The Recessionista Reviews the Mad Men Collection at Banana Republic

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Pictured:The Leopard Trench, the Betty dress and spotted cardigan.

OK, I tripped, stumbled and fell for the Mad Men collection today when I stepped into the Beverly Center Mall. I was going to try to resist the siren’s call until it went on sale, but when I checked the in-store racks and the online store today, I realized that some of the collection is already selling out.   Plus, Banana is really hustling for the business here offering 25% off incentives in store, coupons Mad Men savings weekly in Sept, and online 25% off savings too using code BRSUMMER25 until Aug.16th.  So although many pieces in the collection are priced at $130.00 to $150.00 there are many ways to not pay the retail price.   The collection itself is impressive, and the designs are really well done.  This is not just a licensing/branding scheme for the TV show, these are viable fashions.  The difference is the involvement of Janie Bryant, the TV show’s costume designer.  The dresses are particularly well cut with fantastic details that make them figure flattering. They cinch at the waist, and flare at the hips for an elegant look that is pure vintage vogue. Only the Betty dress with the knot at the waist has a fuller skirt. It’s a bit more demure, just like the Betty character. The back of this dress is as gorgeous as the front with little tucks around the zippers.  No surprise, some of my favorites from the collection are already selling briskly.  I got one of the last lace dresses in black at my store.  I also loved the grey lace tipped dress.

Pictured: The lace tipped dress has trim at the shoulders and the hem.

Other highlights of the collection are of course the tweed suit, with its beautiful jacket with the rounded collar.  Many of us no longer wear suits at the office anymore, so  I predict that this piece won’t sell as briskly as the dresses.  It’s a really a beautifully tailored jacket for the price. I think this one will make it to the sales racks, because suits aren’t as common place any longer.  Some of us just don’t have the need for a good suit any longer.

Pictured: The jacket from the Mad Men suit.

I wasn’t as impressed with the begonia print dresses or the houndstooth dress, but they are nicely done.  The cardigans are cute, but not as special or unique as the other pieces.  Likewise, the lace sleeveless tops are also lovely, but there are many stores selling these for less this season (including H&M), so those may not be the best use of your style dollars.  But if you like the series and the 1960s vintage look, definitely go check out the collection.  If you go in-store to shop, you’ll receive coupons for additional savings.  Starting Aug. 31st through Sept. 21st Banana will be offering savings every Wednesday on pieces from the collection.   If you buy one item from the collection on one of those dated Wednesdays, you’ll save 30%.  If you buy two items, you’ll save 40% of the retail prices. This marketing promotion is called “Mad for Wednesdays.”  Despite the lure of future discounts, I went ahead and bought thelace dress from the collection, since it fit like a dream and it’s selling out in many sizes.   I got 25% off the retail price by reactivating my BR charge card, which I hadn’t used in quite a while.

Pictured: The many coupons I received when I bought the BR Mad Men lace dress in black.

I also got two $25.00 style notes from Banana to come back and shop during the last week in August during designated days. Bottom line, Banana Republic has a good product here, and they are pushing hard for the business with a variety of offers.  If you like Mad Men and Vintage style, you’ll definitely want to check out your local store.


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.