I’m mad for the women’s career wear on Mad Men, maybe because I was influenced by a grandmother who made her own exquisitely tailored clothes in the 50s and 60s. As the full-circle skirts and well-tailored dresses inspired by that period slowly make their way into local stores in this area, I find myself trying on these retro fashions and thinking the clean lines and solid construction really flatter a middle-aged figure, and suit a conservative law office environment.

That same grandmother taught me to sew, and I’m thinking about making some vintage-inspired full skirts, but in the meantime I’ll drool over these custom clothes made by someone who sews like a dream at the Etsy shop, Heartmycloset:

And I’ll take the bag, too.

I’ll give all my other clothes away if I can have this dress.

If you’re mad to express your inner Joan Holloway, but you don’t sew, and are seriously on a budget (like I am), look for a simple short-sleeved sheath dress, similar to this grey Soho Apparel dress, at your local discount fashion retailers or thrift stores. (This dress is available in size 6 via eBay for $15.27, at least at the time I wrote this post). I bought an almost identical fully lined Emma & Michele dress, with the same figure flattering tuck stitched on each side of the waist, at Marshall’s for under $30, and love it.

Add pearls or a long simple pendant.

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