Mad Men on Mass Ave

By SHAULA CLARK  |  December 9, 2009

Kidney dish at Poor Little Rich Girl

If you care to dig through the glorious jumble of vintage goods that is ARTIFAKTORI (22 College Avenue, Somerville, 617.776.3708,, you will be richly rewarded. A recent tour yielded what a staffer describes as a "James Bond phone" affixed to a wooden base ($60), a sinuous panther sculpture ($40), and a delightfully eye-searing "orange ceramic lava" ashtray ($25). But the best find by far is a copy of "Miss Popularity" ($18), a board game for "the true American teen" (which translates, of course, to a blond, blue-eyed, snub-nosed, wasp-waited beauty). Comes with a prop phone! How very Bye Bye Birdie.

"Miss Popularity" at Artifaktori


As you might expect, Mad Men has helped uncork a mighty tsunami of retro fondness that's sent many a shopper scurrying to their nearest vintage emporium. Poor Little Rich Girl makes your work easy for you: a good swath of their cherry-picked wares are sorted by decade. A trip to the '60s rack of ladies' wear reveals a few slinky black cocktail numbers, as well as a turquoise sequined top ($42) and a gold-embroidered peach tunic ($88) straight out of Betty Draper's Junior League. (For the particularly adventurous, PLRG also has a selection of vintage lingerie, which is somehow far less horrifying than you'd expect.)

If it's sheer volume you're after, nothing beats the GARMENT DISTRICT (200 Broadway, Cambridge, 617.876.5230,, whose Pepto-Bismol-pink factory walls are stuffed with retro-wear, all arranged by a fashion Dewey Decimal System that breaks duds down by decade, gender, and color. If you're looking to score your fella a classic '60s skinny tie (usually $5–$12), this is the place to go.

Meanwhile, up the road at BOUTIQUE FABULOUS (1309 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, 617.864.0656, in Inman Square, you'll find plenty of goodies to get your Mad Men motor running. We particularly liked the rack of fur coats ($110–$450) and gorgeous feather hats ($85) that, judging from their pristine condition, must have spent the last 40 years in grandma's hatbox, waiting to be rediscovered. And calling all Duck Phillips–esque sugar daddies: BouFab has been known to score an authentic Hermès scarf from time to time, which would make a smashing gift for the Peggy Olson in your life. (For the impatient and/or thrifty, check out their basket of kerchiefs, all selling for around $20.)

Feather hat at Boutique Fabulous


One of the best ways to get inside Don Draper's head is to get inside his bookshelf. Over the last three years, we've seen him thumbing through The Best of Everything ($15) — written by Rona Jaffe, the 1950s' answer to Candace Bushnell, who Draper hoped would reveal What Women Want— and Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged ($25), while his windowsill boasts such pop-psych titles as The Lonely Crowd ($17.95) and The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America ($15.95). To help fans build a power-of-persuasion reference library of their own, indie booksellers like HARVARD BOOK STORE (1256 Mass Ave, Cambridge, 617.661.1515,, PORTER SQUARE BOOKS (25 White Street, Cambridge, 617.491.2220,, and LOREM IPSUM (157 Hampshire Street, Cambridge, 617.497.7669, are a good place to start. If it's a copy of Meditations in an Emergency ($14) (Frank O'Hara's counterculture-thrilling poetry collection) you're after, make a beeline to the GROLIER POETRY BOOK SHOP (6 Plympton Street, Cambridge, 617.547.4648, in Harvard Square.

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