The Betty Draper Effect


I have always been attracted to classic end 50s- 60s shapes and prints.

The Mad Men show has been a godsend (!), celebrating the elegance of that era.

For the first time, we don’t discover 60s fashion statically displayed, as in museums. (I do love the research and clothing displays in the V&A in London and Musée Galliera in Paris, but clothes were made for motion.)

In Mad Men, we see the clothes within their context, breathing through characters of their time. We discover the wardrobe of a suburban middle-class housewife trapped in domestic her role, that of advertising executives juggling between duty and temptation, or that of secretaries trying to break through the glass ceiling. There is a real dialogue between characters and their clothes as shown in this month’s WSJ magazine’s interview of Matthew Weiner, creator of the show, and Janie Bryant, the show’s costume queen.

For the next dress I am sewing, I couldn’t resist choosing a Vintage Vogue 1954 tea party dress (pattern on the left). A classic housewife dress of the 50s-60s.

I call it the Betty Draper effect.

2 Responses to “The Betty Draper Effect”

  1. Hi. Where did you purchase those patterns?

    • Michelle, great to meet you! You can find the patterns directly at any retailers selling VOGUE patterns. Ask for the vintage series. Good luck with your sewing!

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