The characters’ well-dressed masculinity has less to do with vanity than a handsome uniform. Anything but simpering aesthetes or primping mirror gazers, Don Draper and his colleagues don’t care about fashion per se; they just happen to buy suits that fit.
Retailers have been quick to pick up on the trend, and those who weren’t already making thin-lapel jackets quickly started. Shortly into the craze, the posh brand Theory had rebranded its stall at Bloomingdale’s in the Westfield San Francisco Centre with “Mad Men” paraphernalia. Banana Republic jumped on board for Season 3, launching a line of “Mad Men”-inspired gear and a chance to appear on the show as an extra.
And young men are wearing hats, too. Nice fedoras, at that.
However, paying $65 for a pair of boxer shorts strikes me as folly:
“We really can’t make them for any less,” says owner and founder of Sausalito-based Birds Boxers’ Megan Papay of her $65-a-pop boxers (new.birdsboxers.com). “We’ve tried to figure it out, but we can’t.”
Not, it seems, if she and her husband, Michael Papay, aim to keep up their admirably high standards – 100 percent pima cotton grown, picked, spun, dyed, cut and hand-sewn all in Lima, Peru, in a vertically integrated shop. The mother-of-pearl buttons add a classy touch, and the design of the Custom Cut make me feel, if not exactly like Don Draper, at least like Calvin Coolidge.
That reminds me of a book I read about Eric Von Stroheim, who insisted that the extras playing soldiers in one of his movies wear authentic Austrian underwear with the Archduke’s monogram on them. Poor Eric lost a fortune doing that, which put an end to his directorial career.
Let’s hope the show’s not making their actors lolly around in $65 boxers, however tempting as it may be to see Jon Hamm wear them.
More on Mad Men fashion at their website’s fashion file.
The WSJ has “Mad Men” Season 3, Episode 8: TV Recap (which I missed last week) with a nice photo of Jon Hamm. Luckily for the fashion-oriented audience, Joan is now running “the fancy dress section at Bonwits.” There should be plenty of material (puns always intended) in that.