Summer is a time for change.
Maybe it’s something about the heat. Or vacations in the sun…
Perhaps we get a little drunk off the sun’s rays without knowing it. Ah, the beach…
Feet in the sand, kicking back with our bare torsos absorbing UV rays lets us overdose on the fun.
Most people would be hard pressed to think of a more relaxing place to be. Unfortunately though, most of us don’t live on tropical islands with this type of scenery just feet away. So when we go to the beach we revel in the tan-inducing light and soak up the sparkle of the ocean – and really let go of the world we know…
Escaping to a tropical paradise is always a good thing. And there’s a time and place for it.
But alas, most of us can’t frolic on the beach all summer. Maybe you have jobs. And kids. Or, maybe you are a kid but you’ve got some responsibilities. So you head home. You take care of things. Back to the daily grind.
And that’s ok. You need balance. You can’t take a vacation from your life forever. So you get back into your routine. You go to work or you go to school – or maybe you take the summer off like college kids do. But still there’s a little breeze here and there. You might be far from the ocean but you notice the wind now because it feels good. It feels cool. It breaks up the heat.
If you’re like anyone else you probably brought a little bit of that beach attitude back home with you. You’ve slowed down a bit. Maybe you’re not as productive but you’re enjoying life a little more. You spend more time outside. The heat is heavy. You have to take a rest for a while, sip on some lemonade.
There are picnics. Dinner is slower. You hang out with friends.
And then there is the TV…
Life can’t go on without that, right?
Well, yes…and no. A lot of people would argue that you can’t relax without plopping yourself down in front of the tube. Then again, these same people would probably agree that the majority of shows on today are complete crap. It’s only a select few that are even worth watching. And then you have to dig through that lineup to get to the really good stuff…
One of the shows that a lot of folks would agree falls into the “great” category is Mad Men. While there are, of course, people who dislike the show, there is a fair amount of agreement about what makes the show great among the people who do enjoy it.
Mad Men has received a lot of praise for it’s historical authenticity and visual style, among other things. What may draw people to the show are many of the theatrical elements. Cigarette smoking, drinking, sexism, feminism and adultery are just a few of the main motifs expressed commonly throughout various episodes.
"Hey Don, does this cigarette make me look like Anderson Cooper?"
But it’s not cheap themes that are snagging viewers. It’s the way these things are expressed. There’s a certain realism that attracts people, and, whether they can remember the 60′s or weren’t even around back then, the show is believable. It brings back the era with a bang.
Along with some pretty sharp suits. And dresses. And haircuts.
Hell, it almost makes us think that we’re the ones who are out of style. What’s wrong with us? Why are we so damn casual? What happened to prim and proper?
But of course we’re actually ok. Those are just some of the questions that swirl around in our heads during commercials. It is 2010. We have changed. It’s only natural.
We still wanna look good though, right? We still care, don’t we? Believe it or not, the show is so damn clever that it’s almost convinced us to start dressing circa 1965 (but without the other accessories – cigarettes, whiskey, swing cuts, and gender roles).
"Screw gender roles!"
Now, I don’t know if it’s Mad Men’s impact on our psyche’s fashion center or if, well, old trends just happen to be coming back, but there is a large amount of vintage flair in the style world these days. Coincidence or Mad Men influence?
Not quite sure…
In any case, maybe you can benefit from catching up on the new – but old – trends. Here are a few simple items that have renewed the feeling that classic is good. It works. Because, after all, even though you have to take down the hammock when the leaves start to fall – you can bring it back next season…
Let’s start with the fellas:
Persol 2931 Sunglasses -
It’s not just stodgy old legendary actors who like to sit court side and yell at the Lakers all night that have been sporting Persols lately. This iconic brand never really dropped off the radar but since old is new and classic is in, they’ve hit the mainstream again full force. They look expensive, are expensive and they’ve got the cachet to back it up. Since they’re a little pricey you won’t see them on everybody, which is one of the reasons they’ll instantly up your cool factor if you decide to sport ‘em. What’s more, they somehow look good on old and young mugs alike and they don’t overdo it on the pretension. So you don’t have to feel like an elitist blue blood when you wear ‘em (unless you want to).
Vans’ Canvas Authentics –
Vans’ storied history goes back a long way – right about to the Mad Men era. In 1966 Vans’ introduced their first shoe, the Authentic. It was their only product at the time and it paved the way for more footwear to be produced by the SoCal company. They have a lot of urban, funky, skateboarding-centric styles out nowadays but their original shoe is tried and true. Although they come in more colors than you can find jelly beans we think their “white” color (see pic to the right) fits the bill just fine. It’s a perfect shoe to take from the beach to the bar and everywhere in between.
Seiko Sports Racing Chronograph Alarm Watch -
Since everything listed so far is geared towards weekend/casual garb we’re not going to say you need a Rolex to emulate the guys from Mad Men. In fact, most people would probably agree that’s it more about quality and desirability when it comes to watches. Namely, do you like the watch and is it a decent timepiece? Not, “is it the most expensive thing you can buy?” So since that’s settled
the Seiko selected here was picked based on those criteria. Specifically, it’s a high quality mid-priced watch that looks good (at least we think so anyway) and isn’t that far off of Rolex quality when it comes right down to it. While it’s not the dressiest watch on the planet (but still pretty damn sharp) it’s leather strap and sporty style make it a perfect accessory to help you transition from a relaxed, buttoned down day to a dressier, buttoned up night.
The Mad Men Summer Style series continues later this week with more styles for men and the introduction of sartorial selections for ladies. Stay tuned…