Mad Men is just not Smokin' Anymore!

I am really over Mad Men. I couldn't wait to watch the premiere episode this week and it just seems like they lost their way. They had these strange flash backs and flash forwards and non-linear storylines that just seemed much ado about nothing. Plus I only really enjoyed it for the fashion.

I loved many of the outfits that the woman had worn in prior seasons. In particular Christina Hendricks wore several great looks that were very interesting and well put together. Unlike many other TV shows that we have today many of the women are not model thin or anorexic stick figures. They actually have curves and need to dress to show them off. They weren’t just in jeans and tank tops or sloppy dresses that are just thrown together so they look like an Olsen twin pretending to be homeless. They are “put” together in a “look” that matched up a dress with the right accessories that make a complete coherent statement that had some style.

One of things that is very apparent is the quality of the fabrics of dresses that even the secretaries in the “pool” wear to work each day. The fabrics are cottons and wools and even gabardine for the men’s suits.  What you don’t see is a lot of cheap polyester and rayon from China which seems to be the only fabrics that you can find in so much of the ready to wear market.  Mad Men is set in the early sixties when the process of manufacturing textiles from petroleum products was just going into high gear. That is why the “look” and the style seem so different to what we have today. They are not wearing mass produced cookie cutter cheap polyester lowest common denominator outfits that are mass produced for Target or Old Navy. Back in the day most of the ready to wear that people in New York wore came from factories in the Garment Center.  The manufacturers specialized in piece work and you would see racks of clothes be pushed from one sweatshop to another as they were completed and sold in the New York market. Unlike the industry today which is a victim of globalization and all of the clothes seem to come from overseas.

One of the most interesting styles is that of Betty Draper (January Jones) who wears prim and proper dresses as a suburban matron. What is particularly interesting is that many of her dresses last season had a rather severe a-line that flows away from her body. Now we can understand if that was the case this year since her character is pregnant but it struck me as rather strange that some of the dresses in the series are so big and have so much fabric that it almost laughable.  I wouldn’t want to copy her style unless you are interesting in channeling Donna Reed at her most Stepford-wife mode.

Peggy Olsen (Elizabeth Olsen) wears sensible career gal wear that does not show off her shape and is obviously a precursor to the “business suit” mode that so many women wear in the workplace.  She does have quality fabrics that run heavy in the hounds tooth and heavy wool direction that makes her seem like she is in a suit of armor. She seems to be hiding her body more than accentuating her good points which I guess is a style that works for people who want to only be judged on their work and not on any part of their personality.

The real fun is in the outfits that Joan Holloway (Christina Hendricks) sports as she is always in great outfits that aren’t matchy/matchy but that “go” together. She accessories beautifully and emphasizes her generous curves without overwhelming you with cleavage or over doing the va-va-voom aspects of her figure. Still you can tell that people notice and she knows that they do. She has a style that a confident and secure woman could emulate because she combines a business like attitude with an ultra feminine and sexy style. I think her look is one that you can look to for some ideas on how to spice up your work wardrobe.

I do think that one of the worst aspects of the show is the accessories. Not the jewelry or the handbags or the cute little hats that complete their ensembles, but the one thing that everyone shared as a common accessory. A cigarette. 

Do you still think Mad Men is smokin'?

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