How to Plan a Great Gatsby Party in 2021

    Many of us were exposed to the 1920’s world that The Great Gatsby portrayed. Whether in classrooms or at home, the book is read repeatedly and referenced all around pop culture. And with all the buzz around the Gatsby films—especially the 2013 remake starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan—it is hard not to get caught up in the movie, the era, and of course the fashion trends. Both 2013 and 1974 films have their own twist on the story, and their own specific trends when it comes to event planning. Here's how to host your own Gatsby-inspired party!

    A Great Gatsby inspired party!

    Currently, there are two mainstream Great Gatsby films out today: the 1974 Robert Redford version and the 2013 Leonardo DiCaprio version. Both films have their own twist on the story, but the trends throughout each make for a fun event theme.

    If you need help bringing the book and movie to life, below is a list of just some of the fashion and decor trends we noticed from The Great Gatsby movies. Check out these ideas as inspiration for your own Gatsby-inspired party!

    Event Location

    If you are looking to host your party at an event venue opposed to your home, you are going to want to look for a venue that looks vintage, but also very classy at the same time. Chandeliers and cream and black color decor would be best for this setting. Dim lighting is also a good idea for this theme, and you can achieve this with strategically placed white candles.


    The Great Gatsby has themes of extravagance, but it seems that the more recent of the two films has a lot more going on. We may have modern technology and more extensive filming tricks to thank for this, but the newer Great Gatsby is said to be more extravagant than the old. With more special effects, more extras, lighting, and props, it appears that the Leonardo DiCaprio version embraces the excess of luxury to a higher degree. With this in mind, if you are trying to channel the most recent Gatsby, remember that the more decadent your event location, the better.

    Event Decor

    The 1920s had a look unlike any other. It would not be a roaring 20s party without your feathers, so consider getting giant ostrich feathers to spruce up the event venue! Additionally, having a record player in the corner will add authenticity to the theme.


    The Baz Luhrmann version of starring Leonardo DiCaprio has been said to be a slightly darker twist on the original story. When comparing the two films, it is easy to notice that the outfits and mere ambiance of the film is a tad bit darker, such as the presence of more dark suits and dresses and darker lighting. For your event, consider dimming down the lights or light the event venue with candles.

    Maze Print

    The designs in The Great Gatsby are very specific to the era with a slightly modern edge is heavily used in the films and as a result, there has been a lot of maze print on the movie posters. This can be an excellent print to use if you are planning a Great Gatsby party or event. Whether you decorate the with this maze print or add a maze theme on the invitations, your event will bring the movie to life.

    Black and Gold Decor

    Just from one glance at the movie trailer or poster, it is pretty clear what colors stand out: black and gold. Again, if you are planning a Gatsby themed party, it is a safe bet to stick with the black and gold color scheme for your décor.

    Event Entertainment

    Before anything, make sure your event location has a dance floor. Now, if you really want to play along with the theme, you should definitely not hire any run of the mill DJ. Consider hiring a jazz band or saxophone player. The music will transplant your guests directly to the 1920s.


    Both films are extremely historically accurate, which also means that they have perfected the dances and popular culture of that time period. It is also important to remember that the dance, the Charleston, was very popular during this time and it may be worth your while to get the corresponding music and perhaps teach your guests the moves of these famous flappers! Dancing and music can be a chance to enhance your party's theme, so find some classic jazz tunes that are perfect for performing the Charleston. Remember, not everyone at your event venue is sitting, but socializing, dancing, and hopefully busting out some flapper moves!

    Drinks and Food

    Since this was the prohibition and the flapper scene is largely associated with the speak easy, alcohol is an important aspect of this entire genre. Cocktails such as martinis, sidecars, champagne, and mint juleps are all popular drinks for this theme. The food can be standard cocktail party finger foods and appetizers, such as mini crab cakes, stuffed mushrooms, and more. Just place them on fancy silver platters and you’re all set! Just remember to check in with your event location to see their alcohol policy and if they can provide their own food.

    Great Gatsby Film Fashion

    It would not be a Great Gatsby party without the quintessential flapper attire. For girls, this means sleeveless tubular dresses with fringe, pleats, or feathers, hats, bobbed hair, red lipstick, feather boas, and headbands. For men, this means black tailcoats with white waistcoats, bow ties, and gloves.


    The more recent Great Gatsby film has mostly stuck to the trends from the flapper era, but with a modern touch. Sleeveless dresses with more jewels, beads, and lavish decor are more apparent in the newer Gatsby. For example, the 2013 Daisy Buchanan has quite a different look than the 1974 version. Carey Mulligan has a more vibrant, perhaps even edgier look, compared to the toned-down Mia Farrow. When planning your party, if you want to go with a more modern look, encourage guests to model their outfits after the 2013 film.

    Pleats, Feathers, Fur, and Jewels

    Dresses, dresses, dresses! The Great Gatsby, along with the flapper era in general, was a big fan of dresses, especially anything with pleats, fur, and jewels.


    Let's be honest, diamonds will always be in style, regardless of what decade it is. However, the sort of diamond necklaces and detail they wore for the movie is very specific to the time period and is definitely making a comeback.

    Men's Clothing

    The Great Gatsby is even setting trends in men's fashion. Anything from white suits to skimmer hats, the movie has got it covered. 


    Hair & Makeup

    Smokey Eye and Red Lipstick

    Bold eyes and lips were all the rage in this era, and both have a timeless look that will never go out of style. Isla Fischer's character, Myrtle Wilson, is the prime example of this trend.

    The Bob

    Bobs are synonymous with the 1920's and have been here to stay in the fashion world since then. Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan showcases a graduated bob in this film, which is definitely a 1920's trend worth trying.

    The Headband

    One of the most iconic flapper looks is the headband. You will definitely see your fair share throughout The Great Gatsby and probably even more around the streets and runways.

    Start Planning Your Great Gatsby Party

    Have you planned a Great Gatsby party? Did we miss any helpful tips and advice? Share your stories in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

    If you are ready to find the perfect venue for your Great Gatsby party, browse EventUp event spaces a city near you. 

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    Author: The EventUp Team