TIME fashion

This Is How Mad Men Changed the Way We Dress

Lee Garner Jr. (Darren Pettie) and Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) - Mad Men - Season 3,  Episode 9 - Photo Credit: Carin Baer/AMC
Carin Baer / AMC Lee Garner Jr. (Darren Pettie) and Pete Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser) in Mad Men

Suit sales have surged since 1998

While Mad Men may be over, its effect on menswear will no doubt live on in the U.S. and abroad. The show has long been charged with inspiring a fashion trend for men and women harkening back to the show’s 1960s setting. In a recent article, The Guardian said the Mad Men effect is very real. In fact, when the show began eight years ago, menswear was already seeing a surge in sales. Between 1998 and 2014, for example, suit sales doubles in the U.S.

Quartz, too, reported on the fashion effect inspired by the show. Tailored articles of men’s clothing sells for $4.8 billion each year, Quartz said, citing data from NPD Group. In fact, some of the biggest fashion brands, such as J. Crew, used the show as inspiration for new lines. Per the article:

Mad Men‘s brilliant costume design helped fuel that demand. It bred obsession among menswear publications, such as GQ, and created a crowd of guys wanting to emulate Draper’s dapper look. And then J.Crew stepped in to satisfy it, in the form of its slim-cut Ludlow suit.

The Guardian, meanwhile, characterized the men’s fashion that appears on the show as follows:

  • Michael Ginsberg embodied the style plate, or extroverted fashion sense
  • Don Draper was the traditionalist, or the person who sticks with what he already enjoys
  • Pete Campbell served as the old soul, or the man who dresses in older fashions
  • Roger Sterling was the rake, or the person inspired by fun menswear
  • Stan Rizzo dressed as the rebel, or the casual dresser

For the full list and explanations from the newspaper, see here.

Interestingly, Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner explained the premise behind the 1971 Coca-Cola ad that played in the show’s final minutes in a recent interview.

TIME fashion

Ring In Memorial Day With These 1950s Beach Fashions

With the unofficial start to the summer season, a look back at how women dressed for the beach in 1950

May 15, 1950 cover of LIFE Magazine
Nina Leen—LIFE Magazine

On Memorial Day, swimming pools and beaches open for the season. It’s an occasion for sun-worshipers to assess their beachwear, digging it out from the depths of dresser drawers. That desire to make a style splash at the shore is nothing new. To celebrate the arrival of beach season in 1950, LIFE’s Nina Leen photographed that season’s trends for women: strapless and halter-top swimsuits, “pirate pants” drawn from fashions of the French Riviera and island-inspired straw hats. Thighs were in and midriffs were out, as simple suits allowed accessories the spotlight. As for the age-old one-piece versus two-piece debate? LIFE had the scoop: “The two-piece suit in general is running a poor second this summer.”

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @LizabethRonk.

TIME Retail

Meet the Adorable 5-Year-Old J.Crew Just Hired as Its New Designer

J.Crew / Bryan Derballa

The blog she runs with her mom has been a huge hit

Five-year-old Mayhem (yes, it’s a nickname) is in Kindergarten and also happens to be J.Crew’s newest and youngest fashion designer, according to PSFK. The line, called Little Mayhem, was spawned from the blog she runs with the help of her mother, Angie Keiser. Mayhem’s work—a series of colored, paper dresses—been so popular that it has over 480,000 Instagram followers and viral posts that’d make any major media outlet jealous. (She makes them with her mother’s help.)

The creations are now available in J. Crew stores, according to the article. Prices range from about $50 to $80 for dresses, rompers and tops. In a blog post, Keiser wrote about her daughter’s process for the creations:

Mayhem and her new crew all sat down on the floor and played. And made stuff. Out of paper and tape and beads and glue and crayons. And they laughed and hugged and had more fun than I would have imagined. And then they sprinkled their magic J. Crew fairydust on it and turned paper into fabric. And when it was time to go, Mayhem cried. Because she didn’t want to leave.

In December, J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons asked to collaborate with Mayhem and Keiser. Next up: Fashion week for her sixth birthday?

TIME Apple

How Apple Influenced the New ‘Star Wars’ Films


Galactic fashion features a dash of Cupertino

Apple seems to have had a hand in dressing the Galactic Empire—at least from a design perspective.

We’re not talking Levi 501s and black mock turtlenecks, as was the signature style of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Rather, Star Wars costume designer, Michael Kaplan, tells Vanity Fair in a Q&A that he channeled the tech giant’s minimalist taste in creating the uniforms worn by characters in the next installment of the blockbuster series.

Kaplan cites a number of inspirations ranging from the Third Reich to the sci-fi classic Blade Runner to Sam Spade, the fictional detective in The Maltese Falcon. But he also gives a nod to Apple. Here’s the relevant bit:

Q. Did you invent some kind of fashion back-story in your head to explain how the look of this galaxy might have evolved?

Maybe subconsciously, but with the stormtroopers it was more of a simplification, almost like, “What would Apple do?” J.J. wanted them to look like stormtroopers at a glance but also be different enough to kind of wow people and get them excited about the new design.

That’s right, stormtroopers.

Earlier this year, a New Yorker profile of Apple’s chief designer Jony Ive mentioned that he had some minor input on the look of a new lightsaber. “Ive once sat next to J. J. Abrams at a boozy dinner party in New York, and made what Abrams recalled as ‘very specific’ suggestions about the design of lightsabres,” journalist Ian Parker writes.

Later, Parker reports that Ive backed off from claiming he had any substantial impact—especially on the subject of the weapon’s contentious cross-guard, the part just above the handle for protecting the hand.

I asked Ive about his contribution. “It was just a conversation,” he said, then explained that, although he’d said nothing about cross guards, he had made a case for unevenness: “I thought it would be interesting if it were less precise, and just a little bit more spitty.” A redesigned weapon could be “more analog and more primitive, and I think, in that way, somehow more ominous.”

It’s worth noting that the influences between Apple and Disney work both ways. One of the faces on the new Apple Watch features Mickey Mouse, after all.

It’s unclear what Apple CEO Tim Cook thinks about his company inspiring the stormtrooper uniforms. For more on the shared influences between Apple and Disney, read Fortune senior writer Michal Lev-Ram’s recent cover story in the magazine: “Disney CEO Bob Iger’s Empire of Tech”.

For everyone else, here’s a gif from Apple’s notorious 1984-style commercial that hints at the Empire’s boys in white.

Courtesy of YouTube.
TIME fashion

Amanda Brooks: Cannes and the Case for High Heels

Amanda Brooks is a writer and the former fashion director of Barneys New York. Her new book, Always Pack A Party Dress and Other Lessons Learned From a (Half) Life in Fashion, comes out next week.

Yes, there are perfectly good reasons to go flat, but the point is to respect red-carpet glamour and elegance

When I first saw pictures of Inès de la Fressange walking into a film premiere in an evening gown and flat sandals at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011, I thought to myself, Wow. Now that’s style. She had managed to create an appropriately glamorous look that was completely red-carpet ready, presumably comfortable, and very much her. How did she pull this off? I asked myself, knowing that every woman who wears heels has moments when she would trade them in for flats in a heartbeat if she knew she could still look every bit as chic and festive. But let’s remember that Inès has been voted best dressed on many lists, many times — over First Ladies and film stars and other internationally envied stylish women. Ines is beautiful, tall, and supremely confident in the seemingly effortless way she wears her clothes. She also never wears heels. In fact, I don’t even think heels would suit her tall frame and distinct feminine-masculine look. Don’t we all wish we could be her? Yes.


Ines de la Fressange attends the Premiere of "Irrational Man" during the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 15, 2015 in Cannes, France.
Pascal Le Segretain—Getty ImagesInes de la Fressange attends the Premiere of “Irrational Man” during the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 15, 2015 in Cannes, France.

Alas, we are not.

The kerfuffle at Cannes this week comes perhaps not from women who opted for a more practical shoe, but from a sense that the dress code that lends Cannes its glamour and pomp appeared to be relaxing beyond the organizer’s comfort zone. As a longtime fashion enthusiast, I am not one to adhere to rules that can’t be broken, and for the record, I haven’t seen the women or the outfits who were ostensibly punished. I am also clear that attributing Cannes’ weakening dress code to a woman’s shoes is both ignorant and offensive. But forgoing heels at a black tie event is a fashion risk — it needs to be well considered, intentional, and executed with confidence.

Would I wear flats to Cannes? No. I’ve broken many rules regarding fashion formality in my time, including once wearing trousers and another time shorts — yes, shorts! (albeit sequinned ones) — to the exceedingly formal Met Ball hosted by fashion’s high priestess Anna Wintour. But I just wouldn’t feel the way I want to feel on a red carpet in flats. Heels empower me to stand more formally; to both literally and figuratively elevate myself. At 5’9” you couldn’t call me short by any means, but I would feel diminished without the elegance of those few extra inches. I am also vigilant about wearing shoes I can walk in, however. There is nothing — nothing! — as unattractive as a woman who stumbles around in ill-fitting sky-high heels.

All that said, Inès is not the only woman I’ve seen carry off evening formality sans stilettos. My friend Alexandra hasn’t been able to wear heels throughout her adult life for medical reasons, and she is always among the absolute chicest at any formal event. After years of attention paid to getting the look right, she tends to favor long gowns or skirts, concealing her flat shoes underneath a swath of richly colored silk or organza. Or she embraces the more tomboy option of wearing embellished ballerinas or sandals with tailored trousers and an appropriately formal jacket, perhaps embroidered or beaded.

But Alexandra and Inès are both fabulous and inspired exceptions. Rocking up to Cannes in Converse sneakers — as Emily Blunt would have it — is not the obvious answer. Respecting the festival’s mandate to represent the film industry’s tradition of glamour and elegance by choosing the most stylish and empowering shoe for you and your look, height notwithstanding, would be a goal I think we all — as women — could adhere to.


Amanda Brooks is a writer and the former fashion director of Barneys New York. Her new book, Always Pack A Party Dress and Other Lessons Learned From a (Half) Life in Fashion, comes out next week.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME fashion

Wish Your Blue Jeans a Happy 142nd Birthday

On May 20, 1873, Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis received the first patent for blue jeans

“The world is blue-jean country now,” LIFE proclaimed in its Nov. 24, 1972, issue. At that time, blue jeans were closing in on their 100th birthday, or at least the anniversary of the official patent Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis were granted on May 20, 1873, for copper-riveted jeans. The sturdy cotton trousers had not only become synonymous with American fashion, but they were also a hot second-hand commodity overseas, as Europeans sought to embody what LIFE called “the aura of Wild Western authenticity.”

Blue jeans as we know them today were a collaboration between Davis, a tailor, and Strauss, a businessman. Davis had first constructed the strong working pants for a customer, using copper rivets to reinforce the seams and pockets. Within a couple of years, unable to meet skyrocketing demand for the durable garment, he approached Strauss for both financial support and a proposed partnership to work toward a patent.

When LIFE revisited Davis and Strauss’ invention in the early 1970s, the U.S. was producing 450 million yards of denim annually and American jeans were selling on the Russian black market for $90. LIFE described this “denim takeover” as follows:

The jeans that once encased the scrawny rumps of cowboys and gold miners of the American West have become the standard garb of the world’s youth. They’re the favorite off-duty clothes of fashion models from L.A. to St. Tropez. By buying up bales of fashionably used ones, Britain and the Continent have made millionaire exporters of U.S. ragmen.

The biggest irony in blue jeans’ emergence as a worldwide sartorial phenomenon was how far they had come from their original purpose as the laborer’s uniform. “The idea that he might one day be hailed as a world fashion leader,” LIFE wrote, “would surely have given old Levi Strauss a laugh.”

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LizabethRonk.

TIME Style

What TIME Got Wrong About the Invention of Blue Jeans

Levi Strauss
Fotosearch / Getty Images Portrait of Levi Strauss, circa 1850s

"Pants don't wear worth a hoot up in the diggins"

As origin stories go, TIME’s account of how Levi Strauss came up with the idea for his trademark denim pants is hard to beat. Here’s how the magazine told it in a 1950 story on Levi Strauss & Co.’s 100th anniversary:

When 20-year-old Levi Strauss sailed from Manhattan round Cape Horn to San Francisco in 1850 to seek a fortune in the gold fields, he carried a roll of canvas in his baggage. He intended to sell it to a tentmaker to get enough cash for a grubstake. But when he got ashore, the complaint of a friendly miner gave him a better idea. “Pants don’t wear worth a hoot up in the diggins,” said the miner. “Can’t get a pair strong enough to last no time.”

Levi promptly went into the clothing business. He had a tailor cut a pair of trousers from his canvas roll, and soon the miner was strolling all over town, boasting how strong were these “pants of Levi’s.” With one satisfied customer, Strauss found he had a steady stream of men who wanted “Levis.” In a shop on San Francisco’s California Street, he began making dozens of pairs of the waist-high overalls which defied the wear & tear of bronc-riding, gold-mining and plain ordinary living.

Years later, the article continued, a miner known only as “Alkali” annoyed his tailor by regularly carrying rocks around that broke his pocket seams. The tailor got the idea to use rivets on the corners of the pockets for stabilization; those rivets were the source of the idea for Strauss’ signature rivets.

Alas, the real story doesn’t quite measure up. As the company tells it, Strauss went West to open a dry-goods store for gold miners; dry goods were the family business, established by his brothers before Levi even got to the United States. To be fair, he did sell cloth—but as a businessman, not an ingenious fortune-seeker. Furthermore, the crucial tailor tip-off about the rivets came from a customer of the San Francisco Levi Strauss & Co. store, who was looking for a business partner to back the idea. On this day, May 20, in 1873, Strauss and his partner, Jacob Davis, were given a patent for work pants strengthened with rivets—the first example of what we now know as blue jeans.

By 1950, per TIME’s count, Levi’s had made 95 million pairs. (The going rate in 1950 was $3.50 a pop.) As for Strauss, he died in 1902.

Read the full 1950 story, here in the TIME Vault: Iron Bottoms

MONEY fashion

New Kind of Disney Cosplay Slightly Less Embarrassing Than Original

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Ever imagine what Sleeping Beauty, Buzz Lightyear, or Dumbo would wear if they were real people?

This week, the Orlando Sentinel reported on “Disneybounding,” a growing dress-up trend that some will think is a super fun hoot, while others will perceive it as a disturbing sign of the coming apocalypse.

To be a Disneybounder, you dress up in regular clothes to achieve a look inspired by a Disney character. The look “falls somewhere between a character T-shirt and an elaborate costume,” the Sentinel explained.

According to the Disneybound Tumblr (“Where Disney nerds and fashion geeks collide”), which was created three years ago by a woman named Leslie Kay and is credited with creating the trend out of nowhere, Disneybounding can be summed up this way: “Using items you can find in your own closet or local mall, create the looks outside of costumed or cosplay looks, which represent your favorite Disney character, while having fun with fashion!”

For instance, instead of dressing up in a head-to-toe Little Mermaid costume with a tail and all, you might wear green jeans or a skirt and a purple top, to create a vaguely Ariel-like look. A Disneybound Mrs. Jumbo outfit, inspired by Dumbo’s mom, might consist of gray skorts, a pink blouse, and a light blue sweater.

The most obvious place to go Disneybounding in character-inspired attire is, of course, one of the Disney theme parks. Yet if these fans love Disney so much, why aren’t they just wearing full character costumes?

Beyond the obvious—it’s somewhat ridiculous for adults to dress in costumes when it’s not Halloween (and perhaps even when it is Halloween)—Disney parks actually don’t allow adults to wear masks or dress up in Disney costumes. Included on the official list of attire that’s not appropriate at Disney World are “Adult costumes or clothing that can be viewed as representative of an actual Disney character.” Presumably, without such a policy, theme park guests could be confused as to whether that guy in a costume is a Disney employee or just some random dude from Des Moines who enjoys dressing up as Cruella De Vil.

While Disney frowns upon adult guests wearing costumes at theme parks, the company has embraced Disneybounding. Last summer, the official Disney blog created a quiz meant to steer you toward the character whose look you should emulate in Disneybound attire. After selecting your favorite Disney song, overall style, Disney snack food, favorite retail brand, and so on, an algorithm spits out that you should try to dress like Pinocchio, The Little Mermaid, Olaf from Frozen, or whoever.

Disney also created a similar quiz to help high school girls choose which Disney character should be the inspiration for their look at the prom. Mrs. Jumbo is not one of the options.

TIME career

7 Ways to Make Yourself Look Older at Work

Getty Images

Go for the 'power palette'

Sure, there are tons of articles out there that share tips for looking younger. But what about those of us baby-faced gals who actually want to add years to our look? How do you go about looking more experienced for your first job out of college, or during an important interview? Here, Gretta Monahan, New York-based president and CEO of GrettaStyle and author of Style and the Successful Girl, shares her best fashion and beauty tips for looking more experienced in the office.

What go-to work looks should young professionals have in their closets?

It’s all about a tailored, polished look, Monahan says. A blazer or cropped, structured jacket exudes a look of power. Pair it with a sophisticated pop of color such as plum (see next question) rather than a blouse in neutrals like black or white (and even blue).

Which pop of color is best for accent pieces?

Go for the “power palette,” which Monahan describes as jewel tones like lapis, plum, dark green, and red. Avoid “bubble gum” or “candy” colors, she says, as they can come across as young. Also, keep shimmery pieces to a minimum.

Which styles should be avoided?

Overly trendy looks can come across as juvenile. For example, even if relaxed, baggy pants are au courant, a shapeless outfit at work can give off the impression of low confidence and trying to hide in your clothing, Monahan says. Likewise, overly casual looks can also scream inexperienced. Even if the company dress code is sneakers and jeans, it’s always a good idea to be a step or two dressier—at least when interviewing, she says.

Are ponytails a bad idea?

Ponytails can make a woman look younger or older, depending on how they’re styled. A “younger” ponytail is worn high on the head (think: post-workout), while a low, sleek pony with a side or middle part can exude glamour and experience, Monahan says. Similarly, braids aren’t necessarily off-limits if pulled into a polished look like a braided chignon.

What about haircuts?

There’s a reason the “lob” is such a popular look. “If you want to go for a classic look, you can’t deny that a bob or a lob above the collarbone really gives women a crisp, professional feel—young women, especially,” Monahan says. A bob works with almost every face shape and can be worn straight or with a slight bend.

Is natural makeup the best way to go?

Yes—remember that people want to see you, not your makeup. “What you don’t want to do is look like you’re wearing nighttime makeup during the day,” Monahan says. You can add a little drama to either your lips or eyes, but not both. Avoid a lot of shimmer, which can also make you look younger.

Are there any accessories that can add a few years to your look?

“I think glasses are an amazing addition, accessory-wise,” Monahan says. “They deliver a smart message.”

Jewelry can also add to the power look, but don’t go overboard with endless bangles and a cocktail ring on every finger. Monahan adds, “Too much sparkle or too many stones can dominate someone’s attention, and you don’t want that.”

This article originally appeared on Levo.com.

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TIME On Our Radar

See Frida Kahlo’s Colorful Collection of Clothes

A new exhibition reveals the celebrated artist and feminist icon's colorful wardrobe 60 years after her death.

When Mexican artist Frida Kahlo passed away in 1954, her husband, fellow artist Diego Rivera, anguished by her death, sealed her clothes in the bathroom of their Mexico City home and ordered to keep them hidden away until 15 years after his death.

Rivera died only a few years after Kahlo, in 1957, and their house was converted to a museum in her honor. The room with Kahlo’s belongings, however, wasn’t unlocked until 2004 when the museum decided to catalog its content. It invited renowned Japanese photographer Ishiuchi Miyako to photograph the collection of more than 300 unseen relics.

Having photographed clothes worn in post-war Japan, Ishiuchi is best known for retrieving memories through subtle traces found in personal objects. However, she knew little about Kahlo when she arrived in Mexico, and it was through Kahlo’s abandoned belongings, from her signature Tehuana-style dresses, to a pair of cat-eye sunglasses and darning tights, that the iconic artist came to life for Ishiuchi.

Drawing inspiration from indigenous Mexican culture, Kahlo’s bold and expressive choice for clothing has inspired fashion designers such as Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen. But the revolutionary artist’s wardrobe was not merely a fashion statement but a camouflage for her physical wounds.

At age six, Kahlo contracted polio, which left her leg damaged, and she used the deep folds of her long dress to disguise it. After she survived a catastrophic road accident at age 18 and was forced to wear plaster corsets for the rest of her life, she decorated them with symbolic paintings. In 1953, a year before her death, Kahlo’s right leg was amputated. Even in the final moments of her life, she remained elaborate and designed her prosthetic leg with a red boot decorated with Chinese embroidery and a small bell.

Now, these most private processions, channeling the artist’s extraordinary passion and pain, are revealed in Ishiuchi’s photographs on view at the Michael Hoppen Gallery in London from May 14 to July 12.

Ye Ming is a writer and contributor to TIME LightBox. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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