While the aesthetics are nice and all (especially that dreamboat Don Draper), for me, it's just a period drama that relies too heavily on the "look how backwards we used to be!" hook. Yeah, they drank and smoked while pregnant, and sexual harassment, racism, anti-Semitism and gender bias were the norm. And four seasons later . . . still meh.
Last year, the popular mall chain used the series in a promotional campaign. Now, the show's Emmy Award-winning costume designer, Janie Bryant, has teamed up with Banana Republic to develop a 65-piece clothing-and-accessories collection for men and women that's supposed to ooze the sassy sex-bomb, tailored look of the early 1960s. While the collection is fairly affordable—from $10 to $450—and very accessible, it does lack one small thing: The awareness that 98 percent of American women would look pretty terrible in the ultra-femme '60s silhouette. We're not all Joan Holloways.
In the collection's look book, ads and online store, the stuff looks fine . . . on a cute brunette with a perfectly swept up-do and cherry-red lips (though, the choice to pair some of the draped-collar dresses with too-large ankle booties is baffling). On anyone else? Frump city. The begonia-print dress ($150) is probably the worst offender, with its cap sleeves, pleats and grandmother-couch print. The animal-print cardigans ($89.50) and lace shell tank tops ($49.50) are probably the best bets.
The men's collection fairs better, with clean, slim cuts. (Stay away from the sweater vests, though.)