How to use vintage style to dress like Joan Holloway from Mad Men

By Sisi Tsoi

If you're a fan of the 1960s both in terms of culture and style, you'll no doubt have made time to watch AMC's award winning drama, 'Mad Men', by now.

Set in mid-century Manhattan, primarily at an Advertising agency, this show is impeccable in its historical detail, and its aesthetics. Boasting a talented cast and nail-biting plots, it has it all. Yet what is most remarkable, from a style perspective, is the female characters' stunning fashion. Since the show is now five seasons long, it has spanned half of this stylish decade, and as such has incorporated much of its clothing inspiration. Let's take a look at the most incredible, in order to emulate these classic retro styles.

When referring to Mad Men, the most notable character on a visible level simply needs to be Joan Holloway. With her shocking red hair, and tempting hourglass figure, this attractive secretary seems to have it all. She knows ways to use her charm to her advantage, gets the men on her side, and yet is a trusted intimate to all of the girls at work too. Channel Joan's phenomenal style in tailored, bodycon dresses in jewel and earthy tones, coupled with classic heels for that famous walk. Perfect the beehive for an authentic 1960s look, and do not forget the winged eyeliner and excellent lips. With Joan, it is usually pure class.

If you're hot for the shift silhouette, look to the gifted Peggy Olsen for inspiration. She could virtually be a predecessor to Alexa Chung's vintage style look, all about the Peter Pan Collars, and the shift dresses with cute lace details. Scallop hems are the best way to bring a current twist to this cut, and make the straight profile of the dress more interesting. Add retro school sacks and hairbands for a look that's studious but pretty, polished and yet hints the wearer has more important things to do than only look nice for the boys. Peggy is all about trailblazing in her career, paving the way for other women to achieve in what is still very much a man's world. Her look thus demands that she is serious, but she's still free to have a tiny fun too.

If you love the Crazy Men style but the more classic shapes, look towards the mum of Don Draper's kids, Betty. Character flaws apart, she always looks perfect, in her 1950s housewife style dresses and Grace Kelly electrified hair and makeup. Go for dresses that are fitted on the body but flare out at the waist, for a pleasant, feminine cut. Pair with smart heels and a cultured handbag for an outfit that screams vintage and yet never goes out of style due to its sheer beauty. You can update Betty's style with a fun, playful print. Look to Prada's 2012 vintage car print for inspiration, or go for fruit and veg for a funny take on the trend. Vintage dressing is all about having fun and looking to the beauty of the past as a technique to reinforce the present.

About the Author: