I am very excited for the upcoming premiere of Season 5 of Mad Men. It’s pretty much like the expectation of Christmas for a kid. I’ve watched every episode of every season thus far. I was seriously contemplating having a Mad Men party but I think I may just dress up and go somewhere for it. I love Mad Men because the stories and characters are fascinating. The clothing is amazing and spot on. But also because the Mad Men theme party is very doable and fairly easy. So I decided to write a blog on the style and to show case some great pieces I have at the physical shop and on our online store.
Mad Men parties are a lot of fun and pretty easy to do. Unlike a 1920s theme party. I get a lot of people that are doing the 1920s party not realizing that A) People were A LOT smaller then B) It’s almost a hundred years ago so that clothes, not that easy to come by and C) How expensive those authentic clothes are. Now with Mad Men people were smaller then as well but if you can’t find a dress you can always accessorize!
Let’s start with the men.
Men’s vintage clothing in general is hard to come by in good shape. Men you have a tendency to get a suit and wear it for 30 years. Women we buy a dress wear it once and keep it for 30 years. But with Mad Men all you need is a good suit, preferably with skinny lapels and a skinny skinny tie. If you can’t find the suit an authentic skinny tie is pretty easy to come by and makes the outfit. Of course everyone talks of the hats men wear on Mad Men they call them fedoras. They aren’t! Fedora’s have a wider brim what they wear on Mad Men is essentially a shorter brimmed fedora called a Trilby. These can be hard to find in normal guy sizes, heads were smaller. But you also must be aware of the fact that they didn’t wear the hats pushed down it perched. This was so you wouldn’t have a hat hair line when you took your hat off. I’m sure you notice the immaculate hair Don Draper has.
This is a early 1960s skinny tie I have in the shop right now. It’s super skinny and paired with a white/cream button down collared shirt, some nice slacks and maybe some Clark Kent glasses and you are good to go!
This is a great Mid 1960s Sport Coat I have at the shop and on our online don’t worry I’ll put the website where you can purchase at the bottom of this blog but I gotta get you to read it first! Again pair this with a skinny tie, slacks, and a trilby outfit done.
I want all three of those dresses, but that’s besides the point. I know that Banana Republic is doing a “Mad Men” line. Don’t buy it. I can guarantee it’s over priced crap. Plus who wants to show up at a party with the same outfit as someone else? Again the beauty of these early 1960s theme parties is that you can find the clothes! They are great quality, gorgeous fabrics, and great shapes that suit a variety of body types. A key to vintage dress shopping especially if you are doing it online is to know your bust, natural waist (right below the rib cage, smallest part of you), and hip measurements. That way you can buy those bombshell wiggle dresses and be able to breath. Women use to have tiny waists and also wear girdles that suck you in. Spanx doesn’t compare to those girdles. I often will wear a waist cincher with my vintage dresses.
This is an Elizabeth Arden early 1960s Aqua Silk Shantung dress with matching jacket I have in the shop right now. This screams Joan Holloway. It is a more casual outfit for a Mad Men party. You pair this with kitten heels, a clutch, and beads.
This is a late 1950s early 1960s Gold and White Velvet Flocked Circle Skirt Dress. These are very desirable right now, they also have a tendency to TINY. If you are looking for something like this in a more normal size for today it’s best to give yourself some time to either hunt your local vintage stores or get it online.
Now if you can’t find a dress you like that fits the way you like you can always do a simple black cocktail dress and accessories! The beauty of accessories no size. Here are some example of items I’ve had that are 60s that you can pair with a black cocktail dress and look authentic.
This is a brown vinyl “patent” purse. This is from the early 1960s and it’s a good size because you can fit a cell phone in it. With a lot of vintage purses there isn’t room because it didn’t exist!
This is an early 60s cigarette case. Not this actual one but one exactly like it was used on an episode of Mad Men! The smoking accessories are very of the era. If you are the one throwing the party I recommend the old giant crystal ash trays. We have a few awesome ones at the shop.
This is a pair of early 1960s black patent heels. They have a thin heel with a point toe. Again pair these with a black cocktail dress, some pearls and a black clutch. Good. To. Go.
Finally Gloves. Gloves can be a little tricky because again women were smaller and had smaller hands. But if your hands are actually small they are great period piece. Also if you’re like me where my actual wrists and hands are small but I have long skinny fingers you can get away with wearing them. The finger part just wont go all the way down but if they are on your hand no one can tell.
Let’s talk booze now. My favorite Mad Men cocktail is the old fashioned. I started drinking these because of Don Draper and it’s pretty much my drink of choice. Whiskey Sours are also good but I recommend downloading a recipe where you make the sour, sour mix is gross. Really almost anything with Whiskey is good. Martinis, Tom Collins, but if you do a Martini it has to be real so that means GIN people.
Well those are just some of my tips for a Mad Men party. Feel free to contact me if you would like more advice about I’m sure I left somethings out. I can’t wait for this new season.
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