If you want to throw an old school party with an '80s or '90s theme, make sure that you have fun with it. The '80s and '90s were filled with interesting music, clothing styles and pop culture references to bring into the present. Make sure that you inform your guests beforehand of the party's theme so that they will show up in the right frame of mind to enjoy your hard work and creativity.
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You are not having an authentic '80s or '90s party without making it a costume party. In order to keep the party cohesive, choose one decade instead of both. Also, go with a particular costume theme such as grunge or rap for the '90s, or the '80s dance/aerobics craze, TV show characters or movies. It will be fun to see how people interpret your costume ideas. Don't be afraid to dress yourself in a crazy costume to inspire your guests to have a good time.
Make a party playlist that includes your favorite '80s and '90s songs, depending on which decade you choose to go with. Pick classic hits from the decade as well as more obscure songs. Make sure that people can dance to the music if they want to. If you do not have much music on hand, enlist the help of a music-oriented friend or purchase a compilation album from the decade of your choosing. Make sure that music is playing during the entire party to keep things fun and upbeat.
Food and Drink
Having some snacks is always a good idea at a party, particularly if drinking is going to be involved. If you were a teen during the '80s or '90s choose foods that relate to those years of your life, such as big bowls of chips or platters of chicken nuggets. Beverages should depend on your theme and budget. If you are serving alcohol consider making a bowl of alcoholic punch. If you were in college during these years choose a drink that you served at the time, such as a beer keg.
Decorate the space you are throwing the party in with old-school items from the decade you choose to represent. Go to a thrift store and look for old posters of people from the era to hang on the walls. Look for other inexpensive props such as VCRs, large telephones and vinyl records. Hang up streamers in popular colors and fabrics from the era. For the '80s, choose lavender, hot pink, bright blue and electric green. For the '90s tear apart an old flannel shirt and knot it together to create grunge streamers.