"Feeling unique is a habit you shouldn't give up."

- Alberto Fermani

"Anyone can get all dressed up and glamorous, but it is how people dress in their off days that is the most intriguing."

-Alexander Wang


The CAC Has Gone Mad!

(image from deadline.com)

(image from blogs.amctv.com)

It’s February and it feels like we’re still in the thick of winter. But the reality is that Spring is just around the corner. Although March doesn’t officially recognize Spring until the 21st, I celebrate its arrival on the first of the month. And I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than a fantastic party for a great cause.

The Center for Alexandria’s Children (CAC) is holding its annual Spring Gala Fundraiser on Thursday, March 1 with a groovy new theme and venue. This year’s event is at Virtue, which, if you haven’t been, is another hit from the team that brings us (among others) Restaurant Eve and Society Fair. But the MOST exciting part of the party for me is the Mad Men theme.

I love a good theme party almost as much as I love a good costume party but don’t get nervous. This isn’t a costume party. It is, however, an opportunity to embrace the glamorous, sophisticated style of the early to mid 1960s. Which leads us to the question: what to wear to a Mad Men Theme party?


Rather than go on for pages about the history of early 60s fashion, I’ll offer some tips and ideas for getting dressed for this party.

It’s all about the glamour. Back in the day, it was common to wear a long gown for a cocktail or dinner event. But, for this shindig, you’ll be more comfortable keeping the ensemble on the shorter side. A-line shaped skirts or sheath dresses were coming into their own. Hemlines started to get really short in 1964 so you have options here; to your knee or just above works with the a-line skirt and shorter works with the sheath dress. Cap sleeves were popular as were close fitting dresses covered in lace and with long sleeves.

The shoes are easy – stilettos or kitten heels were favorites. Hair was still big, big, big and often incorporated elaborate styles that needed extensions or falls. Don’t shy away from the hairspray and come as coiffed as you can. A dramatic cat-eye was popular for makeup with a lighter lip.

This theme couldn’t be more timely. 60’s style is IN and you won’t have any problems finding modern dresses that reference the time period, which means you will get lots of use for your outfit even after the party is over. Check out pieces from Alexandria’s local boutiques (Kiskadee, Hysteria, and Periwinkle to name a few) that are well stocked with many options.


Oh you lucky guys. This is your chance to strut your stuff for the ladies. Put on a suit or at least a jacket, press your shirt to perfection, add a tie (on the skinnier side), polish your shoes, and comb back your hair. You’re ready to go. And please don’t think I’m neglecting you with this brief bit of advice. It is just that the way men dressed was simple back then but certainly more formal. Check out Colin Firth in “A Single Man.” He exemplifies the look perfectly.

(image from human08.tumblr.com)

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