The Jazz Emporium

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Guest Blog by Jessica James: Mad Men & Me

I strongly believe in thank you cards, ladies gloves and vacuuming in heels while sipping a tasty mint julep. Was I born into the wrong decade? I was re-watching one of my favorite episodes of Mad Men (Joan sings a French tune with accordion accompaniment), when I thought of how much more I may prefer to live in that swell world. This series is amazing and has an astounding attention to detail. Their costuming department works very hard to remain true to the times. If one has not seen this programme, one should remedy the situation directly!

As I’ve always wanted to be a ginger, Joan, the smart and sassy office manager is of course my favorite character; red hair, curves to the max, and a killer wardrobe. Unfortunately in this world where men rule the roost, Joan finds it incredibly difficult to rise any higher within the company during the first couple of seasons. On a side note, I have recently come to acquire a Joan pen, the ultimate accessory (please see picture below).

On the other end of the spectrum is Peggy. Will someone not give this girl a makeover?! What she lacks in looks and style, she makes up for in determination. Peggy gains a notable promotion that is typically only granted to individuals of the male gender. Even though she still kind of annoys me in a general way…good job Peggy.

Betty Draper starts off the series conveying the image of the perfect little housewife (this goes through some changes). She is a stay at home mom with fabulous full-skirted dresses, doing all housework in heels. Honestly, she’s more than a bit of a lush and married to the delicious Don Draper. Oh, delectable Don Draper: the hair, the suits, the voice. That is all I have to say about that.

So obsessed (maybe ‘obsessed’ is a tad strong, let’s go with ‘intrigued’) with the 1950’s am I, that while living in NYC, I would have “1950’s Housewife Day” with a friend of mine. Yes, there is someone out there just as kooky as moi. In this, we usually donned dresses (don’t forget the cute little apron), heels, and baked cupcakes.

Example of my dedication and love of the 1950’s:
I don’t know if anyone has experienced a New York summer, but it can be BRUTAL. It was the height of summer, a gazillion degrees with 100% humidity. My flat did not have air-conditioning, but we 1950’s housewife wannabes persevered. With the cupcakes in the oven, I put on another layer of deodorant; it’s not ladylike to stink. Makeup was melting off my face while frosting those cuppycakes. Being a 1950’s housewife is definitely easier in milder weather.


Yes, at times I think I’m living in the wrong time period. The styles of dresses from the 50’s are flattering on gals with curves (example: Joan). I love the clothing and accessories for both men and women. Naturally, this leads me to the conclusion that I want to live back then. But looking closer at women’s daily lives and roles from that time, it’s maybe not as attractive as I originally thought. Taking Mad Men as an example, the women look fabulous, but they have it a bit rough with regards to respect in the workplace and general freedom. I suppose I am best left in present day. Le Sigh.

I still enjoy a cocktail at 3 in the afternoon, while doing laundry of course.