Mad Men Rolls Out Clothes, But Will They Sell?

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Photo: Carin Baer/AMC

Man Men may be the new Sex and the City, stylistically speaking. Fans of the show want to dress like characters on the show. Dressing like Betty Draper is in a way more practical than dressing like Carrie Bradshaw, since Betty doesn't wear taxidermied birds on her head or walk the dog in high heels and hot pants. And dressing like Don Draper is probably more attractive than the dirty T-shirts and track pants the guys in Entourage, another Sex and the City for men, wear (we haven't watched the show in a while, but from a woman's point of view a suit is preferred to whatever someone wore sitting by a pool all day, which is what they did a lot when we last watched semi-regularly). AMC plans to capitalize on the sartorial fuss the show has created, slowly rolling out Mad Men fashions to the masses. Today Brooks Brothers launches its limited-edition Mad Men suit. The gray confection was designed by Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant — inspired by something Jon Hamm would wear on the show — and costs $998. The "rear-enhancing sheaths" worn by January Jones are soon to follow for lady Man Men fans. Bryant says she'll also roll out "evening gowns, men's accessories, and officewear."

But will the clothes actually sell? People may like the way the characters dress on TV, but when it comes down to parting with money, is it worth it to try to look just like them? Many see potential for Mad Men fashion lines, though WGSN trend forecaster Lauretta Roberts cautions against making the clothes too literal. "If it's 'in the style of' or 'inspired by', then yes, it could well do OK, but no one wants to look like they're going out in costume," she tells the British Independent. Alternatively:

Robert Johnston, associate editor at GQ, said he thought the lines would do well. "I think it will work better in America because Americans are more easily led than we are, and feel more confident with a label, whereas the British are more anarchic. A certain British man would be embarrassed to wear something from a TV show."


So even if the clothes are more subdued, nothing will change the fact that you're trying to dress like a fictional character, and that is cheesy.

Mad Men: The fashion label [Independent UK]