Have you noticed how casual our society has become? I’m not just talking about the pajama-wearing folks at Walmart (although perhaps that deserves a post of its own) but it’s becoming increasingly rare for people to dress up for much of anything other than weddings. And goodness knows I’ve even been to a few of those where guests were wearing clothes more fit for yard work than celebrating the beginning of a couple’s lives together.
So we decided to host a Mad Men party.
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David is actually the one who came up with the idea. When we were in California recently we went to Lawry’s Prime Rib restaurant in Beverly Hills to celebrate our 35th anniversary. This was where David had proposed to me back in 1980. In those days men were required to wear a coat and tie. We had no idea that there was no longer a dress code. There are still a couple of restaurants in New Orleans which require a coat and tie (Galatoire’s, for instance) so we just assumed the same was true for Lawry’s.
We were rather surprised, and a bit disappointed, to discover that there is no formal dress code anymore. From what I saw, David was the only one in a coat and tie. In fact, there were men there in shorts…and FLIP FLOPS! The waitresses were still wearing the same uniform style they’ve worn since the restaurant opened in the ’30s and everything else is just as formal as ever.
I will say that it was mostly the men who were dressed inappropriately. A lot of the women were wearing dresses which only made the men with them look all the more ridiculous. Come on, guys, when you ask a young lady out for a date and take her to a fancy restaurant up your game a bit. At least put on long pants and real shoes.
So that’s where the idea for a Mad Men party came from.
David actually made two events on Facebook, one for dinner at a local restaurant and a second for an after-party at a local wine and dessert bar. Then he sent out invitations. We were pleasantly surprised by the response. Everyone thought this was a great idea! I didn’t count but I would guess we had close to 20 people at the dinner and even more at the after-party.
It was so much fun to see everyone all dressed up. Many of the women not only got dressed up but dressed in fashions from the Mad Men era. Several of us even had petticoats under our dresses and I wasn’t the only one wearing gloves.
As beautiful as the women were, it was the men who surprised me. Most wore suits, even some who had never worn a suit before. (Goodwill got a lot of business from our crowd just before this event.) They all looked wonderful! And I think they were pretty pleased with themselves, too.
We had such a fabulous time and we all agreed this should be a regular event. We’re thinking monthly. “Dress-up Saturdays” or “Fancy Fridays”? Something like that. We are also going to plan a group trip to Goodwill for those who want to add some dressier items to their wardrobe without spending a fortune.
David insisted I buy a new dress for this event. I didn’t have time for a trip to the city but I found two dresses on Amazon which I thought might work. They each came with a free return policy and shipped in two days so I figured I had time to try something else if they didn’t fit. Fortunately, they both did. And since they were only around $25-30 each David insisted I keep both. These are the ones I bought:
And of course, dresses like these need a petticoat. I bought this one for only $11.99:
I already had a vintage-looking purse and gloves from an event we attended about 20 years ago. I wore my good pearl necklace and matching bracelet plus vintage pearl drop earrings.
It really was fun getting all dressed up and I’m truly looking forward to next time. We are also talking about hosting a dressy cocktail party at our home sometime soon.
In the meantime we are enjoying watching Mad Men all over again. We bought the first season on DVD and I’m sure we’ll end up buying the rest. This is definitely something we’ll watch repeatedly.
If you share my love of Mad Men you might want to take a look at my Mad Men Pinterest board:
What do you think? Does this sound fun to you? Do you enjoy getting dressed up for something special occasionally?