Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mad Men - Pure 60's Style

By Todd Denning

As I'm sitting here in between television seasons and feeling nostalgic for my favorite show, Mad Men, I may just have to dress up my family and friends and keep the plot rolling along in my own invented world.

If you've never seen Mad Men, you're crazy! This Golden Globe and Emmy winning television drama that airs on the AMC channel is part high-brow drama, part social commentary, and part uncanny kitschy fun. Set your Tivo for season four in 2010 if you're not afraid to dive into the issues of cigarette smoking, drinking, sexism, adultery, homophobia, anti-Semitism and racism that were prevalent in the 1960s.

One thing that you'll notice right away when watching Mad Men is the historical authenticity and visual style of the 60s costumes, sets and locations. Stylists spend painstaking time to recreate a snapshot of this bygone time, shopping thrift stores, hunting through antique markets, borrowing from private collections and creating replica clothing, furniture and props. With a little bit of ingenuity, a raid through a grandparent's closet and some good costume props, you can create a Mad Men costume of your choice.

Imagine the ultra-cool you exude when you walk into the room as Don Draper, one of the partners of the fictional NYC ad agency. You just need a dark suit and a thin black tie to pull of the classic and dashing silhouette of this central character. Add some hair pomade and be sure to carry a silver cigarette lighter and glass half-filled with scotch.

Ladies will feel all Grace Kelly to dress up as his stunning, but icy-cold wife Betty Draper. Pay tribute to her former days as a model by dressing up in a retro evening gown and elbow-length gloves (for a client dinner, of course) or go for her sportier Mad Men costume, an equestrienne outfit. Don a wig if you don't naturally have her coiffed, blonde hair.

Other Mad Men costumes for women include Peggy, the secretary turned copywriter with her own office (gasp!) who is known for her short brunette bangs and pony tail. To pull off her Mad Men costume, a plaid dress will give you the nice, conservative style she prefers. For the more va-va-va-voom ladies, dressing up as office manager, Joan Holloway, will help you make a very memorable entrance. Just wear a red wig and make sure your curvy figure is accentuated in all the right places!

Men can dress as agency big-wig and silver fox, Roger Sterling, motivated up-and-comer Pete Campbell, creative-type Paul Kinsey or several of the other guys in the office. The one common denominator is they all pretty much wear the same 60s suit in some color variation. Add horn-rim glasses, bow-ties, vests, briefcases and other accessories that give your Mad Men costume extra flair. Click Here

Todd Denning
Costume Machine is a costume search engine.

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