The 1970s was a decade of excess, partying and disco. The fashions were as over-the-top as the music, and the fads were hilarious. Planning a party with a 1970s theme is fun for those who lived through the decade, but also fun for those who just know the decade as a reference point. There's plenty to lampoon, if you know where to start and what to focus on.
Decorate the party space in a 1970s retro style. If the party is in your house, this will be relatively easy. Make a quick trip to your local thrift store and look through the appliances and furniture section. You don't need to redecorate your entire house to give it a 1970s feel, but it's amazing what one or two items can do. One staple that you can find for very cheap is a lava lamp. A cheap beanbag chair signals the decade as well. Even if you find kitchen appliances that don't work, if they look like they were made in the '70s, they can be an inexpensive way to bring your guests into the right state of mind.
Play a variety of retro music. Sure, the 197's were the decade of disco, and you should have plenty for your guests to dance to, but there were many other kinds of popular music, as well. Heavy metal came into its own in the mid '70s and deserves a little playtime at your party. Bands like Alice Cooper and Kiss are about as anti-disco as you can get but still scream 1970's. Don't forget to include some slow songs for the end of the evening when things are winding down. Sentimental favorites like The Carpenters and Barry Manilow will make some people laugh and others reminisce. Either way, switching up the styles of music at your 1970s party will keep things more interesting.
Serve food that speaks of the era. The 1970s were the decade of cocktail parties. Cocktail snacks like pigs in a blanket are perfect. Nothing says 1970s cocktail party, however, like a big pot of fondue. Seemingly everyone loves the taste, and it's a great gathering point for your guests. For your fondue, make two pots and place them in opposite sides of the party room. Have one pot full of a cheese fondue. Serve this with sliced mushrooms, bell peppers, broccoli and croutons. In the other pot, have chocolate dessert fondue. Serve this with marshmallows, cookies, graham crackers, bananas and strawberries. These will be sure to please the most finicky of partygoers.
Have apparel be according to the fashion of the decade. This can be as little as wearing a wide-collared shirt, to dressing in a full polyester leisure suit. Set an example by dressing yourself to the nines. On your trip to the thrift store, stop by the clothing department and put together an outfit. Look for flared pants, wide-collared shirts made of polyester or other synthetic materials, matching pant-suits, large sunglasses and platform shoes. Give away a door prize to the guest who dresses up the most elaborately. This will encourage participation in the attention to costume detail.