Archive for Mad Men

Mad Men Style

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2012 by factorygirl82

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.

Now onto the ladies

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.

Here is my website


The Wonderful World of Barbie

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on June 28, 2010 by factorygirl82

To quote wonderful song by Aqua (note sarcasm) I am a Barbie girl.  Growing up I loved Barbie. Still do. If you have been in the store or been to my house you’ve seen the mad amount of Barbie Dolls I own.  Now a days they are more for collecting, hence the Spice Girl dolls, the Gwen Stefani Dolls, Bowling Barbie, Britney, Vitamin C Barbie, Dolls of the world, and Medusa Barbie.  I’m also really hoping my mom gets me Joan Holloway Barbie from the Mad Men. They are coming out in a few weeks. HINT! I swear I’m over twelve.

To be quite honest Barbie Rocks.  I know there are people that think she’s a bad influence and an impossible standard of beauty but that’s not true. And also on the mothers and fathers to let their children know it’s a doll not reality! A little history of the awesomeness that is Barbie.

That is the original Barbie Doll, introduced to the world in 1959.  Barbie was and is a product of Mattel.

She was created by Ruth Handler. Barbie was the first doll for little girls that was a woman. Until Barbie all dolls girls could play with were baby dolls, and Ruth Handler saw how much her daughter Barbie liked playing with her paper dolls, that were images of movie stars and grown woman, that she could dress up and change careers.  So Ruth thought to herself why don’t I make an actual doll like that? Hence Barbie.  The thing that was great about Barbie back in the day was that she truly was the ultimate feminist. All the careers she had, movie star, teacher, astronaut, stewardess, fashion designer etc…. Oh yes there was Ken but up until Ruth Handler got kicked out of Mattel there was no groom Ken. There was a bride Barbie but never a groom Ken. Because as Ruth Handler said Ken was just the ultimate fashion accessory for Barbie.

My sister and I use to fight like crazy when were little. So much so that it drove my mother nuts. Being the youngest I just wanted to be like my big sister. So I followed her around and annoyed her to no end.  To be fair there were a couple of years where she definitely tried to get rid of me. But anyway that’s a whole other blog. So we use to fight like crazy and it drove my mother nuts. We both loved Barbie. So the way my mother got us to stop fighting was she created a checklist of who started the fight.  She would put a check under whomever started the fight and at the end of the month whoever had the least amount of checks got to go to Toys R Us and pick out a Barbie doll or Barbie doll outfit.  Needless to say it took all of two months before there were no more fights.

My mother had her creative ways that’s for sure.  But so did my sister and I, we were lucky and had an amazing sun room that was our Barbies kingdom.  The right side was her Barbie kingdom the left side was mine. We would play in there for hours. Ultimately different variations of Ken being kidnapped by evil blond barbie. We were always fans of barbies like Whitney because she had dark hair like us. Whitney would have to save Ken and then there was always a big ball at the end with our two kingdoms combined.

We also loved mermaids and wanted a mermaid Barbie which they make now but back in the 1980s did not exist.  We went to Vogue fabrics in Evanston and bought little bits of the stretchy sequin trim and would wrap that around theirs legs making them mermaids.  In the summer we would also wrap saran wrap around their legs and paint it with nail polish. Then make a water fall for them with our hose.

Those are some of my favorite Barbie memories. I just felt like writing a bit about her because she still has a huge influence on my life.  I like Barbie always will. I also like staying a connected to my childhood.