I thought I'd do a blog post on the wonderful early 1960s clothing worn by the characters in Mad Men. Not going to lie - the wardrobe eye candy was one of the primary things that galvanised me into watching every episode of the show some time ago (that and the concept, which is just the sort of thing that fascinates me). Jon Hamm, Vincent Kartheiser, Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks are also wonderfully magnetic on screen. I can never tire of watching them, despite what a slimey sleazeball Vincent's character is.
Anyway, on to the costumes, starting with the women...
Betty is probably one of my least favourite characters. After watching both Dexter and Mad Men, I've come to the conclusion that if a show's protagonist is an emotionally disconnected man with a secret past, I will inevitably come to loathe his blonde, suburban, needy wife. However, January Jones is really beautiful woman with a very Grace Kelly-esque vibe, and her wardrobe on Mad Men is the one I love the most.
Betty's blue dress isn't really vintage as it was designed and created by the show's Costume Designer for this particular episode. I think in real life, it would be too much, but it worked in the context of the scene, and added a really striking pop of colour.
I love this shade of blue and in general, I still think it's a great style of coat, but it only works on taller women who won't drown in the baggy shapelessness.
The great thing about this look - the cashmere coat, sweater, pearls, Hermes-esque scarf (it isn't actually Hermes but looks it) - is that it's so classic that many of the women who wore this style in the 60s still dress like that now. Stylish grandmas you hope to one day be.
Janie Bryant, the Costume Designer, calls this dress Betty's 'Sad Clown Dress', which I think is quite adorable.
She's such a larger-than-life character and her style always has a sense of drama that mirrors that. Although she isn't part of the main cast, I enjoyed a lot of what she wore during her limited screen time... except maybe the leopard prints, which I always find tacky and cheap looking (though they did suit her character extremely well). I left those out of this post.
Her clothes here - the hat and furry collar - create a beautiful, dramatic silhouette, so even though the details aren't apparent, I felt like I had to include this image.
Unfortunately, we usually see Joan in her Sterling Cooper office environment, so what she wears is rather corporate. The costume department managed to squeeze in a number of very stylish outfits anyway, and Christina Hendricks - who I think is one of the most beautiful women on television right now - has the perfect hourglass figure to pull off a lot of these early 60s cuts and silhouettes, which tend to be more mature and womanly than the characters' actual ages.
The harlequin-print handbag is probably my favourite part of this outfit, along with the brooch.
The way the purple set off her fair skin and red hair was perfect. I wish they had more outfits of this colour for Joan.
Not a great dress, but a great blue, nonetheless.
Although I'm not the biggest fan of prints, I'm a fan of how they worked the print of the dress with the print of Joan's scarf here. Her gold brooches seem to be one of her trademarks and it really completes this outfit.
The black bow headband seemed unusually girlish for Joan, but I thought it was cute.
Peggy is not the biggest fashion plate on Mad Men. A lot of what she wears is awful, in keeping with her character, who seems entirely unaware of how to dress in a flattering manner. Peggy is the overgrown schoolgirl to Joan's womanly woman - a schoolgirl possibly dressed by a blind nun. But she's had a few decent pieces here and there - even if it's just a cute detail on an otherwise undesirable outfit. Her third season wardrobe has probably been the best thus far.
I think both Peggy and Kurt look great here. He's the show's resident stylish out-and-proud gay man. His jacket, set off by his neutral sweater and pants, is perfect, and I like how their outfits compliment one another, with Peggy's dress lending a sprinkle of red to liven the picture.
This isn't so much a style picture as it is a funny one. It's my favourite still from the scene where Kurt gives Peggy a makeover and snips off her entire ponytail after she permits him to cut off only a little. The look on their faces is priceless.
This is one of my favourite Peggy dresses. It's very sombre and grey but I thought it was significant in its context - a reflection of Peggy rising up the corporate ladder and dressing more like her male colleagues who favour suits in grey and other dark colours.
I liked the heart-shaped buttons on that sweater even
though the fit wasn't perfect.
The three female leads: Peggy, Joan and Betty.
Anna Draper, wearing my favourite dress of hers.
Betty and her Junior League friend, who's wearing an amazing green dress with a floral print.
Jennifer Crane and Harry Crane
Peggy, Pete Campbell and Trudy Campbell
Trudy and Pete Campbell
Paul Kinsey and Sheila
Paul Kinsey, Sheila and Joan Holloway
Midge and Roy
1960s Air Stewardesses
Kitty Romano with Sal and Ken.
The men of Mad Men also have fantastic, if less varied, wardrobes.
Roger Sterling and Don Draper
I love that the men of the early 60s all wore hats.
Am liking Roger's tie - a textured, subtle shade of silver against his white shirt.
Roger with Eleanor and Mirabelle - twins wearing matching but not identical dresses.
The Office Crew
Harry Crane, Paul Kinsey, Pete Campbell, Ken Cosgrove and Salvatore Romano
Sal is always impeccably attired.
Aside from Don, it's rare to see the Mad Men outside their office setting, so I love how Sal and Ken aren't in their corporate garb for once. Their suits here are two of my favourites - especially Ken's.
Jeffrey the drug dealer.