The Women of Mad Men – A Fashion Diary

This season started off with a shake and a shimmy that left us singing “Zou Bisou Bisou” during our morning shower, but the high went out as quickly as a stubbed Lucky Strike cigarette. But don’t let the iridescent sheen from Joan’s gold-plated spiral brooch blind you. The endless parade of sherbet-hued, floral printed and taffy pink little numbers that invaded the offices of SCDP this season only served as an easily zippable tourniquet to mask the disappointment, loneliness and overall ennui of the characters to create a scene of lush. And now, a look back, 

Megan
From secretary to second-in-command as the new Ms. Draper, Megan has always had a youthful, mod sensibility throughout last season, when she favored ladylike silhouettes in sunnily sweet solid colors, with a bit of that French je-ne-sais-quoi thrown in via an addition of a graphic print silk scarf or patterned scoop neck collar.

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As Don’s new girl, Megan retains her feminine sensibility but does a major upgrade in the form of lavishly beaded designer digs, like the stunning ensemble she wore to have a formal dinner with her French parents and the hints of lush leather detailing on everyday outfits.

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She’s also privy to dress according to her surroundings. By default, Megan is an eternal optimist but during times she feels insignificant, her dress will reflect her sentiments accordingly, when we see her don a tan a-line frock that matches the drab wallpaper of SCDP perfectly. And when she starts her acting career, we see the more casual side of Megan: loose slacks and black t-shirts, relying on a simple headscarf or headband for a pop of color.

Joan

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Floral was a big theme for Joan this year: our favorite shipshape office vixen commonly donned curve-hugging dresses with rosy prints along with a few no-nonsense mainstays, like her colorblock navy and crème bell-sleeve bodycon dress and powerhouse double-breasted turquoise suit, topped with a golden brooch to signal her rise to power as a SCDP partner in the season finale. 

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All-woman and proud of it, Joan’s choice of dress makes it known that she’s no pushover and can hold her own amongst a sea of business suits.

Peggy

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With Peggy, fashion is less a hobby than a sort of visual defensive armor in the office, as she constantly feels marginalized by her gender and inability to break the glass ceiling as a female. She frequently employs menswear into her daily garb, with a thick knit tweed skirt, pressed white Catholic-schoolgirl style button down and mustard-yellow cardigans, which is her go-to comfort color.

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As she starts gaining confidence and even asks Joan for style advice, Peggy explored her feminine side, adding a loud magenta, bow-topped cupcake gown to her closet and later, a cowl-neck solid aubergine dress to announce her move to another agency. Peggy, you’ve come a long way, my dear.

 

Betty

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Like an angel falling from grace, Betty’s reintroduction into the show was a huge shock: no longer the crème de la crème of Ossining County, Ms. Francis now sports a size 10 frame and ill-tailored, sack-shaped dresses that beg for a belt cinching.

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She now wears forgiving cable-knit sweaters topped with a brown houndstooth winter coat, a dreadful paisley house coat with obnoxious pom-poms dangling from each sleeve and—we shudder to think of it—reindeer pullovers. Oh Betty, how we miss the original Mrs. Draper so!

Sally

s1No longer daddy’s little girl, Sally Draper has discovered the concept of dressing up—to Don’s chagrin. After being denied her white go-go boots, complimentary of her stepmother and fashion muse Megan, she nonetheless steps out with Glenn in a later episode for a covert trip to the Museum of National History, where, as a matter of fact, she makes the transition from girl to—gasp! A woman. 

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