This Week Inspired By:

BIRTHDAYS! Okay, my birthday in particular. I will be turning [insert random age here] on Friday! So it’s time for a happy birthday week, inspired by some of my favorite things.

Mad Men

The return of Mad Men has made me so happy. I feel like I’ve stepped back in time with them. And I’m loving Don’s new apartment.

Song of the Week: Young Forever by Jay-Z

(Yes, I remember the original by Alphaville.)

Quote of the Week

Harold and Maude
Just watched this movie for the first time last weekend. What timing! This movie is all about someone older who embraces life and wants to truly live, who meets a young man who wants to die. Quirky, weird, unorthodox, and beautiful.

Michelle Dockery

Guess who’s on the cover of Vanity Fair?

I’m sorry, Juliana Margolies, Claire Danes, and Sophia Vergara. You are gorgeous women, but Michelle Dockery really is the standout here.

English Rose done to perfection. She also played one of my favorite literary characters ever, Susan from Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather.

What’s inspiring you this week?


Three Days Until Mad Men!

I’ve been looking forward to this particular “updated Mad Men look” post! Super much. Because it’s about Don Draper’s preferred type of DF. Sometimes he slums with the beatnik chicks. Most famously, Midge Daniels, the artist.

Beatnik is the easiest of all the looks to achieve. It is unstructured (aside from the tight tops) and easy, especially after the rigid looks which required a boned girdle. And it’s seriously mix-and-match. Boatneck top, skinny crop, flowing midi skirt/dress, ballet flats, and a wool beret.

Beatnik Mad Men

Serious tip: invest in a good wool beret. It holds its shape, doesn’t pill, and never looks cheap. The trick to wearing a beret is to take the “lip” around the opening and fold it under. While holding it with your thumb, put it on your head. It will rest snugly but effortlessly. And tilt it! It’s impossible to wear without a touch of irony, but that’s okay.

I’m so hoping that Peggy turns a little more beatnik. She seems just like the kind of girl with the right ideas to hang with that crowd. I was disappointed when that storyline never really played out on the show. Especially as Abe was a little better than her usual d-bag pick.

Four Days Until Mad Men!

Sorry I missed yesterday! I was up grading essays until midnight. Life got in the way of blogging about Mad Men. I know, my priorities are all out of whack.

It’s time to have a Mad Men Party! Or at least Mad Men cocktails. I think I need to have a fully stocked bar cart to really do Mad Men justice. Because to be a Mad Man means to have a social life that won’t stop. Dinner dates with different women every night. Cocktails. Steaks. Cigarettes and heartache.

Maybe some chopsticks and sake.

Mad Men at Cocktail Hour

As we move further into the 60’s, the fashions are set to get wilder, as this sneak preview from Season 5 shows:

Oh, my mercy. Pete, your jacket is making my eyes bleed. I included a couple of flowy shifts to go with that style.

You need some major bling to pull of Mad Men cocktail style. Keep the necklaces short and bold, and the rings HUGE. And multiple strands of pearls, of course. I love these champagne colored faux pearls.

Mad Men Style Jewelry

Today’s little Mad Men Bonus? The official AMC Mad Men Cocktail Guide! Make me a Pink Squirrel, darling!

Six Days Until Mad Men!

Continuing our countdown: Mad Men at Home! Welcome to Betty (Draper) Francis’s domain. She put out some canapes and some white wine for you all. She’ll be in the back taking a few of “Mommy’s Little Helpers”. (Or am I confusing Mad Men with Valley of the Dolls?)

If you want to have Betty’s style without Betty’s problems, slip into a day dress in a pattern and an apron, or, for garden work, your capri pants and cute top. And ballet flats! Beaucoup ballet flats! In patterns, mais oui.

Mad Men at Home


Go to Amazon for the Mad Men “How to Succeed in Business Draper Style” Special FREE download. Fifty-seven minutes of early Mad Men glory!

Favorite Moments in Mad Men, Part 2: Season 1, episode 6. Betty vs. the Pigeons

Seven Days Until Mad Men!

How long has it been since Mad Men has been on the air? Approximately a MILLION YEARS? That’s how long I feel I’ve been waiting! I cannot believe that it’s finally coming back! I’m on tenterhooks for Sunday, so I decided that my entire week here on the blog will be inspired by Mad Men!

Oh, Don Draper, you cad, I've missed you.

Let’s start where the Mad Men cast spends most of their time: at work! Updated retro style must be cool, clean, and stylish. Pencil skirt, shift dress, chunky heel–DONE. Get it!

Mad Men at Work

The look is more Joan than Peggy, but I’m more of a Marilyn than a Jackie, anyway.

Sleek, smart, reasonably priced! If you have a little more to spend, Banana Republic has another Mad Men Capsule Collection this season that is amazingly gorgeous.


Favorite Mad Men moments, part 1: Lois and the Lawn Mower (Season 3, Episode 6)

Mod Squad

I miss Mad Men. I don’t even know when it’s coming back. One of the things I admire about this show is how it has influenced fashion, bringing back that early ’60’s look and silhouette. So I’m venturing an idea that as Mad Men continues into the sixties, that the Mod aesthetic might creep in a little. We’re not talking about full Austin Powers style, but adding in some simple shapes and colors. Here are some modern Mod looks that could lead the revival.

Croquet Dress

East Ender Dress

Mod-rophenia Skirt

Twiggy Dress

A-line Colourblock Dress

Yesteryear Glam One Piece Swimsuit

Half to Have ‘Em Tights

The Mod Couple Top

Got To Be Real Wedge

If you don’t like the full Mod look, you can add elements of it to your wardrobe with primary colors, square shapes, miniskirts, or bold jewelry shapes.

Confession: my mod inspiration always leads back to this:

What do you think about Mod? Ready to take a trip back through time?

Style Icon: Joan Holloway Harris

During one episode of Mad Men, the advertising execs are thinking up a concept for Playtex. One decides that every woman can be sorted into one of two categories: A Marilyn (Monroe) or a Jackie (Kennedy). One asks if Joan Holloway, the office manager, is a Marilyn. The reply? “Well, Marilyn is really a Joan.”

To me, that’s how iconic this style icon really is. Let me be clear, I am talking about Joan, not Christina Hendricks, the actress who plays Joan. I love Christina Hendricks, I really do. But you can’t mix them up, stylistically. Christina is all about the boobage, whereas Joan has been known to tell a secretary that her “d├ęcolletage is distracting.”

So, here are the style take-aways from the beautiful Joan Holloway Harris.

1. The accessory can make the outfit.

Joan often wears bright solid colors. She prefers a boatneck sheath for work. Without the accessories, these choices might be plain. But she has her signature accessory, the pen on a chain, and a gorgeous brooch. How many people wear brooches these days? (Aside from me, that is!) Joan is always impeccably accessorized. If you’re the person who wears the same accessories every day (like my darling friend who wears a Portland Blazers necklace every day), maybe you should think about mixing it up and finding the perfect piece with that perfect outfit. (By the by, you can get a beautiful replica of Joan’s pen necklace here.)

2. Enhance your (ahem) ASSets.

Check out that ass! Everyone else is. Because Joan enhances her best features–her hourglass figure. She’s not lumpy or bumpy, because she wears a girdle (duh), but also because her clothes are tailored impeccably. Her clothes fit her body, but are neither too tight nor too loose. I would love to be tailored impeccably. Unfortunately, I spend a lot of time tugging on clothes or swimming in them.

3. Move with the times…in a flattering way.

I love this outfit. Joan is moving into the sixties and choosing a rather bold, op-art pattern. However, as you can see, the basic shape of the dress is not that far off from the clothing she usually wears. Can you imagine her in a Twiggy-style boxy shift dress? I shudder to think.

4. Be Yourself.

Joan plays THE ACCORDION. If that is not the ultimate in self-confidence and personal style, I don’t know what is.

5. Be Memorable.

Otherwise, how are you going to get your own paper dolls and Barbie doll?