Tag Archives: vintage

The Style of Mad Men

21 Mar

If you are anything like us (and let’s face it, you are), you are positively giddy in anticipation of Sunday’s long-awaited return of the team at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, and all the intrigue and style they bring along with them.

Even if you weren’t on the bandwagon when Mad Men changed the face of network television (and single-handedly brought back the skinny tie), you are doubtless familiar with the enigma that is Don Draper, the concept of sexy, sexy 1960s advertising, and of course, the stunning Christina Hendricks.

While the show has often teetered on the edge of chauvinism while addressing the environment of a 1960s New York workplace, the leading ladies of Mad Men have left a distinguished mark on not only the sexual revolution of the 60s but on embodiments of femininity and style that are as timeless as they are inspiring.

While the guidelines of being a woman may have been redefined many times over since the days of office martinis and jovial sexism, we can all take a leaf from the women of the Mad Men universe when it comes to personal style – both in our wardrobes and in our demeanor.

Betty (Draper) Francis

“You don’t kiss boys.  They kiss you.”

The former Mrs. Draper is not always the most reliable of role-models.  From her tantrums to at least one fowl-related killing spree, Betty is the embodiment of the repressed housewife that populated 1960s suburbia.

She is a cookie-cutter example of the frustrated and unsatisfied housewives whose stories inspired The Feminine Mystique, which is largely believed to have led to the second-wave feminism of the 60s.

While Betty manages unexpected pregnancy, divorce, and a truly infuriating husband, she retains a learned quality of poise and reservation that gives her an air of class and invincibility.

If you need a little Betty in your life to face your current challenges, consider some of her staple style – sophisticated and pristine, like this three piece suit with a mink collar.  You won’t find a more stylish suit of armor.

Peggy Olson

“I’m Peggy Olson, and I want to smoke some marijuana”

Oh, Peggy.  How far you’ve come!

It’s hard to even associate the present Peggy from the days of those horrible bangs and all that drama with Pete.

Peggy is a modern girl who isn’t looking to get married, isn’t content to stay a secretary, and isn’t fetching your damn coffee, thank you very much.

Peggy’s break through into the boys’ club of the advertising industry to a respected member of the creative team is empowering and fun to watch.  Her social and sexual exploits of being young and single in the city are also groundbreaking for her era and require a level of spunk and courage that we all could use a little of in our day-t0-day, whether it’s getting up the nerve to pitch an idea to the boss or approaching a man at a stylish rooftop party.

Peggy’s (newfound) style is understated and professional, generally with a pop of color.  For authentic 60s pieces with Peggy’s flare, try a bright, beaded top over a neutral skirt and shirtwaist dresses with a bit of flare in the skirt to retain a wholesome – yet respectable – shape.

Joan (Holloway) Harris

“I said congratulations, didn’t I? Although, sometimes when people get what they want they realize how limited their goals were.”

Those curves!  That hair!  The strut!  There’s no use denying that Joan isn’t the embodiment of sexuality, all wrapped up in bright colors and a saucy wit.

Joan is a woman who understands the rules and makes sure the world sees her adhering to them, even if they break her damn heart.  (See: losing the script-reviewing job, marrying the biggest jerk on earth).

While sometimes her concession to the male hierarchy of the times is wrenching and difficult to watch, she has a resilience to her that makes it impossible to believe she’ll be brought down for long.

Her unbridled sensuality and confidence have made her character an absolute staple to the Mad Men universe, gotten her elected the sexiest woman in the world, and has created a style icon across decades and Hollywood body presumptions.

While there can only be one Joan Holloway, you can imitate her fashion sense and her poise with well fitted, bright garments like this tailored wiggle dress and this structured bright red number.  And remember, chin up and shoulders back, speak softly and keep it covered or you’ll never be a true Joan.

Ready for Spring? Some Vintage Inspiration to Wave in the Season!

25 Feb

Ah, springtime.  March is peeping around the corner at us and soon it’ll be time to box up our bulky winter coats, shake out our dusty knicknacks, and welcome in the misty showers, pastel sundresses, and shyly blossoming plants that signify the arrival of spring.

Since we enjoy a healthy presence on Etsy, we’ve been browsing around for some sister shops to help you make the transition all the more enjoyable.  Take a look at our favorites and enjoy the warmer breezes to come!

Spring Cleaning:

We know you’re dreading it!  Somehow snuggling up against the blustery winds of winter gives us leave to let dust gather and clutter compile until we’ve no choice but to devote a weekend (or a week!) to a full-on Spring Clean.

Well, it doesn’t have to be ominous.  The darling organizers and shelving from Blue Bird Heaven will give your space the charming, vintage-y asthetic you love while also helping you keep every little thing in its rightful place.

Spring Flowers:

Found in the Ground is an excellent resource for “found” vintage items ranging from gorgeous compacts to quirky figurines.  Check out their collection of ceramic flowers for inspiration that may lead to a new look or a new take on your decor this spring.

Spring Lovin’:

Sure, Valentine’s Day has passed us by, but it’s understood that springtime is for lovers.  Treat yourself (or your sweetheart) to some custom-made, vintage-inspired lingerie by Sandmaiden.

We can’t get over how affordable this gorgeous, made-to-order neglige and sleepwear is!  Treat yourself to something truly romantic and unique with a timeless twist.

Vintage Date Night – 3 Classic Film Ideas for Old-Timey Romance

23 Jan

We’ve gotta be honest.  Ever since snagging that photo of Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca for last week’s blog post, we’ve been really feeling some classic cinema – which has presented us with a healthy selection of true love as Hollywood’s Golden Era saw it.

Depending on the tolerance of your sweetheart for a.) sappy lovey dovey storylines and b.) black and white film, it’s easy to stick to new releases and the less saccharine story-lines to keep everyone happy.

Here are three films (from a variety of eras) that will provide you and your honey genuine entertainment and a sweet underlying message (without putting either of you to sleep):

Roman Holiday (1953) 

There’s something about this film that makes it watchable over and over and over again.  Princess Ann (Audrey Hepburn in her Hollywood debut) gets a little drunk on a sedative on a goodwill trip to Rome and decides in her intoxication to climb out the castle window and stumble happily out onto the street, spouting poetry, jumping in vans, and eventually falling asleep on a public fountain.

She’s stumbled upon by a down-on-his-luck American reporter (A very studly Gregory Peck) who takes her in before realizing who she is.  As he records all the wacky binds she gets herself in while playing hooky from her job as the Princess, he plans on building the story of his career.

Fun, entendre-laced dialogue and the cheeky fact that this is based on something Princess Margaret of England actually did in the 50s should keep you both fairly entertained, even when you know that these two have little hope of riding off into the sunset together.

At the very least, the quirky and clever Ann will annoy both of you a lot less than whoever Katherine Heigel is playing this season.

Modern Times (1936)

Okay, yes, this is kind of a silent film (but not really), and we imagine that’s already turned some of you off to the idea of watching it, but hear us out!

Firstly, for you film buffs out there, this is the first film in which the world heard the voice of The Tramp (Charlie Chaplin).

Pretty much everyone in the film aside from Chaplin and his ladylove (real-life wife Paulette Goddard) talks regularly, so go ahead and shirk that concern.

Secondly, the premise of this film is a political attack on the giants of the industrial era (namely Henry Ford), and damn was Chaplin a cheeky bastard when it came to calling out people he found politically distasteful (see The Great Dictator, in which he stood up to Hitler before the United States had decided how they felt about him).

You might think the humor is going to be ridiculous slapstick in the vein of the Three Stooges, but trust us, Chaplin’s comedic technique is more sophisticated than that, and it has aged incredibly well.  His comedic timing is still superb and incredibly fun to watch, even today.

Give it a shot, and be sure to tell us what you thought.

Midnight in Paris (2011)

No, we’re not cheating.  Here’s the deal.  If one (or both) of you is just inherently adverse to the idea of watching an “old” film, here’s one that came out last year that has all the makings of a great romantic story without the gushy discomfort of a rom-com (even though that’s what imdb insists on calling it).

Woody Allen’s return to form last year starring Owen Wilson, Marion Cotilliard, Rachel McAdams, and Kathy Bates takes viewers to some seriously unexpected places when Gil (a less-obnoxious-than-usual Owen Wilson) accidentally finds a way to escape his touristic vacation with his insufferable fiancee by jumping back into 1920s era Paris every night.

With hilarious interludes with some of the era’s most famous figures and a healthy handful of personal revelations for Gil, this one stays safely enough out of the traditional romance category to keep even those most cynical, black-and -white-haters amused and entertained.

Combat Dreary Weather with a Bright, Vibrant Wardrobe

19 Dec

When winter descends, the world seems to dial its color scheme back.

While early nights and chilly afternoons are lovely in grays and blues and indigos, we can’t help but feel a little more somber in comparison to spring’s pastels or fall’s warm hues.

Perk up your day with a splash of color in your winter wardrobe.  Try a turquoise jacket like this asymmetrical tweed or a loud, cheerful orange like this 1970s Coat Dress to immediately draw eyes and shrug off that cold weather for a sunnier day ahead.

When you’re back home, tucked into your favorite armchair with a steaming mug of cocoa, wrap up in something like the beautiful silk robe featured to the left.

Wearing your festivity isn’t a requirement during this time of year, but it certainly can’t hurt when it comes to boosting your mood all through colder months!

Stay Toasty – a Mulled Wine Recipe for your Holiday Festivites

1 Dec

Well, it’s happened.  Thanksgiving has passed us by and Black Friday managed not to leave our trampled bodies imprinted in the tile of the neighborhood Best Buy.

So while we sit and reflect this weekend, perhaps patting our satisfied bellies or a stack of deeply discounted impulse purchases, there’s one profoundly important thing to remember: with the arrival of this weekend it is now socially acceptable to get into the Holiday Spirit – in whatever form of extremity your little heart desires.

So while some of us might be whipping up our signature batch of English Toffee (that’d be me) and others are out pacing the aisles in the nearest tree-tent debating on the merits of Douglas Fir versus Spruce, let’s all remember to stay warm and to have a great time doing it.

Now, as far as warmth goes, the tradition of spiced and heated wine (otherwise known as mulled) unfortunately gets punted to the side in climates like our native Florida.  Due to first-hand knowledge of just how damn delicious mulled wine is, we think that’s a shame.

So, here’s what you do:

  1. Grab a bottle of red wine.  You want something sweet and dessert-y like a merlot or a cabernet.  Cheap gas-station wine is a-okay. We won’t tell.
  2. An orange.  Peel and slice it.  Grate up a bit of the peel (about 1tbsp) to use as flavor and toss the rest.
  3. 1/4 cup of brandy
  4. 8-10 cloves (you can find these in the spice section at your grocery store.  You can find them cheaper in the ethnic section of your grocery store.  Just sayin’)
  5. 1/3 cup of honey.  You can use sugar alternatively or a combination of the two, depending on the flavor you’re after.
  6. 3 cinnamon sticks (ethnic aisle!)
  7. 1tsp fresh ginger (or 2 tsp of the powdered stuff)

You are going to get the best results using something like a crock pot for this, but we understand if your hesitant to ladle out booze from your pot-roast cooker, so if you like, you can just use a large pot over your stove hob.

Toss everything into the crock pot and heat over medium-low, stirring frequently to ensure the honey or sugar melts.  Don’t boil, you just want to get it to steaming.

Ladle it into mugs.  You can garnish with leftover orange peel rounds and/or cinnamon sticks.

Enjoy!  And let us know how it turned out.