If you haven’t watched The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, available to stream on Amazon, then you need to stop what you are currently binging and get caught up on the first season. It’s worth getting an Amazon Prime account for, even more than for their two-day free delivery. I have watched the first season twice already, once alone and once with my husband, who also loved it. The show is heartwarming, timely, empowering and funny….like really, really funny. Written and created by the incomparable Amy Sherman-Palladino, known famously for The Gilmore Girls and her sharp, quick, fast-paced writing, the series is delightful amusement park ride wrapped in cotton candy and girl power.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a visual explosion of beauty. Set in 1958 New York City. Despite the plot being wildly different, the time period evokes the same feelings fans had with the AMC series Mad Men in the early years of the show, not in the end when it became appropriately sideburn-y, go-go boots wearing, polyester late 60’s looking.
Costumed by the amazing Donna Zakowska, a lot of thought went into how each character was visually represented in this series, you can read more about it in the article here. As per the article, Zakowska explained, “Women were very, very conscious of matching — the shoes and the bags being in some sort of color harmony with the outfit.” Sadly, for lovers of the outfits, 95% of it was created for the show, the rest of it came from vintage shops.
Getting Color Inspiration from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
A big part of the design process, and what drew me in, was the colors. Being a person most often inspired by color, I was blown away by how many unique and bold color combinations were used. While it might be difficult to recreate the looks of the 1950’s Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, it’s quite simple to to create look inspired by the unique colors and combinations. I put five together using looks from the show.
I don’t want to give too much away, but when Midge winds up in court she wears probably one of her most iconic looks. In the show, Midge says the outfit is by Jacques Fath, a distinctive designer from the time. As Zakowska explained, “That was one of the few times where I really could go fully blown with the French couture-esque,” which had a huge influence on New York style at the timfe. The Magenta hits you hard in the face and is softened by the interior lining of the coat and dress underneath.
While an exact look like this might not only be hard to duplicate, it’s also unlikely that you’ll have a place to wear something this extravagant (have you seen what people wear to court these days?), but the colors can be replicated. I did it the best I could with the outfit above, a pair of cropped wool pants from Theory in hot pink, a grey cardigan from Banana Republic, a soft blue t-shirt from Reiss, floral scarf from Ted Baker, warm grey bag from Sole Society, delicate pink Kate Spade earrings and fern green flats from Kristin Cavallari.
The next look I created is probably the most Marvelous Mrs. Maisel-y looking, although that isn’t the only thing that inspired the outfit. What I noted was the tonal use of color and how well it was executed. Looking at the colors of Midge’s outfit, the dress, hat and gloves are tonal shades of green. Topping the look with the stunning ivory coat is like the icing on the cake.
Working tonally is totally easy to execute. In my outfit, I styled this Boden dress with an ivory coat from BCBG and finished the outfit with a pair of olive green pumps from Vince Camuto, tonal green necklace from Ela Rae and retro looking ivory bag from Kate Spade.
There were two times in this series where I was blown away by the use of burgundy and shades of peach and coral. Even I would have never considered these combinations working, and I consider myself pretty advanced in color. But, wow, did it work.
Inspired by these combinations, I created an outfit by using a bright coral suede skirt from Reiss and a cropped long sleeve t-shirt. I finished the outfit with a pair of burgundy tights from Target, Sole Society top handle bag and heeled oxfords from Calvin Klein.
I love chartreuse, I always have. When I was in high school, I had this chartreuse top that I wore with a burgundy cardigan. Seeing Midge in her peacock colored frock with a splash of chartreuse I fell in love and knew I had to create an outfit using this combination.
For my more modern look, I styled this Halogen cardigan with a chartreuse Eileen Fisher t-shirt underneath. I anchored the look with navy using these pants from J. Crew, tassel necklace from Lily Pulitzer and bag from Tory Burch. I finished the outfit elegantly with a pair of nude flats from Sam Edelman.
What makes some of the looks from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel pop is the use of complementary colors, which are colors found on opposite sides of the color wheel. Orange and blue, like the combination wore by Miriam in the photo above, are complementary colors. This tactic of using complementary colors is most often in advertising to catch the eye.
Using the colors, while creating a totally different type of look, I styled these paper bag cropped pants from Boden with a cropped white shirt from Theory and brought in the blue through a pair of Louise et Cie sandals, a suede bag from Rebecca Minkoff and earrings from Kendra Scott.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has inspired women everywhere to step into their own power and I hope this post inspires you to create chic looks by stepping out with color inspired by the show.