The Madness

Glamour, Power and prestige are keywords to describe the madness that i will talk about in this post.

The 60’s fascination led me to discover the drama behind MAD MEN. The strong story line about the lives of a group of advertising executives on Madison avenue alongside to depicting the changing moods and the social mores and sexual exploits of 1960’s Americas. Besides the story, the show has maintained historical authenticity and visual style, from the sets of the sterling cooper to the fashion to the social behavior of the characters.

The fashion totally caught my fancy and the beautiful vintage  outfits awed me to leap into the madness of mad men. The individual style of each character in its true sense of the terms developed my fascination to dig deep into Janie Bryant’s world of costumes. The fashion has been so strong that it  marked influence on fashions seen on the New York runways for Fall 2008 just after its first season in 2007.Lets go down this fashionable mad men journey and discover the style and distinct nature of each of these star personalities.

Betty Draper

She’s a character who is trying to create the perfect façade. She spends time on what she wears, how she looks, and how she presents herself to the world.she is depicted like the real 50’s woman and the frothy frills draw the eyes straight to the bust line and the full skirts in floral prints that fall elegantly  accentuating her tiny waist. she lays emphasis on her foundation pieces that gives her that epitome of  perfection.We experience the housewife heaven. when noticed carefully, betty draper’s colour palette mostly comprises of cool colours like light blue, grey, beige and whites that reflect her personality.

Betty draper is as classic as gorgeous and Janie Bryant takes her character inspiration from grace Kelly whereas her motherhood instincts that are depicted in the show are inspired from her grandmother.

Betty’s style has become popular and the late 50’s and early 60’s trend as discussed before is gaining popularity. On that note, lets check out how to dress Betty Draper style.

Some key items to keep in mind while dressing betty style:

Pearls, matching handbag and shoes especially lizard or crocodile, shirtwaist dress with a full skirt, gloves, and red lipstick.

Joan Holloway

Her Perfect hour-glass shaped body is a turn on for all men on the show and that’s what her character revolves around.She’s a girl who knows her best assets, and she knows how to  use them so much so that one can call her the master of the 60’s sassy look.She always presents herself as very commanding therefore her colour palette comprises of  a lot of jewel tones to have that richness and strength. The silhouette revealing dresses, wrap tops that hug the body and pencil skirts make her wardrobe.

According to Janie Bryant, Joan Holloway’s style inspiration has been Sophia Loren, a little bit Lana Turner and Marilyn Monroe too since they were sex icons.

When following Jane’s style when kept these elements in mind, one can never go wrong:

Jeweled toned sheaths fitted to perfection, over sized handbag with a printed scarf tied on the handle with pumps to match, and a pin necklace.

Lets check out a few examples to inspire you with the look:

Peggy Olson

There is always a serious nerdy character in every show and in this case its Peggy, she rocks the Geek look and is the perfect employee any organization would want to have. For her, it’s about her growing position in the company and so she always tries to maintain her modesty and her go getter personality. Her costumes mature with every season that reflect her growth in her career and life. Her wardrobe comprises of plaids, checks, pleated skirts and buttoned up tops that add to her orthodox school girl image. one can see the use  of textured fabrics, whether it’s plaids, tweeds, checks, raw silk, or gingham. She has so many different layers that we  discover over the season that Janie wanted to  incorporate that side into her costumes.

In the new seasons, Peggy is also seen in suits since her position in the office became more noticeable that signifies her new-found success.

Peggy’s inspiration has been the young Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina. It shows a young girl becoming a young woman. 

Inspiration from Peggy’s style can be taken, just by keeping a few major tips in mind:

Wear Checks, plaids, pleats polka dots, peter pan collars, big bows at the neck and kitten heels and voila you get Peggy style.

Don Draper

A successful charming and powerful gentleman.The position and status makes him very popular amongst women and hence he is a bit of a womanizer. He has to be impeccably dressed all the time be it a situation with women or his powerful status at work therefore,  you will see a stack of white laundered shirts always in his drawers at work. his commanding nature one can clearly see through his wardrobe which consists of well-tailored suits with classic straight point collar shirts.He is always sharp and slick in terms of his appearance and off course handsome as hell.

One can dress Don Draper style just by keeping a few elements in mind:

Tailored suits, crisp white custom dress shirts with classic straight point collars and double cuffs, fedora hats, the perfect accessories and never a slicked back hair  and NO Casual Fridays..!

Get the Look, lets see how:

The “Mad Men effect” is talked about for raising the sales of everything from tortoise-shell glasses to fedoras, while the stars of the show skip from the pages of  GQ to Vogue.While television shows have a history of prompting fashion trends, what’s interesting is that this time it’s men who are absorbing and replicating the style.

The style File

Janie Bryant is the star brain behind these looks and the characters, and this appreciation for her work has turned her into an author of a book called ‘The Style File’. This book is not only a ‘what to wear’ rule book but also tells us how through accessories and vintage pieces one can get inspired and use this to get our dramatic everyday personal dressing.

She has a great eye towards what vintage pieces work with todays fashion and has chic ideas on how to gradually add vintage to one’s wardrobe without breaking the bank or crossing the line into dressing like an old lady.

If you like a little talk about beautiful clothes and love the classic look of Mad Men, The Fashion File is a fun guidebook.

Besides being a regular soap opera show on television Mad Men is a great influencing factor in todays fashion. Ever since its premiere in 2007 designers, brands and stylists have been drawing inspiration from its classic and vintage style. Lets see a few designers, brands and trends that Mad Men popularized starting from 2008.

Michael Kors Fall 2008 Collection:

all buttoned up and sexy like grace Kelly was the inspiration for this collection. The grown up sexy collection includes fitted sheath dresses, pencil skirts, suits, coats, fur , the tweeds and the green vintage colour palette with the hint of modern lavender that adds freshness to the collection. A tip by Michael Kors:”You want a tip on looking hot? Wear reading glasses and a fitted dress. Simple.”

“It’s body-consciously sexy without being overtly sexual,” said costume designer Janie Bryant.

Bloomingdales 2008 Campaign:

Window displays with Mad men characters right on the third avenue in one of the biggest departmental stores of America, that must have been an achievement for Mad Men and the perfect way to create buzz before the premiere of the second season.

Perfectly timed for Father’s Day and the premiere, Bloomingdales features windows, store visuals, and a shop dedicated to the trademark smooth styles of that power-era that look so fresh again today. Bloomingdales  showcased MAD MEN in 14 locations all over New york along with various in store promotions, activities and contests.

Mad Men influences lady like holiday hair trend in 2009:

Hairstylist to stars and celebs :Eva Scrivo gives her view on ladylike betty draper updo’s.

“Mad Men has influenced our aesthetic with more elegant styles – it has rekindled the desire for ladylike beauty. Putting your hair up isn’t just a way to mask a bad hair day now – it’s a way to bring back that old world sense of glamour.”

According to Scrivo, there are two simple keys to a pretty pulled-back look: height in the crown area achieved by teasing the root, and styling the strands that fall right around your face.

2010 was i think the golden period for Mad Men as the show gained wide success and the audiences around the World got hooked to the hit show.Various Magazines, Ads and commercials involved the Mad Men Characters or rather stars.

Rolling Stone Magazine, Sept 2010

Dolce & Gabbana adopted the Mad Men hair and makeup in Scarlett Johansson’s ad for fall 2010. She wears smoky eyes and blonde undone hair, somehow like Betty Draper.

Christina Hendericks (Joan Holloway)  in LA  Times Magazine:

New Mango Ads- Very Mad Men

Scarlett Johanson shows off her enviable hourglass figure in a printed frock that’s cinched at the waist, as well as a body-skimming and belted gray knit dress that looks like something “Mad Men” siren Joan would wear.

Vogue Mad Men inspired Photoshoot:

Vogue published a photo-shoot featuring Ewan McGregor and model Natalia Vodianova in the role of the typical 1960′s married couple, which portrayed perfectly the Betty – Don relationship.

Christina Hendricks Stars in London Fog’s Fall 2010 Ad Campaign:

Mad Men & Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton: fall 2010

Marc has jumped on the Mad Man express and echoed the ’60′s sensibility promoted by the AMC mega hit Mad Men. Marc Jacobs rocked the runway for Louis Vuitton along with the adverts and totally channeled Mad Men and everything feminine, flirty and lady-like.

Louis Vuitton Fall 2010 Advertisement Campaign also inspired by Mad Men.

Prada Fall 2010:

The fifties and early sixties influences were obvious in this collection: cat’s eye glasses, beehives, and hourglass silhouettes will have fans of Mad Men enthralled.

Mad Mens popularity in 2011 is on the rise with season 4 coming this July. The excitement is growing and is creating buzz all over the world. Banana Republic in particular is getting ready for the new season with a big bang. Lets see how..!

Banana Republic’s collaboration with Mad Men is to teach the audiences the 60’s style.They are promoting the series via its store windows, a how-to style guide, online instructional videos, and a contest in which one customer will win a walk-on role. The retailer will launch its Mad About Style campaign and style guide, which shows readers how to dress from 9 to 5 and then for dinner at 8. “Mad Men” characters will be featured alongside Banana republic looks.

A few Images from the last Campaign:


Besides Retail, Mad Men again has been inspiration with several designer collections like Marc by Marc Jacobs, Kate Spade, Frankie Morello etc.

Kate Spade

The length of the skirts has been shortened a little bit and the colours have been made more powerful than those worn in that era.The accessories include leather gloves and chic classic bags must for Mad Men style.

Marc By Marc Jacobs:

The Mad Men Woman wouldn’t go for something very eccentric, therefore the collection also includes some gold leather skirt and trousers for a more business look. But these two dresses are more fitted to the typical housewife, Betty.

TSE & Trias:

These outfits from TSE and Trias fits the classic Peggy look from the beginning of the show, the naive secretary just taking her first real job in Madison Avenue. Peggy’s style has evolved in a more elegant way ever since.

Frankie Morello:

Frankie says ‘The collection tells the story of a beauty salon, where women go to get pampered. Just like Betty Draper in Mad Men. We are really influenced by the 50s silhouettes – all those full skirts and little jackets.’

Mad Men in Magazines:

January Jones staring for Versace :

January Jones ( the elegant housewife Betty Draper in the show) was chosen to be Versace’s icon for the spring – summer 2011 collection. She got rid of the innocent Betty look and posed naked covered only in Versace accessories. She kept her hairstyle and makeup from the show, which makes her so feminine and sensual.

How to get the Mad Men look without spending money..??..The answer is simple, Janie Bryant loves her fan following so she will launch her new Mod QVB collection in sept.

Styled to look like vintage pieces, the 20-piece collection is jacket heavy – with a faux fur animal print jacket and matching pillbox hat, a reversible raspberry satin swing coat, boleros, and capelets.

Until Then keep waiting,watching and getting inspired with Mad Men.


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