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1960s Posh Mad Men Party Theme

Planes, airport security, traffic, lugging the luggage....traveling these days isn't much fun. That is, unless you limit your travel to time traveling. That's just what I'll be doing this holiday season for my annual themed Christmas party. This year's Christmas party theme: 1960s posh!

A mid-century themed party isn't just great for the holidays though. This swanky, posh 1960s Mad Men party theme is great for a Christmas, Halloween or birthday party. We'll show you how to properly sport some "hip" 1960s cocktail party clothes, serve cocktail party recipes, and get the ambiance just right.

Mad Men Video

Have Guest Come in Costume for your Mad Men Party

1960 fashions are back in vogue from clothing and home furnishings to mixed drink cocktails. And we say, why not go all the way with this party theme!? Dressing the part adds tremendously to your party's ambiance, and it's harder to pull off time-traveling everyone back to the mid-century if half your guest arrive from the next century.

Dress like the cool cat you are. Your guests can dress as characters from the show or any sveltely-dressed figure: Audrey Hepburn, Guy Hamilton's James Bond character, or Marylyn Monroe.

For women, up-style hair, gold brooches and fashion jewelry, wiggle shirts (pencil skirts) and stockings were in. For men, white shirts, cardigan sweaters, skinny ties and with slim fitting trousers were the rage.

You might be able to pull together an outfit from your own closet, but you can also haunt vintage shops and thrift stores for the perfect retro style clothing.

Play episodes of Mad Men on your television during your party for free by visiting

For inspiration, look to AMC's recent hit television show: Mad Men. Have your guests dress as characters from the show. For extra fun, set up your laptop so that guests take the Mad Men quiz. Learn the madmen rules and discover just what madmen are all about at AMC Television.

Some of your guest will invariably find dressing the part tiring (maybe they're not shoppers or don't like dressing up). Decide whether you want to stock some easy items (skinny ties, derby hats, bee-hive wigs, simple dresses, broaches) and "costume ambush" those who arrive out of costume. And put this WARNING on your invitations.

Vintage Cocktail Recipes

Vintage Cocktail Recipes What do you serve at a Madmen cocktail party? Vintage Cocktails! Everyone knows that Martinis have been a popular drink since the 50s, but there are a few vintage drink recipes that we've dug up you may not remember!

Sip on a Vodka Gimlet or go back in time with a refreshing Cuba Libre. Print off our free Vintage Cocktail Recipes poster. It's the perfect poster to display at your cocktail party, especially if you'd like guests to make their own cocktails.

Here's another little tip for a Vintage cocktail party feel. Many hosts made big batches of cocktails in a cocktail pitcher all at once. This made for easy serving. So, instead of making only once martini at a time, the hostess would make 6 or 8 and keep them chilled.

Mad Men Party Food

Canapes were quite popular at the turn of the was caviar. But, if your budget doesn't include caviar, there are a few things that any good retro host will have.

Casseroles and jello molds. That's right! The 50s and 60s were the beginning of these one-dish wonders. Create a casserole and dish up in single servings. Consider an avocado salad jello mold or similar fruit filled jello mold...not all guests will enjoy the taste, but it can serve as the centerpiece for a truly vintage table!

Merry Mid-Century Christmas Theme Party

What could be more fun than a Madmen Christmas party theme?! This party theme has a little of everything: a vintage feel, Manhattan elegance, and classic cocktails.

How about finding vintage advertisements from the 50s and 60s?! Frame them or simply hang them on the walls to give the look of the ad agency featured in the television show. As well, these advertisements are great conversation starters and it's fun to see what types of items were popular at the time.

Cocktail party games were very popular. For Christmas parties, we suggest the White Elephant Gift exchange game. It's a classic.

How to Create a Merry Mid-Century Christmas Party Invitation

MadMen PartyThe first order of the day with any themed Christmas party is to inspire your guests with a great party invitation. You'll want to include the Christmas party theme in the invitation.

Including the Christmas party theme in your invitations gives your guests an opportunity to dress for the theme, or select a gift for the gift exchange game that matches the theme. In the case of a mid-century party, many guests will love the chance to dress in vintage cocktail party dresses and svelte go for it!

If you decide to have a themed party where guests will dress the part, make note of it on the invite. Your invitation might read "mid-century cocktail attire, if desired" or "wiggle dresses and skinny ties make for fun vintage party attire".

I like to make "real" snail mail Christmas party invitations. It sets the tone for the party and you can create an invitation that is as unique as your Christmas party theme.

For this year's party, I'm including characters from the popular T.V. show, Mad Men on the invitations. But iconic symbols like starbursts, sputnic, aluminum trees, and popular mid-century ads would make a great invitation as well.

Mid-Century Christmas Decorating Ideas

Nothing says, "Mid-Century" like an aluminum Christmas tree! If you really want to pull off the theme, an aluminum Christmas tree is the ticket. GE came out with the first electric Christmas tree light at the turn of the century. Include the oversized retro style lights in your decor. Also popular: shine a color wheel lamp onto your aluminum Christmas tree for full effect.

These were vastly popular during the 50s and 60s and are available on Amazon, eBay or local vintage stores. Add a few vintage Radko glass ornaments and a Christmas tree color wheel and you'll have a truly authentic look!

While an Aluminum Christmas tree really sets the tone, some people might want to stick with a natural tree. If this is the case, use silver colored tinsel to give your tree that mid-century sparkle. Other tree ornaments include large colored light bulbs and aluminum light reflectors.

Now that you have an aluminum Christmas tree, you'll want to add a few more mid-century touches. Magazine advertisements from the era are a great way to decorate the walls. Plus they're great conversation starters! A framed ad, like the one in the photo, shows what was popular at the time. You could even photo copy your advertisement and design a party invitation around it.

The elephant in the 1960s magazine advertised shown in the image above is perfect for my personal mid-century Christmas theme party, because we play the white elephant gift exchange game every year at my Christmas party. I purchased this ad especially for this year's Christmas theme party, what a find!

Get architectural ideas here and find a few inexpensive small items (lava lamp or other lamp, or a shag rug) to touch off the theme.

Free Printable Cocktail Recipe Cards

Visit your local thrift store for 1960's treasures to decorate the key areas of your home. A vintage lamp Cosmopolitan Cocktail Recipe & Popular Cocktails with a large shade would look great on a kitchen counter illuminating your 1960's cocktail selections.

Serve the period appropriate drinks. Examples of popular mixed drinks of the 1960s are Gimlets, Vodka Daisies, Arnold Palmers (a non alcoholic beverage of tea and lemonade), and Heineken beer. See more mixed drink recipe cards to use in addition to our cocktail party poster above.

Finally! Creative party theme ideas for a more sophisticated slant on a really cool era!

Want more party ideas for adults?

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