My mother used to tell me about Come As You Are parties that she went to as a girl in the 1950s and 60s. Apparently, the girl throwing the party would come to each attendee’s home first thing in the morning and collect her friends in whatever they were wearing with no time to change, comb their hair, and so on. Her mother would be alerted to the party ahead of time, but it seems it was kind of a reverse surprise party. The idea was a little horrifying to me, and I was glad that it was a type of party that seemed stuck in the past.
I was surprised to find an article showing the 1940s housewife how to throw a similar party for her friends. After doing a bit of research, Come As You Are Parties were more popular than I had thought they would be, even making their way onto an episode of “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” in 1954. Different varieties of the party gathered up unsuspecting adult or child attendees at different times of day, but the idea was always to arrive at an unexpected time.
I thought you would enjoy seeing this article. The magazine bindings are so tight that it is hard to get good images of the entire page. I’ve also included close-up images below. This article is from the October 1941 issue of The American Home.
I did find several suggestions for modern day Come As You Are parties while researching this, so if you are looking for more ideas, there are some good ones out there. I’m also curious–did you ever attend one of these parties? When was it? What was it like? Have you been to a recent one? I’d love to hear all the details.