The smoking. The drinking. The power girdles. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for the third season of Mad Men to premier on July 25th!
Congrats are in order to the show, which received 17 Emmy nominations yesterday. In the two weeks left before the new season begins, I intend to add a couple of posts focusing on Mad Men fashion trends inspired by the show’s incredible female characters, Betty, Peggy, and Joan, who I’ll start with here.
Janie Bryant is the genius behind Joan Holloway’s killer curves and Mad Men’s costume design in general, and many are hailing her as “the new Patricia Fields” of Sex And The City fame. I appreciate Bryant’s attention to small details, like Joan’s gold pen necklace, which she wears frequently (btw, this is a not unlike Field’s styling of Carrie Bradshaw’s signature “Carrie” necklace). This consistentcy in wardrobe and accessories is great, because it’s like real life, right? It makes the character real. Nicknamed “Red,” Joan’s appeared several times in the dress below, so much so that it’s become her signature piece:
You can actually get a replica of Joan’s signature accessory on Amazon for only $20, sold by 1928 Jewelry Company.
It’s somewhat similiar, but I don’t know–the fact that it’s a replica that’s “vintage inspired,” and not actually a vintage item takes a bit of the fun out of it for me. And so, here is our dilemma: If you’re looking for a Joan Holloway-inspired look, there are two ways to go about accomplishing this. The first is to hunt for actual vintage pieces. Perhaps as you can tell, this is my preferred method. This is because while the second method–searching for modern clothing that’s “vintage inspired”–produces some great finds, the question is, can I afford them.
No matter what method you prefer, here are a few guidelines for your Mad Men Joan-inspired look:
- For the 1960s sexy secretary pencil skirt, look for knee length or a bit below knee length skirts
- To make sure you spilleth over, à la Joan, look for silhouettes that emphasize an hourglass shape, hugging your curves and narrowing your waist
- Along those lines, cloth-covered belts are spot-on 1960s
- Consider building your look starting with the underwear of the day, which is Bryant’s recommendation. One power girdle that’s on the less-severe side is a Long-line bras by Miss Mary of Sweden
I like to begin my hunt for Joan inspired vintage items online at Etsy where I found this red-hot number for $75:
Don’t you love the detailing on the shoulders and waist?
If you’re interested in wearing Joan’s actual wardrobe, I stumbled across some killer replicas made by Etsy seller shebycindy, who will take your measurements and produce a customized copy of one of several recognizable dresses worn by Joan. Take this one, which will cost you $98:
If you’re looking for modern pieces that are vintage/Joan-Holloway-inspired, Victoria Beckham makes gorgeous dresses that are very modern yet seem to have Joan’s name written all over them, just like this one:
If only I could afford Victoria Beckham’s dresses! A more realistic option, perhaps, is this Lela Rose dress, on sale for 70% off right now on Shopbop.com, making it a great deal at $268.50:
It features an updated knee length a that’s a little shorter, and the coral color is a bit of a modern update on Joan’s signature red. But, the pintuck sleeves and especially the front darts, which create dramatic knife pleats, is all Joan, all the time. That is tailoring that’s made to show off an hourglass figure. My favorite detail is the exposed zipper in the back–a modern yet retro detail that draws attention to a woman’s assets…definitely something Joan would approve of: