When people think of the 1960s, they tend to think of hippies and Woodstock, not tie clips and Brylcreem, but the latter combination is the sexier of the two, and nothing proves that more than Mad Men, airing Sundays on AMC. Skinny ties and inappropriate sexual innuendo make this show the hottest thing on TV. It also makes us want to consider a job in advertising. So if you miss the days when men were men and women were wearing cone-shaped bras, call your friends because we’re going to party like it’s 1963.
Setting the scene:
Manhattan in the early ’60s was all about style, and the best part about decorating for this party is that you can get most furniture items at consignment shops and thrift stores in your area. Look for pieces with splayed legs, angular bodies and vinyl upholstery, and exposed metal desks. Circles were also big design elements back then, so look for round tables with Formica tops to add to the ambience. Make sure there are highball glasses and plenty of ashtrays because smoking and drinking are America’s pastimes. Fake plastic plants and ceramic knickknacks add that special touch. Include a poster of 1959’s North by Northwest to help set the tone. Party favors can include DVDs of season one or any of the furniture you bought for this shindig.
For the men: ivory dinner jackets with small bow ties, gray suits with thin lapels and skinny ties, polyester slacks with cardigans. For the women: twin sets, culottes, shift dresses with empire waists, sweater dresses and anything that would make Jackie O proud.
On the menu:
Prime rib, clams on the half shell, shrimp cocktail, deviled eggs, braised sirloin tips, sliced peach and pear with cottage cheese, fruit salad, strawberry shortcake and Jell-O. Drinks: Manhattans, fizzes, Tom Collinses, champagne cocktails, whiskey sours and martinis.
On the hi-fi:
Though the Rat Pack would be a fine substitute, we recommend Mad Men: Music From the Series, Vol. 1 featuring such classics as On the Street Where You Live by Vic Damone, Volare by the McGuire Sisters, P.S. I Love You by Bobby Vinton and Botch-a-Me by Rosemary Clooney, just to name a few.
Few things screamed early 1960s prosperity like a Lincoln Continental convertible with suicide doors — it was like having a Chris-Craft cabin cruiser on the highway. A quick search on eBay can have one of these beauties in your driveway for the party for less than $20,000.