a party of my own, reminiscent of the Roaring 20s charm and glamour.

great gatsby party ideas

Some ideas for the perfect 1920s soiree:


  • lots of white and cream hues
  • string twinkle lights snaked around the trees
  • large white tents in the courtyard
  • gentle candlelight with tea lights in mason jars on tables
  • tiki torches
  • place card holders in the shape of cigarette holders with name cards tied around them
  • circular dance floor
  • crystal chandeliers


  • served on fancy, silver platters
  • glistening array of hors d’oeuvres: mini crabcakes, crudités, shrimp cocktail, stuffed mushrooms, cucumber watercress sandwiches, deviled eggs, cabbage rolls
  • desserts: fruit tarts, Angel food cake, bread pudding, chocolate-covered cherries
  • cocktails: martinis, mint juleps, sidecars, champagne
  • buffet tables with a separate bar station


  • live orchestra
  • cocktail music with saxophone and percussion beats in the background
  • jingly jazz from Louis Armstrong, Parisian accordion music, gypsy jazz from Django Reinhardt, and fancy-free compositions from Cole Porter
  • Charleston/Foxtrot/Waltz music
  • vintage record player


  • women: cloche hats, sleeveless tubular dresses with fringes/pleats/slits/feathers, long strings of pearls/beads, bobbed hair, flesh-colored stockings, kitten heels, red lips/dark eyes, fascinators, feather boas, headbands
  • men: black tailcoats with white waistcoats, bow ties, gloves


  • gambling stations with poker, roulette, and blackjack tables
  • dance contests
  • croquet
  • gangster murder mystery
  • charades
  • silent movie playing in the background
The ideas are endless–have fun channeling your inner flapper!
The Great Gatsby party ideas