Fancy Dress Blog

Gatsby party MAD Distribution

How to host your own MAD 1920s fancy dress party

Ever since Leonardo DiCaprio wowed us in The Great Gatsby all the way back in 2013, a nostalgia for the 1920s has gripped Australia as people romanticize about the extravagant and opulent styles of the roaring twenties, and dream of a return to the time of flappers and spivs, if only for one night.

With such a strong desire for 1920s themed fancy dress parties, how do you ensure your guests feel they’ve just walked back in time, but without breaking the bank? Today we look at how to host your perfect 1920s themed event, from the first stages of planning to the moment you finally enter the door. Covering everything from decadent décor and fancy food, all way to finding the perfect music and fancy dress costume.

 1920s celebration

Stage 1 : Décor


A decent décor is a key component to any party, especially in the ultra-decedent world of the 1920s where over the top shows of wealth were essential for showing your guests your vast disposable income and maintaining your position in the upper echelons of elite society.

Now we obviously can’t expect every party organiser to work on an aristocrat’s budget, that would be silly! But we’ve discovered a few low-cost alternatives that work wonderfully to create a fantastic Gatsby-esque atmosphere without breaking the piggy bank.

GOLD GOLD AND MORE GOLD – Not the 24 Carrot type! But using Gold Shimmer Curtains, Balloons, Fabric, Tinsel and Streamers work wonderfully as a low-cost alternative that also looks amazingly authentic in any venue. Available to be picked up cheaply both online and at local discount shops, these can then be placed on walls, ceilings, curtain rails (pretty much anywhere) to totally transform your venue

Contrast this with black and white metallic style balloons and streamers, as well as strings or pearls (fake) for staircases and chairs to add some real depth to your décor. For those feeling confident, you can also hang shimmer curtains around your lights for a fantastic fake chandelier effect.

Once the basics are complete, you can now add the finishing touches to your venue with a selection of floral arrangements (we like white, peach, or pink) and large feather accents that can be placed both within flowers or as part or other arrangements around your venue. For the complete Gatsby glam, you can also print off Gatsby style name cards, signs and 1920s style posters that can then be placed around your venue in what is guaranteed to impress your guests.

Make the room dark and let the decorations catch the light for maximum glitz effect!


 1920s cocktail party


Stage 2: Food & Drink


Let’s face it, despite it being the era of prohibition, 1920s parties were anything but dry. With enough bootlegged alcohol and bottles of Champagne smuggled in to ensure every guest could, in Gatsby’s words – “Stay drunk for a week” it certainly wasn’t the aristocracy struggling to source alcohol. But what did they drink?  Below we’ve placed some typical tipples from the roaring twenties, along with recipes for those little-known 1920s drinks to give your guests the full speakeasy effect.


Depending on budget you can have as many or as little drink options as you like, but for those on a budget Gin Fizz and Mint Julep are good low-costs options that give your guests a light and dark drink to choose from.

Food choices for your event are always difficult to decide, however, appetisers and h’or ‘d oeuvres are perfect for a party that’s more focused on drinking and dancing – and can be cheaper too! Choose elegant finger food that also won’t make a mess (The flappers don’t want food all over their dresses!), and serve simply on trays to allow your guests to graze the buffet as and when they like.

Here is our super speakeasy style food selection that’s fantastic for any 1920s fancy dress party.


  • Deviled eggs
  • Shrimp cocktail
  • Oysters Rockefeller
  • Cheese platters
  • Olive platters
  • Mixed nuts


Stage 3: Music


The décor is delightful, you’ve found your food and done your drink, now all you need is music to add the final piece of the puzzle for an amazing 1920s party. Now we’re going to break from tradition here, and focus on electro swing rather than the traditional variety, as although fantastic, it can often be tough to keep all your guests dancing all night without some more modern influences.

Electro-swing is a fantastic way to keep people up and dancing, whilst still staying loyal to the 1920s theme, as let’s be honest, although some people may love Will Osborne, Dorothy Rogers and all the other big band swing artists of the roaring 20s, it’s best to cater to your entire audience. Electro-swing lets you give a nod to the old, whilst combining with new style beats to ensure that people’s feet are still dancing through to the early morning.


1920s gatsby costume ideas


Stage 4: Style


In the 1920s, fashion was vitally important for both men and women. Men styled themselves in sharp suits with smart hair to show power and importance whilst women dressing up glamorously to show off the wealth they had access too.

Here we look at a few 1920s fancy dress ideas that will work wonderfully for your prohibition party.




For men, the only 1920s costumes worth wearing are the vintage Spiv or Gangster styles that consist of a black vertical pinstripe suit, with waistcoat and tie and of course, a hat. At Smiffys, we have a wide range of men’s 1920s fancy dress available depending on the exact look you want to go for. Letting you choose from our Vintage Gangster Costume that’s fantastic for that traditional Al Capone look, or the more modern styles including the ever popular Zoot Suit or Gold Pinstripe gangster that are great for giving yourself more of a great Gatsby-esque outfit. Just don’t forget your hat!

Remember to also accessorise your outfit with a pair of White braces, white tie, and long white scarf that are excellent for adding an extra period style to 1920s fancy dress.




Women have a much bigger collection of 1920s costumes and styles to choose from, so making sure you have the best 1920s fancy dress has never been easier, you just need to decide what sort of look you want to go for!

For a more reserved style, an All that Jazz or Gatsby Girl costume come in neutral Black and Golds that are befitting of the time, and will show a timeless 1920s style that suits any type of 1920s event from casual meals all the way to roaring 20s parties.

If you know you’re going to dance the night away, a flapper fancy dress costume may just be the choice for you. Flapper fashion was all the rage in the 20s socialite scene, with short skirts that are suited to dancing and a smart but seductive style that the men going crazy. Thankfully, there is a wonderfully wide selection of flapper costumes to choose from, with outfits such as ; Flirty, Jazz, and Coco Flapper costumes that let you select from a wide range of different dress lengths and styles to ensure that no two outfits are the same.

Don’t forget to also accessorize with a feather boa, cigarette holder and faux pearls that are perfect for putting the finishing touches on to your 1920s fancy dress.


enjoy the 1920s party


Well, there we have it, your complete guide to hosting your very own 1920s fancy dress party. We hope you enjoy your party as much as we’ve enjoyed writing this guide, and don’t forget to share your photos on the MAD Distribution Instagram or Facebook.

Party Wigs

Wig ideas for fancy dress parties

Whatever the occasion, wigs are the ultimate essential accessory to finish any costume! From summer festivals to Halloween, there’s no better way to really transform yourself into a new character than by wearing a wig. It’s fast, it’s simple, and it really takes your costume to a whole new level!

Whether your customers are looking for 1920s inspired wigs or funny clown wigs, we have an extensive selection of pre-styled character wigs for both men and women!

Decade wigs

Decade theme is one of the most popular options for birthdays as well as for hen and stag parties.  If you’re going to a decade themed party, getting a wig that matches your outfit is essential because re-creating most hairstyles that people used to wear in previous decades isn’t that simple!

Wearing a wig instead of trying to achieve a hairstyle that represents a specific decade, will save your time and will help protect your hair from damage. So whether it’s a glamorous Gatsby themed 20s party or a neon 80s party, make sure you have the hairstyle that represents that decade.

Pirate wigs

Pirate theme is also very popular for birthdays, hens’ and bucks’ nights as well as for carnivals. We have a selection of pirate wigs for both men and women. Our women’s collection includes a long brown pirate wig with a bandana as well as beads and charms, so it’s a very quick and easy way to complete your pirate costume. We also have a blonde version of this wig! For men, we also have few different long pirate wigs to choose from.

TV & Film character wigs

Dressing up as characters from favourite films and TV shows is always fun! One of our favourite movies for dressing up is Grease. Pink Ladies jackets, a soda bar and 50s themed décor are only few of Grease themed party essentials. If you’re serious about getting into different Grease characters, you will need wigs! We have a Sandy Last Scene curly wig and a pink Frenchy wig as well as a black Danny wig for men.

Wigs for festivals

Wigs are essential for festivals! They’re great for adding a bit of colour to your look, completing a character look or for simply hiding the festival hair. Our glam collection includes a range of wigs in different styles and colours that would work great for festivals, pride events and carnivals.

Wigs for charity events

Wigs are very popular for charity events. Wearing a wig for a charity is an easy but an effective way of getting people involved in charitable activities. Whether it’s a charity run or a fundraising day in a workplace, wig is a great way to show support. From neon green and pink to the colours of rainbow, the wigs used for charities are usually fun and colourful.

Pop culture icons

Wigs are also great for impersonating your favourite pop culture stars. Just think about how many iconic hair moments Katy Perry had in her music videos. Check out our Blue Sweetheart and Lilac Candy Queen wigs for re-creating those looks. Our Brown Rehab Beehive Wig is perfect for dressing up as the iconic Amy Winehouse. You can also achieve that classic curly Madonna’s hairstyle from the 80s with one of our wild child wigs.

Fever wigs

If you’re after professional quality, check out our Fever wigs which are great when you want to achieve that natural look. Not only are these wigs available in a wide range of styles, a wide range of colours, are attached to securely fitting adjustable straps and not to mention affordable, but they are also completely styleable! They are heat-resistant (up to 120°C), which makes them perfect for achieving any look.

We would love to see what hair you choose to wear at your next party or event. So don’t forget to tag us on Instagram or Facebook!


Lion Face Paint Make-Up Tutorial

This fantastic Lion Make-Up tutorial will transform you into a wild animal.


With fiery brown colouring, gold glitter spray and striking black detail, you’re sure to make a roar!  This look is easy to achieve with a few simple steps, and is perfect for any occasion. Complete the look with a Black 80s Trademark Crimp Wig, and you’re ready for any party!

Our easy to follow step by step videos will help you create the ultimate transformation.

Visit for more information on our face paints.

Smiffys Make-Up FX are professional standard face and body paints that are simple to apply and easy to remove. Non-toxic, hypoallergenic and complying with EU & FDA toy and cosmetic regulations you can be sure of a product that is safe and easy to use.

 Make up Make up tutorial instructions


Number 1 width= Use sponge to apply bronze to the whole face. Using brush, apply white around both eyes, reaching the temple areas.


Number 1 width=Using brush, apply white to the lips, and around the mouth area, reaching the chin, blending the white into the bronze.


Number 1 width=Following the cheek line, apply dark brown to the corners of the face. Continue to apply to the edges of the hairline and around the face line, reaching underneath the ears.


Number 1 width=Apply dark brown to the upper eye area. Using brush apply black underneath the eye area. Apply black under the nose, top lip and underneath the nostrils.


Number 1 width=Add black dots to the upper lip area. Apply the eyelashes.


Number 1 width=Spray the gold glitter around the neck and shoulder line and a small amount to the forehead. Style the wig.


Zebra Face Paint Make-Up Tutorial

This fantastic Zebra Make-Up tutorial will transform you into a wild animal.


With gorgeous black stripes, and stunning white body paint, you can truly discover your wild side! This look is easy to achieve with a few simple steps, and is perfect for any occasion. Complete the look with a styled 80s Popstar Wig, and you’re ready for any party!

Our easy to follow step by step videos will help you create the ultimate transformation.

Visit for more information on our face paints.

Smiffys Make-Up FX are professional standard face and body paints that are simple to apply and easy to remove. Non-toxic, hypoallergenic and complying with EU & FDA toy and cosmetic regulations you can be sure of a product that is safe and easy to use.

 Make up Make up tutorial instructions


Number 1 width= Use sponge to apply white to the whole face, avoiding the upper eye area. Apply the silver spray around the forehead area, blending into the hairline.


Number 1 width=Apply the eyelashes. Apply black to the upper eye area. Apply white over eyebrows. Apply black lines down either side of the nose.


Number 1 width=Apply stripes onto the forehead.  Twist the brush to create thick and thin lines on the same stroke. Extend black lines into the hairline.


Number 1 width=Extend lines from the forehead down the sides of nose. Continue to apply black stripes to face and extend them into the hair.


Number 1 width=Paint lips black with brush. Apply white to the rest of the body. Use the spray and apply to the sides of the arms and body.


Number 1 width=Apply black stripes around the rest of the body. Apply the wig for the final touch. Finally, add more spray as required.


Hen Party Themed Ideas

Hen Party Ideas

A hen party is very important for any bride to be! We think that dressing up in matching costumes can help make the last night of freedom more fun and memorable. From decade inspired group costumes to essential hen party accessories, we promise to make your day feel more special!

Have a look at our favorite hen do costume ideas and some activity suggestions to go with each theme.

Film & TV

If you love movies and TV, you’ll love dressing up as your favorite characters. Some of the most popular costumes include Pink Ladies from Grease, Baywatch and Top Gun.


Hen party is the perfect opportunity for rocking those iconic Pink Ladies jackets and we have two different styles available! Don’t forget to add flyaway style rock and roll sunglasses to finish this look.

You could start your hen party celebration by inviting everyone to a Grease dance lesson. Everything that represents 1950s will work for Grease themed party. From 50s themed photo booth props to a soda pop shop setup where your party guests can make their own milkshakes and soda creations. Pink Lady cocktails to match the theme are optional!


You’ll definitely receive loads of attention dressed up in our Baywatch costumes! We have few different styles of Baywatch costumes available. From top and shorts to bodysuit and jacket sets, everyone will find their favorite Baywatch costume!

This is the perfect theme for a summer hen party and we think that a trip to the beach is essential for a Baywatch themed party. Consider going on a boat cruise or having a day filled with water activities. You could even film a slow motion run on the beach if you want to feel like you’re on Baywatch filming set!

Top Gun

Who doesn’t love Top Gun? Our costumes will make you look like you’ve stepped out of this 80s classic movie! Our Top Gun costume collection includes dresses, playsuits as well as dress and jacket sets. Don’t forget to complete the look with aviator specs. Top gun costumes would work great if you’re planning a city weekend break with your girls.


20s Flappers

We can’t forget about this one! It’s one of the most popular hen party themes and to be honest, it’s one of our favorites! That’s why we have a great selection of flapper costumes and accessories, including boas, gloves, pearl necklaces, headbands and cigarette holders.

Start your day by learning some Charleston dance moves that you can practice in the evening. It would be great to get everyone’s make up and hair done to match the 20s flapper outfits. Makeovers could be followed by 20s themed photo shoot. Make sure your day is filled with jazz. Great Gatsby themed décore, invitations and party favors are essential!

60s Boho

Another popular hen party theme! Check out our range of hippy costumes, wigs, make up and accessories. Flower prints, peace signs and bright colors, what’s not to love about 60s?

There are loads of activities that would work great with the 60s hippy theme. From flower crown and jewellery making classes to camping and picnics and everything else that says flower power! Don’t forget about face and body painting to get that boho look. Get a polaroid camera for capturing the best party moments!

80s Neon

The decade that’s all about leg warmers, crazy hair and everything neon. 80s costumes are great for hen parties because everyone can get really creative with their looks. Have a look at our costumes, wigs and accessories for your 80s themed party. Our Party Princess kit would be perfect for the bride to be. Check out our UV make up if you’re serious about this 80s theme!

The 80s themed workout or a dance class would be a great way to start the day. For the evening, find a night club that plays the best 80s music. You can even find a roller disco if you’re crazy about 80s!

Hawaiian Luau

From classic hula skirts and flower leis to seashell bras, we can help you find the most exotic costumes and accessories.

Hawaiian themed hen party is the perfect option if you’re celebrating a hen do in the summer or if you’re going on a beach holiday. You could start a day by inviting everyone to a themed Hawaiian dance class followed by a SPA treatment. Organize a traditional Hawaiian luau in the evening with tropical cocktails and Hawaiian music where everyone will be able to demonstrate what they learnt in a dance class. Don’t forget the Hawaiian themed decorations!

Fairy Tale

Organize a magical ‘Once Upon a Time’ hen party where everyone can dress up as their favorite fairy tale characters.

Making everyone feel like princesses on the day is a must. Treat yourselves with facials and manicures. Get everyone’s hair and make up done professionally and get dressed with your fairy tale costumes. What about throwing the ultimate Mad Hatter’s tea party?

Hen party accessories

Whatever theme you decide to go for, don’t forget the hen party essentials. We have a great range of accessories for hen parties that could help complete any fancy dress outfit. Bride to be tiara with veil and a sash are party essentials for every future bride. From boppers to shot glasses, we have accessories for everyone attending a hen do.

Wearing MAD Distribution to your hen party? Make sure you tag in your costume pictures on Instagram using a hashtag #maddistribution or send them to us on Facebook!