Monday, March 30, 2009

Mad Men: The Good Girl aka Betty Draper

Oops, were any of you missing Betty? I just realized I never posted this part of my Mad Men fashion series!

Betty Draper, part Barbie, Skipper, and Sandra Dee, all rolled up in one.* In the first two episodes of Mad Men that Betty showed up in we saw a very insecure, nervous, "pretty" girl who looked up to her (flawed) husband for approval and permission. She was an ideal "trophy wife" before the phrase was even invented and put into use.

At home.

Vogue 5548, I thought it was interesting how Betty's pose in three pictures on this page match this pattern sketch.

As you can see the shirtwaist dress was a popular item in Betty's wardrobe during Season 1. Despite the constricting underpinnings that Betty wears, the dress "looked" comfortable and easy. Most of Betty's dresses worked on this similar design of using a tight waist complemented with a belt or a change of fabric at the waist that then released into a full skirt. The skirt's size was always emphasized with a crinoline or petticoat. This was the Good Girl's version of the hourglass silhouette.

Dinner in New York with Don

Working the corporate wife look

And here's a treat for you: While searching for new pictures for this belated post I discovered Mad Men Fashion Mondays on A Rambling Fancy's blog. I'm sure you'll love her posts like I did.

Find your inner Betty by searching vintage pattern sites with search term JackieO, wiggledress, rockabilly:

From left to right: McCall's 3698, Vogue 1631, Vogue 5548,
Simplicity 3580, Simplicity 4003, Simplicity 3434

* The Grace Kelly influence doesn't show up until after episode three, The Marriage of Figaro.


Cosmo said...

I love this post. I have had an obsession with early 1960s fashion for years. I love Gidget movies. I think that Betty is adorable. I don't think that I would say that the shirtwaist dresses required restrictive undergarments though. That is why I like the 60s better than the 50s the form was more natural. At least if you were relatively thin. Especially with the full skirts. The pencil skirts on the other hand were definitely assisted by girdles. I have only seen the first 3 episodes of Madmen, but I look forward to seeing the Grace Kelly influence.

lsaspacey said...

I said restrictive undergarments because the show has actually shown what Betty wears underneath these dresses. No, the dresses don't require them but they wore them nonetheless; the bullet bra, corset, and perhaps even a girdle.

Cosmo said...

You gotta love a bullet bra.

Cari said...

I just found your blog through EmilyStyle and I really like it, especially this post. I love Mad Men more than anything for the style. Betty is very Grace Kelly like and I can't wait for the new season of both clothing style and home style.

Sonia said...

Beautiful post!!! I love this because of these beautiful dolls in this. If you wanna Watch Mad Men then go through the link and get it now for free with all episodes...

Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.

stephen said...

Really good post I have found here. Mad Men is just a fabulous show I have ever seen on television.

Anonymous said...

Yeah she always carries her dresses very beautifully. I like her style in Mad Men Episodes.