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How to Throw a '70s Disco-Themed Party (Decor, Costumes, and Food)

One of Kitty's dream jobs is to be a party planner. She finds joy in planning parties for children and adults alike!

Time to have a groovin' good time at a disco-themed party!

Time to have a groovin' good time at a disco-themed party!

Time to Boogie!

What is more fun than a disco-themed '70s party? With great lighting, fun music, outrageous costumes, and retro decorations, you can make your '70s-themed party a total blast for all of your guests! All it takes is a little preparation, research, and effort.

Check out the tips below to plan your disco party's decorations, food, music, costumes, and more. Get inspired and get down.

Disco Decor Ideas

The first thing that pops into mind when I hear the word "disco" is Studio 54. Why not use a bit of the Studio 54 ambiance to inspire your disco party theme? The best thing I can suggest is to browse through the web and look for pictures of Studio 54 from back when disco was in its hay day. You will most likely gain some inspiration that you might not find elsewhere.

That being said, the first thing you'll want to think about with decorations is the lighting. Discos were usually dark but lit up with strobe lights, neon lights, etc. Today we have easier access to lighting solutions than we had in the '70s, so use that to your advantage. Go online and order strobe lights, LED lights, blacklights, etc. from Amazon or hit up your nearest party store.

Some easy ideas for disco-themed party décor:

  • black light
  • strobe lights
  • metallic streamers
  • metallic confetti for the tables and dance floor
  • neon balloons
  • black balloons
  • disco ball(s)
  • brightly colored tablecloths and party-ware
  • disco vinyl records
  • studio 54 signs and pictures
  • lava lamps
  • disco ball keychains and party favors at each place setting
  • fuzzy dice
  • play That '70s Show or shows from the era
  • printable posters of '70s musicians and movies (print them right off the computer or have them blown up at a Kinkos)

Get creative and have fun with this theme. Try searching dollar stores before going to party stores, this could save you a lot of money in the long run! Also, check out your local thrift shops and consignment shops for vintage or retro-style items to add a unique element to your disco party!

Set the Mood: Studio 54 Tunes

Now that you have the '70s disco décor all planned out and ready to groove, it's time to put together a far-out playlist of disco tunes.

Here are some '70s disco music ideas to get you started:

  • "Shake Your Booty" KC and the Sunshine Band
  • "Brick House" Commodores
  • "I Will Survive" Gloria Gaynor
  • "Stayin' Alive" Bee Gees
  • "Love to Love You Baby" Donna Summer
  • "Hot Stuff" Donna Summer
  • "Funky Town" Lipps
  • "I'm So Excited" Pointer Sisters
  • "Last Dance" Donna Summer
  • "Le Freak" Chic
  • "Billie Jean" Michael Jackson
  • "Get Up" James Brown
  • "Macho Man" Village People
  • "Can't Get Enough Of Your Love" Barry White

You can download these songs and more from iTunes or via MP3 downloads and create your own playlist, or you can simply buy a disco collection playlist or CD online or in music stores to make it even easier. The choice is yours!

Disco Costumes

The most fun part of a disco-themed party is the costumes! Both men and women can have a blast picking out and wearing a '70s disco costume. Before going out and spending a ton of money on disco costumes, make sure to explore all of your options.

Amazon has a nice selection, but you can also find costumes other places online. If you're willing to spend a little extra money and get a truly unique costume, go to a vintage boutique or consignment shop in your area and ask specifically for '70s disco outfits. You'll be surprised how many options they'll give you.

Here are some ideas for the best disco-themed costumes for women:

  • one-piece jumpsuit (like the ones pictured above)
  • afro wig
  • bell bottom pants with flared sleeve top
  • platform shoes
  • metallic or rainbow-colored make-up: eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara
  • peace signs
  • brightly colored accessories
  • retro or vintage roller skates
  • mini dress or mini skirt/bodycon dress

Here are some ideas for the best disco-themed costumes for men:

  • polyester leisure suit
  • bell bottom pants with band t-shirt
  • metallic-looking bell-bottom pants with matching long-sleeve shirt
  • afro wig
  • cane and matching hat
  • large round sunglasses
  • peace sign necklaces
  • platform shoes
  • roller skates

Don't forget you can also dress up like your favorite '70s actor or actress or musical star! If you're a couple, dress up as Sunny and Cher. Single lady? Dress up like Donna Summer. And so on and so forth.

Make your 70s disco menu fast and easy...but still authentic!

Make your 70s disco menu fast and easy...but still authentic!

The Disco Menu

You have a lot of room to be creative with your disco-themed party menu. You can go super easy and cheap or you can get really elaborate and spend a lot of time and money developing the perfect disco menu. The choice is yours, but here are some ideas to get you started.

Easy, cheap menu items (think roller skating rink):

  • hot dogs with cheesy fries
  • nachos
  • hamburgers
  • kraut dogs
  • watergate salad
  • macaroni and cheese
  • casseroles of various kinds
  • jello molds
  • potato salad

More expensive and fussy (but super fun) menu items:

  • fondue with seafood, chicken, beef
  • chocolate fondue with fruit and cheese
  • deviled eggs
  • wine and cocktails
  • crackers and dip
  • oysters in the half shell
  • shrimp cocktail

If these ideas for '70s food aren't doing it for you, check out some old vintage cookbooks from the era to get inspired, or simply go online and do some research. There are dozens of sites that provide examples of popular food during the '70s that you can tailor to your needs and budget.

© 2014 Kitty Fields

Comments

Aaron Burton from US on October 11, 2014:

hahaha bell bottoms are funny.

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 26, 2014:

You've thought of everything! A 70s themed party would be so much fun. Thanks for the great resource.

Beth Perry from Tennesee on May 28, 2014:

kitty, kitty, kitty...I spent my childhood in the 70's wearing "Disco is Dead" tees and listening to heavy metal. You MUST think up some party ideas for the rocker crowd, please!!

But awesome party favors & food ideas here! Thanks for sharing.

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on May 16, 2014:

Thanks, epbooks.

Nell - Chicken in a basket! Now I'm hungry. :( LOL

Nell Rose from England on May 15, 2014:

Don't forget chicken in a basket! lol! that's what we always ate when we went to the Disco! I am a late 70s girl, left school in 76 at 16, did all this the first time round! this brought back memories, ah those were the days! lol! voted up and shared, kitty, nice one, nell

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on May 12, 2014:

That looks like so much fun!

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on May 12, 2014:

Thanks, FlourishAnyway.

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 12, 2014:

What a fun idea. Your description and those roller skates really bring back the memories. I was just a kid in the 70s but recall always trying to copy the disco moves from Dance Fever.

Kitty Fields (author) from Summerland on May 11, 2014:

WiccanSage - Thanks!

heidi - You're so sweet! Thanks for commenting and yes, I agree! Gotta love Travolta.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on May 09, 2014:

You had me at "disco!" I was a teenager in that era and, confession, still love it. All we'd need to make this a real 70s party is a Travolta lookalike doing "You Should Be Dancing." Groovy hub, Kitty!

Mackenzie Sage Wright on May 09, 2014:

This brings me back... fun ideas!