5 Original Party Themes You Need to Try

A few months ago, my friends and I were going through our options for Friday night plans. One pal suggested we resort to a frat house, but the rest of us were quick to reluctantly groan in response. We realized we wanted to throw our own party—one devoid of sticky floors and sweaty, handsy strangers. The only thing that drew us to the Greek parties, rather than our own, was the fact that they often had themes that were fun to dress up for. For instance, freshman year we went to a house rocking neon leotards, scrunchies, and leg warmers, and danced the entire night like it was the 80s. Eventually, it dawned on us that we could have the best of both worlds—we'd have the costume feature from frat parties, but in a more private environment.

Life as a Collegiette just got so much more exciting with these five party themes.

1. Through the Decades

Now's the time to sport those wild bellbottom jeans that have been collecting dust in your mom's closet for years. Allow all of your guests to choose a decade of their preference to dress up as, and encourage creativity. Thrift shops are great resources—I got my 60s go-go costume for $8! It's quite the sight seeing flappers, 90s grungies and cavemen rocking out together. To top it off, make sure you have a playlist stocked with goodies from every time period. Your guests will love singing along to classics from every decade.

2. Under the Sea

For this nautical theme, welcome your guests to think outside the box. One partygoer might come in a pink bodysuit looking like a starfish, while another might be sporting a mermaid look with a metallic skirt and seashell bra. For the cherry on top, an ocean-like ambience is easy to achieve. Hang green streamers from the ceiling as mock-seaweed, blow up some blue balloons to resemble bubbles, and blast a beachy playlist.

3. ABC (Anything But Clothes)

Creativity is the essence of this college classic. Just like the name explains, anything but clothes are allowed for costume. Bring on the trash bag dresses, leaf skirts, and sheets configured into togas. Warning: Nudity is not an acceptable costume! 

4. Movie Characters

This theme can be as broad as general movie characters, or as narrow as characters from Quentin Tarantino films. Either way, your guests are sure to have a blast living vicariously through their favorite movie characters for a night. Make sure you play music from popular movie soundtracks; oldies like "Grease" are always a good place to start. To avoid two of the same characters showing up, set up a Google Spreadsheet for everyone to "claim" their character. Or just embrace the repeats. We had two Kim Possibles—it was awesome.

5. Party Like You're 99

Get your canes and orthopedic shoes out, Collegiettes—it's time to party like your grandparents. Well, at least looking like your grandparents. This one's especially fun because comfort is the priority. Have your guests raid their grandparents' closets or the racks at Salvation Army, and then treat them to hard candies and spiked prune juice. 

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4 

All other images courtesy of author.