The 1940s were all about the Hollywood glamour look, World War II and the swing music of the Big Bands. All of these lend themselves to creative dinner party decor. Decorate with one '40 theme or combine them to give your party decor flair and imagination.
Create a centerpiece. For a Hollywood theme, place a feather boa down the center of the table and add a white hat and pearls in the center. For a Big Band-era theme, fill an oversize brandy snifter with rose petals and drizzle strings of pearls around it, commemorating Glenn Miller's hit song "String of Pearls." Or use an actual musical instrument as a centerpiece with flowers placed in the opening and pearls swirled around it.
Select coordinating party favors to put at each place setting, such as champagne glasses in Art Deco style or miniature champagne snifters filled with mints. Toy musical instruments are clever party favors or place-card holders. Use replicas of World War II airplanes or cars from the '40s as party favors to follow a war or vintage car theme.
Set the table with your best gold-rimmed china, Art-Deco-style crystal and fine, simple white linens with no pattern.