Retro prom themes are all the rage among the kids today with their 23-skidoo, Hula-Hoops and the listening to the classic rock. A prom based on the 1950s is not quite as popular now as it was during the 1970s when Richie Cunningham, the Fonz and the rest of gang down at Arnold’s were taking us back to a certain version of the decade of I Like Ike and Marilyn Monroe every Tuesday night. The 1950s do offer a wealth of material for a prom theme and like that Australian gay guy who was married to Judy Garland’s daughter once famously sang: everything old is new again.
Beatniks v. Squares
The 1950s were a high time for exactly the same kind of facial hair coverage many high school boys sport today. Back then, soul patches, Van Dykes and the often-misrepresented goatee were worn mostly by the pre-Hippy social outcasts known as Beatniks. Opposing the Beatniks were the type of kids presented weekly on shows like Leave it to Beaver. Your retro 1950s prom theme idea can present students with the choice of coming as a Beatnik or a Square. Those who couldn’t choose between All-American and the Beatnik can choose a third style popular in the 1950s: the greaser with his black leather jacket, garrison belts and greasy pompadour. Other wardrobe options for a 1950s Beatniks v. Squares retro prom theme: Poodle skirts, penny-loafer shoes, saddle shoes and two-tone bowling shirts. (I love those things!)
A Rockabilly Prom
Rockabilly comes and goes and as I write these words it is currently out of fashion, but it will come back into style again just like it did when the retro rockabilly stylings of the Stray Cats and Rank and File were leading the pack in the early 80s. Rockabilly as a 1950s prom theme idea gives the guys a chance to go out on a limb when it comes to fashion: rockabilly fashion means getting away from a black or white tux and dressing up can mean rhinestones or two-tone fashion that makes even the geekiest high school senior look cool. A rockabilly retro prom means playing music from Elvis and Johnny Cash to the Blasters and the BoDeans. Kids who have gotten into swing music will be able to show off their mad skills.
From Fad to Eternity
Prom decorations are a great way to showcase your choice of theme. When it comes to the 1950s, it was one of the most faddish decades of the 20 th Century. Among the items that can be utilized as prom decorations that harkens back to the 1950s are: Davy Crockett coonskin caps, Silly Putty, Slinkies, 3-D glasses, LEGOs and Hula-Hoops. Get a retro dance instructor to show students how to do popular 1950s dances like the Cha-Cha, Merengue, Stroll, the Monkey, the Chicken and the Cha-lypso for that very brief period when calypso music was the hottest thing going.