A few years ago I, like most of America, came under the spell of AMC's Mad Men. During the height of my fanaticism, I stumbled into a vintage store in Verona (NJ.) There I found this amazing vintage wool wiggle dress, in near mint condition I might add. It fit like a dream, as though it had been tailored just for me. Something which, as a curvy girl, I hardly find in clothes today without copious amounts of elastic. I was elated, I was delighted, I in love, I was broke. So broke that I really couldn't dream of buying the dress. But before I gave up completely, I tried to do some creative financing in my head. "If I split the tender between my two cards and paid the rest with the coins at the bottom of my purse, maybe I could afford it." No such doing.
I left the store empty handed, but the dress took up permanent residency in my head. I dreamt of it and all the outfits I could plan around it. In classic fifties style to a Sunday Brunch, or to a play in the city with booties and a vest, or on a casual date with my girls with sequins sneakers and a cropped sweater. If you hadn't noticed, I take my clothes very seriously, even if they aren't actually in my possession.
In the following year, I moved to another state. But would periodically visit home, and swing by the vintage shop, hoping against hope that the dress was still there. And every time, every single time, the store was closed. Unlike normal people, I couldn't just forget about it and find another dress. No. I had to have it. Come hell or high water or inconvenient operating hours.
So, my cat and mouse chase with the store continued until one long weekend when I drove back to Jersey in the middle of a Thursday afternoon. With the dress still on my mind, I raced to the vintage shop. I went inside and asked the associate if she had noticed if the dress was still there. Unsurprisingly, she had no idea what I was talking about, so I frantically searched through the racks until...Eureka! There is was! Still there after all that time and, even better, on sale. I handed the girl my money and walked out of the store with my newly dubbed "Mad Men" dress. Since then, I have worn it on every occasion imaginable: on interviews, to the ballet, to work. Generally styling it the same way every time.
Here I styled it with patterned tights, brown and blue heels and I chained necklace. I also added another great vintage find, this patent leather purse. I think the whole thing adds to the charm and spirit of the original era of the dress, while making it not so costumey. I took the picture without realizing that the new season of the show began last weekend. And even though the show has moved well into the 70s, I still consider this my "Mad Men" dress, if for no other reason than to remember the time I went a little mad for a vintage dress.
Photo Credit: Steven Trotman