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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mad for Mad Men

We at MoS were a little late to the Mad Men party, but now that we've discovered it, we are totally mad for Mad Men! A large part of the reason we're so excited to tune in is the show's obsessive attention to period details. Everything takes place in 1960's New York City and surrounding upscale 'burbs, and the costumes and set make use feel like we're really taking a glimpse back to another era when women dressed like women in flouncy and figure-hugging dresses, the death of Marilyn Monroe was enough to bring life to a standstill, and boozing and napping at the office were perfectly acceptable (and encouraged!). We'll toast to that!

The women of Mad Men, from left to right: Betty Draper, the wholesome suburban housewife, Joan Holloway, the voluptuous head secretary at Sterling Cooper, and Peggy Olsen, the secretary turned copywriter who's serious about her job. Each woman's style says something about her personality, and you don't have to look to hard these days to find how these styles translate to the 21st century.

In looking around for Mad Men-inspired clothes, we discovered that quite a few designers this season seem to be inspired by the 60's aesthetic. Take this Valentio Red printed silk dress. It looks just like Peggy's in the picture above!

Channel your inner Betty with this gorgeous electric green dress by Oscar de La Renta. We even love the peach shoes. This would be perfect with your best pearls or even a statement necklace. Betty would approve! If Mr. ODLR is not in your budget these days, we bet that Milly makes similar dresses for a fraction of the price.

This yellow dotted mattlessee dress is Betty all over. We see her wearing it to lunch at the club, and we see ourselves wearing it to a poolside luncheon or dinner party.

Full figured women these days should take notes from Joan! Rather than hide her curves, she harnesses them. She never shows much skin, but her character on the show oozes sex appeal.

Joan's trademark is curvy sheath dresses, and this sheath scuba dress by Michael Kors would look right at home on the Mad Men set.  We love how you could wear it to the office with a cardigan to tone it down, or to a party after work. The black seams are slimming and flattering.

We love the polka dots on the sheer panel of this black dress. Probably too tame for Joan, but we'll still take it!

As Joan shows us, sheath dresses are such a versatile wardrobe staple.

This red sheath dress will stand out in a crowd!
Were Joan around today, we're sure she'd make a beeline for this figure-hugging Ali Ro bandage skirt.

Peggy started out a little mousey in Season 1, but in Season 2 she finally realizes that in order to be taken seriously at work, she needs to start trying a little harder in the wardrobe department!

Who knew that gingham was back? If Dior says so, it must be true! This torsade gingham dress is definitely a fresh, modern take on this oft-country fabric.

And obviously Michael Kors agrees too!

Betty (pictured with her signature glass of red wine!) often wears buttoned up shirt dresses that might look a little costumey today.

However, this fab Ginny Sleeveless Shirt Collar Dress from J McLaughlin is a fresh take on the shirt collar dress. How much do we love this? At $195, it's the Mad Men-inspired bargain of the day!

Betty looks gorgeous, even in outfits that we might normally consider a tad matronly. We'd try for the same effect, but tweak them to be a little more modern.

For example, we love this Diane von Furstenburg key scarf. The navy/red/white color scheme and key pattern are fresh, but classic.

And instead of Betty's baggy sweater, we would definitely layer up the look with a fitted cashmere tee from J. Crew.
We love watching Mad Men as much for the decor as we do for the fashion.

What do you think about Don's office? We're really digging the MCM look! It's streamlined and masculine, and with a few minor tweaks, would look totally swank today.
We'd keep:
  • The fab painting 
  • The armchairs
  • The coffee table
We'd lose:
  • The ash tray 
  • The wood paneled walls (can't you see a dark lacquered wall complementing this look?)
  • The lamp.  Or at least paint it!

What do you think of Betty and Don's over the top teal tufted headboard? It's definitely a statement! We love tufted headboards, and we love curved headboards, but together it's a lot. We'd probably suggest a fresher alternative, such as:

This chartreuse tufted headboard from Horchow is definitely still glamorous, but a little more modern and toned down.

We also love this Camden tufted headboard in Danish Linen from Ballard Designs. The price is right, and you can chose from a zillion different types of fabric.

What do you think of Betty's kitchen? We've studied this hard, and there's not much we would keep! We do love the plaid wallpaper- how great would that look in a study? We love the retro style of the refrigerator too. We're seeing more and more retro-looking appliances these days. It's definitely a fresh alternative to the ubiquitous stainless steel look!

Why the long face, Betty? Well, we guess we'd be a little pouty too if we had a spoon collection on the wall! That is one trend we'll definitely leave in the 60's!
Mad Men Season 3 is rumored to begin sometime in August. In the meantime, you can catch up on past seasons on AMC or by ordering them on Netflix and iTunes. Trust us, it's worth taking a look!
Who is your style icon on Mad Men? Are you a Betty, a Joan, or a Peggy?


Anonymous said...

Love Mad Men and love this post!! Joan does a great job embracing her curves, and Betty is just stunning. January Jones (or should I say Betty Draper??) is definitely my husband's dream girl.

Paloma {La Dolce Vita} said...

Fabulous post! I, too was late to the Mad Men party, but I am obsessed with everything about it. The sets, the clothes, the writng. It's so good. I would say that I identify with Betty the most, style-wise. I do wish that our society would embrace Joan and Marilyn curves again like it did back then!

Ghislaine said...

I have never seen this show but I love the clothes!!! Anything sixties and curve hugging is the kind of thing I take off the rack when I see it. The men on the show also look well dressed. I learned how to tie a tie the other day using this video and felt like a real housewife with all that knowledge :)

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