It’s Time To Bare All
This season has received its fair share of shade, but I’m standing my ground and saying that I believe it’s the best Mad Men has delivered (to date, of course). Without getting into the philosophies of watching a man tumble down the ladder of success and hit a bar at each proverbial bar on the way down, the aesthetic and atmosphere of the 70s is seeping in and I couldn’t be happier! Yeah, that’s right – I love (most) 70s fashion. The men, as per, are lagging behind the women of SC&P but there is hope! As long as Stan sticks around, mind you.
I don’t care what Betty and Don call it, Sally is at Miss Havisham’s School for Troubled Girls. Barely an adolescent and she’s already holding onto a grudge like it stole something from her. I was a bit proud when they revealed she had a fake and used it to get the other girls wasted. That’s the Sally Draper I know I’m going to love even more next season! As for the skirt, I’m praying it’s school issued because it’s clearly far too big in pattern and size. Great shade of lavender on the cardi, though. Can’t say I’m gagging for the Holly Hobby detail on the collar.
Stan! My SC&P crush for life! Just try and tell me he doesn’t look dashing in that blue check suit with a paisley tie. Just try it. When I first took that screenshot, I paused to put on JT’s “Suite and Tie” — it made the process a little more special. Personally, I think Stan would be the best Creative Director for the west coast. He’s got the style and laid back attitude we love out here, plus there’d be more opportunity to wear fringe. A piece like that is set off so much more in constant sunlight.
In today’s “Stars: They’re Just Like Us!”, Megan Draper (née Calvet) is sporting a spiffy floral number paired with a classic satin Shirley Jones neck scarf, as she convinces her alcoholic husband to restrain himself to one cocktail before dinner. Megan’s fashion has been a bit of a roller-coaster this season and I feel she’s not the breakout star she used to be. I mean, this outfit is pretty but a little tame. However, the real scandal here is Don’s shirt – look at those wrinkles, y’all! As if we needed more evidence that he’s headed for rock bottom.
Let’s talk about Roger’s secretary Caroline for a moment. First, I think they make her out to be older, but that’s just an opinion I’ve wanted to share for weeks. Second, let’s praise any woman who has the gumption to wear this bizarre 1970s kitchen blue, imitation tweed (possibly mohair?) coat. Oh, and she sets it off with an orange enamel brooch. I’ll be real with y’all, I love orange and blue together. But while I was set to sing the praises of forgotten Caroline, the camera pans to Joan looking drop dead executive in this cheetah print blouse. Don’t mess with the best, gurl.
So, in the 1970s era of SC&P, will we have to continue to distinguish the men of former CGC with turtlenecks and remnant of SCDP with awful plaid dinner jackets? I’m OK with it, but I just need to know. I’m pretty fond of Cutler’s glasses and Roger’s polka-dot tie. Maybe we could mix the two some day?
In true Mad Men fashion, there’s very little fanfare about the holidays surrounding the team. In this case, Thanksgiving basically comes and goes but not without two lovely highlights. The first being Miss Joan in yet another stunning emerald number. At first, I thought she actually did an outfit repeat and was all, “What is this? Golden Girls?” Then I saw the beaded detail on the sleeves and assured myself this is just another piece from her industrial-sized wardrobe. What’s your favourite colour on Joan? I’m torn between violet and emerald (because simply “purple” and “green” ain’t gon’ cut it here, gurrrl).
The real standout for the fashunz at T-Gives is none other than Bob Benson! You better werk that apron and boy-next-door smile, you handsome devil. I’d like to draw our attention to his tie shortening technique. While Bob may be doing that so it doesn’t get stained with turkey grease, I used to pull that look for several months in my 3rd year of university. Looking back, it was a bit forced but Bob could easily pull it off. He’s even mixing a pinstripe shirt with a rep stripe tie – the man’s out of control!
To be real, Bob’s been a standout for the men all season. His bold colour choices and adoption of current trends (never forget the shorty-shorts) place him well above even my main squeeze, Stan. Bob’s the new prepster and it’s eating Pete alive. Just peep their elevator showdown: Bob’s freshly pressed but vibrant with his colour palette, while Pete sinks further into the corporate cavern with dull colours and fabrics that all seem to blend into a single grey figure. Even their suit bags are at odds! Face it Pete, Bob’s young and fresh, and you’re getting stale.
Of course, Pete does have a hint of youth left in him — it only comes out when he’s in his leisure gear. Here, Pete’s playing both sides as he pulls out his usual striped cardi but pairs it with a CGC-grade turtleneck. In the name of RuPaul, could someone please teach this man a lesson on contrast? I can’t tell if that’s teal on forest green, or just one colour happening. Besides, this angle is not doing a damn thing for his tragic hairline. How did this lame fool land the stylish (85% of the time) Trudy?
I had to include Trudy not just because I love her character, but because her makeup this season has been totally inspired by Italian cinema and I think it’s charming. She’s giving you some serious hair bump look, the brows are shaped, the eyes are contoured and who doesn’t love a nude lip? There’s been one or two glorious missteps with her wardrobe this season (the princess inspired dressing gown, if I may), but for the most part, Trudy’s stayed true to her WASPy roots. Oh, and if you cross her, she will destroy you.
Earlier this episode, Don tells Megan that they’re going to move to California. Naturally, she’s pleased as punch because now girlfriend can ditch the soaps and become a movie star! Then, in true Don Draper style, he arrives home and says he won’t be moving after all. I’m sure Megan’s disappointment would have been more palpable if I wasn’t drawn to her Flying Nun inspired collar. Seriously, have you measured that, girl? No T no shade, but your neck already looks like a golf tee, how you gonna draw more attention to that?
Remember when I mentioned that Don was all, “California baby, let’s hit this shit”? Well, it came right after he spent a less than glamourous night in the drunk tank after decking a preacher. Now, if you thought this would be Don’s rock bottom, you are mistaken. Don is a man who’s lived a double life for decades, grew up in a whorehouse and had a string of affairs as long as Bob Benson’s smile. No, this was just a little bump in the road.
While Don wrestles with his raging alcoholism and blossoming depression, Peggy’s battling her urge to jump Ted’s bones at any chance they get. After his wife and kids show up at the office, Peggy decides to “follow his lead” and tease the holy hell out of Ted and nearly every other man at SC&P. It’s oh so rare that Peggy plays up her feminine wiles (read: BOOBS) because she’s an independent woman who’s stopped relying on that body years before. However, in this low cut cocktail dress featuring an eye-cathcing/trapping pink bow, Peggy is looking pretty goddamn fierce.
And the best part of it all? She damn well knows it. Pink and black have been ruined by Playboy’s influence over the years, but I’m living for this look. Oh, did you spot the fishnet stockings? Don’t ever count out Ms. Olson.
I daresay Peggy could give Joan a run for her money, if that mattered to her. It looks fairly effortless the way Joan’s wardrobe has been transitioning from seductive to professional, but I can guarantee that was no small task. Not that Joan isn’t as stunning and gorgeous as always, but this dominant executive look (with lace embellishment no less) is a far cry from the cheetah print we saw earlier. Your girl can still let her wild side show, but the clothing has cleverly aged Joan without making her look old. This is a wiser, more experienced woman who’s clawed her way to the top.
Get yours, Joan – though I might hold back on the lace. You’re a professional, not a Nana.
Who would have thought the best “Hunty, Please” moment of the finale would go to Bert Cooper!? Just as the partners are set to serve Don a big ol’ reality check, he asks if he should sit down for the news. Without missing a beat, Bert throws a shady “Yes” at Don and a look that’s all, “don’t make me exercise my neck, gurl”. Note to all the budding advertising execs out there: just because the man in charge seems all zen and disconnected from the business, it doesn’t mean he can’t crush you with a single look.
Now this, my friends, is when Don has hit rock bottom. Are you surprised? I mean, he does look rather sharp in a lovely brown suit with such a complementary tie. Brown and gold were 70s power colours, you know (see B. Cooper above for evidence). For a man who defined his existence by his career, being told to “take some time away” is a drag queen-sized slap in the face. It’s basically that scene from Mean Girls where the girls gather in the gym and Cady realizes she’s become a total monster that everyone tolerates just because she’s pretty.
With Don out of the picture, Peggy is free to step into his office and act as his replacement. This pantsuit is a far cry from the busty dress earlier, but it suits Peggy and maintains her attractive and assertive nature. But we might need a pattern glossary for the 70s. I mean, is that a check? Plaid? It’s certainly not gingham, but definitely gingham-reminiscent. Any tips would be appreciated! I love (most) 70s fashion for the colour combinations and fabrics, not the patterns.
Finally, we end Don’s downward spiral back where he began — a rundown old whorehouse. It’s hardly a scene by Rockwell — Father showing the 2.5 children the abandoned building where he grew up and lost his virginity. Sally’s giving some decent teen girl fashion, but Bobby is slaying it with his olive pants and jacket with the rainbow stripes. Pretty trendy for a little guy!
Even Baby Gene is getting in on the family’s reputation for being well-dressed. When’s the last time you saw a toddler in a cute as hell hunting jacket?
Now that Don has essentially reset by owning up to his past with his kids, do you think next season will bring a Donnaissance? Whatever happens, I’m looking forward to fiercely fashion forward wardrobe choices for the main players, and the worst examples of 70s couture on the minors. Let’s be real, Harry Crane is like the test subject for every awful trend that occurs in the year Mad Men is set. Also, it’s the going to be the last season! Maybe we’ll have a little retrospective when the time comes?