Massachusetts is known to be steeped in history, with major contributions to society’s timeline through revolutions, inventions, and education. Yet there’s a lesser-known aspect of culture that visitors can enjoy discovering in this state – fashion. Thanks to shows like Mad Men, people are reliving the beauty of fashions past while experiencing dramas that are quite relevant to the present-day. Similarly, there are designs in fashion that, while made over fifty years ago, are still as alluring and desirable today because of their timeless lines, colors, and proportions.
Massachusetts is no stranger to tea parties, and the ’60s reflected exponential cultural shifts and social upheaval through never before seen looks that were both futuristic and optimistic to get through the uncertain times. Why? Because clothing has always been a powerful signal to tell others who you are, and who you want to be.
Do you want to make a unique statement through your style, but your clothes are primarily from mass market stores? Then you should search for unique vintage pieces that punctuate your signature look at some of the best vintage shops in the Boston area. Men, women and children of the Mad Men era know that preparing for the situations below was key to success, and they still are today:
Getting down to business
Professionals in the early ’60s would need to prepare for the day’s challenges with either a skinny tie or a pencil skirt. Head to the buttoned up area of Beacon Hill at Artifaktori on Charles Street for some proper classics. Can’t bear to cross the River into Boston? Fret not; there’s a second location in Somerville, as well.
Rock ‘n’ roll and the youth revolution pressed forward as the ’60s progressed to acquire depth in meaning. In a State that is powered by the fuel of its college population, it’s always smart to remember that music and the spirit of youth can raise the awareness of your perspective. Channel your voice through a mini skirt or paisley shirt. Go to the funky area of Jamaica Plain and find a fun shop called 40 South Street. to get a wide variety of fun pieces.
Dressing up for a special event
With a steady stream of concerts, luncheons, and parties, there should never be a shortage of stylish items in your closet that make you feel special. Try a structured purse in a bright color or a Nehru jacket to stand out, which you can find at Raspberry Beret in Cambridge’s eclectic Porter Square. When you’ve found all the treasures you can there, be sure to overwhelm your senses with a trip to the nearby Garment District in Kendall Square, which has multiple floors of clothes and accessories to satisfy any craving that you’d want to indulge in for your next ensemble.
Heading out for a long trip
Facing the elements in Massachusetts is usually no joke with the inclement weather. In the ’60s, it was never appropriate to go outdoors without proper headwear. Blend your sense of practicality with a healthy expression of individuality with a sophisticated pillbox hat or a fedora from Cafe Society in the beautiful tree-lined area of Brookline (Cafe Society will soon be moving to Jamaica Plain, MA).
How will you know what to pick from all of these fantastic shops? Ultimately, clothing is timeless when it reflects your present, past, and future in a way that flatters you, every time you wear it.
April Gardner founded CultureClassic.com, which focuses on the rediscovery of iconic styles. She founded StyleMint in 2007 and works at ARGUS in Boston. For more fashion and culture, follow her at @cultureclassic and Like her page at Facebook.com/cultureclassic.