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Mad Men's costume designer Janie Bryant was once asked if the show's vintage style rubs off on her current wardrobe. "Sure," she replied, "But there's a fine line between looking like you've been influenced by the early '60s, and looking like you're going to a theme party for the early '60s!" In other words: A little period styling goes a very long way. With that in mind, we thumbed through current collections in search of the perfect outfit for a Mad world.
The Wealthy Housewife
For a little bit of Grace Kelly by way of Ossining, think about slim pants. These tapered slacks from Max Studio were inspired specifically by the sporty, elegant silhouette of the movie star princess.
The Young Socialite
Having more disposable income like Trudy doesn't make all your problems go away, especially when you're trying to walk the line between sassy and sweet. This dress (in black) from Betsey Johnson does just that, using shapes inspired by '60s debutantes but with a little wink of sex appeal.
Anyone can pull off this look, but the secret is knowing your shape and accentuating your best parts, a la Joan. Whether you're getting a start up agency off the ground, or in charge of something more established, this curve-enhancing number from Paul & Joe is the perfect mix of business and bombshell.
Peggy might have been a late-bloomer, but Season 3 proved she is as capable of exploiting her office (and bedroom) talents as anyone else. This pussy-bow blouse from Thakoon takes Peggy's trusty accessory to a whole new level. You can find it at ShopBop.
A nonchalant lifestyle isn't as easy as it might seem: Transitioning from schoolteacher to the other woman requires the perfect outfit. Laundry By Shelley Segal makes a great sheath dress (available at at Bluefly) that's both modern and a little zany -- and perhaps inspired by the Draper's bathroom wallpaper.
Echoing the glam, black-tie outfits of Mad Men's fancier themes is a bit of a fashion dream -- especially since long, bugle-beaded evening gowns aren't quite practical. Nanette Lepore has a coat (also available at Bluefly) with a gilded sheen and vintage buttons that project Bobbie's sassy yet regal attitude, even if you've just got jeans underneath.
And then there are days when you wake up and thank the lord it's not 1963 -- you can wear jeans, sneakers, and a don't-mess-with-me scowl for your husband. On those days, there's a three-second way to channel some vintage glamour -- a streak of deep red lipstick from Revlon that's thick, matte and inspired by the complicated beauty of the early '60s -- just like your favorite TV show.
For Mad Women and Mad Men
At Sterling Cooper, men and women have separate jobs, distinct salaries, and a different set of office politics to avoid. What they do have in common? Styling accessories, like Ray Ban sunglasses, the shades worn by everyone from Audrey Hepburn to Bob Dylan. Don Draper has a pair; so does Jane Siegel.