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Celebrate ‘Mad Men’ with style

- March 22nd, 2012

I’ve been a fan of “Mad Men” since I saw the promos for the first season on AMC in 2007. (They were essentially shots of men with side-parts running around in suits set to Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good” – you can see why I’d be hooked.)

After a fairly slow burn for the first two seasons, it’s an understatement to say “Mad Men” has caught on – you know something is huge when one of the world’s biggest retailers (The Gap Inc.) dedicates capsule collections to it.

Last fall’s Banana Republic Mad Men Collection must have followed the series’ success, as the brand released a second collection this month in anticipation of the show’s long-awaited March 25 season five premiere.

What makes Banana Republic’s piped golf shirts and floral shift dresses stand out from other ’60s-inspired lines is that it was created in collaboration with Jane Bryant, the show’s Emmy award-winning costume designer, who actually plucked inspiration from looks on the show.

My interest in the show has waned; my interest in vintage styling has not.

 

With over 40 pieces for women and men (including jewelry), Bryant says it will take buyers “from the office to country club and everywhere in between.”

Estée Lauder has also earned the show’s stamp of approval with their new Mad Men Collection cherry lipstick (with a cream satin finish) and cream rouge (blush) in evening rose, both of which come in retro packaging and boxes inspired by the Estée Lauder designs from the ’60s. The collection is available at Esteelauder.com.

Estée Lauder Mad Men Collection

Estée Lauder Mad Men Collection Lipstick in Cherry (US$25) and Creme Rouge in Evening Rose (US$40). (Supplied)

If Betty Draper’s tea dresses and Joan Holloway’s sexy shifts have you jonesing for some real vintage finds, here are some tried-and-tested shopping tips:

Look for:

  • Luxurious fabrics: Cashmere, silk, leather and fur (if you buy that stuff).
  • Lining. Good vintage clothes have proper lining.
  • An aged tag that shows it’s vintage.

Don’t buy if:

  • It has sweat stains, or any other visible stain.
  • There are rips and holes.
  • It smells terrible – the stench will not come out.
  • It’s too small.
  • The colour doesn’t flatter your complexion.
  • Someone at the store is trying to convince you to buy it. That’s bullshit.
  • It costs more than the modern version would in stores.

Consider buying if:

  • It’s a little (two-inches max) too long or loose.
  • There are one or two small tears along the seam that can be stitched up without altering the fit.
  • You can think of five things in your wardrobe it can be worn with right off the bat.
  • You love it.

Always:

  • Set out with an idea of what type of piece you want to purchase.
  • Offer at least 20% less than the asking price when you first bring the item to the cash. If the item needs tailoring, offer the asking price minus the cost of alterations.
  • Wear undies and shoes you usually wear to get a good idea of fit.

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