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How to Throw a Gatsby Themed New Year’s Party

On New Year’s Eve in 2016, my high school friends and I threw a low-budget version of one of Jay Gatsby’s parties after reading “The Great Gatsby” in our English class this year. But, as the return of the roaring twenties is quickly approaching, this is the perfect opportunity to re-do our cheap Gatsby-party (even if this may be an oxymoron). Here are the steps my friends and I followed (and will follow again) to throw a DIY roaring 20s (minus the racism and misogyny) party! 

1. The Outfits 

  • The fashion of the 1920's was iconic, and was one of the reasons why I wanted to throw another Gatsby-themed party. I am a huge fan of thrift stores for my all of my regular clothing, and secondhand clothes are essential to partying like Gatsby on a budget. For people wanting a more feminine look, a short dress from a thrift store would be perfect. In 2016, I found a simple short, black dress that I transformed into a flapper look with accessories from Party City. 

    A traditional masculine look can be easily achieved through either using a black suit if you already own one, or thrifting black pants and a black blazer. A classy black hat will also tie the look together. 

2. The Decorations

  • Gatsby’s parties in the film are characterized by extravagant decorations. But, my friends and I found streamers, glitter balloons, and other bougie-looking New Year’s party items from Party city sufficient for setting the tone. 

3. The Music

  • A good playlist is essential for setting the tone of any party. My favorites for this party are the soundtrack of “The Great Gatsby” movie and any 1920's jazz or swing from Spotify.4. The Mood

  • My friends and I love any opportunity to act over the top and put ourselves into imaginary characters and situations, so we loved taking on the role of rich, stuck-up characters living in the 1920's with no real problems. After all, any party can be a great party with great people. 



Becky is a junior at Penn State studying digital/print journalism and French. She is a staff writer for Her Campus and also the lifestyle editor at the Daily Collegian. Becky is a member of the Penn State Thespian Society, and also is a committee member on a THON OPPerations committee. In her free time, she can be found listening obsessively to various broadway cast recordings (her favorite at the moment being Hadestown) or watching old episodes of RuPaul's Drag Race.
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