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A Party You Can’t Refuse

As the weather turns colder, indoor parties are the ones that will get guests raising their glasses to you, but not every theme works with four walls around it.  Put away your flower leis and unpack your pinstripes, because we’re going to make you a party plan you – and your peeps – can’t refuse.   Some steamy, 1930s mobster mayhem is just the thing to take away the coming chill.

Mob Party Invites

At your mob party, you’re the Boss, so feel free to make a few mock threats in order to get your crew to the meeting point.  Verbal invitations should be your preferred method, especially since you don’t want a paper trail the feds can trace.  Of course, you’ll want to play the part, so definitely pepper your speech with a few gangster buzzwords.  We particularly like calling gangster girls ‘molls.’  Oh, and make sure you give your guests a password.

Mobster Party Décor

Like always, breaking up your party into different areas will help you decorate effectively.  Make your main party room a speakeasy, so when guests enter (using the password you gave them), a seedy underworld will greet them.  Gather end tables and bedside tables to set cocktails on, and create a showcase bar by emptying a bookcase and filling it with bottles, glasses, and towels.  If you have space, leave room behind it so you can tend to guests’ requests from there; pop the mirrored doors off your closets for a showy backdrop.

In your dining room, set up a restaurant.  Seventy-five dollars at a party rental company will get you a few cocktail tables, white table cloths, red candles, and restaurant props like cork serving trays and water pitchers.  Dim the lights and call it a good place to serve your food.

Make a spare room or office (or even a closet you clean and leave open) the hub of your gang’s nefarious activities.  Grab some cement blocks (or mix) from Home Depot and/or raid your garage for shovels, saws, and whatever else (we shudder to think too long about this).  Then clip a few suggestive articles from the paper for a couple days in a row – crime info, labor disputes, and anything related to gambling, prostitution, or waste management oughta do it.  Circle names and write cryptic notes in the margins, then spread the clippings out for onlookers to discover.  Your lair should also be littered with toy weaponry.

Don’t forget your  bathroom.  A gun under the hand towel will be a fun surprise.

Gangster Party Food

Go Italian, for sure, and only serve hard alcohol in lowball glasses.   Ba-da-bing.

Mafia Music

Party music will go such a long way to create your mob world.  With several different party areas, you can and should vary your soundtracks so they are tailored to each setting.  In your speakeasy, it’s all about the tinny, ’30s jazz (Ken Burns Jazz is a great collection to draw from).  Go for Italian opera in the restaurant; it’ll give that creepily civilized feel to the place.  Under both main-room soundtracks, layer appropriate sound effects: dishes clanking, kitchen noise, elevator dings, doors opening and closing, footsteps, crowd noises).  The sounds in your crime closet: machine guns, squealing tires, dock noises, seagulls, ship horn, gun shots, machinery.  Use a music or movie editing software to help layer the noises with the music.

1930s Mob Costumes

The good news about mobster costumes is that they usually draw gleeful participation, even from the lame guys in your group.  For the gentlemen, pinstripe suits, bold ties (red, white), and fedoras are de rigeur.  If a friend isn’t the suit type, dress pants with a white, A-frame tank and suspenders will do.  Both groups can accessorize with slicked hair, prop cigarettes or cigars, toy tommy guns, shiny watches, and shiny shoes.

Ladies have two options, too.  The classy gangster girlfriend, or the poor and tragic family member caught up in a world she despises.  The former will want long, silky dresses, heels, tiny toy guns, and feather boas or furs.  The latter group should track down button-front, cotton dresses from the thrift store, plain t-strap heels, and nude stockings with seams and garter supports.  Wavy hair is best for both groups.  Girls, think twice about short, fringe dresses and headbands with feathers – they’re from the ’20s, not the ’30s.

Photo credits: everystockphoto.com, unique-vintage.com

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One Response to “A Party You Can’t Refuse”

  1. This is absolutely amazing and inspiring. The writing style is so creative. I love the “ba-da-bing”. Each article is so inventive – how do you do it? Thanks for this. Its nice to not only read about a cool party idea, but to have actual instructions! So great to let us not-so-creative folks play too! THANK YOU RUFFLE!!!!

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