Sunday was a huge day for me. I started preparing for it in real life on Saturday in Times Square, but mentally and emotionally, I had been preparing for months.
Let’s begin at the beginning. On Saturday, I went to Times Square to meet my old boss for lunch. She was in town for a conference and only had a short break, so we had to meet there. I’m not one of those people who hates on Times Square every chance she gets, but man, is it ever confusing! It took me forever to find the Dean & Deluca even with GPS, and on my way, I saw way too many decontextualized cartoon characters (i.e. people dressed up in giant costumes, like Snoopy or Buzz Lightyear). Maybe this is weird, but decontextualized characters make me sad. I just can’t imagine anything more uncomfortable than walking around in a huge, thick costume on a hot summer day and trying to get people to pay you for being in their pictures. Who pays them is what I want to know, and how do they pay the rent? And do they ever get those costumes washed? Also, if I give them money, do I have to interact with them? My instinct is to give each of them a dollar and then run far, far away before I have to touch them. ‘Please do not hug me, Times Square Clifford. Please! I am begging you!’
But back to the matter at hand: lunch with my former boss. The thing about her is that she is so good at sharp pop culture critique, talking social justice realness, and make-up. Over lunch she told me about this new Polish brand of make-up that is CRAAAZY. I’m talking every color you can ever think of in ONE SINGLE tube of lip gloss that when applied is the perfect hue of peony pink (magic, science, chemicals!). I don’t know much about cosmetics, so I ask her for advice whenever I get the chance. On Saturday, after our lunch date, I was inspired to buy an eyeliner marker. Then, I went to buy accessories, something which I buy even less frequently than make-up, but I had to buy some for my Mad Men season finale costume, which is what this whole post is about. I ended up going to the Forever 21 in Times Square (not a lot of small, independent stores there) because I didn’t have much time before I had to go to work. (I almost always work the Saturday night shift and the Sunday morning shift.)
On Sunday, I raced home after work and got ready for the season finale party. I’d heard about a party very close to my apartment sponsored by an adorable vintage clothes-seller, complete with a costume contest. After weeks of agonizing, I’d finally come up with what I thought was the outfit. No one was available to take a full-length picture of me, and I wanted to get there early, so I didn’t spend too much time on pictures, but I did take some shoddy Photobooth ones.
This one gives you an idea of the dress.
This one is about the accessories and eyeliner.
I showed up to the screening an hour and a half early because I wanted to make sure I had a good seat and didn’t miss the costume contest. I looooove costumes of all sorts, and I especially love Sixties fashions, so I couldn’t wait to see what everyone would wear. Unfortunately, no one was free to come with me to the screening, but I’ve never been one to shy away from dates with myself.
When I got there, the place was nearly empty. Slowly people started to trickle in, but none seemed to be in costume, unless they had dressed for a screening of My So-Called Life (Nineties revival is in full force!). Since the party was at a place where they make their own wine, I decided to treat myself to a glass of white wine and an appetizer. When the waiter brought me the wine, he asked me what I thought of it. I took a sip and declared, ‘It tastes like baloney!’ and then we were both confused. I didn’t mean it as an insult, and I can’t even remember the last time I had baloney (bologna)—my best guess is 1997—but that was the first thing I thought of. Instead of retracting my statement, I smiled and shrugged, and the waiter gave me a bemused look like he was thinking, ‘This girl knows absolutely nothing about wine!’
I was still waiting for the costume contest when came the announcement, ‘We are about to start the screening of Mad Men. Please join us next week for the season finale! Don’t forget to dress up! There will be a contest!’
Yup. I was a week early to the season finale. That makes me the de facto winner, right? Right. My prize was a veggie burger with those tiny deli pickles and fries, awarded to me, by me the following day.
But now I have a whole week to agonize/plan my costume for the actual season finale. Do I wear what I already wore, or do I go for a totally different look? Let’s look at some pictures of this season’s best looks. All pictures lifted from Tom + Lorenzo, a blog whose Mad Men style analysis is so good it gives me goosebumps.
I love Joan’s dress (seen in the first and last pictures), but I have nothing like it. Reptilian rhapsody is what I call this look, in case you’re curious.
I do have a dress that’s incredibly similar to this one. I call it my bat dress because of the wings. Of course, it’s not as short, and I’d have to get more accessories. The eyeshadow would be fun, but considering that this is the most memorable look from season five, it seems kind of trite.
This is what I really, really, really wish I could wear. There is something so magical about a matching dress and coat. It gets me every time!
Now tell me, are you dressing up for Mad Men? Where are you watching the finale? What are your favorite mid-Sixties looks? I want to know everything!