Janie Bryant is absolutely brilliant as the costume designer for AMC's Mad Men. Ever since the show premiered five seasons ago, fans became absolutely enamored with the suits, cocktail dresses and signature grooming on men that made the '50s and '60s two of fashion's greatest periods. With two episodes into the fifth season, trends have already started to emerge. The good news for big and tall men like myself is that such style is easy to emulate in your wardrobe.
With the spring upon us -- supposedly, and summer right around the corner, it's the perfect time to use the casual aspects of Mad Men style to get along for the season. For those who haven't shopped spring/summer trends yet and need that extra inspiration, look to polos, short-sleeved button downs and slacks as essentials.
Stay away from pants that are straight cut. Embrace the Mad Men office culture and characters like Stan Rizzo at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and go big with color -- but be mindful of prints. Opt for solids and classic styling to get your point across. Do this with un-tucked shirts. A long draping effect looks good even in the spring and summer and it creates the illusion of a great fit -- even if clothes are just off the rack.
Prep up your style with suiting separates and make sure to have a quality sports coat. They look good on everyone and wearing it unbuttoned can be just as effective. No need to be as stuffy with a button down -- sometimes, a polo will work too. When wearing short-sleeved shirts leave the top unbuttoned for a dressy-casual look.
Banana Republic and Janie Bryant teamed for a second capsule collection for the brand inspired by the show. The clothes have a familiar feel to them -- making it easy to reference the show, though they don't come in larger sizes. For fit alternatives, look to departments stores with excellent tailor and fit services.
Also look for accessories this season to get the most out of a finished look. Ties and belts make wardrobes pop and they're a good way to complete your look. Of course, sunglasses -- aviators, especially lends instant coolness.
As a big and tall man, I hate a tight-look. The importance of fit is important on anyone, but I always place extra emphasis on my garments. Pants especially have to fit right. I never want things to look congested, and looking overly-large is never good either. If the right fit is achieved, it gives more freedom to experiment with color and print.
This season, grooming should be a big priority. Stick to a clean and classic look in hair and face to emulate the agency men we watch every Sunday. Take that extra time in presentation as Don Draper would -- as he would surely say, presentation is everything.
Mad Men airs on AMC Sundays at 9 p.m. EST