Heart of Haute Blog
As the final season of Mad Men winds down, we are left with a lot of questions. Will Don Draper assume his true identity? Will Peggy break through the glass ceiling? Will Roger ever run out of one-liners? Most importantly, WHERE will we get our vintage office style inspiration? This show has been a huge part of the mid century style revival, and it deserves all of the fashion notoriety it has gained. Mad Men’s costume designer Janie Bryant has been nominated for six Emmys (and won once) for her amazing work with Joan’s pencil skirts and Peggy’s schoolgirl plaids. If you are looking to step up your work wardrobe from secretary to boss lady, Heart of Haute has the pieces you need. We can help you to present a professional image, while still staying true to the retro style that you love.
Beyond the Basic Button Down Shirt
When you think about dressing up for work, one of the first things that comes to mind is typically a button up shirt. Our Estelle blouse is popular for several reasons, including fit and unique style. For all of the women who had given up on button-up shirts due to gapping at the bust or a tent-like fit - the Estelle blouse is the answer. A bold neck bow for interest, and a shaped cut for a perfect fit - it’s anything but button-down boring. If you have tattoos to cover, or just a freezing cold office, try our Elsa blouse. With long sleeves, pleated details, and a bow v-neck, it is a versatile basic loaded with style. Try it tucked into a high waisted skirt or pants. Our Stella dress features the same fit as the Estelle blouse - in a full outfit! With cap sleeves and a back tie, this 100% cotton dress is office-worthy retro fashion.
Work Wardrobe Staples With Vintage Style
What is your go-to work outfit? The one that makes you feel fabulous - even on a long and difficult day. If you don’t have one, stocking a few work-wear basics is a great place to start. The Super Spy dress is a work wardrobe staple - dress it up with a scarf, belt and heels, or down with leggings and boots. The super-comfortable knit keeps its shape - a great choice for business travel or a long day at at trade show. Our Bella dress is a refined knit choice that is easy to accessorize for a big meeting or casual Friday. Looking for some basics to match with your wilder pieces? The Spy Top features the same fit and neckline of the Super Spy dress in both solids and patterns. Our new Haute Circle Skirt in Black GoGetter another great basic - a full skirt in a wrinkle-free fabric that will match with nearly anything. Want something more fitted? We have pencil skirts in a number of versatile colors and two styles. As Mad Men ends, let’s all tip a cocktail to some of the most detailed (and gorgeous) vintage costuming that television has ever seen. Be inspired to rock some 1960s style at your job - don’t forget to tie a scarf on your purse, and no crying in the break room!
Sunday nights are one of our favorites now that Mad Men is back! Few television shows have had the style impact of Mad Men - from the Banana Republic collections to the ubiquitous Joan Holloway Halloween costumes - Mad Men renewed an interest in retro style.
Mad Men began set in 1960, and the current season of Mad Men is set in 1969. American culture (and clothing styles) changed radically in those 10 years. The cinched waist and full skirt of the 1950s and early 1960s gave way to shift, A-line, and babydoll dresses with much shorter skirts. Patterns ruled late 1960s and early 1970s fashion, from ethnic boho paisleys too bold mod optic pattern and stripes. Traditional patterns like florals were still around, but they got bolder and more abstract. Colored and patterned tights were popular, and costume jewelry became bigger and brighter, from brooches to earrings.
If you want to rock a hip late 1960s look at work or out on the town, Heart of Haute has the vintage inspired essentials that you need. Our Ruby Dress has an A-line shape and peter pan collar - the Mini Daisy print is a graphic floral that any SCDP employee would love. Our tie-neck Estelle Blouse is an office essential - newly promoted Dawn would approve!
Previously, we explained the joys of the work dress. Now, let's talk separates! A good way to build a work wardrobe is to start with diverse pieces in solid colors. Creating this "capsule wardrobe" will give you a small collection of interchangeable items that you can mix with trendy pieces.
These key clothing items do not have to be drab khaki neutrals - a Heart of Haute pencil or A line skirt in a bright blue or green will mix and match with many other colors and prints. Next, add some knit tops in solid colors, and a refined sweater to throw on over everything. These basics can be combined in infinite ways, and any prints you bring home will be easy to incorporate.
Our crisp collared Gretta top is a professional wardrobe essential - try it layered in the winter or open over a tank top in the summer. The Heart of Haute bow neck Estelle Blouse comes in prints and colors from soft to bold. Take inspiration from the ultimate office boss lady - Joan Holloway Harris from Mad Men - Joan often wears the same colors, shapes and pieces - it is easy to imagine what her "capsule wardrobe" looked like. Tuck a solid blouse into a high waisted skirt for a polished vintage Joan look, and don't be afraid to mix it up with bold florals!
Animal skins were among the first materials ever used for human clothing. Big cats are fierce creatures with beautiful coats, and so their skins were among the most valuable. Images as early as those from ancient Egypt show powerful women rocking leopard spots. In modern fashion, leopard print is still assured to be an attention getting detail. It has connotations of luxury, power, and animal sexuality.
The actress Marion Nixon turned heads and started trends in the 1920s by walking her pet leopard down Hollywood streets while wearing a matching coat of her own. Christian Dior is credited with creating the first leopard print fabrics for his 1947 collection, the two dresses that featured it called "Jungle" and "Afrique." In his Little Dictionary of Fashion Christian Dior cautioned: “But to wear leopard you must have a kind of femininity which is a little bit sophisticated. If you are fair and sweet, don’t wear it...”
From Marilyn Monroe's accessories to pin up Bettie Page's swimsuit, mid century celebrities helped to cement the association of leopard print with glamour and sexuality. Truffaut's amourus 1964 film "The Soft Skin" contained the memorable line "Leopard skin. Women who wear them like making love." In 1976's The Graduate, seductive Mrs. Robinson wears leopard and other animal prints. It remained a popular pattern through the 1960s, now popping up on powerful female characters on Mad Men.
By the 1970s and 1980s, leopard print was considered tacky - worn by drag queens, prostitutes, and those who had not updated their style since the 1950s. Punk rock style seized on the transgressive idea of celebrating tackiness, as well as the association of leopard with strong sexuality. This association with punk, and a visit to the original 1950s source material is where the prominence of leopard print in rockabilly style originates.
Today, leopard print has become a staple, with designers ranging from Betsey Johnson to Dolce and Gabbana employing it constantly. Retro or modern, leopard print is a strong style statement that Heartofhaute.com loves. For a little leopard at the office, a la Joan on Mad men, try our Ella Top in Hip Kitty, a leopard cardigan, or an A Line skirt. Stand out in a sea of floral sundresses with our Swettie Dress in Hip Kitty. Don't forget to pick up some our perfect solid staples to combine with your animal accessories. Our Trixie Top, Super Spy dresses, and the sophisticated Stefanie Dress are perfect companions to your leopard print shoes, belts and scarves.
If you are a lover of the actual big cats that these looks are inspired by, check out Big Cat Rescue. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for wonderful photos and information. They do a lot of great work to help these gorgeous animals!