Banana Republic x “Mad Men” collection — For those who want a “Mad Men suit”, Banana Republic will provide it for them in August. While not bad looking by any stretch, I’m not completely blown away by the collection, either. You’ve got your staple grey suits, a shawl sweater, a shawl tuxedo, the skinny ties and fedoras (although I think they’re personally too short brimmed to be authentic to the era — and while we’re talking about authenticity, I don’t believe Brooks Brothers at the time went for the skinny lapels).
The few times I’ve been into a Banana Republic store, I’ve often found it overpriced and the selection to be safe but boring. That’s kind of how I feel about this collaboration: a lack of imagination and creative risks.
If I were to do a “Mad Men” collection, I’d base the whole thing off of Pete Campbell, who’s always worn the most interesting and youthful male wardrobe elements in the show.
Foremost, I’d have to include his signature air-force blue suit. Not quite navy, not quite blue and a color that a lot of your other retail competitors are sure not to have in their lines.
For a dress shirt, I’d have to go with the club collared shirt and even include a collar pin with it, which you could use to upsell the price of the shirt.
Still, you need a real statement piece and for that I’d go for the red, double-breasted blazer he wore to SCDP’s holiday party. This 4-on-2 number stood out and I thought looked pretty cool. Do it in flannel and sell it as a fall/winter piece that can go with chinos, flannel trousers or even denim.
For casualwear, I’d have to pick his tennis sweater. I love the colors on it and no one wears them anymore. Make it a cashmere-wool blend and charge a mint for it.
Finally, you’ll need some accessories. Instead of going the boring route of neckties and those ugly, short-brimmed excuses for a fedora, why not sell scotch glasses or .22-caliber rifles? What’s the point of dressing like you’re in the 1960s if you can’t live like you’re in the 1960s?