If you haven’t tuned in yet, the Astronaut Wives Club is a new show on ABC based on the NY Times bestseller by Lilli Koppel. It covers the real life stories of the women married to America’s Mercury Seven astronauts, our country’s first heroes in the space race.
I was really missing the earlier days of Mad Men, when the ladies wore late 50s and early 60s fashions, as that is my favorite era of dress. I always looked forward to seeing Betty Draper in her prim and proper shirtwaisters and fabulous cocktail dresses and Joan Holloway in her curve hugging pencil dresses, along with the rest of the stylishly dressed cast. So I was thrilled to find out there would, once again, be a show featuring fashions from that era. I simply cannot get enough of those styles!
The costume designer for the show, Eric Daman, also provided the wardrobe for Gossip Girl and even won an Emmy for his work on Sex and the City. So he knows his stuff! And after watching the first few episodes, I think he’s done a spectacular job of capturing each character’s personality in the outfits he’s put together. Read here for Eric’s views on his fashion choices for the show.
I think it would be soooo much fun to dress these classy ladies! But, even though I can’t actually do that, I can at least pretend, can’t I? So if I had a chance to shop for each of these characters what would I come up with? See below~
1. Louise Shepard
Married to John Shepard, Louise is the most serene of the group. Very conscious of hiding her feelings to keep up appearances. She grew up on the DuPont Estate and attended boarding school, which is where she probably cultivated her “East Coast” reserve and cool, collected facade.
For Louise’s character I chose this 1950s navy and white flocked organdy dress with red belt. It has a bit of a preppy/nautical vibe that I think would suit her perfectly.
Married to Scott Carpenter, Rene (pronounced like “Peachy Keen”) as she states on the show, is the blonde bombshell who is the rebel of the group. Also, purported to have been JFK’s favorite astrowife!
She’s outspoken and does her own thing.
I chose this early 60s floral print sateen dress and jacket set that has a yellow organza overlay for Rene. The print is bright and bold just like her! And the form fitting silhouette works for a character who likes to stir things up.
3. Trudy Cooper
Married to Gordo, who Trudy was planning on divorcing before he got called by NASA. Now she’s agreed to help his career and stay in the marriage for appearances sake. Trudy is the least “girly girl” of the group, a no nonsense kind of chick who used to be a pilot herself. So she’s not happy being the “little woman.” She’s got ambitions of her own!
Trudy definitely wear the pants in the family in more ways than one! She tends more toward capris, jeans and blouses.But when she has to dress up, she likes clean lines and geometric prints. So for her I chose this 1960’s blue and white abstract stripe cotton dress.
Married to John Glenn, the first astronaut to orbit the earth and who also became a senator. Annie is very shy, due to a speech impediment. She is sweet and girlish with an innocent quality.
I chose this 1960s L’Aiglon butterfly print dress because I think it embodies Annie’s demure look and delicate demeanor.
A blue collar working girl from a small town in the midwest, Betty worked to help her husband, Gus, get through engineering school. Gus ends up being the second man in space. She is down to earth, a perfect mid century housewife who is completely devoted to her husband.
I picture Betty in this 1950s green plaid day dress, a look which reminds me of the all American girl next door who loves staying home and baking apple pies! And the colors would nicely complement her chestnut hair!
6. Jo Schirra
Married to Wally Schirra, the man who commanded the Apollo 7 flight. Jo was also an admiral’s daughter. Coming from that background, she knows how to be the perfectly proper military wife and hostess.
Jo has an understated, ladylike look incorporating lots of neutrals. So for her I chose this pretty cream color eyelet day dress which would go nicely with a classic strand of pearls and a cardigan!
Marge is the astrowife with a scandal in her past that she hopes to keep secret. Her marriage to astronaut husband, Deke, is actually her second! The horrors! She’s the “worldy” one, having lived in Japan as a single woman between her marriages.
Marge is older than the other gals and the one who has “been around the block” a few times. In real life she was known as “Mother Marge” by the other wives. She may have been the mother figure, but that doesn’t mean she has to look matronly! So I chose a lovely black and red print wool knit suit for her, consisting of a form fitting sheath dress with cropped capri top that buttons in back. Very elegant!
Which one of these astrowife looks is your fav?