I’ve already had a couple “dress like” articles under my belt- usually because they were unusually stylish like Neal Caffrey or in the case of Ryan Gosling- oozed machismo. The reason it has taken me this long to get around to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and friends is because I tend to prefer my suit cuts a little sharper.
Don’t get me wrong, I adore the 60s stylings and for all intents and purposes the men of the era are quintessential Monsieurs, I for one am counting down to the season premiere on March 25th. For those of you a little anxious, there’s some soothing Draper balm that awaits you at the boutiques of Banana Republic. Come March 1, their latest Mad Men collection hits the shelves.
The 2nd such collaboration with Emmy winning costume designer of Mad Men, Janie Bryant (she also worked with Brooks Brothers on a true blue Mad Men suit by the way), you can expect real life versions of the reel life sartorial inklings of Draper and Joan- smart suits and feminine dresses.
Banana Republic’s Mad Men collection will feature over 40 items of apparel and accessories for both men and women and like the golden age of classic elegance, all will stand the fashion test of time. From casual wear to “agency” wear, you can expect modern takes of all your favorite 60s fashion “icons” like the polo shirt and checked shirts. [Shop here - March 1st]
Wear the classic American Suit - think 1950s and 1960s Brooks Brothers (like those blokes in the Adjustment Bureau) and Ralph Lauren- while I’m a fan of peak lapels, the 60s were the age of the notched lapel and suits of the era though well cut aren’t cut as slim as modern day suits, they are reflective of fashion attitudes of the time where men’s suits were of a more relaxed fit (ironically polo shirts were fit to the skin).
Embrace neutral tones, love textures - Grey, brown, navy; while Mr. Draper wasn’t exactly Mr. Fashion Forward, his choice of standard colours was offset by the fact that he never wore solid tones, instead he embraced subtle textures like herringbone and window pane- no Prince of Wales checks for him.
Remember the simple pocket square – Simple fold would suffice. He wasn’t a dandy. Here’s how to one- fold your handkerchief into 1/3s- three folds to turn square to rectangle, once more in half at the centre or slightly over if your jacket breast pocket is cut a little deeper than usual. Like the fold, the square is cotton white. If you prefer, I like to punch it up with silk or a paisley cream pattern.
White shirts only please - While modern day Creative Directors tend to dress in tones of black. 60s agency directors were white oxford shirt men. Well pressed with double french cuffs and understated cufflinks.
Don’t forget your hat, overcoat and polish your oxfords - Well, men wore hats and overcoats in those days. Think golden age Clark Kent. Shoes, black oxfords only- polished shine please. You might have to do it yourself if only because train station shoe polishers are such a rarity today. If you happen to find one on your way to work, treat yourself. Please tip more than $5.