Mad Men Thrifting

In the Emmy Award winning show Mad Men, with its stylized sixties sets, there were two references to thrift stores in its season finale.  Betsy Draper  (January Jones) identifies the men carrying boxes and furniture out of the house she once shared with Don Draper as being from the Salvation Army.  Then, later in the show when Don is visiting California, a reference is made to donating to St. Vincent de Paul.

It’s no secret that Mad Men creator and executive producer Matt Weiner finds inspiration in thrift stores.  He even admitted in an interview that he purchased a vintage “Relaxercizer” weight loss gimic at a thrift store three years before the show was even in production.  He saw the machine and knew that he would use it in a show someday.  “That’s how I work,” he said. 

Sure enough, one of Peggy Olson’s assignments was to take home the Relaxerciser to test it out on behalf of the creative department.  Peggy, shown below, is played by Elisabeth Moss.

Peggy Olson with the Relaxerciser

While, I’m sure most of the period clothing in the show comes from vintage clothing stores, it’s not that hard to find sixties-era clothing in your favorite thrift store.  It just takes a little patience.  But, you, too, can dress like your favorite Mad Men character, at a fraction of the cost, if you just know where to go.

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3 Comments
  1. Great observation Mimi! Many of the set pieces and clothes in Mad Men seem to have been those magical Thrift Store finds although you’re probably right the set decorators probably do get them from Vintage Shops or even the studio’s prop departments. Loved Don’s sunglasses last night. I know I’ve seen those at Thrift Stores before!

    1. Rudy: You sound like you have some theatrical / staging training. Great observations! Thanks for checking out my website.

    2. Where, oh where did you see sunglasses like that? And, what is your favorite thrift store?

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