It may not yet be as big as Sex And The City in the noughties, or
Dallas in the eighties, but the 'Mad Men' TV series is influencing
ladies fashion in the 2010s (series 4 starts in July 2010). If this is a trend for you -
great. If not then just be aware of how it affects fashion
styles that you observe in 2010.
By 2010 the Mad Men T.V. series has achieved a large
following and consequently its leading ladies have become
fashion icons. What we are seeing is how the
actresses of Mad Men fame have been inspiring women to
regain that feminine look of the early 1960s. Role-models like Betty Draper (January Jones), Joan Holloway
(Christina Hendricks) and Peggy Olsen (Elisabeth Moss) are women
who illustrate how curves, and good fit combine with grace
of movement to offer a
more subtle sophistication than any strident warrior woman look might
By the early sixties, dress styles from the 1950s (based on the
Dior 1947 New Look) had exhausted all the possible bodice and skirt combinations. Features
of this era included covered wide belts, halter necks, swathed draped slim
sheaths or full skirts and both silhouettes used bold
floribunda - tea and cabbage roses. Each of these fashion elements have been
reworked into new styles by designers of the 21st century.
Fashion designers have raided the
archives for style inspiration that is too good to be left unseen by a
For 2010, 'Mad Men Ladies' have inspired pretty trends which
put girls into slinky Joan
Holloway hour glass silhouettes, or crinoline
inspired Betty Draper prom dresses. To adapt to the 2010s these
1960 designs need to be
given a little edginess. Footwear, bags,
jewellery and scarves can all be jiggled to add diversification from the original concept. Mad
Men is translating well to modern times, and will have fashion
influence for some time yet.
Autumn/Winter 2010/11 the catwalk has already declared that
better cut classic pieces will be the fashion look that
an economy aware society needs, rather than throwaway cheap
garments. Betty Draper looks so good in classic dresses, and so too will
you once you find the right silhouette for your body shape. Right - Get the Joan Holloway look for less at Tesco Clothing
Collection - From Somewhere to F&F - Stockist Tel: 0800 505555 /
Janie Bryant is the costume designer behind the women's' clothes on
Mad Men. She has been hailed as the new Patricia Fields of Sex
And The City costuming fame. Janie Bryant pays attention to
small details, as a fashion history critic, I find it hard to
fault Janie. She always begins with
great foundation garments
just like the
underwear styles women really wore in the early 1960s. Long-line bras, power girdles,
under slip petticoats and tulle net tu-tu slips all help
to create the key looks of the 50/60s era. Just wearing a boned-to-the-waist bra makes a woman hold herself differently,
and this changes her posture.
Whilst there are many modern bustier bras and corsets on the
market today, one of the few long-line bras that has the audacity
to resemble the sort worn
in Mad Men is the long running Triumph Doreen bra. The
'Doreen' comes as a long-line,
midi long line or short bra. I have discovered that over
their authentic foundations the actresses
wear garments that are either made in house, bought from vintage
shops, or rented from costumiers.
The simplest way to get
an early 60s look is with a perky fuller skirt
hovering around the knee, like this spotted skirt at £40 from
Oasis. Add a cropped
button cardigan, with short or pushed up sleeves, and the look is
easy and everyday. In fact the style is similar to
outfits worn by Fonzie's girlfriends in the Happy Days
T.V. shows. Hobbs do a great cardi called the Hobbs Eve
Cardigan, £59 and this is shown in citrus sulphur lime right. This cardigan is just the right
style to team with Mad Men inspired pants, dresses or skirts.
Otherwise my Mad Men fashion Tips below will guide you.
For following the early 60s fashion looks pay attention to:-
Silhouette in dress and form - curvy bodies, curvy fit. Wear structured underwear to achieve early 60s shaping.
Corselets and long-line bras by Miss Mary of Sweden, Rago,
and the famous Triumph 'Doreen' may seem severe, but they all knock the body into
early 60s curves and can be bought from Woods of Morecambe,
Damart, Daxon, Grattan or Littlewoods. You can also
get modern softer control bodes from Marks & Spencer, Figleaves and BHS. Right -
& Spencer Control Body. These control shapewear
bodies are ideal for
Bombshell Dress looks.
Pay attention to waistline curves - buy
with a wide band as above. Alternatively, belt
the waist or wear a contrast colour cummerbund, or use a sash as
shown right. Right - Jane Norman Spring 2010
Pacific Fern Knee Skirt £32. No waist - then use an over-blouse feature (about 6cm
covering below the waist area) or choose to empire line with higher empire lines that are finely belted,
emphasised with a neat bow trim, change of print or contrast colour way.
The empire styles may have slim sheath skirts or gently flare in
A-line silhouettes in the style of Jackie Kennedy.
Pay attention to skirt length. Not too long - not too
short. Choose knee length clothes that are hovering on the
knee, but not especially above it. You want to show a shapely lower
leg with the promise of more mystery above. Knee length
clothes give a balanced silhouette, yet create a ladylike
effect with a sense of decorum and subtle allure of more to
see. The whole point of Mad Men looks is that it
elegance. If you are under 25 shorter skater looks
can also work well.
You will need 3 definite types of clothes - day,
office and night pieces. Plus you might consider adding coordinated
beach/pool wear which can fall under daywear, but is
Fabric - Look for checks, spots, stripes, floral and
border prints. But also consider modern takes on flora
such as digital prints which bring the material up to date
whilst paying homage to all the funky Matisse inspired
abstract designs of the fifties and sixties. Right
- Floral Border Print Summer Prom Dress by Apricot SS10.
Physically the fastest way to get this Mad Men fashion look is to pay
attention to grooming. Be perfectly groomed and stick to
your natural skin colour without overdoing fake tan. Facially, opt
for true red or coral red lips with made up skin looking
clear and fresh and add perfectly applied winged flick upward eyeliner. The
flicks are not as
Egyptian influenced late sixties Elizabeth Taylor, but
artfully enhance and lift the eye in a sophisticated
screen star manner. Upwardly winged spectacles also help
re-create the early 1960s era. Next to lips go for
matching red and coral nails, never the French manicure or squared off
nails. 60s nails were almond shaped ovals, and mostly painted
scarlet red, pearlized pinks or peachy corals. Forget
fancy stick on designs if you want the 'Mad Men Lady' look.
There must also be an obvious trademark 'suit the face
shape' hairstyle. This is not a look of recent years,
where the concept of one hairstyle suits all, with cloned
hair straightened looks as the winner. This is the opposite
of lookalikes. Here every woman wanting to do the Mad Men look should
think about how hair best suits her face shape and how
can she make it look different to her best friends by colouring
her hair, curling it,
waving it, smoothing it or flicking it.
Another physical aspect is not to overwork the muscle
A little exercise like regular walking or basic workout will give a toned shapely figure, but too
many muscle and definition workouts will kill the soft womanly look.
Think Dita Von Teese softness rather than Madonna muscle
In the main this look is a pretty, preppy, pink Palm Beach style
as far away from
utilitarian khaki as possible.
garments have all the elements of this way of dressing. Among all those cute dresses look out for vintage belts,
covered belts and cute buttons.
Visualise Betty Draper/January Jones of Mad Men fame, and see
how easily she might wear these soft pastel summer dresses which
hark back to the early 1960s.
Left - Jane Norman Spring Summer 2010 - Premium Collection -
Tulip Bodice Halterneck Dress £45.
Near Left - Pale Pink Dress from £24.99 and from a selection at
The deeper blushing-pink dress has some key elements of Mad Men
styles. I can just see Betty Draper wearing this dress.
Firstly it has a shirt waist effect, with a deep V collar. The
dress is sleeveless, but one option might have been for three-quarter sleeves. The skirt is full with easy un-pressed pleats. It has a wide deep belt
with covered buckle and covered buttons. In this case the belt is made as
with the same fabric, which was very much a feature of
fifties and sixties clothes. Indeed, coats of the fifties and
sixties often had a self fabric covered belt.
Right - 1960s - The teenager shown is my cousin Gaynor wearing a
shirt waist dress with deep covered belt and wide picture
collar. The dress was made by a London brand of the era called
Peter Kay. Wide feature collars are a key trend focal point of
For fabric belts for weddings and special occasions I suggest
that you try the long established UK haberdashery
Harlequin, who make covered belts as well as covered buttons. They also make covered buckles, rouleaux strips and matching
clutches to order, mostly using your own fabric. I have ordered
fabric covered products from them before, and have always been
satisfied. Little touches such as matching belts add the early
60s couture touch you may seek for re-enactment or
These high street dresses really hit the ladylike early sixties trend.
They all have firm-backed self-fabric belts with fabric
covered buckles. If you sew, then you too can have fabric covered
belts and fabric covered buckles like the ones made by
Harlequin.co.uk, only using your own fabrics.
Above Left - Phase Eight Spring/Summer 2010 Bella Floral Dress
Above Centre - Hobbs Vaudeville dress, £159 - Hobbs Spring
Summer 2010 Clothing.
Above Centre - M&Co Floral 50s Style Red Black Floral Print
Sleeveless Wide Collar Dress £40 - M&Co Spring/Summer 2010 -
M&Co Ladieswear Stockist Tel: 0800 0317 200.
Above Right - Very.co.uk - Jasmine Guinness Heart Lined 50's Red
Dress - £49.
Colourful contrast belts in suede, patent, leather or
impressed/cutwork/punched leathers will create the Mad Men look too. For
up-to-date leather accessory touches look for studs, leather cutwork, impressed
and appliquι layered designs or plaited woven styles.
For wide deep leather or suede belts made to order I recommend
specialist leather belt designer
Nick Williams. Nick trades in
leather accessory goods from Worcestershire and can make quality
belts in any of over 200 leather/suede colours. Nick can be
contacted at his shop The Belt and Bag Shop at 20 High Street,
Droitwich, WR9 8EW - Tel. 01905 779334. I own about a dozen of Nick's belts and
there is never a week when I don't select at least one them to
pull an outfit together. A belt adds that finishing touch
which can pick up any colour in your outfit.
At present all the high street shops and online sellers like Oli
have a good selection of wide and narrow belts, but for
something different or in the exact colour you require, a
specialist belt retailer is worth a visit. Cinch belts like
these make the Bombshell look
easy to achieve.
Above right - Littlewoods.com Teatro, Out of Africa Butterfly Cocoon
Coat - £89. Shown with Littlewoods studded waist belt in
sizes 8-22 - £20.
Below - Fever Rose Leather Belt; Oli Cat.No: 13J710WB9; £86 -
Gorgeous vintage look leather belt in deep peach orange shade
with rose detailing.
The three dresses below would all suit Betty Draper. This
is because Betty
has great collarbones, which add to her delicate desirable
appearance, consequently showing off her neckline is a must.
The first sundress (below left) is the type of piece she might wear when
relaxing with her children on a sunny day. The slim sheath dress
covered in huge roses is one she might wear for drinks with her
and the third halter neck dress also has a summery
feel, you can just imagine the couple dancing together on a hot
Above left - FEVER Summer Fern Sundress Red £65.99 Fever
Centre - FEVER Elizabeth Rose Dress £59.99 Fever Designs.
Right - FEVER Ocean Halter Dress £69.99 Fever Designs SS10.
Flowers, fruit, cherries, leaves, acorns, grasses, wheat,
lilies, berries, bees, birds, butterflies were all featured on
fashion fabric prints of the Mad Men era, so naturally when
getting this look you'll be half way there if the printed
material looks right.
When she is in Grace Kelly mode, I see Betty Draper in lace,
chiffon silk or satin gliding across the floor of the country
club getting admiring glances from the male club members, and
envy from the women.
Left - Corsage Pink/Ivory Halter Neck Dress £50 from Oli.
Centre - Lace Covered Prom Dress & Satin Sash £45 BHS - SS10 Womenswear. With its satin sash
this strappy mocha
lace dress is also perfect for an occasion such as a prom party or even a wedding.
BHS Stockist Tel: 0845 196 0000.
Right - Holly Willoughby Pink Bodycon Shoulder Detail Dress -
£49. A siren dress available from both Littlewoods Ireland and Very.co.uk.
More Mad Men Fashion
Betty Draper also likes to look neat, and the neatness within
these pieces below stem from the fresh summer nautical feel of
red and white, or navy and white with a red accent. With her blonde hair, Betty would look very
dynamic wearing these pieces.
Top Left -
Red/White Striped Bag by Hobbs - NW3 Upton bag, £39.
Hobbs Spring Summer 2010 Accessories.
Bottom Left - Red/White Wedge Open Toe Shoe - Schuh Magda
Bow Slingback Espadrille Wedge £49.99/65. Schuh
S/S 2010 Collection.
Centre - Red/White Contrast Halter Sailor Nautical Dress -
RARE SPRING SUMMER 2010 - Rare GE-PA697.
Far Right Above - Perfect for a PTA meeting this spot dress is a go
anywhere frock. Red Dress/White Spots - From £14.99 19.99
at TK Maxx - Spring/Summer Women's Fashion 2010.
Betty Draper looks so good in classic dresses, and so too will
you once you find the right silhouette for your body shape.
Right - Get the Betty Draper look with
shift dresses at Kaleidoscope.
Left - Jane Norman Navy/White Polka Dot Spot Playsuit.
As you can see red is a hot trend colour for 2010 and Betty
might have gone to the beach wearing a playsuit and red top like
If you don't see yourself as a Betty Draper woman, and think of
yourself as more vamp like, consider instead the sultry
hourglass Joanie (Christina Hendricks) and work her look into
your new wardrobe.
Imagine how these
dresses might mould to the figure of curvy Joan Holloway the
office administrator, the ultimate ideal secretary of Mad
Men TV cult fame.
The precise red dress in quality fabric, makes a woman look stunning and
commented upon long
after she stops wearing it. A red dress is not for the shy, yet
wearing one can give a woman confidence. If the dress is a
perfect fit sculpted and moulded to her body, it can give her a
screen siren aura. Consider the red dress an investment in the
same way you might a black dress. The bold bright LRD is
in strong competition with the LBD in 2010.
To do justice to a dress like this most women need the
assistance of some power foundation garments. Sculptz by
Planet fashion, Gok Wan and Trinny & Susannah have all joined
the Spanx bandwagon with their own version of shape wear
products. Shapewear is nothing new, but it does seem new to a
generation that have mothers who abandoned it.
With these shapewear products, every lump and bump can be
controlled and pushed into the shape you desire.
Power net can even improve how you look after the diet as well
as before it.
Above Left - The ultimate red dress (want one, must-have) - Harvey Nichols - Donna Karan Three Quarter
Sleeve V Neck Cross Draped Red Dress £1,055.
Donna Karan Dress No. 311162 at Harvey Nichols - Online (UK
Customers): 0845 604 1888 and Online (Overseas Customers): +44
(0)160 466 2788.
Above Right - Phase Eight Red Jersey Dress.
Sleek dresses in solid hues can be dressed up, or dressed down.
They can also be
accessorized according to occasion, time of day or weather.
A little black dress is always a great buy. This one
far left is by
long established brand Alexon who make quality classic clothes that last
and wear well.
Centre - Vintage Inspired Metallic Silver Pencil Dress - Littlewoods.com Trinny &
Far Right - Phase Eight Green V Neck Draped Dress at John Lewis.
This is a green
goddess dress for the redheads like Joan Holloway. Wouldn't she
look perfect in this gown or this Bombshell Dress below from UK Costume
Designer Katya Wildman.
This Bombshell Dress shown right in fine cotton and
covered with 50s/60s style ditzy print of wild strawberries is
typical of 'it' dresses that are knocking women into curvy hour
glass shapes. The cut of the drapery is impressive enabling the
picture neckline to be adjusted to reveal even more shoulder.
You can also
arrange this Bombshell dress to show no cleavage or plenty of it. This must-have dress
does of course focus on the cinched waist and doing it up is an
exercise in breathing in (that's my excuse anyway!), but because of
the shirred side bodice panels it sculpts and moulds to your body.
I liked the Bombshell Dress so much when I saw it and tried it on
in my local boutique, that I had a sleepless night and had to go
back and buy one the next day. A good shape-wear body like the one
from Marks and Spencer shown further up this page or a strapless bra
would help attain the perfect support for that film star shoulder
Nigella Lawson reportedly spent £2,000 buying some 12 variations
of these Bombshell dresses in different colour ways for her holidays
in the Hamptons. Clearly she has over the years been inspired by
other screen sirens like our Joan Holloway bombshell here. I bought my
Craig in Worcester UK. To ring the changes I sometimes wear one
with it. To my way of thinking the UK sizing (8-16) is
flattering and possibly on a par with American sizes.
You may also find the Bombshell dresses at established boutiques
such as The Cross in Notting Hill, London. The Dispensary at 200
Kensington Park Road is another fashion shop in Notting Hill London
that stocks the Bombshell too.
Anyone who wears form fitting dresses all day like Joan
chooses, has to relax at some point. At home Joan drops her guard
and either dons a simple top or sweater with Capri pants,
fitting trousers like these below. In more seductive mood she
might pick out a flowing negligee. In 2010 I
suspect your choice may be more inclined toward the Capri style
or narrow leg pants shown here than a flimsy negligee.
Above Left - Top £80, Trouser £70, Necklace £35, Hat £120 -
Viyella Stockist Tel: Women's: 01845 573 120 or
Centre - Vivid Electric Blue Gypsy Neckline Top and White Capri
Pants - Gerry Weber.
Right - Wallis - Black Sleeveless Blouse £30/47, Zebra Print
Narrow Harem Trousers £35/55. Gold Multi Drop Earrings £12/20 -
Wallis SS10 Stockist Tel: 08451214520. All of these outfits
would have looked quite acceptable in the early 60s.
Peggy Olsen has a quirkiness that Joanie and Betty don't
possess. Much of this is to do with her upbringing and niceness. She is a girl who still likes big sailor collars, spots, stripes
and fun bags. There is still a lot of the young girl in
dress style and unlike Joan or Betty she does not always
emphasise her curves. This red spring coat from Hobbs for
example flows over the body loosely and the style is very
typical of circa 1963. A slightly shorter version of this coat
is currently available at Hobbs for summer 2010.
Peggy Olsen wears styles suited to her personality of a less
sophisticated female, floundering in a complicated world of men
who get what they want because they are men. Her clothes often
have a look of innocence and then she confounds us by wearing a
fashion piece that shows she can be more modern. I think these
clothes would suit Peggy well.
Above Left - PPQ Striped Red White Jersey Jacket by Littlewoods
Ireland - Stockist Tel: 01 811 22 22.
Bottom Left - Phase Eight Spot Cardigan £49.
Centre Left - Teatro, Pink Print Mix Spot Dress -
Centre Right - Reds Check Sleeveless Dress by People Tree - 100%
Handwoven Cotton £48. People Tree Spring Summer 2010 Eco
Conscious Clothing - Stockist
Tel: 020 7739 9659 or peopletree.co.uk.
The fun spot-cardigan is something Peggy would
buy and she would look good in the big madras tablecloth check
style frock or the easy dropped waist polka dot dress. Her
sophistication is developing as she becomes more attuned to big
city life. She is not afraid to be different, and I can see her
sporting this Florist picture bag by Lulu Guinness and looking
quite cute in her ensemble.
Far Right - Lulu Guinness Large Florists Shop Jenny
Handbag, Stone/Red. This bag costs £225 and is available online
at John Lewis. John Lewis have a huge selection of branded bags
in every price range.
For the office Peggy might wear neat collared pieces or
simple shape jackets. That striped and bow trimmed bag, like the
Lulu Guinness bag right, is also
one that would lift any outfit from dull to interesting.
Above Left - Monsoon Fusion Spring Summer 2010 - Green Marisa
Cardigan £45/76 Eire.
Bottom Left - Striped Pocket and Bow Navy/White/Red Bag - NEXT.
Centre - Red/Black White Collar Cuffs Dress By Oli.
Top Right - Hobbs Luzia Striped Bow Sweater, £59 Hobbs Spring Summer 2010
Bottom Right - Hobbs Navy Madina Jacket £149. This simple
unstructured jacket is just the type Peggy might select.
On occasion, Peggy has a penchant for more unusual fashion
styles. Her love of collars and mixed prints means she is more
adventurous in some ways than Betty Draper or Joan Holloway who already truly
know their own fashion style. Peggy, like Ugly Betty
(America Ferrera) is still
experimenting and sometimes she comes up trumps.
Above Left - Green Dress by Monsoon.
Centre - House of Fraser - Mushroom Dress - Small Collar Detail
£75, Pied a Terre at House of Fraser.
Right - Nude Chiffon Asymmetric One Sleeve Dress £140, Pied a
Terre at House of Fraser - Both Products House of Fraser Stockist Tel: 020 7003
Peggy would look great in this abstract print summer dress with
its large capacious pockets. It's just the kind of unusual dress
she would go for. For a conventional business meeting she might
wear this flat collar sheath dress and then confound the almost
all male team by turning up at the cocktail bar in this gorgeous
unconventional, unusual one sleeved draped chiffon dress.
Above Left -
FEVER Amalfi Empire Dress £65.99 This Fever Design is a large
floral print retro v-neck
yellow sash dress. FEVER Stockist Tel: 0207 6366 326.
Centre - Miss Selfridge Summer 2010 Outfit.
Far Right - Looking ahead to autumn. Monsoon Autumn Winter 2010
- English Heritage Purple Coat with Belt.
In the Mad Men series we often see
Peggy travelling to work. This purple coat for autumn has the big collar a feature
would love. She likes bows and trims like these focus waistlines
All in all, Peggy is the new Mad Men woman to watch, as her style
develops so she grows into a more confident powerful
advertising woman who can think and look good. As the
series progresses Peggy develops her own look, becomes more daring, and maybe
she will eventually relax in shorts like these. Shorts,
especially white shorts were very popular with all young women
after the film South Pacific was a big hit in the 50s.
Right - Matalan - Be Beau Nautical Hot Pant £12 - Matalan SS10 -
Key Shapes - Matalan Stockist Tel: 0845 330 3330.
Cult TV series, such as 'Mad Men' emphasise how a woman can
easily use her appearance to her advantage through good grooming
Characters of the 1980s
Dynasty and Dallas and 1990s Sex and the City
are TV programmes which have all become leaders of key fashion
looks. Desperate Housewives, The Good Wife, Cougar Town
and Ugly Betty all typically influence what we may come to wear. Some pieces once viewed take on an instant viral effect,
as a result items soon
become this years must-have trends. Clearly the 'Mad Men Women'
look is here to stay this year at least.
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