It’s So Groovy Now That Your Wardrobe Is Finally Getting Together
Welcome to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce & Cutler Gleason & Chaough! This week the offices merge and, as expected, a small number of folks get the axe (looking at you, Burt Peterson). The added bonus is that Peggy haunts SCDP’s offices again, AND finally tells Don she didn’t get this far ahead in life just to kowtow to his whims. Pete struggles with his mother’s increasing dementia with belligerence, and Joan shows she runs deepest amongst the partners by rescuing Bob Benson’s job without anyone ever knowing. And finally, Don is pulling what fellow YKYLF staffer Matt calls a “Don Christian-Grey Draper” move on Sylvia, who finally ends it with him after he takes away her copy of The Last Picture Show.
Like a butterfly shedding its cocoon, this episode we witness Peggy shedding a matronly shell. Step 1: this twee hat and stodgy coat. It’s 1968, Pegs. Look to your former officemate Megan for style tips, rather than the first Mrs. Draper, circa 1958. This combo is doing you no favors.
Step 2: Things get a little better when she removes the overcoat. You may see Jackie Kennedy swaning about the Blue Room, but I see a slightly Maoist aesthetic. It’s also very similar to what she wore two weeks ago when she lip-locked Ted. Is she subliminally hoping for a repeat?
Step 3: Butterfly! This fresh sleeveless look was hidden all along, and she’s now free of the overpowering coat and blazer. Since it’s late spring, I hope she wasn’t boiling underneath all that. Peggy’s got enough to deal with what with 1) the merging offices and 2) her own neurosis.
She later comes to work with an outfit that requires no such metamorphosis. The piping on the blazer, the statement buckles, the patterned skirt…nice work, Peggy. It’s a strong enough look for her to lay into Don. Good for her on setting ground rules.
But Peggy’s still not the HBIC at SCDP&CG&C. That would be Joan, who is no longer out to prove anything. Have you noticed she’s ditched the pen necklace? In its place is a multicolored scarf and (ahem) a butterfly brooch, framed by a brilliant blue suit.
Even sick as a dog, she brings it with this stunning green coat that sets off just about everything else in her color wheel. I should look half so good when hiding in my office, clutching a garbage can.
A quick trip to the ER with Bob Benson, a pesky ovarian cyst removed, and she’s back with a vengeance in this green-on-green look. Who else on the show can rock this without making everyone think it’s St. Patrick’s Day? At first I thought she had turned a necktie into a scarf, but it’s actually a scarf that’s part of the same dress. Well played. The olive vest nicely shows off yet another brooch (they’re her new thing, I guess?).
Then there are the rest of the staffers. Of them, best-dressed goes to the idiot receptionist whose name I can’t be bothered to remember. This dynamite silkscreened top is the greatest thing to happen to Idiot Receptionist, since she’s too stupid to leverage any of her skills to get ahead in business. There is one person in every office that is most likely to leak damning corporate documents to the media, and she is that person.
Moira, Ted Chaough’s pedantic assistant (who got totally schooled by Joan in the Ways of SCDP), pulls off a lemon-yellow shift dress with minimal fuss. What I’d like to know is how she manages to keep it wrinkle-free for longer than 45 minutes, given the fabric.
Wrinkles are not a problem for Pete’s long-suffering assistant Clara, who looks like she’s being strangled with a cross-stitched throw that my grand-aunt once made on a trans-Pacific flight to Asia. Once the “dress” has outlived its usefulness, it will eventually be used as set decoration on That 70s Show.
I know I’ve been focusing on the ladies, but I’m sure you can imagine what the men wore: suits and skinny ties. I do need to callout Don, though, whose downward spiral into alcoholism and depression is most clearly evidenced in this one shot with Ted:
Right there. Don’s sweaty, out of his comfort zone, unsure of where he’s going, while Ted’s coolly navigating him through the skies and keeping him safe. Ted is the new Don: confident, successful, and a total badass. The man flies planes, dammit. That is one shitkicker of a bomber jacket, and I COVET the aviator sunglasses. If the show goes to 1971, he’d fit right in for opening night of Shaft.
Since Don is spinning out of control at the office, he gets busy and bosses around Sylvia. Girl’s clearly got a problem with dressing, as she only wears things that can be easily removed by Don. There is, for instance, this garden-party outfit, which she is not wearing to a garden party:
And she also channels Mrs. Roper a full decade before Three’s Company premieres:
Or this candy-apple-red lingerie number that has a bigger dart problem than Anne Hathaway’s dress at the Oscars:
And with all of the pain and turmoil Don and Sylvia are inflicting upon each other, I wonder why he can’t just be happy with Megan (whom we see little of this week). I mean, look at how she rocks out this hip, stylish top that could easily transition from daywear to loungewear to a Stones concert in Central Park:
Match it with her Liz Taylor-as-Cleopatra-lite look, and the earrings, and you’ve got a winner. This effortless chic is something you can’t buy.
Just as we compare Peggy to Joan in wardrobe, we have to compare Sylvia to Megan. See who’s projecting so much effort and who’s not? Exactly. I mean, it takes a lot of character to look this effortless:
Peggy and Don (and anyone else at the as-yet-unnamed-agency who’s sweating bullets), take note.