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.
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.
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.