Mad Men: 1960's Fashion Trends for Season 5

This season's "Mad Men" episodes should continue moving forward into the later half of the 1960's. We can expect to see a more diverse styles in that era. Probably the most consistent looks will be prints and color. It's hard to imagine this era without bold pattern or color.

The first dress shown here has "the look": a Mod style "A" line shift in classic houndstooth pattern, it has a bow accent with low peter pan collar that would have seemed very British is style to an American customer. This look would appeal to a junior shopper who was looking for a bold fashion statement.

This dress is a more sophisticated silk chiffon style. It would have been custom ordered from I.Magnin's on the west coast. The sleeves are sheer with jeweled cuffs and collar (which were so popular then).

The shifts below follow the trend with abstract prints on a smooth shift silhouette. Worn by all age groups, the shift would be the most common look during that era. The changing scene would create a rising look in hemlines, moving up to finger tip length by 1969.

Pucci-style bold patterns dominated both junior and women's apparel. Here copies of the iconic look are seen in bright, dramatic color designs.

Both dresses have engineered prints which were custom made to be cut and sewn into dresses with balanced patterns and borders. Both are also jersey knits, which were becoming wildly popular. This type of long dress would be increasingly popular for casual wear. Worn at parties, picnics and proms, the longer length was brought on to the scene by the hippie styles seen in San Francisco and elsewhere worn by the youth movement.

For the more mature or conservative woman who still wanted to emphasize her waistline, there were still styles with fitted bodices. Although this silhouette might seem dated, the fabric design would be strictly late 60's with bold pattern and bright florals.

The longer dress in chiffon might have been worn during an afternoon party, barbeque or wedding. It has a trailing scarf that floats from the left shoulder. The short blue floral print dress was custom ordered from I.Magnin's which catered to a wealthy customer who wanted top quality textiles but often with a more conservative look.

At a career and professional level, the shirt dress assumed the required shift silhouette, but it might be belted by the woman who wore it. A younger customer would have worn it without a belt, but snug around the hipline.

The three shirt dresses here all have bold patterned fabric, in keeping with the era. The top dress is a mock plaid with floral overlay. These 'happy flowers' would be a dominate pattern, seen all over the fashion scene.

The middle dress by Lanvin, uses that logo on the textile in an engineered print to create the contrast hem detail.

The final dress is clearly influenced by abstract art. All dresses are synthetic fiber. Many are polyester. This 'miracle' textile would be 'wash and wear', releasing women from ironing chores that could have taken one day each week to perform.

Now it's time to decide who will wear what. Will aging characters like Joan and Betty opt out for the latter fashions here, or go forward with current trends? At that time, married women were expected to assume a certain level of decorum, especially if they were over 21.

And what about Peggy? Her fashion sense has never been spot-on, so she can probably be expected to keep her career wear conservative and slightly outdated. But in her free time she might swing over into the more ethnic and experimental looks of the youth movement. Will she choose batik Indian print wrap skirts with peasant tops?

Megan was last seen in current mod silhouettes, so being one of the younger women she should continue to be fashion current. Will her marriage affect that youthful look? Will she try to assume a more mature style, or stay on trend?

As for Trudie, she has leaned toward a feminine junior silhouette. Her ongoing style has been to wear quality textiles with very modern silhouettes in girly prints and colors. Will that keep up as she stays at home?

What's your take in predicting what we'll be seeing?

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