Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mad Men Costume Obsessed

The series 'Mad Men' on AMC, set in 1960s New York, follows the lives of the ruthlessly competitive men and women of Madison Avenue advertising.  While I love the show in general, it is the costumes that draw my attention.

Betty and Don Draper, played by January Jones and Jon Hamm

In an interview with Glamour Magazine, 'Mad Men' costume designer Janie Bryant gives her advice on how to dress like the Mad Men stars without looking like you are wearing a costume:

"You know what’s really fun, is to get a great vintage blouse of the period, with some pin tucks or ruffles, and wear them with skinny jeans. I also love twinsets, which are just so iconic for the period, and a pencil skirt is perfect, or also finding a great shirtwaist dress. Definitely if you buy something, a piece from the period, I always say mix it with very contemporary pieces, whether it be a modern shoe or skinny jeans or high waisted trouser jeans. I’m a strong believer in mixing a lot of pieces." -Janie Bryant

Janie Bryant explains her inspiration for Betty Draper:
"My grandmother. My grandmother, her name was Etoille Estelle Lillard, so she was "Double Star Lillard," which I loved. She was from the South where they couldn't really pronounce her name, so they always called her “Et-oh-lee” and she was really part of that society. My grandmother, she was an amazing amazing designer and seamstress herself. And she had an apron for every event that matched every dress--she had cocktail aprons and everyday aprons and she designed and built her own clothes and she was just such a lady. And also I would have to say Grace Kelly for Betty Draper as well. Those are really my two main inspirations."

Joan Holloway played by Christina Hendrix

Janie also explains her inspiration for Joan's character:
"With Joan, I just see her as such a sassy gal. She just tells it like it is, or rather tells it how she sees it, and that really inspired me to use a lot of strong colors for her in her palette. They're so indicative of the period anyway, so it’s been fun to use mustards and moss greens and the brighter jewel tones. And the great thing about Mad Men is, it’s not just Joan that has this beautiful hourglass figure, there’s every single body type represented on that show. It’s not like there’s just one image of beauty. There are all different body shapes and sizes. It’s about embracing your uniqueness instead of self-criticizing."


  1. I ADORE Mad Men. This is bringing back a new revolution in dressing -- being prim & proper with a 50s flair!

    Style on a String ..because style has nothing to do with money.

  2. i just love the dresses from the show. these are fabulous. whenever i watch Mad Men i always notice the dressing style of these characters.

  3. Hey!

    I've entered a contest to win a walk-on role on that retro-licious TV show, "Mad Men".

    If you wouldn't mind taking a couple of seconds to vote for me, go to my blog, or copy and paste the following link which goes right to my picture:


    Thanks a bunch!

  4. Nice collection of costumes. Well I like this show. I am a big fan of this show. The Plot of Mad Men series is really great and cast of the show is superb.