Mad Men Fashion and the Vintage Posters that Inspired It

What keeps me coming back episode after episode, is the costume design: it’s just so perfect. Whether it’s the uber-WASPY Mrs. Draper’s perfectly designed urban/suburban wardrobe of jodhpurs, Empire-waist gowns, and baby-doll lingerie, or the way Peggy’s wardrobe changes to match her rise at the agency, the costumes are the bomb.

madmen1Betty Draper’s enviable figure, the stylish way she carries herself, and her never-a-hair-out-of-place Stepford Wife perfection (if you’re too young to get the reference, check the Wikipedia page here), have given a new generation of Mad Men maniacs good reason to create websites and ezines devoted to the show. (Here are a couple of my favorites, here and here.)

MadMen2Articles like “Mad Men: Inside the Men’s Rights Movement—and the Army of Misogynists and Trolls It Spawned (read it here), and highlights of the best fashion moments from the show (like this one, aim to catch the zeitgeist of the moment, as does Waterford crystal’s Mad Men Mixology Collection (I kid you not, you can find it here).

MadMen3In our last blog post I spoke of the aesthetic of the show being close to perfect. If you look at the 1960s posters I have picked from our collection, and hold them up to the publicity stills from the show, it would be hard to distinguish which is real and which is Hollywood-make believe.


MadMen5When a show is this good you just have to watch it. The dialogue, most particularly when it is dialogue between a man and a woman, is knowing, sexy, and laden with double entendres.

Rachel Menken: It’s hard to get caught in a lie.

Don: It wasn’t a lie, it was ineptitude with insufficient cover.

In spite of myself, I keep coming back to this show. It’s pretty to look at, fun to listen to, and reminds me of when I was a little girl. (Yes, Dorothy, some of us were born in and lived through the sixties. For us, this is kind of like a trip down memory lane…) My dad even had a blazer like Don Draper’s, although he never drank quite that much. 🙂

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