"Mad Men"-inspired popular culture

"Mad Men"-inspired popular culture

Drinks and dresses.

I am very, very late in coming to the Mad Men craze, but sure enough, I’ve made it. The 1960’s-era period drama about a group of Manhattan ad executives has spawned a 1960’s mania in popular culture not seen since the age of the Beatles.

First came the cocktails. Gin fizzes and gimlets, Manhattans to whiskey sours, these defunct drinks have made a comeback everywhere from swanky bars to hipster clubs. You can even order a few of these in the campus bar and they’ll keep a muddler handy for you. The success of each interpretation of these drinks is still up for grabs—I’ve had many a bartender who doesn’t understand the nuances required to make a tasty old fashioned, but the supply and demand from these grandparent’s drinks is certainly real.

Now, I’m all for expanding our imbibing repertoire outside of rum and cokes and beers, but the ad executives on Mad Men make drinking look disgusting, not classy. If you’ve ever drank as much straight whiskey and vodka as these suited executives do, you’ll know that you’ll start to get a fuzzy head that will put you in bed right after dinner. Instead, aside from the occasional bloke who gets fired for pissing himself in the middle of the day, the drunk execs are portrayed as suave, not as alcoholics.

I like the trend, but I don’t like the implication that you can funnel these drinks into your mouth and still function well enough to bring in the Lucky Strikes account.

Similarly, fashion trends have started to emulate the dress of the stars of the show. Women wear mostly floral, full-skirted and sleeveless looks outside of the office, and brightly-colored, tailored dresses in the office. Men wear grey or navy suits, often double-breasted suits, and shorter pants in the office, and plaid or white button-down shirts and Bermuda hats outside of it. Sure, it was a time where women had to live with their husband’s choices and be valued only for their sex appeal (and wardrobe)—but they sure looked great, didn’t they?

Banana Republic has really gotten into the act and has partnered with the show’s designer, Jamie Bryant, to create looks inspired by the show to purchase. The collection will include dresses, polos, cardigans, vests, blazers and capris, and will be for sale at Banana Republic starting March 1. The shop introduced its first Mad Men collection in August, and created this second line because of its popularity.

What do you think of all the Mad Men trends?