Visualise Mad Men's Betty Draper / January Jones, 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
going out 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.
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.
See more 'Mad Men'
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.
By 2010 the Mad Men T.V. series has achieved a large
following and consequently its leading ladies have become
fashion icons. 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.
For 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
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 and 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
Otherwise my Mad Men Ladies 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.
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.
Right - 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.
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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