The Roaring Twenties marked a decade of gangsters with their silk suits, guns, booze, diamond rings and broads, and this made gangsters and their lifestyle seem cool. In the public eye the 1920’s gangsters and bootleggers lifestyle brought money, fame, nice clothes, women, cars and homes. Gangsters were renowned for being involved with bootlegging, prostitution, gambling and many other organised crimes. The sale of alcohol had been banned in this time from sale, transportation and manufacture in America and this was obviously a huge market for what in the 1920’s was an illegal commodity.


Every truly memorable gangster has a colourful name to go along with his fine suit. “Lucky” Luciano or “Bugs” Moran but the most famous gangster of all probably being “Scarface” Al Capone. Famous gangster movies include “Scarface”, Little Caesar” “the Public Enemy and more family fun films like the classic “Bugsy Malone”. It was the 1920’s where a new woman was born; she smoked, drank, danced and voted. She wore make up had her hair cut and went to petting parties. She was giddy and took risks, she was a Flapper!!


The 1920’s was a time of corruption, prohibition and gangsters and what a better basis than that for having a party!!!!! Why a “Roaring twenties” party well it speaks for itself, roaring laughter, roaring music and roaring costumes! Are you turning 20? Having a New Years Eve party or have been invited to a fancy dress party? Well look no further all the ideas are here for Gangsters and Molls. Setting the 1920’s theme, you could take your guests back to the time of the 20’s theme with low level lighting, black and white colour scheme, a speakeasy bar, which is an establishment selling illegal alcoholic beverages. In order to gain access you had to speak in a low voice through a hole in the back door telling the attendant who had sent you to the place.


You could have silent movies playing or you could even hold a Murder Mystery party. Let’s just hope you don’t end up in jail. Music could involve Jazz or The Charleston which is a famous dance named after the city of Charleston. While it developed in African American communities in the USA, the Charleston became a popular dance craze in the wider international community. The young women would dance alone or together as a way of mocking the citizens who supported prohibition amendment, as Charleston was then considered quite immoral and provocative. Drinks, illegal alcoholic drink!


You could have a Martini cocktail to welcome your guests; this is the era that favourites like Martini were born to help improve the taste of the secretly brewed gin and vodka! Or you could raise the profile of the evening by serving a sweet bubbly champagne punch. Or even a Mint Julep which is a mixed alcoholic cocktail traditionally using mint, bourbon, sugar and water. Go on give it a try if you want to experience the true 20’s! If you fancy serving a few 1920’s nibbles why not try 1920’s stuffed eggs, cabbage rolls, nut loaf or a Rice Pudding recipe for dessert!! Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!


There are many different costume ideas you could use, all of which make for fantastic dressing up fun. Bet you have always wanted to try being a gangster! Go on girls even you can give the gangster look a try. Or why not try being a flapper or a spiv which is in fact a British word for a particular kind of criminal who deals in stolen goods or fraudulent sales. For a great laugh try the fat cat costume to really stand out at the party and be different. A classic Gangster look would be to wear Zoot Suit, this is a high waisted, wide legged, tight cuffed pegged trousers and a long coat with wide lapels and wide padded shoulders. Zoot suits were for special occasions such as a party or a dance due to the amount of material and tailoring, this made them luxury items.


To create the right gangster costume you need the right accessories including, gangster hats, Tommy guns, spats, braces and a gangster tie. The gangster hat is generally made from wool felt sometimes with a long feather (called a tapa or tanda). They also may wear a trilby which is a soft felt hat with a narrow brim and deeply indented crown, traditional hats were made from rabbit hair felt but now is sometimes made from other materials such as tweed or wool. The trilby has been a symbol of chic elegance and class and has been associated with jazz and soul musicians. Finally give your gangster outfit some extra pizzazz with some Spats; spats are a type of shoe accessory to be worn over the shoe to protect them from dirt. A gangster’s moll is the name given to a gangster’s girlfriend. A moll or a flapper could be dressed in flapper dresses, evening dresses, with a classic feather boa and long pearl necklaces with fans and sparkly flapper headbands.


The 1920’s outfit would not be complete without the long cigarette holder which was an important fashion accessory. Cigarette holders were considered an essential part of ladies fashion. So now you’re ready to try a party with a difference, a glitzy glam gangster party for all to enjoy try the 1920’s theme to have a party to be talked about forever!

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