Jackie’s Mad Men Rules

By Columbus Alive
From the April 4, 2013 edition

Jackie’s Mad Men Rule No. 1: Look the part no matter what.

If “Mad Men” has taught us anything, it’s that appearances matter. Whether you’re going for the suave style of Don Draper or the dead-in-the-eyes look of Ida Blankenship, the awesome is in the details. Did I need those $30 high heels from Flower Child to complete my outfit? Yes. Yes, I did.

Pro-tip No. 1: The best dress options at Flower Child in the Short North can be found in the basement section of the store.

Pro-tip No. 2: Virtue stylist Sarah Harshbarger rocked out this updo. Blow dry, curl, tease, clip, spray, spray, spray.

Pro-tip No. 3: If your hair has been teased as much as Glen Bishop in boarding school, start with a couple conditioner rinses the next time you shower.

Jackie’s Mad Men Rule No. 2: Drink on your own time.

And by drink I mean drink water, or sports drinks in my case. I was reluctant to drink on the job for several reasons. 1) I am fully aware of my, shall we say, excitable nature. Things could have gotten very unprofessional if I did not maintain some level of sobriety. Pictures were being taken and would be in my employer’s archive. Ain’t nobody got a paycheck for a Freddy Rumsen. 2) I have the personal work standard and guilt of a 17th-century Puritan farmer. I could never have been a Gonzo journalist without being terrified that I wasn’t getting enough work done. 3) This is probably the most historically relevant — I wanted to keep up with the boys in terms of how much we drank, but the alcoholic glass ceiling is one I have not broken. I broke the seal instead.

Pro-tip: Flasks also hold water.

Jackie’s Mad Men Rule No. 3: See if it works before you buy it.

Following our makeovers at Virtue, Justin and I did a little shopping at Clintonville retro shop Boomerang Room. The owners, Karen and Jon Dilgard, threw on some Louis Prima music for us to enhance the vibe. This store is full of mid-century modern clothing, art and decor. Some of my favorite finds for a “Mad Men” excursion: The 1960 Chet Atkins Teensville album (rock ’n’ roll for the ’burrrrbs), a Life magazine special issue about the 1960s (“Decade of Tumult and Change”… spoiler alerts!), an obtrusive but cute $28 Harper’s recorder (the one I use today fits in my pocket), and a rare $55 office phone from the 1960s (you can tell it’s from that decade because of its aqua color and its additional lines). When I told owner Jon Dilgard we were having a “Mad Men” day because its new season premiered next week, he said the best thing of the whole day: “What are you going to do when ‘Breaking Bad’ starts?”

Pro-tip: Boomerang Room flies through its classic cocktail sets, and Roly Poly glasses are particularly popular after each season of “Mad Men” starts, the owners said. Call ahead to see if the store has what you’re looking for if you want something specific.

Jackie’s Mad Men Rule No. 4: Prince Edward Island Mussels are not adequate soaker-uppers o’ rye.

Despite my best intentions, I did get tipsy. I was definitely eager to get to the House of Cigar’s cigar lounge so we could fully enjoy the buzz 1960s-style, but we never made it there. That is probably because it takes double the time to get things done when drinking on the job. Also, I think the theory that creatives can benefit from a drink or two is not true in my case. I contributed zero ideas, just headline puns (we don’t even run headlines) and ample encouraging of other bad ideas. As soon as my brain realized there was liquor in its cage, it had on a toga and was ready to do heavy lifting for keg stands only.

Pro-tip: That’s a stirrer, not a straw.

Justin's Mad Men Rules >>