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Making 1920s Armbands for Your Jazz Dinner

Updated: Jan 21

A lovely accessory to add to your Jazz Dinner costumes is armbands. Men wore armbands (aka sleeve garters) to customize their shirts. Men’s shirts came with extra long sleeve lengths to save on tailoring, so gentlemen would use armbands to adjust their sleeves to be the correct length for their particular jackets. Also, the armbands came in handy when one wanted to roll up their sleeves to keep them clean.

Making Armbands for Your Jazz Dinner
1920s armbands for your Jazz Dinner are not only a nice costume piece, but practical accessories as well.

Jazz Dinner Costume Accessories

While fedoras and feather headbands add to the look of the costume, armbands are practical accessories. If your actors get hot on stage, they may roll up their sleeves with the armbands. If actors serve food or pour drinks, the armbands keep their sleeves out of the way and clean. They are also helpful if you are reusing shirts from year to year, as they adjust the sleeves if they fit too long.

Cross-Selling Armbands For Your Jazz Dinner

Besides ticket sales, it is always wise to have additional items to cross-sell once your guests enter the dinner. This increases the event's revenue, gives actors more opportunities to perform at the booths, and creates a strong relationship with your audience.

Armbands are an excellent option for cross-selling because they are inexpensive to produce, and you can sell them at a nice profit margin. It is a simple sewing project that many of your high schoolers or band members may participate in.

How to Make Armbands and Garters

Making armbands for your Jazz Dinner
Cross-selling armbands at your Jazz Dinner increases your fundraising potential.

This quick step-by-step will walk you through how to make a simple armband. You will only need two types of wide ribbon, a sewing machine, and elastic to create these armbands for your Jazz Dinner.

Additionally, you may decide to sell iconic 1920s garters at your event. Here are three ways to make a fancy leg garter that is eye-catching and fun.

If you are short on time, Amazon and other big box stores sell garters for a reasonable price. They can be used year to year as costume accessories, or you can resell them. However, you won’t get the generous profit margin you would if you sewed them in-house.

Battle of the Armbands

The mob boss of your Jazz Dinner can hold a “classiest armband” competition. During one of the courses, the mob boss will call all participants to the front. The gentleman or gentlewoman who wins receives a bag of newly-minted gold coins (chocolate) or a bottle of bootleg liquor (sparkling juice). The competition will hopefully inspire your patrons to purchase the dazzling sleeve garters at your booths.

All in all, whether actors or patrons are donning the armbands, it adds to the authenticity of your night.

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