Everyone loves a good theme party so when I decided it was time to officially Christen my new and temporary digs back in my hometown of Western New York, dressing ala Mad Men came to mind. Those on the invite list also had fun gathering old time wares and attitudes for a night of appropriate behavior, for the early 60s that is.
Mad Men on AMC is now post the JFK assassination and headed into the throws of the Vietnam War. It was common for the Drapers and Roger Sterling’s at the time to smoke a Lucky Strike and down a Moscow Mule. Therefore, if you are going to have a Mad Men party, be sure the bar is stacked and ashtrays are abound.
Conveniently, the styles of the early ‘60s are coming back into fashion so finding a dress, gloves and art deco costume jewelry, is easy to do. Still, thrift stores and vintage shops are the way to go. Additionally, ladies should not be too timid to beehive the hair or wear red nails and lips.
Guys, fedoras are great and you can wear a skinny tie with pants and a jacket; or be one of Peggy Olson’s flacks and don the sweater vest and button down. Just make sure the pants are a little tight and on the short side.
Planning the menu is probably the most involved. From deviled eggs to pork (since not many people like lamb) kabobs, your guests will need to eat with the strong cocktails being served. It is most important the food is retro. I even turned my shrimp cocktail sauce into a Bloody Mary sauce.
Betty Draper Francis wouldn’t skimp on the details and neither should you. Make sure you have party favors for your guests to take. I made up little candy bags with retro treats, such as Blackjack, Beemans and Clove stick gum.
Don’t hold back on the party games either, Operation, a stack of cards and even Tarot cards can be fun. The decor should also be from the past, dig out the old manual typewriter and put paper in it to record highlights and quotes from the evening. A rotary dial phone and old LPs are also must haves for a night of ‘Mad’ fun.