The Champagne Life on a DIY Budget Since 2007

Look for Less: Peggy Olson

mad men peggy olson costume
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Maybe it’s because I also paid my dues as a corporate copywriter, or maybe it’s because I admire her verve and versatility when putting the men of Mad Men in their place, but of all the mid-century femme fatales on AMC’s hit show, it’s the evolving fashion choices of Peggy Olson (played perfectly by Elisabeth Moss) that have me going va-va-voom for vintage all over again.

Fall fashionistas and retailers are similarly mad for plaid this season, which is why we love this frugal and eco-chic “Madison Ave” frock in black and white houndstooth from Shabby Apple, a new line of “couture with a conscience.” It rings in at just $76 (plus shipping), leaving you plenty of money left over in your paycheck to play Betty Draper or Joan Holloway another day.

For more inspiration, check out our favorite Mad Men lookbooks:

AMC’s “Mad Men Fashion File”
The “official” blog of Mad Men features an episode-by-episode style evaluation, along with poignant cinematic and cultural commentary, plus “behind the scenes” extras like a tour of the Mad Men costume department with costume designer Janie Bryant. (Warning: it’s a vintage lovers’ and craftsters’ wet dream.)

ModCloth’s “A Mod Affair” Lookbook
The popular indie and vintage clothier did well by us with their whimsical and wearable slideshow, which transcended costume into truly streetwise looks inspired by our favorite characters (even if the model does look more like Ginnifer Goodwin on Big Love than any of the females from Mad Men). Pieces from the collection start at just $15, and of the items remaining, our favorite is the very Joan “Fresh Picked Time Clock Necklace”, um, clocking in at just $25.

Banana Republic’s “Mad About Style” Guide
Michelle Obama’s favorite “everyman” retail catalog partnered with AMC’s Emmy-award winning series to create this slideshow of four shoppable looks, inspired by everyone’s favorite lead characters: Don Draper’s man in the gray flannel suit; Pete Campbell’s slick, social-climbing sales guy; Joan Holloway’s curvacious head secretary in charge (or cat on a hot tin roof); and, last but certainly not least, Peggy Olson’s upwardly mobile femme fatale in the making. With pieces ranging from $39.50 to $325, there literally is something here for every budget, be they guy or gal.

Story: Copyright 2009, Shoestring LLC. Photos: Courtesy of Shabby Apple and AMC.

  • Shoestring Gumshoe

    A $76 dress is ‘the look for less’ and supposed to leave me money to play around? Get real!
    “pieces ranging from $39.50 to $325″ isn’t my idea of a bargain either!

  • Melissa Massello

    Dear Anonymous Mama,

    We feel we’re keeping it very real at Shoestring, and consider a $76 dress that’s eco-friendly, handmade in the USA, and also gives back to charitable causes to be a great value. (And at Shoestring, we’re focused on value, not price point!) Sure, we could have highlighted a $2 vintage seamstress-made dress we found at Goodwill or on eBay that would have made the same point and told the same story about value and mid-century appeal — similar ones are found all over our own wardrobes — but then only one of our readers would have been able to purchase it, and where’s the fun in that?

    Cheers,
    Melissa
    Shoestring Founder, Editor in Chief

  • Plucky Squirrel

    That Shabby Apple dress IS a little pricey, but I would consider this a splurge dress, perhaps as a birthday or holiday present to myself, and do a little saving for it. I DO wish it had a pencil skirt shape like Peggy’s costume, though . . . Seriously, I’m scouring the internet like MAD trying to find dresses that are inspired by some of the really iconic pieces from Mad Men, and I’m finding nearly nothing! This right here is a major breakthrough.

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