Mad Style: A Little Kiss, Part 1

Posted on March 28, 2012

Wake up, children! The SIXTIES are here!

Like most viewers, we were struck by Sally’s newly stretched-out body and suddenly deeper voice. And probably like a lot of viewers, we originally figured this was her new house she was waking up in. The scene was designed to be as confusing as possible, in order to mimic the confusion Sally’s feeling. Note the rather half-assed way her bedroom is decorated (this isn’t her home) and that she’s wearing “big girl” pajamas (as opposed to the nightgowns reserved for little girls) and that she’s outgrowing them.

We love how little Gene is perched dangerously on that barstool without benefit of a strap or high chair. Divorced dads. What’re you gonna do with them?

We all salivated over that apartment when it first appeared, didn’t we? Trying to drink in every detail at once? We’re heading into a portion of the sixties that, instead of showing us echoes of the fifties (which is mostly what the show was about for its first 3 seasons), is instead going to show us hints of the coming ’70s. There’s a whole lot of brown and autumnal tones here. There was a lot about interior and fashion design in the ’70s to like, but there was just as much about it that was drab and didn’t age well. Don’s apartment is the height of late ’60s moneyed Manhattan sophistication, but to our eyes, it looks just a little cheap; like nothing in this room will last the next ten years. And don’t we all think that about the current status of Don’s life? That it’s shoddily put together and won’t last long in this state?

Megan is almost literally sunny as she walks into the room in her bright yellow sweater and modern white pants. She’s being played right now as a character almost too light and too happy to exist in Don’s world, but re-watching these scenes, we were struck about how friendly, but distant she is with his kids. Contrast that to just a year ago, when she was doing her Maria Von Trapp act with them. We don’t really subscribe to the fan theory that there’s something sinister about Megan, but we’re on board with the idea that there are depths to her unexplored and things about her Don doesn’t know or doesn’t want to know.

Patterns are making their way into the menswear of this period, which means that, because the main male characters are all fairly conservative in their dress, the best they can manage is striped ties – you’ll see a lot of them – and subtle plaids. Two other things of note here: Pete is a rumpled mess in all of his scenes, due to the long commute from Connecticut, no doubt.

One other thing: Matt Weiner has said repeatedly that one of the underlying themes of Mad Men is about the decline of New York as it slowly turned from the glittering metropolitan paradise of the ’50s into the crime and trash-ridden city of the ’70s while California became America’s mecca in its stead (Putting bets down now that the final episode of the series will have Don living in California). We note this now because that train set was dirty and run down, sporting the drab utilitarian styles of late ’60s municipal and public design. That’s the first time we’ve seen something like that on the show; that evidence of a society crumbling.

The secretarial styles are changing as well. Dresses have a looser, unstructured fit. The colors are increasingly bold and little details like pendants, costume jewelry or decorative buttons are becoming more prominent. Picture in your mind’s eye the way the secretaries dressed at the old SC offices: Chanel-style jackets, Peter Pan collars, and pencil skirts ruled the day back then, all in muted pinks or olives. Now, it’s all just a little sexier, brighter, and looser. Joan was apoplectic when Jane showed a little cleavage in the office years ago and now it’s become no big thing.

We had a feeling this wasn’t going to register in the screencaps, so you’ll have to trust us on this: It’s subtle, but every man in this scene is wearing patterned clothing. Don and Lane are in extremely subtle plaids, Pete is in a black pinstriped suit, and Roger’s wearing a patterned tie. In the sixties, there were massive shifts in the way people viewed clothing (From “A lady never leaves the house without her gloves” to bra-burning in ten years) and these shifts eventually trickled “up” from the streets and the magazine covers until, by the ’70s, even middle-aged establishment types were sporting wild colors and patterns in their everyday wear. This is an extremely subtle way of illustrating that. The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit is now The Man in the Plaid Suit.

This is a pretty damn bold outfit on Megan, even for the period. She’s not wearing the good-girl secretary dresses of last season. She’s got money and power she didn’t have a year ago and she’s sporting a much more mod, much sexier look in the office. That skirt is almost shockingly short for the setting and most of the other gals in the office would’ve thought her crazy for mixing a polka dot blouse with a skirt with a racing stripe. She’s clearly pushing the envelope and she’s doing it on purpose.

We’re getting more and more this sense of decline in the art direction and costume design. While we wouldn’t use “decline” as a word to describe a post-partum woman, these scenes were clearly designed to draw a distinction between the Joan who was on top of the world just a year or two ago and the Joan who struggles to get through her day now.

Many readers noted the apartment and its colors this episode. The funny thing about it is, this is one of the few sets that hasn’t changed since the earliest days of the show. If people are just noticing it now, we’d say it’s because it stands out as old-fashioned and out of style. That salmon-and-turquoise color scheme is pure late ’50s.

We always thought it was odd that Joanie’s raising her baby in the same apartment where she and her lesbian roommate picked up men and brought them home. That bar in the living room is looking more and more incongruous as time goes on; an echo of an old life she no longer lives. She’d be better putting a changing table in its place.

It’s interesting to note that Janie Bryant did NOT go the obvious route with Joan’s mother. She could have easily costumed her in something tight and inappropriate, but instead she looks very much like a typical middle-class woman of her age in that period. The slacks are notable, and maybe if she wore them all the time, we’d point out that she, like Joan, was a working woman and that perhaps the slacks are there to denote that. But we don’t think the explanation is all that deep. She’s wearing slacks because she’s helping her daughter with her newborn.

By the way, Tom was born in June of ’66 and he’s almost 100% certain his parents had that exact baby carriage.

Little to note about these looks except that Peggy and Stan have both worn theirs before. It’s one of the best things about the costume design on the show; the idea that people don’t change their wardrobes every few years and that most people get through their day without looking like a fashion magazine cover. Would that more period costumers recognized the same thing.

Ken: striped tie.

Again; that sense of decline. Things just aren’t as pretty as they used to be. Trudy doesn’t dress to the nines anymore and their kitchen, which is designed to remind you of the original Draper family kitchen, looks kind of drab and depressing, even if it’s typical for the period.

But no need to fret, Pete Campbell! Pretty is about to come roaring back into your world!

Un, deux, trois, quatre!

Bam. THERE’S your mod. And if you didn’t know it, we’re here to tell ya: this whole party scene was about generational differences. Let’s break it down.

Color and pattern are here in a big, big BIG way. Even account executives wives want to dabble in the newer styles. For the first time, however, Pete and Trudy don’t look like the young, well-dressed couple anymore. They look very established. Sure, there’s a slight youthfulness to their looks due mostly to the color (and they once again are dressed to match in complementary shades of red and pink), but Trudy’s dress in particular looks mature in comparison to the younger styles in the room. The frilly cuffs, high collar and full, knee-length skirt almost look dowdy next to Ken’s wife’s eye-popping minidress in a bright orange harlequin pattern. With her dangling earrings and kicky short haircut, she looks way more tuned into current styles than Trudy is.

Like Trudy, Jane has always served as an example of the younger styles slowly making their way into the world. But here, like Trudy, she’s wearing something that’s stylish and has the bright patterns of the moment, but doesn’t feel quite … young.  Like Trudy’s dress, this is something that easily could have been worn by a woman ten to fifteen years her senior. She’s about the same age as Peggy, which would make her still in her 20s. This has got “Mrs. Robinson” written all over it. The swirling red print does a very good job of illustrating the tension in this marriage.

Roger’s sporting a less subtle plaid (although it’s practically invisible next to Pete’s); an attempt to keep up with the changes while still remaining respectable.

Peggy, bless her awkward little heart, can’t really hold a candle to anyone else. She and Abe are perfect for each other in so many ways. They’re both socially awkward and dress terribly. This is probably the only tie he owns; a basic black skinny tie that he’s had since college. Same probably goes for the dress shirt. We doubt he wears one to work every day. Her dress is of the period, but it’s not the most stylish thing in the world. It’s notable that she’s wearing a floral, though. She almost never has. We don’t think that signifies anything more than, like everyone else here, she can’t escape change and if the racks are full of floral dresses in 1966, then Peggy will wear one, even if she hasn’t shown a fondness for them before.

It’s interesting how Peggy and Trudy are somewhat tied together by their floral dresses.

Don and Roger could have walked out of a Seagram’s ad of the period. This look of contrasting blazer with dark pants, white shirt, and skinny tie with a hint of pattern was considered something of a uniform for the suave, stylish middle-aged urban man. It’s practically code for “divorced.”

Harry’s just trying like crazy to remain youthful, right down to his new, hip frames. He spends a lot of time in California and among TV people, so it stands to reason that his style would get younger and looser than the NYC-entrenched people he works with. For him, that means colarless shirts with no tie. In a couple years, he’s going to be wearing some truly embarrassing outfits.

We can’t imagine Lane’s wife sitting down on the floor at a party as recently as a year or two prior to this. It seems a minor thing – and it is – but things like this illustrate once again how even the older generation is feeling the new looseness in the air, even if their clothes aren’t quite as mod as the younger ones. Although her getup is a fairly decent halfway point between mod and respectable middle age.

We’re not saying anyone here looks bad, exactly. In fact, they all look great (mostly). It’s just that there was a clear line running down the center of the room, with youth on one side and establishment on the other. And for the first time in this show, all the main characters were on the “establishment” side of things, leaving new characters to pick up the “youth” mantel. In other words, Trudy can rock her pretty pink dress all she wants…

But she just looks like someone’s wife next to this hipper-than-thou crowd. Look at Glamourpuss’s cropped pants and jacket paired with boots and a bright yellow shirt. Or the guy in the pink shirt and tie. Or the guy in the teal jacket. Harry wishes he could dress half as boldy as they do.

And then there’s THIS gal:

Those other ladies can try out the prints and the florals if they think it makes them look hip, but this girl’s the most cutting-edge in the room. It makes sense that the camera lingered on her a little. Everyone in the room would have lingered on her. You know the type, the one who really does dress like a magazine cover. Boa, mini-skirt and knee-high boots, with flipped hair and the wildest print in the room; she could be Nancy Sinatra. It’s the equivalent of someone showing up at a party today dressed like Katy Perry. She represents everything that’s happening right now at the forefront of style. In a year, half the young women in the country will be trying some variation of this look, but right now, she’s just the coolest girl in the room.

Save one, of course.

We didn’t think they could ever top the lawnmower incident, but this one moment may wind up being the most talked-about in the series’ history. It came so far out of left field, like nothing we’d ever seen on the show, and we wound up sitting there open-mouthed, just like all the characters.

This was where the youthfulness on one side of the room crashed into the adulthood on the other side. It wasn’t that she didn’t understand Don. She understands him better than most of the women he’s been with; that sex scene proved it. What she couldn’t understand was how the older people in the room would view her. To her young friends, she’s fabulous and fun. To the SCDP crowd she was either inappropriate or begging for sex. They couldn’t – none of them – see it as just fun and playful.

And we say “older,” but Peggy’s only a year or two older than her and Trudy’s only about 5 years older, if that. It’s not about the ages in the room; it’s about who’s the most in tune with the youth culture of the period.

To be fair, this is a pretty shocking dress. The mini-skirt was still being written about in Life magazine as some continental oddity in 1966. Yes, the mini-skirt has “arrived,” but even for the time, this dress is outrageously short for the real world. But it’s very much the latest – and we mean the very latest – in style. It’s cutting edge, in fact; like someone at a cocktail party showing up in Alexander McQueen. It’s one of the few times a main character on the show really does look like a magazine cover of the period. It makes sense for her. She’s young and beautiful with a carefree attitude, and, most important of all, she’s living a fabulously sophisticated life and she’s rich. Who wouldn’t dress like a magazine cover, given all that? Girl is living the dream.

The pleated angel-wing sleeves, rhinestone collar and cuffs, fishnets, and low-heeled shoes are flat-out perfect for the period. If you’re on a magazine cover or a pop star, that is. Of course, Betty, for most of her first marriage, looked like she stepped off a magazine cover in 1955. Don still wants the covergirl wife; he’s just buying more current issues now.

And check out that eye makeup. To DIE. That late ’60s eyelid never really came back in style, did it? With the line cutting across the lid and two shades of eye shadow, above and below? You only ever see drag queens do it anymore. Maybe Megan’s little song and dance will spur a new makeup trend in 2012.


Part 2 here. If you haven’t read the rest of our Mad Style series, well then, you best get clicking.


[Screencaps: – Photo Credit:]

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  • This entry was worth the wait.  Thanks guys!!

    • KATHY

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  • mommyca

    OMG, I’ve been waiting for this since Monday!!! 🙂 And of course you didn’t disappoint! Thanks for an awesome analysis, as usual!!!! 

  • shirab

    The yellow and orange butterfly sheets! I had them, I still have them! (Or my mom does, anyway.) Can I get money for them on eBay now, do you suppose?
    But I first got them in the mid-70s. Are the Mad Men set dressers slacking or were those sheets offered for years?

    • Judy_J

      I had a set too, and in the 1970’s.  Orange and yellow were big in the 70’s.

      • ciotogist

        I had them, too!  In blue as well as orange and yellow.  They were clearly manufactured in the days before thread count became a thing.

        • RoxieRider

          I bought those pillowcases at a thrift store last year, thinking I could make them into a dress for my daughter or something. They turned out to be impossible to sew–they must be some sort of poly blend.

          • Reneesance

             I’ve sold sheets just like that on etsy.  Lots of crafters and seamstresses are using them now for a variety of things.  Last year it was those triangle bunting banners. Everywhere you looked.  Craft trends can be pretty amusing.

          • Spicytomato1

            Those banners, lol! Although I have to admit they can be cute with the vintage fabrics. My sister hung them in her new baby’s room and they look great as baby girl decor.

        • formerlyAnon

          Yup. Bright colors and “no-iron, no-wrinkle” were the thing, then.  If the polyester blend necessary to achieve that meant the sheets were stiff as canvas until they’d been washed 30 times, it was apparently a price worth paying.

          • Glammie

            Oh, but no matter how often they were washed, they did.not.breathe.  Ugh.

    • Spicytomato1

      I also thought maybe mid-60s was too early for those sheets. But like you said maybe they were around prior to the orange/yellow/brown era 70s.

  • OMG the IBM selectric typewriter.  We still had them in the office when I started working in 1986. (lol)

    • CozyCat

      Oh, and the Selectric’s CORRECTION FEATURE!  The young whipper snappers will never understand what an amazing technological improvement that was!  Right up there with scoopable cat litter! (yes, boys and girls, in the dark ages cat litter didn’t “clump.”  And you had to empty the whole box or put up with the smell….)

      • formerlyAnon

        God yes. My first office job in the later 70s – far, far, from the most modern office, it was in a family-owned small steel company and it was dismal and they NEVER replaced anything that still worked.  There was ONE correcting Selectric in the place and it “belonged” to the real secretary. Those of us who were just ‘help’ used to beg to be allowed to use it when she was on her lunch break.

      • And the snap-out type balls!  My dad’s office (he was a mathematician) had the regular ball, italic, and one for mathematical symbols.

      • Those Selectrics bring back memories!  I grew up in Brooklyn, started working in 1975, and did a slew of temp secretarial jobs in Manhattan.

        Speaking of cats — I was wheeled around in a baby carriage that looked a lot like the one shown here (mine was circa 1958), and into which a litter of kittens had been born in 1966.

    • fnarf

      We still have one in our office, which gets used once a year for some idiotic form that needs to be filled out and isn’t electronic.

      But you think that takes you back? How about the fabulous Western Electric 1A2 key system? That’s the telephone switch gear in the office, with the lighted buttons (“he’s on the line” “which line?” “the lighted one” “they’re all lit”) and the built-in intercom. Rotary dials, but pretty sophisticated. Those were hot stuff in the 60s, and we were still using them in my office until the late 80s. (I swear they worked better than the all-digital 80-button monstrosities we have now, where I barely know how to accept a call.) Remember the scene in the first season with the row of operators and their patch cords? That stuff is long gone; it’s been replaced by a pea-soup green box the size of a suitcase in the corner somewhere, with 25-pair cables with Amphenol connectors trailing out of it. Ah, it takes me back….

      Weiner obviously knows people in the vintage-phone-gear collecting community.

      • formerlyAnon

        A lot of the Western Electric-produced equipment worked better than our current gear. It wasn’t cheap but it was manufactured to outlast its eventual technical obsolescence. 

    • sweetlilvoice

      My office still has them! And yes, they are still occasionally used but I don’t know for what exactly.

  • Fay Dearing

    I missed this so freaking much. It really feels like Mad Men is truly back when I get to read your fashion recap posts. As spot on and fascinating to read as ever!

  • theotherTLO

    THANK YOU for the post!  So spot on.  Makes me see a whole new layer to the show, especially your analysis of the party scene.

  • SewingSiren

    Wasn’t Megan’s black dress too short and tight for 1966? It looks more like 1969 to me.

    • Judy_J

      Check out the Janie Bryant interview on the AMC website.  She goes into great detail about that black dress. 

      • ccinnc

         What I really love about the casting is how right the BODIES look.  No hard-bodies here, just soft, natural-looking bodies.  Don Draper looks exactly how my dad looked in the 60s, in decent shape but a little soft.  Megan has almost no muscle tone.  Etc.  Amazingly period. 

        • Lorie Fleming

          I noticed this too! It’s especially refreshing for Jon Hamm as Don, he’s got an amazingly handsome face, but his body is just normal, not all overworked pecs and abs. He is still gorgeous!

  • I am so happy these have started again. J’adore.

  • ShivaDiva

    Monica Vitti in the house!  Well, sort of.  That party scene could almost be inserted into L’Avventura or L’Eclisse.  Love it.  Is this really American TV?

    • Lorie Fleming

      True! But actually the party scene reminded me of the “party” bit they always did on Laugh-In…

  • frcathie

    I have been waiting for your fashion re-cap almost as breathlessly as I waited for the premiere itself. Thank you! I started watching the show because of your commentary, and I also watch it better because of it. One thing I noticed about Peggy and the black dress at the office: not only has she worn it before, but I believe she was wearing it in the last season’s finale. So it sort of acts as a bridge, I think. Time has passed, but not so much time that she isn’t wearing essentially the same wardrobe.

    • Judy_J

      Janie Bryant said that she always has Peggy wear an outfit from the season finale in the first episode of the next season.  There’s a great interview with her on the AMC website.

    • I started watching Mad Men for the exact same reason!

  • MK03

    An interesting note: For perhaps the first time, Pete and Trudy are dressed in mismatched clothes. Every other time they’ve gone out together, they were superbly coordinated. Now they’re in clashing plaids and florals, the colors not mixing well at all. Does this portend a brewing storm?

    • That’s what I thought too. Maybe the colors are complementary, but the prints clash. Makes me sad.

    • cluecat

      Maybe just a new mom who is less organized about getting dressed for parties than she used to be?

    • My TLo-trained eye picked up their clashing clothes immediately. But while our teachers called them complementary colors, I find the outfits to be fighting each other. His plaid is bold and defined while her pink print is soft and watery. We have been taught that such jarring differences represent a clash between the characters, which certainly is currently true of Pete and Trudy.

      On another note, Jane’s dress is exactly what we are seeing right now on the various TV fashion competitions – long length, bold pattern, and lower, draped back.

      •  One thing Pete’s and Trudy’s clothes have in common is how hideous they are. Yikes. TLo said Roger’s subtle plaid is almost invisible next to Pete’s loud colors. I’d say most of the people are almost invisible next to that jacket too.

  • deathandthestrawberry

    I think there is a black & white photo at home of my mom wearing Ken’s Cosgrove’s wife’s harlequin party dress.

    I love Megan’s polka dotted number and Trudie’s striped housecoat. I’d rock both today.

  • MK03

    I love me some Peggy and Abe. Their adorably doofy dancing was the highlight of the party for me. 

  • Debi_myhappysewingplace

    YAY! So glad your series is back! My jaw hit the floor when Megan began
    singing and now I can’t get that song out of my head! Loved it!

  • I have those sheets.  Still.  I used them in ’79 and they have stood the test of time.

  • chatelaine1

    Flat out brilliant, guys.  Thank you!  Gosh, you understand fashion and character and personality and how it all goes together. 

  • NC_Meg

    I don’t watch Mad Men (I KNOW, I just feel like it’s too far in for me to catch up) but I am drooling over these screencaps. J’adore 60s style, even the “drab” stuff.

    • lovelyivy

       Me neither- but I still read these religiously! They are just so well-written that I find myself interested in a way that I have never been by any commercial or ad for this show.

    • I had never seen it before either, but I got a tv in my office for Chistmas, and it isn’t hooked to cable, so I got into watching the entire series on Netflix. It really spoiled me for seeing several episodes in a week. I also haven’t been getting much work done!

    •  It’s not too far to catch up! If you can’t watch 4 seasons before season 5 is concluded, you can probably watch 5 seasons before they air the sixth 🙂

      • NC_Meg

        I just don’t have Netflix or anything so it’s more a question of HOW to catch up. I wonder if the library has the DVDs.

        • sweetlilvoice

          It’s pretty easy to watch the episodes both illegally and legally. You can also buy the episodes on itunes or Amazon. Or rent them from your library. Or borrow them from a nice person, I’ve loaned out my copies several times!

  • Judy_J

    They yellow sheets on Sally’s bed?  I had a set of those, but in the ’70’s, not ’60s.  I’m not saying they weren’t around in the ’60s, but they evoke the ’70’s for me.  I’m anxious to see what Betty’s wearing this year, and what her house looks like.  From the exterior shot we saw on Sunday, it appears to be a mansion.

    • KaileeM

       Oh, me too! I am DYING to see what Betty wears in the late 1960s!

    • MilaXX

       I had them as well and my sister had the green ones. We were born in the mid 62 & 63.

  • Flawless style recap, applause!

  • chatelaine1

    Isn’t the red flipped hair girl wearing a Pucci? 

    • ballerinawithagun

      Probably a Pucci kock-off, but I thought it was great the way she is starting to work the whole Janis Joplin look.

      I’m also remembering that Marilyn wore alot of Pucci and there was an article describing a cross country flight where she had 3 identical Pucci dresses for the flight–one for boarding, one for the flight and one for landing so that she always looked immaculate!

  • I love you guys!

  • KaileeM

    You guys!! I *LOVE* these posts! So, so happy to have Mad Men AND your glorious style posts back. Megan’s whole look at the party is to die! Love those sleeves and the make-up! She looks fabulous! I also loved Jane’s dress. I’d wear that now!

    Also, is that some sort of sunburst spice rack in the background of the breakfast stills? That thing is awesome! I love these posts for not only being able to scrutinize the clothing more closely, but also the set. The little touches are so much fun to see. 

    • TheDivineMissAnn

      I noticed that spice rack too!  And that the orange juice was in a glass bottle.  Mum had one of those avocado green electric skillets too.

    • frances rossi

      Love the glass OJ! WE had our milk in those 1/2 gallon bottles! Le sigh…

      • Sweetbetty

         Milk in glass bottles delivered to your door and put into the insulated metal box provided by the dairy on your front porch.  It was probably earlier, in the 50s, that my mom had to shake the bottles to mix in the cream that had separated and risen to the top.  By the mid 60s I think the milk was all homogenized unless you bought it directly from the farmer.

  • z

    I’ve been dying for you to post Mad Men because I wanted to credit you both with calling Megan — Miss Top From the Bottom.

    While there is the generational divide, there is also the work/play divide. Even today, Megan’s routine would be cringe inducing to a bunch of coworkers, no? Scared to see this disaster unravel.

  • Love love love these posts, TLo.  Thank you so much for taking the time to put them together. 

  • The street scenes of Manhattan showed littering and neglect, something that wasn’t so evident in previous seasons.

  • i have a variation of Megan’s dress, but not quite as fabulous, and it IS short even for me! I have dearly MISSED your Mad Style posts! 

  • These posts are so insightful to not only the substance of the show but also to the immense talent behind the scenes. Have you guys ever thought of consolidating all your Mad Men fashion posts into a book?

    • MsKitty

      This would be the best coffee table book ever.

      • charlotte

         I’d buy it in less than a heartbeat.

    • lurker2209

      I wonder how hard the licencing would be to get the pictures from the show.

  •  I think that Pete is feeling a bit lonely and left out  after the baby was born. And when talking to other commuter he hinted to Trudy having post partum depression.

    • margaret meyers

      They both have a lot to get used to.  She’s lost a little of her confident spark since having the baby and moving to the suburbs.  She was looking puffy and isolated.  He was looking tired and frustrated, too.  They’ve had a lot happen:  his firm is still struggling along, sh’e got the new pressures of motherhood.  They aren’t the same gay, bright couple at the country club dance who know every variation of the Charleston.

  • mommyca

    About Megan’s new attitude with the kids: it’s very different when you meet the kids for the first time (and try to, even unconsciously, impress your boyfriend) and then you become the stepmother…. so I assume that’s what’s happening here….. you can also see that Sally is not as fascinated with her as she was before… it’s a mutual distance they had put between themselves, since they are both fighting for Don’s attention.

    • Glammie

      Though they’re both wearing sunny yellow florals in their scene.  Trying to outshine one another?

      • mommyca

        well, Sally’s pajamas are mostly white with pink and light blue flowers, but the sheets in her bed are yellow…. 

  • juliamargaret

    Just another minion saying THANK YOU for the Mad Style posts! I love them and have been waiting (not very patiently) since Monday for this one. Love it!

  • Shoelover1512

    Love Megans eye makeup..maybe I’ll try that out although I’m sure I won’t pull it off quite so well lol

  • SF_Gal

    Fabulous (as always) style recap.
    Thank you!

  • annrr

    My twin and I were born in 1966 and there is a pic of one of us on the exact same baby carriage! I thought it looked familiar but didn’t realize until you said it.

  • NDC_IPCentral

    Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you, Boys.  I’ve been looking forward to this posting ever since the premiere ended Sunday night.  You hit it out of the park, as always, and your insights are excellent companions to the Terry Gross “Fresh Air” interview of Matt Weiner the other day.  This is the best show on television, and your analyses of it make it that much better.

  • If you love this show, you only love it more after reading your Mad Fashion analysis. Simply excellent.
    As for Megan… everyone will want to have sex after the party. SHE KNEW.
    I mean, I’m a grown up lifelong gay man and I want to have sex. With her. 

  • It is no understatement to say I’ve been looking forward to this since I finished watching Season Four last year. “Mad Style” is how I encountered the Tom and Lorenzo blog in the first place. : ) Great work, as always.

  • lalagigi

    I have a Barbie dress, circa 1966-67, that looks just like Trudy’a floral. 

  • cluecat

    I thought Jane’s outfit was meant to be more moneyed, classic sophistication than matronly.  
    She’s young, but she’s still the richest bitch in the room.   Her hair, jewelry, and gown all had an Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s vibe.  She’s nodding to trend with the print, but not being overly consumed by it like Megan.

  • Love this! You guys are amazing. I used to own that stove in Pete & Trudy’s kitchen! It was state-of-the-art around 1955, probably when their house was built. The burners hide away in a drawer. That’s a broiler  & oven side by side on the top, and storage in the bottom.

  • I like your analysis of Megan’s character. I too was seeing a lot of weird comments (mostly on IMDB) about how she is ‘crazy/sinister/plotting’ and I just didn’t get it. I agree with your analysis that she is a fun, carefree young girl that doesn’t quite fit in Don’s ad man world.

    • James Cerne

      Meagan is such an enigma. Reading various recaps of this past episode its remarkable how much of a rorschach test she becomes for the viewer. Some people see her every word and action as a manipulation, others her her intentions and actions as unguarded, impulsive and genuine.

      I find myself going back and forth. Her nerves, panic and disappointment at the office seemed completely real. I dont think she was cold-bloodedly manipulating Peggy into letting her leave early, I think she was truly and genuinely hurt and confused, and genuinely didn’t understand why Don and the staff were acting so negatively to her and her party.

      On the other hand, all that kinky bossiness on the carpet in her underwear sounded like a practiced dominatrix. And her old friend did go on about her being such a good actress…. I wonder just what secrets Megan’s past holds.
      One telling detail was the way the party invite was misinterpreted by many of the SCDP employees: Megan thought it up impulsively and invited everyone last minute. EVERYONE else on the show from Peggy to Trudy assumed that this was a calculation. Joan didn’t even go because she assumed a late invitation was really a non-invitation. Megan was correct when she said that everyone at SCDP was so cynical.

      Because of this one detail, I tend to think that rather than being some buck toothed Mata Hari with the wool over everyone’s eyes (which is, I think, how many in the office see and treat her) Meagan is actually a happy and well intentioned person in over her head. It will be interesting to see how she adapts to the office, how much she is willing to play the game, and how well.

      I kind of love her more than any new character that has sprung up over the course of the show. And I kind of hope that she stays happy.

      • Logo Girl

        Megan is striking me as a bit borderline – which would place her ambiguously in-between manipulative and innocent with her actions. I am actually starting to really like her character.

        Matt Weiner said in his Fresh Air interview that the “thing” that will be revealed with Don and Megan is already know, but it isn’t what we think. Now I’m puzzling over all sorts of clues. 

        •  Weiner’s comment about Don and Megan really stuck with me. I’m also puzzling over it, which is particularly difficult for me, as symbolism, metaphor and subtle clues tend to go over my head.

          I was pleased when he said that they’re essentially happy and really care about each other. At this point anyway, this is not a dysfunctional marriage. They’re getting to know each other, and that’s always a recipe for some conflict. And, of course, if they stay together, they’ll know each other perhaps too well, which causes conflict too.

      • I agree. It’s really been bothering me that so many commenters think she’s manipulative. I also think Megan and Don have a real connection and might actually make it.

    • formerlyAnon

      I think the difficulty in figuring out what’s manipulation and what’s guileless just makes her character real. There’s a occasionally a little manipulation in even the most guileless and vice versa, in my observation.

  • Ozski

    Trudy’s dress made me think of something from Joanne Worley’s closet. Janie Bryant NAILED it, once again! Also, LOVE Jane’s dress!

    • TheDivineMissAnn

      “You bet your sweet bippy!”   **singing in a high pitched operetta voice and hamming it up for the camera**

  • MilaXX

    Celebs aren’t wearing it on the RC, but check out any makeup blog or YouTube. Young girls & makeup fans are indeed cutting their crease and blending colors. I expect to see even more now that the cat’s eye trend is in full force.

    I love these post because we get to see close ups of the sets and wardrobe.

  • nycfan

     Great entry, one quibble with this: ” We note this now because that train set was dirty and run down,
    sporting the drab utilitarian styles of late ’60s municipal and public
    design. That’s the first time we’ve seen something like that on the
    show; that evidence of a society crumbling.”

    Go back and check the scene when Joan and Roger are mugged (leading to their love child).  That was a strikingly 70s crumbly NYC block they were on.  And I seem to recall one other scene, maybe Don’s “Satisfaction” montage(??) where the streets were noticeably strewn with litter, but can’t recall for sure. 

    Still spot on.  I wondered about the length of Megan’s dress when I saw it but what a fabulous outfit.

  • cmb92191

    I’m looking at older homes to purchase and I see a lot of Don’s and the Campbell’s home in 2012 showings.  There are still a lot of paneling, the exposed hinge cabinets (Campbells) out there. I am loving the huge blinds and valance over the sliding door.  Those were in my FIL’s house for a long time. I actually had that green skillet in Don’s kitchen for a long time.  I finally pitched it because it looked like a fire hazard. 

    I’m a little late to the stroller party, but my sister and I used the same stroller in 1969 and 1970.

    • Sweetbetty

       You’re calling it a stroller but I call it a buggy or a carriage.  My first child was born in ’66 and though the big ole buggies were still around most young mothers in my area used strollers, which were basically just a reclining seat on wheels with a handle to push it.  There was usually a tray across the front and a flimsy seat belt to hold the kid in and maybe a flat roof.  Some were more elaborate than others but no one I knew at that time used the full-blown carriage that Joan is using.

      • margaret meyers

        Here in Philadelphia they call that kind of conveyance a “coach.”  I always think of that kind with the big springs as a “pram.”

      •  You’re right. My son was born in March, 1966 and we were given a hand-me-down carriage just like that one. It was already out of style – all the other mothers used strollers.

  • Peggy’s dress is also a little formal for the affair- more garden party than cocktail party.

    Around this time men started going out of doors hatless- my father was a small city insurance man and by the mid 1960’s hats were becoming more for church and winter wear than every day business. By the 1970’s Dad stopped wearing hats to the office entirely. There wasn’t a man’s dress hat in the house until I started wearing them. (Thank You Indiana Jones)

    • Judy_J

      Some credit JFK with the demise of men wearing hats.  JFK never wore them, and millions of American men followed suit.  Kind of like when Clark Gable took off his shirt in “It Happened One Night” and was not wearing an undershirt.  Undershirt sales plummeted.

    • I immediately jumped on Roger’s office — the one unmodern thing in it is his hat, hanging on the hatstand.

    • Sweetbetty

       I wore a dress very similar to Peggy’s, only in a pink floral print, to my 9th grade graduation party in ’63 but my mom made me wear a pink cardigan sweater over it.  I was a chubby kid and couldn’t find any cute, young dresses in the plus size I wore.  When we found that pink sundress it was acceptable to me and to my mom as long as my shoulders were covered.  So it makes sense that Peggy might be wearing a dress from three years ago to this party.  She’s too practical to run out and buy a new party dress that she might not wear again for God-knows-how-long.

      • Maggie_Mae

        The party was given at rather short notice.  If there’s a company Christmas Party, Peggy might spring for a new winter party dress.  By then, Joan will probably be in charge; I’m sure invitations will go out in time!

  • DominoEstella

    I was hoping you would talk about Megan’s underwear. 

    • cmb92191

      That is probably part 2.     I was kind of hoping they would touch on the group of ladies and young boy that stopped at the Y & R office after being water bombed.   The  Y & R secretary with her patterned dress was something my mom would have worn back in the day.

  • CQAussie

    I don’t even need to watch the show to be fascinated by your Mad Style posts.  You guys need to be teaching a class on Period Fashions.  

  • jilly_d

    THANK YOU GAWD (and TLo) for the return of the Mad Men style post!  Worth the wait, and so good, I might need a cigarette.

  • Ogden1990

    Just donated our Pete and Trudy look-a-like kitchen set to a local charity. It came to us by way of my in-laws circa 1960s kitchen.
    “Zou bezou bezou” to you T&L for posting these amazing stills and allowing me (and everyone else) to linger over the details.

    • CPT_Doom

      I have my parents’ 1962 kitchen table, along with the sole remaining chair (who knew the backs actually would eventually break off if you kept leaning the chair back on its hind legs? I mean, other than my mother). It is a near replica of Pete and Trudy’s.

  • Scott Isaacs

    OMG…where do I start? First, THANK YOU. Love this series. So neat to read about what the clothes say about the person, the attitude, the trend…it’s just fascinating. Mad Men just begs for this kind of treatment, and I’m so glad you guys are happy to take up the mantle.

    Those bed sheets. I think I had them way back in the day. I saw them and immediately knew exactly how they felt, how they frayed, how they pilled…amazing job there.

    Megan’s eye shadow, like you said, was TO DIE. I would fully support a return to this sort of eye.

    Joan…oh, how the mighty have fallen. I was shocked. She couldn’t look more disheveled and depressed…but perfectly so. I think my mom had that getup…and often looked that way, too.

    That party makes me think I was born a generation too late. Le sigh.

    • margaret meyers

      But Joan’s clothes looked so old fashioned — she was still wearing a corset, shiny fabric, dated silhouette.  I’m looking forward to her make-over as she re-enters the work force.

      • Sweetbetty

         I worked with a woman in the 80s who was probably about the same age as Joan would have been then and she still wore heavy-duty foundation garments under her very proper office attire.

      • Lorie Fleming

        True but I still thought the pink and red dress she wore to the office was stunning. So stunning that it was timeless, perhaps? 😉

  • mommyca

    So, what about both Peggy and Megan wearing yellow? Just like Anna….. all of them closely tied to Don…..

    • Glammie

      And Sally.

  • Not sure Don will live in CA but he will certainly die there I bet (which how I predict the show will end; there was foreshadowing of this in season 2.  Somone made a comment about a character who died at the age of 50 and there was a split second cut away to Don)

  • This is my first Mad Men style post I’ve read of yours (this season’s premiere was the first episode I watched as it aired). Fantastic. I was gawking at Megan in that dress. She’s stunning.

    • Pennymac

      It was the first for me too, although I’ve read the Style posts for some time. Glad I’m not the only one.

  • DeborahLipp

    Peggy was never seen criticizing Megan’s performance in any way, or mocking it. She’s got misgivings about Megan because of ehr relationship with Don, but I see her coming down on the youth culture side.

    • margaret meyers

      I agree.  It’s awkward to supervise the boss’s wife.  And I think Peggy is just put-out that she is still left managing the firm’s lesser talents while the guys preen and praise themselves.  Wouldn’t you be pissed if you’d been working with Stan for three years?

      • Sweetbetty

         Yes, and what was it Peggy was having Megan do?  Make up some sort of coupons?  That she then decided to not use?  And that she gave to Stan to make more presentable?  It’s almost like it was busy work just created to give Megan something to do that was “creative”.

        • The coupon was supposed to be for .05 off. Megan had the idea for 2/.22, and did the coupon as such.

          I did get the feeling, though, that it was busywork, or at least work that wouldn’t go directly to Stan to work on from the start. The client wanted them (Peggy said ‘they love their coupons”).

          Even though Don gave Megan a job in Creative, I think he was smart enough to know she had to start with the crap work.

  • cmb92191

    My mother in law (RIP her stylish soul) had TONS of Jane Sterling dresses. They were all long with the slight little dip in the back with some sort of bow or or interesting element.   Some were patterned like that and some were solid color.    When my MIL passed away, we found hundreds of Jane dresses all in garment bags.  In 1966, my mother in law would have been  37/38.  So true,  that is a style for the older 20’s- and up.  That is one of many reasons that I love Mad Men, it reminds me of people long gone. 

    • Sweetbetty

       Totally unrelated to this post, but what did you do with all those wonderful clothes?  I deal in vintage clothing and I’m drooling at the thought of such a find.  I hope they didn’t get tossed in a dumpster, which is what I find happens at so many estate sales.

      • cmb92191

        Oh Sweetbetty, I wish I could give you good news.  My MIL passed away in 2003 and my FIL just emptied all of her things to various charities.  Goodwill, Purple Heart, etc.  She had two homes so some of it was up to the daughters and DIL’s to do her other home.  WE got the more current clothes and purses and sorted them out.  Many charities got her things.  I thought about selling them, but I just couldn’t do it.50’s -60’s  Dresses, 60’s-70’s resort wear, exquisite 80s structured suits… I’m sure there were some very stylish ladies after her passsing.

        • Sweetbetty

           If they ended up in the hands of someone who appreciated them, I’m fine with that.  But if they had gone into a dumpster like so much vintage clothing does because those cleaning out the house don’t know any better, I’d be sobbing right now. 

          PS:  If any of you ever come across such a windfall please contact me or some other vintage clothing seller before they get put in a dumpster.

  • baxterbaby

    Oh TLo, How I love these posts.  I was 14 in 1966 (and a New Yorker) so these episodes, aside from dramatic content, where just full of “OH. MY. GOD.” for me.  To wit:
       Megan’s ruffly blouse – had it
       Megan’s “Ye-Ye” black mini – older cousin had very similar, only in turquoise (not as short though; Janie B. did say in her video      that the piece was vintage, so it may have been made for a smaller girl as it seemed like a skimpy fit on J. Pare).  Also, those sheer accordion pleated sleeves showed up on my junior high grad dress.
    Jane’s dress; very stylish rich aunt had one very similar, I can see her in it now.
    Patterned hose, low heels, kicky skirts, that crease in eye makeup…okay, I could go on forever, so I won’t. 

    My point is that  J. Bryant just nails it.  The gradations of style, from stuck in the fifties to fashion forward were all there, as they are in any period, but one so rarely sees it portrayed.  In most movies and TV shows it’s as if everyone is having the same fashion moment at once, old or young, rich or poor.

    Also – Go Go boots!  Thankfully a blip, but what an iconic one!

    And – I want to see Peggy in a Poor Boy sweater and plaid skirt.  C’mon Olsen!

    • Oh yes, those Poor Boy turtlenecks and plaid skirts.  Almost a uniform at my Jr. High….(worn with knee socks and loafers of course…)

    • Judy_J

      Yes!  Poor boy sweater, plaid or floral A-line skirt, belted at the hip with a wide belt.

      • baxterbaby

        Oh yeah, florals.  Big floral craze in the mid-sixties in junior wear.  I had a flower suit and several of those skirts; mine all had the matching fabric wide belt.  Barbara Singleterry mention knee socks and loafers.  I recall the preppier girls still wearing those, but we mods were all about the patterned pantyhose and low heeled buckle shoes.

        • formerlyAnon

          My favorite outfit in 1967 or 1968: faux A-line dress (the “skirt” was actually some complicated culottes-like arrangement) in deep chocolate brown with a large bright blue ‘flower power’- esque pattern. Matching hat with a wide, floppy brim.

          SO sad the day I lost the hat over the side of a fishing boat!

        • barbarasingleterry

          Yep, I had those pantyhose and shoes as well.  Tended to wear those more for dress-up occasions because I rode a bike to school most days.

    • TheDivineMissAnn

      I saw the go-go boots!  Oh, two older my sisters were swooning over go-go boots back in the day!   That same character (wearing the go-go boots) had Dusty Springfield hair, too.  (picture #48)

    •  More proof that the Emmys are a sham – Janie Bryant has never won for costuming. Inconceivable.

    • Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Mad Men brought back the low heels treand? Millions of feet (and backs) would be so grateful.

  • sherrietee

    I have pictures of my mother with the hairstyle sported by Larisa Oleynik.  Same color of hair, too.  It made me smile. 

    • I remember her as Tommy’s girlfriend on Third Rock From the Sun. I never would have recognized her! I know she had that show on Nickelodeon but that was a little bit after my time, so maybe I don’t have her face burned into my brain. 🙂

  • Another youth/age divide is the choice of mind altering substances.  Old guard drinking cocktails, young hip crowd smoking “tea”. Also, the acceptance of a gay bandleader/emcee into the party, even with the snide comment from one of the guests.  Love the interior shots of the Campbell’s house and especially love Don’s apartment, very hip and up to date for the period…

    My mom had that orange harlequin dress, or one very like it as well as the geometric dress.  My favorite outfit of my mothers from that time frame, maybe 1968-69, was a bunny skin miniskirt and vest with a silver bell sleeved blouse, white shimmery tights and white knee high crushed vinyl boots.  One of the few outfits actually purchased.  Mom made most of her own clothes with attention to detail and what was currently pictured in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.  Vogue Designer patterns were in great use in our household.

  • RebeccaKW

    I want that yellow sweater.  I’d hang out with Glamourpuss and Teal Jacket and Redhead all night.

  • Frank_821

    Yeah Mad Styles

    I know what you mean by the generational thing. There was a point in Megan’s number near the end where it looked like she was ready to pull up her skirt but stopped short. I imagine something like that would have infuriated and majorly embarrassed Don

    You are so right that she is the new model of trophy wife. But as someone noted  Megan is different from betty. He wont be able to manipulate her as well or as long as he did Betty.

    Speaking of Betty, I know she’s came with her own baggage into the relationship but I kept thinking what if she had married someone wealthy or a jet-setter and lived the glamorous socialite life instead of being crammed into Don’s illusion of 50s american middle class perfection, she would be a lot happier and a lot less of trainwreck. She might have been a partially decent parent.

    • MK03

      I think she would have been much happier, but I just can’t imagine her being a good parent in any setting. She has too many unresolved issues with her own mother. In an ideal world, Betty would have stayed a fabulous, jet-setting model, married an insanely wealthy international businessman or designer and become his trophy wife. And never had kids. 

  • nosniveling

    flat out perfect post-you gentlemen rock!

  • nancymae

    This was such a great post! I clearly missed so much after squealing, “She knows about Dick Whitman!”. I completely missed mod fur girl at the party.

    One of your points really resonates with my recollection of the episode – the idea of decline. I was really struck not not only by the sheer awfulness of Pete’s kitchen (like a Ross clearance rack version of Betty’s) but also the street scene at the beginning.

    Remember last season when Don started walking down the street with his sunglasses on and (I think) a Rolling Stones song playing behind him? There is literally looked like the future in the city was so bright. Yet, in this episode, the gleaming city street was replaced with a trash covered street in need do repair and a good sweeping. It was so dingy and made the SCDP offices look positively artificial and antiseptic in comparison.

    •  I clearly missed so much after squealing, “She knows about Dick Whitman!”. I completely missed mod fur girl at the party.

      But the Dick reveal happened after the party.

  • Jessi03

    My dad’s first wife had Megan’s exact hair and makeup, and there are tons of pics of her dressed like either Megan or Jane.  I felt like I’d stepped into one of our old photo albums from the late 60s! 

    Also noted that Peggy is wearing yellow at the party, which is usually her statement color (if I recall previous Mad Style posts correctly), and she committed a a work gaffe.  Even at a party, she can’t let go of the office!

    • MK03

      The yellow and the dirndl silhouette also connect her to Anna. What better look to emphasize that there’s only one person in that room who’s really connected to Don, and it ain’t Megan?

      • Lorie Fleming


      • Jessi03

         I didn’t even think of that!  That’s brilliant!

  • Just what I needed to soothe my eyes after writing case studies, pr plans and working on taxes! I want Megan’s dress…

  • Pennymac

    PERFECT Mad Style post, boys, Thanks ever so much. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go practice that 60’s eye makeup and see if it’s possible to make a variation of it work in 2012. Minus the blue eyelids……

    • Agreed on the makeup part, it’s inspiring. And I want Redhead’s dress.

  • – When Megan stands in Don’s office with her leg turned out and her hand on her hip, did anyone else think “Jolie-ing!”? 🙂

    – Oh TLo, that screencap of Megan holding the microphone up… that one said it all, didn’t it.

    – The flipped-hair redhead’s dress was hands down TO DIE for. I would hunt that down. That print and the aqua color are perfect.

    – Cannot wait to see how they tell the story of civil unrest.

  • Orange Girl

    Looking forward to more Mad Style!  Thanks for the great post!  
    Not completely related to “style” but Peter on the train and in his kitchen made me so sad. And I am in love with Peggy’s boyfriend, Abe.  

  • Desiree Tinder

    At 5 years old in 1970 I had that very dress that Megan is wearing in bright pink. I loved the sleeves more than life itself.

  • Yay- Mad Style is back! One note about ages- you said that Peggy is two years older than Megan and Trudy is 5 years older. Megan said last season she was 26, so she’s 26-27 now, and so is Peggy (she was 20 in the very first episode). Megan might even be slightly older. Pete Campbell was 26 when he got married and I think Trudy was a few years younger than him, so she’s not even 30 yet. There is virtually no age difference between these women, which I think just makes the differences between them even more of a stark contrast.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    I love love LOVE your style breakdowns of Mad Men. Just wanted to say that.

  • charlotte

    “Don still wants the covergirl wife; he’s just buying more current issues now.” You guys are brilliant.
    Reminds me that I first came here for the Mad Style posts waaay back in the day.

  • Been waiting and waiting for this post and it was soooo worth it. HAPPY GIRL! Can’t wait until Sunday-WEEEEEEEE!

  • Judy_J

    Maybe I’m crazy, but the beginning of the episode where Sally wakes up and walks in a dream-like state to Don’s bedroom was eerily similar to the infamous season opener of “Dallas” where Pam wakes up and walks in on Bobby taking a shower and finds the whole previous season was just a dream.  I actually thought for a moment that Sally was dreaming.

    • Logo Girl

      I never watched Dallas, but I agree with you on the dream sequence feeling. It was very eerie.

  • Darva Sutra

    Brilliant post, darlings!! As a hard-core MM fan of long-standing, I could not agree more with your assessments.
    I thrifted an almost identical 60’s Megan dress back in the early nineties, short black sheath, sheer batwings, but sadly no rhinestone detail.  Wish I knew what had become of it, it looked phenomenal clubbing with thigh-high flat suede boots.  Really brings back memories 🙂 Zou bisou bisou…

    • Pennymac

      God, that song is STILL stuck in my head!

      • Sweetbetty

         I’m going to show my ignorance, as well as my bad ear for music, here by saying that when she started singing I thought she was saying, “Scooby-dooby-doo” like Frank Sinatra did at the end of “Strangers in the Night” the same year (though Frank actually said “doo-be-doo-be-doo).

  • Rand Ortega

    Fab! Megan makes me crazy she’s so awesome. If Anne Hathaway & Paul Prentiss had a baby, it would be her.
    Definitely see a velvet Nehru jacket in Harry’s near future.

    • Definitely see a velvet Nehru jacket in Harry’s near future…and love beads.  My father was already 45 in 1966 and sported a turtle neck pullover accessorized with love beads. Boy, did he think he was something.

      • Rand Ortega

         OMG, love beads! Now I’m picturing a paisley velvet Nehru jacket.

        • margaret meyers

          Yeah.  Harry’s already wearing a collarless shirt with his sports jacket (the only other guy doing that is Mr. Teal Jacket), so he can throw the love beads right into the mix, even if he’s too self-conscious to go for a Nehru Jacket.

    • formerlyAnon

      Oh sweet jesus. I’d blocked those out – I even hated love beads at the time.

  • sweatpantalternative

    Yes! I was AGAG at Megan’s eyes! So effing fantastic! I’m glad you noted that Peggy’s dress was current, because it seemed a little too dated and out of character to me. And it is amazing that Jane, while beautiful, polished, and fashionable, manages still to look 40. Finally, have to say that I want Trudy’s robe. As my husband pointed out, yes it’s a mumu, but a pretty friggin’ awesome one at that.

  • Glammie

    This episode was really interesting to me because I actually remember the time–and I’m an ad agency brat.  It’s interesting to see the stylization v. the memory.

    Couple of things:

    No recollection of there being a PJ/nightgown split for girls.  Really a matter of personal preference.

    Pants on Joan’s mom–older women started wearing pants more in response to shortening of skirts.  Joan’s mom dressed a lot like my grandmother.  You still wouldn’t wear pants to any kind of formal workplace, but most older women weren’t going to go short and there weren’t a ton of options.

    So right on about the plaid–I have one of my mom’s suits from that period and, by golly, it’s plaid.  Everyone looks a bit frumpy to me because I remember when all those looks became passe.  (And my dad’s wardrobe of striped ties.)

    Except for . . . Megan’s black dress.  Not only is it dead-on for the period, my mother had a couple of very similar black dresses (a bit longer, but still mini) with the sheer sleeves.  I used to wear one of them in college–and it was a knock-out in the 80s as well.  They were more around than one might think from this scene.  My mother had a black mini with a mandarin-style fake leopard-fur collar.  It was for work–the black, uh, made it kind of dignified as she was a lawyer.

    Ah, the Sixties.  It was even more absurd than what we’re seeing.  This was actually still a bit square . . .

    • formerlyAnon

      I grew up in a mid-sized city in NC (at the time, somewhere between
      120,000 and 150,000 people). Even with a disproportionately large performing
      arts community, I remember that it was 1968 or 1969 before you could buy
      the more daring ‘magazine cover’ looks in town. We got the latest retail – but as I recall buyers must have favored the more conservative ‘Bible Belt’ looks.  Women either made/altered clothes to keep up with what was shown in magazines & t.v. or shopped out of town
      – which meant quite a trip. Charlotte (which wasn’t much better at the
      time) or Atlanta or D.C. 

      When air travel became more routine, shopping/theater trips to NY became quite popular among would-be fashionable women with a little disposable income, although as time went on shopping took more and more of a backseat to the theater.

      When I think of the work my mother put into making my clothing – in retrospect I can see they were far more fashionable than I realized at the time, when I mostly just wanted my skirts shorter, my jeans raggier and to look just like my friends – if she were still alive I’d call her up and thank her again!

      • ccinnc

         Which city, Greensboro?  I’m in Winston-Salem now, grew up in Lexington.  Greensboro and Winston-Salem were the Big Cities back then.  🙂

        • formerlyAnon

          Winston-Salem. In the mid-60’s it was SUCH a culture shock to my parents who’d spent their adult lives to that point in the urban northeast.

          • ccinnc

            As I recall, Montaldo’s downtown was the only place to get nice women’s clothing back then.

            BBQ craving (and T’giving dinner with my aunt) is the only reason I go back to Lexington. I’ve lived in Winston-Salem since 1981, and it has changed tremendously – for the better – esp. in the past 5 years. But I imagine there’s still some culture shock for folks who move here from other regions.

    • Bozhi

      You are right, this was very square.  But these are square people for the times that are coming.  Even Megan is just buying the latest fashion, she has not really caught up with the times.  I mean, look how she was dressing just last year, and her hair last year. She’s just 25 and rich. 

      I’ll bet the pants worn by Joan’s mother had an elastic waist.

      • SignLadyB

         Of course they did! That was the other comfort feature of those pants–not terribly well fitted–designed to have the blouse hang over.

      • Glammie

        Yep, I love the way MM tips its hand that way.  Betty was actually more fashion-forward during her peak than these younger people are at theirs.  Even the young ones are just a bit passe.  I’ll be interested to see which, if any of them, cross over.  I could see Jane Sterling, for example, running off to a commune or joining an ashram in India.  

        Also really have to wonder how the drug culture’s going to play into the show.  

        I just remember it all being sort of a jolt, a big-enough change that it even registered on a really young kid like me.  I was near Berkeley, so a lot of things were happening close by, but even so, as a kid you just sort of take things for granted as they way they are.  

    • Lilithcat

      No recollection of there being a PJ/nightgown split for girls.  Really a matter of personal preference.

      Agreed.  I don’t think I ever wore PJs.  Still don’t.

      • Glammie

        Yep.  I always thought *long* nightgowns were more grown-up.  I do remember a ton of synthetic shiny things.

    • Joan’s mother would have remembered the 40’s when women’s slacks came in and were very acceptable for casual wear at home. Even my grandmother wore slacks and a jacket on picnics- it was a very Katherine Hepburn look, helped by grandmother having a very boyish figure. (She never needed a bra until her pregnancy)

    • margaret meyers

      Joanie’s mom is wearing stirrup pants — very acceptable.  They came from ski pants and had a little style and an upper class cache. They said ‘busy running errands,’ and as Eric points out  they were more practical than a short skirt.  My own mother never wore “dungarees” unless she was cleaning house/gardening, but she did wear stirrup pants to run errands. And Laura Petrie was in those picador pants all the time.

      • Glammie

        Right.  But it was a few more years before women could wear pants in most offices or banks or courtrooms–any place with a dress code.  

        • suz72350

          When I graduated from high school in 1968 dresses and skirts were the only dress code at school. During my college years, I had a part time job in the Italian knits section of Davidson’s department store in downtown Atlanta. I had to wear dresses/skirts until the powers that be finally decided that women could finally wear pants…as long as they were pant suits!

          • Glammie

            I think the dress code changed at my school around 1968.  I was stubborn, though, and kept wearing dresses.  (Hell, I’m still known for my skirts among my fellow pants-clad matrons).  My mother *loved* pants and bought me not one, but two bright purple double-knit pants suits.  

            I suspect Sally Draper will be spared such a monstrosity, but I expect to see one of the secretaries wearing such an item.  

            And, oh, what is poor Joan gonna do?

      • Lattis


        Oh, thank you for re-introducing me to that word! My mom called them that when I was a really little kid. She also used the word “trousers” (for my dad’s pants) which you don’t hear very often anymore either.

    • ballerinawithagun

      My mother also had a fabulous black dress similar to Megan’s sans sleeves and very triangular with cut in shoulders. It was fabulous. My parents group of friends had a “French” themed party. I’ve previously the “moving pictures” of it on the Bell & Howell. It was a wild party! They were the doctors, lawyers & executives in town. No marijuana but lots of cocktails! At that point my parents were still “hip” (even took me to see Twiggy modeling and the Beatles in ’65) and then suddenly that was over and they were listening to Mitch Miller!

  • highjump

    Love you guys so much, but where is the Mad Style series on undergarments?! You promised  during a previous Mad Style post and with the now infamous cleaning in her underwear scene I do not see how you can demure any longer. So much change in such a short time! Please please please?

  • miatamam

    Reviews like this just make me want to go put on some white patent leather boots, my orange and brown mini skirt outfit and put a Dippity-Doo flip in my hair.  You guys are just absolutely wonderful.  Thanks!

    • Judy_J

      Wonder if Janie Bryant will have any of the women wearing Courreges go-go boots. I got a pair for Christmas in 1965. Wish I still had them.

  • Bozhi

    I was 15 in 1966, and yes I had dresses that short (Megan) and the fishnet hose.  She is wearing false eyelashes though.  The teenagers (almost) never did that.  We did do the eye makeup, but not false eyelashes.  Of course, we were 15, all we needed was mascara.

    • Glammie

      I even had fishnet hose as a little kid–around 1967-68–but in BRIGHT colors–I remember hot pink, a red pair and one in yellow.  And the cross-hatch marks they left on the skin.  I wore them with my hot pink double-knit mini dress with bright green and yellow stripes–oh, and chain-link belt.  Damn, it’s funny to think of those clothes.  I’m always kind of amused when designers have issues with color, when you grow up like that–color is EASY.

      • Bozhi

        Oh!  I remember those!  Weren’t they called neon colors?

        • Glammie

          Neon was one word I remember.  I also remember colors being “psychadelic”, which to a kid meant bright.

          • Bozhi

            They were colors that you saw when you took LSD.  I REALLY remember those.

          • Glammie

            I’m a little too young to REALLy remember those. 😉  I just got all the anti-drug movies instead.

        • Logo Girl

          I think they were called Day Glo back in the day.

          • filmcricket

             Day Glo sounds right to me – very Merry Pranksters – but I have no idea if it was applied to clothing.

          • Glammie

            I remember Day-Glo being just a bit later–around 1970.  (Why is it I remember this, but not what I had for dinner on Monday?)

      • janiemary

        My grandmother taught me to sew in 1968 when I was 13 yrs old. I made a navy and hot pink floral A-line skirt that I wore with a hot pink nylon mock turtle sleeveless shell and hot pink fishnets!!  I thought I was the most hip mod girl on the block!!

      • ballerinawithagun

        Yes, I loved my hot pink fishnets!

  • Why is everybody so shocked by Megan’s song and dance?  Immediately, I thought of Laura Petrie.  

    • TheDivineMissAnn

      Haha!  So did I….although Laura P. would never do something so risque!  I think the hairstyles of the two are quite similar.

    • Sweetbetty

       Laura would have had Rob up there with her doing a duet song and dance.

      • Maggie_Mae

        Yup.  A little more modern than Pete & Trudy’s Charleston routine, but less sexy than Megan’s dance….

  • I’ve never seen an episode, but because of you guys, I’m going to start from the beginning. I love the clothes. 
    And, Tom, I was born in May 1966 and probably had the same carriage too. My mom was only 20 when she had me and photos show her to be quite stylish back then. 

  • AMAZING analysis. Thank you!

  • Bozhi

    I remember now how the bright “neon” colors came into fashion.  The teenagers and college students would hold parties, and there would always be a “blacklight.”  The blacklight made the neon colors fun, especially when you moved and danced.  This was a time when the teenagers/college students (baby boomers) dictated what was fashion. 

    • Glammie

      Yeah, I think black lights come in around 68-69.  A friend of mine’s teen brother had one and we’d sneak into his room and turn it on and watch the posters *glow.*

      I wonder if Jane Bryant’s going to spend a moment with the paper dress craze.  I had one for a short moment.  I think it matched my mother’s.

      • Judy_J

        Paper dresses! I’d forgotten all about those.

  • I live for this kind of in-depth analysis of art direction, costume design, and the ways fashion and society intersect.  This is delicious, delicious brain candy and I so appreciate your updates.

    Also, I know how I’m doing my eye makeup for my next big night out!

  • KittenKisses

    Currently lusting over Joanie’s coffee table. WANT SO BAD!

  • formerlyAnon

    Not really apropos of the clothing – but as swanky as it is, nothing in that apartment telegraphs “money” like that terrace does.

  • fnarf

    The best, the best. Every note of your review is perfect. I love how you describe the 70s coming into the picture, subtly at first with barely discernable plaids. My dad, who was between Don and Pete in age, wasn’t wearing those plaids yet in ’66, but he wasn’t in high-echelon New York. But within a few years, oh my lord — by 1973, when the doubleknit slacks are in full swing, and everything is garish burnt orange plaids with lapels out to here — it is to guffaw. 

    I am lucky enough to have scored a bound set of every GQ from 1967-68, so I have a pretty good idea what’s coming for Harry there. I recommend dark sunglasses; he’s going to break the glass of your TV screen. And take some heat for it from Don & Co.

    •  He’s going to be the first man with hair over his ears.

      • formerlyAnon

        Until you posted that, I had honestly forgotten what a BIG deal hair just over a man’s ears was, especially in a business setting.  As I recall, there were some industries/offices where it never was really approved, even when 50-yr-olds were trying out hair styles that were over the collar (gasp!) if they had the hair for it.

  • Glammie

    Oh, just hit me–Megan’s really channeling Anouk Aimee in A Man and a Woman–1966.  Darker hair, but the whole general aura and hairstyle. (Sorry if somebody already said that.)

    Oh, damn, that theme song will now be stuck in my head the rest of the day.  My father *loved* that movie

  • PeaceBang

    I don’t watch the show but I LOVE your posts about it. Thank you. I was born in 1966 and grew up in CT. My dad commuted into NYC every day to work in an ad agency. I have the feeling I am heading into serious nostalgic territory in the near future. These guys ARE MY DAD. 

    • Glammie

      As someone a bit  older than you with an ad agency upbringing–I’ll say it’s weird to have the show move into memory territory.  Megan’s black dress makes me want my mommy.  Meanwhile, the chubbier version of Harry looks a lot like my dad.  Wonder if Harry will grow a moustache like my father did in the 70s?  Oh, geez . . . I don’t think I want to see the whole long-hair/facial hair thing start happening.  

      Or Pete swinging in a leisure suit . . . 

      •  Don’t look for Harry with facial hair- Rich Sommer just can’t do it. 

        • Glammie

          Can’t or shouldn’t?  They do have fake stuff for the non-hirsuite, though Weiner so picky that he’d probably insist on the real thing.

          ohmygod–sideburns . . .which poor actor is going to get punished with those?  Remember William Macy in Boogie Nights?

    • formerlyAnon

      Yeah. My family had the brand new latest suburban architecture house in the CT suburbs for about a year and a half or so in 1964 (?) – 1966, till my dad’s corporate ladder climbing sent us south.  It is *very* odd when your father and his business colleagues and your mother’s “function for the managers & their wives” clothes start to turn up on t.v.

    • why don’t you watch it??

  • Lilak

    You mean we middle-class suburban Philadelphia public school girls were accidentally wearing, um, Manhattan Cutting Edge clothing in 1966?!?  Whuut? 
    All of a sudden I feel a little less backwater about my teenage years … Thanks TLo!  

  • This bitter kitten is rolling in catnip. Lord, I missed these.

  • sleah_in_norcal

    is anyone else highly annoyed by that guy flashing his nerdy hairless chest in the ad on the left?  i can’t stand it a moment longer!!!
    okay, i’m alright, i’ll read the post now.

    • boweryboy

      Hells yeah!

    • Jodie_S

      You can get Ad-blocking plug-ins for your browser — I don’t see any of that stuff.

    • juliamargaret

      Yes… I am happy that TLo are sponsored by the big guns at American Apparel, but I HATE that ad.

  • I couldn’t wait for this post all week!  and you all did not disappoint!  Thank you!

  • I wanted Go-Go boots for my tenth Christmas in 1969.  And got them.  White vinyl, mmm.

  • And it is getting damned hard to find nightgowns, too.  I’m having to resort to the Vermont Country Store.

    Anyway, I was about Sally’s age at the time, and I had baby-dolls, pajamas, mid-calf nightgowns, and (my absolute favorite) harem pajamas, in pink gauze over purple gauze.    Their only flaw was that you had to pull the whole thing down from your shoulders to pee — the eternal jumpsuit problem.

    • My replies are not nesting.  Woes…. ::kicks Disqus with her gypsy sandals::

  • sleah_in_norcal

    your comment on the miniskirt as a european import caused me to remember an incident from 1969.  i was senior at UCBerkeley, majoring in art and trying desperately to pretend i was an “art school” student, when someone said to me:  “did you hear about the new sculpture professor (a metal welding artist visiting from london)?  he brought his mistress!  she’s a foot taller than him and has black hair down to her waist and cat eyes!!  and she showed up with him at the reception wearing a miniskirt!!!”  this was BERKELEY CALIFORNIA.  IN 1969.  i can only imagine what the rest of america was like then.

    eta:  ok, i committed a typo and put weldong instead of welding, and i almost editted it to read well-donged.  if you know what i mean. 

    • formerlyAnon

      Oh, you made me laugh with that eta comment.  I need to get out more.

  • Sisyphus .

    I keep thinking Megan’s hair is somehow more 70s than 60s, but that could be because dark brown hair was so fashionable for much of the 70s era fashion.

    That eye makeup reminds me of a toned-down version of the Cleopatra movie makeup Liz Taylor wore … which would make Don a Richard Burton figure?? the “you don’t get to touch me, you just get to watch” scene would certainly fit right in with various Taylor/Burton love scenes.  And the emphasis on her makeup contrasts nicely with the other wives who we see (keyed in to this sense of disappointment on the part of husbands who want them to remain just as thin and youthful and glamorous) wearing no eye makeup and showing signs of a puffy-eyed lack of sleep.

    I love these costume/film style/society posts!

    • Sweetbetty

       I had been thinking the same thing about Megan’s look; more 70s than 60s.  The 60s do’s were more about rounded flips but the smooth turned-under do Megan is wearing cries 70s to me.  And I thought the same thing about the Cleopatra eyes, too.

      • I wore my hair in a bob (called a pageboy back then) with bangs in 1966. Straight, turned under, but with a little volume at the crown, parted a little off center. I was an early adherent of straight hair, mostly because I couldn’t get mine to hold a curl, but by ’66 other girls in my school were wearing their hair similarly. Flips and pageboys were about equally popular.

    • Glammie

      Look at Anouk Aimee’s hair in A Man and a Woman.  I’m positive that’s the style reference–goes with Megan being Quebecois and the film came out in 1966 and was a major art-house hit.  Take a look:

  • You guys are the absolute bomb. I loooove your MM fashion posts! 

    As a high school student in ’66, I had a dress that short, an olive green ‘poor boy’ knit with an orange paisley print hip belt. I remember it really well, as I was sent home from school because they said my dress was indecently short (I returned in a floor length prom gown and heels, which completely discombobulated them). Styles were changing incredibly fast at that time, with British-Mary Quant-gogo styles becoming the thing almost overnight in my Florida backwater. My high school didn’t adapt well, and insisted on sticking to their 50s-era dress code, which dictated that a girl’s skirt must touch the floor when she kneeled. But you literally couldn’t BUY a dress or skirt that long as the stores were stocking all the hot new mod stuff, a situation which produced a lot of richly deserved headaches for the administration. 

    And oh, I still adore that makeup style. It’s so artificial and glam. The line in the crease of the lid is uttlerly late 60s, as is *always* wearing eyeliner, often with false eyelashes, and never wearing lipstick. 

    • Sweetbetty

       As a teen in the 60s I caught the eyeliner bug and it’s stayed with me to this day.  I don’t fuss much with hair and make-up anymore but I refuse to leave the house without at least eyeliner; preferably with eye shadow too but that depends on how rushed I am.

  • Wow. Thanks so much for the wonderful recap. You know we all salivate over these.
    I was a kid in the 60’s, so missed out on wearing all the hip fashions, but remember it all well. This show is really bringing it all back. 

    We had a little stand alone bar in the ‘den’ with a kind of geometric diamond pattern on the front, and really spindly-legged bar stools. And two sofas like Don’s, only naugahyde, and with NO ARMS (but they were at ‘the cabin’, so less formal).

    How I lusted after a pair of go-go boots!

    I do remember a lot of sleeveless tops and capri pants like what Megan is wearing at breakfast. And the florals and big earrings and eye makeup (on the cooler younger women, anyway).

    I wish they’d do a Christmas episode with a white flocked tree with a motorized rotating color-wheel illuminating the ‘all one color’ balls, like my piano teacher had!

    • cmb92191

      My one  grandmother had a silver metal Christmas tree with the the illuminating color balls.  My other grandmother had a massive tinseled out affair but with the same color wheel.

      • Sweetbetty

         You weren’t supposed to put lights on those silver aluminum Christmas trees of the 60s because of danger of electrical shock so they came up with the rotating lighted color wheel to make up for that.  I suppose some people liked the effect and adopted it even for non-aluminum trees.

        • Judy_J

          We had an aluminum Christmas tree. My dad insisted in putting regular strings of lights on it. The neighbors called the fire department and that was t he end of our aluminum tree. I wish I still had it.

        • formerlyAnon

          Yup. We always had a ‘real’ tree but it was covered in so much tinsel (Icicles, i guess is the correct term but we called it tinsel) that on a sunny morning if there was snow outside to reflect the light into the living room window, you could go blind.

          And we had & used the color wheel thing until it no longer functioned. Well in to the 70s.

  • Lauren Bradshaw

    I am going to start wearing that eye makeup right now.  I am going to my makeup drawer as we speak.

  • Jolene Barnett

    The cut crease eye makeup look is alive and well in the makeup community, just check youtube. It’s just very much regarded as being very dramatic, and not a lot of people are willing to rock it outside of a costume or club setting. In fact was it last spring/summer that Channel did a version in red? Ugh, I have to find it now. Vintageortacky did a tutorial of it on Youtube.

    Here we go:
    That version is super bold and not exactly the same thing, but then the point would be to update it, right?

  • You men are wonderful – thank you! What a great post. that Janie is just so ON it! I’ve read through the comments and there is so much to talk about but I’ll just chime in that as a fellow late-60’s-born gal, I recognize the baby carriage too – the exact model. My mother used it for all four of us (66′ through 72′) until it became a toy for my sisters and me and we destroyed it by leaving it out in the rain and running it down a hill…with my brother in it. And the electric skillet, spice rack, flowered sheets, pj’s, one of the lamp’s in Don’s appartment and Pete’s train might be run down but by ’75, as far back as I can remember, the seats on Metro North were NOT cushioned.  At last not like that. They probably had to replace them because of the smoke. Oh and Ken’s wife has my mother’s old hair cut and I’ll shut up now. 

    • margaret meyers

      Did you notice that Trudy has that stove with the eye-level ovens and the pull-out burners?  That handle wth the dish towel hanging on it?  You pulled that out like a drawer and there were the burners.  Samantha Stevens had one, too.

    • VanessaDK

      Yes, I remember the Penn Central trains being much worse than Pete’s ride, at least in the 70s. Did not become Metro North till later.

  • AWStevens

     TLo THANK YOU!  I absolutely adored this review.  Goddess bless and take care!

  • annieanne

    She’s wearing slacks because she’s helping her daughter with her newborn. 

    I found that a bit jarring. Respectable middle aged ladies in 1966 didn’t wear slacks at home. “Dressing down” would’ve meant a housedress. Slacks were something factory girls wore.

    One other differentiation between the younger and older women — maybe to be discussed in Part II — was the makeup. Trudy is still sporting a very bright red 1950s lip colour, while Ken’s wife and I think even Lane’s are wearing a slightly softer rose shade. The younger women are all sporting the light pink lip of the era. 

    • formerlyAnon

      “Respectable middle aged ladies in 1966 didn’t wear slacks at home.”

      I think it depended on who & where you were.

      My mom, who was fashion conscious, tiny, and quite the clothes horse during her working girl days, wore slacks at home most of the time – from the start of her marriage in 1957 onwards. Perhaps because she NEVER wore a housedress. She thought they were sloppy, and given her background they probably carried a taint of poor immigrant women – peasants.  But she never wore loose or elastic-waisted trousers until her 60s. (And NEVER ever wore a pair of jeans except in a photo I have from a trip to a dude ranch she and some of her other “career gal” friends took – she was well over 30 when she married & worked into her mid-30s. She barely learned to call them jeans rather than “dungarees.”)

      Hers were tailored with a waistband, unless they were the ones fitted to the body with darts that had a zipper but no waist band.  When she still in her 30s, sometimes capris. 

      I do know that when we moved from the  Northeast to the South (1966) and a neighbor invited her over for “coffee,” she was expecting a casual get-to-know-you cup, probably in the kitchen & was MORTIFIED when she got there and there were several women there, all in dresses and *heels.*  She was wearing tailored slacks and had changed into a crisp, white, sleeveless blouse & as she said “thank god I put on some lipstick.”

      • marywv

         Yes – women in the south certainly didn’t sport pants anywhere in the 60’s. Hell, even today no one wears them to church, parties, or anywhere that’s not super casual.

    • Glammie

      Ummm, yes they did.  My mom, like formerlyAnon’s never wore a housedress–she considered them slovenly and outmoded.  My grandmother, who wore skirts and occasionally slacks, had two housedresses, but seldom wore them.  

      Joan’s mother clearly was a divorcee, so I think she was a bit willing to be more on the edge than,say, a matron in the Bible Belt.

    • Sweetbetty

       Gotta disagree on the slacks thing.  I remember a lot of women wearing slacks, capri pants, and even shorts when I was a kid in the late 50s-early 60s.  They wouldn’t go shopping or out to eat or do formal visiting like that, but around the house in the neighborhood I lived in it was just fine.

      • cmb92191

        I really think it is a regional thing.  I saw some pictures from the mid to late 60’s and my one grandmother was in housecoats and pants outfits if she was somewhere outside of her house.  My fathers mother had housecoats but didn’t wear them.   Funny thing, they lived in the same town.  They were both immigrants ( Hungary and  Germany).  They were both factory workers.  I think my one grandmother owned one pair of short or capris she called clamdiggers.

      • I would have to go back and check but I vaguely remember seeing photos of my grandma wearing slacks in the 1970s going to like work related field trips. This was in Europe,  and she was a factory worker so perhaps a bit of “style” went out the window for practicality sake.

    • cmb92191

      I remember my grandmothers both wearing housecoats in the early 70’s.  Pictures from the 60’s show housecoats. The housecoats were only at home and favored more by my mothers mom, but my other grandmother would wear them occasionally.  However both my grandmothers were  former factory ladies(-suitcases and toilets) would wear a very similar outfit from Joan’s mom if they went to the laudromat or the grocery store.   Joan’s mom outfits reminded me so much of my one grandmom.  She wore those same pants and a coordinating print top all the time!  She would also wear black or brown Hush Puppies.

      • Sweetbetty

         I think there is some confusion between housecoats and house dresses here.  My own mom never wore slacks when I was young because she was quite overweight and probably couldn’t find them in her size and also didn’t think she’d look good in them.  She wore cotton house dresses around the house and to her job in a factory and she might also have worn one to the grocery store but never when we went downtown to do Saturday shopping.  These were shirtwaist dresses with full skirts though slimmer women might wear a slim-skirted housedress.  Think Ethel Mertz or June Cleaver minus the crinolines, pearls, and high-heels.  Housecoats, otoh, were one step up from a bathrobe.  They weren’t fitted and while you might have gone out on your front porch or patio in one you’d never leave the house in one.  The practice I remember was to put a housecoat on over your slip once you were all ready to go somewhere but had a few things to do yet and didn’t want to chance getting your nice dress sweaty or dirty.

        • cmb92191

          Perhaps I was confused.  My one grandmother definetely did  housecoats -with the snaps!  She would hand out laundry with it one, but she certainly didn’t go anywhere with it one.

            I don’t know what my MIL wore, I only knew her from the 1990’s on.  Neither one of my grandmothers would wear dresses in daily wear.  I only have one picture of my grandmother in a dress- on my wedding day- in a Trudy’esque pink floral dress minus the long sleeves (in 1991!) Sure it was outdated at the time, but it  was probably the only dress she had.

    • funkycamper

      My mom would have been 43 in ’66 and I never saw her in a dress around the house.  Ever.  And I was born in 1957 and clearly remember her wearing slacks all the time as did all the other moms in our neighborhood.  They even went grocery shopping and such in slacks.   But, if going clothes shopping, to lunch, etc., then they changed into dresses.  The only ones I ever saw in house-dresses, this includes housecoats or dresses worn just at home, were the ones that were already more grandma ages in the 60’s.

    • I’m not so sure Joan’s mother was “respectable.” If I missed the line that proves her mother was married at some point, then there’s that, but I was assuming she was a single (unwed) mother from the get-go. She might have been a factory girl in her time. This assumption of mine certainly filled in a lot of rich detail for me about Joan’s beginnings and her ambitions, like why Joan had Marry Doctor and Stop Working as a goal for so long. She was not going to be like her mother. Her mother who pulled cash out of her bra instead of a handbag. (Right?)

      • Fionnuala Barrett

        She pulled it out of Joan’s purse, no?

    • Logo Girl

      Wasn’t there some conversation about how Joan’s mother had to work when her marriage failed? I don’t know – my grandmother was East-coast-college-educated-upper-middle-class-turned-working-woman-because-she-got-divorced-kinda-protocol-bound-but-down-to-earth-as-well-and-liked-her-cigarettes-and-alcohol, and she dressed like Joan’s mom, at least in the later 60s and early 70s. She actually really reminds me of my grandmother, the more I think about it. 

  • margaret meyers

    My favorite moment in the show was the visual joke that contrasted Don’s modern apartment with the HHRichardson-style mausoleum Henry and Betty Francis live in.  “Say hello to Morticia and Lurch” indeed! 

  • Raquel Henriques

    This has nothing to do with anything, but Karen Gillan(from doctor who) has the exact same dress as Megan in that bisou scene. I would feel fucking fabulous if I was her.

  • luciaphile

    Guys. I have missed this. Luv me some Mad Style!

  • Susan Walker

    One nit-pick – Trudy’s dress is no longer than the red haired woman’s dress and there was a background woman with a skirt as short as Megan’s. 
     I was in 7th grade in the year pictured here, my room was decorated in orange and yellow but no butterfly sheets.  My birthday outfit was pure “Carnaby Street” with patterned tights, short plaid skirt and ribbed knit tee shirt we called poor boys for a reason I can’t remember.

    • Glammie

      Poor boys were sweaters that were tight–particularly under the arms–idea is poor boys wore sweaters they’d outgrown and were too tight for them.

      My Barbie doll house–or rather “pad”–had a “Carnaby Street” sign on it.  Yep, Barbie had a thing for Swingin’ London at the time.

      • formerlyAnon

        I remember playing with that doll house!

        • Glammie

          Really? That’s so funny.  My sister and I wore it out, but I wish it were it around–it was such a moment in time.  I also had a Talking Stacy–she was Barbie’s friend from London and spoke with a British accent.  Long white hair in a side ponytail.  

          So does Lane have a gay brother in London–sort of sounded like he might.  That could be interesting.

          Wish Sal would come back.  When was Stonewall?

  • VanessaDK

    The yellow flowers on Sallys bed, megan’s yellow top, and Peggys yellow flowered sundress all connect them. Don’s women?

  • Martha Anderson

    I hopeyou are saving all of these blog entries so you can publish a book on how set and costume make the plot and characters whole.  NOt just this show, any show.  Most people do not notice, but if it was lacking, this show would not feel “true”

  • MegTheo

     I wonder if Don and Megan honeymooned in Paris and she found the fabulous minidress there. It looks like Jane Sterling and Mrs. Ken Cosgrove shopped in Manhattan, Trudy shopped in Connecticut, and Peggy shopped quickly while thinking about work.

  • Tom Shea

    Not really a style comment, but I like the subtle shout-out in the use of a 4-piece drum kit; since that’s what Ringo played, EVERY drummer starting out had to play the same thing. (I can’t tell if it’s a Ludwig or not, though, and it’s obviously not Marine Pearl either.)

  • ‘Becca’lise Deveaux

    Trudy’s housecoat looks like what RuPaul wore at last episode’s judging panel!

  • ryaddictive

    no dust ruffles in the ’60s.  

  • ryaddictive

    “The mini-skirt was still being written about in Life magazine as some continental oddity in 1966.”  that may be true, but we (“we” being young people — teens, anyway) were wearing them.  remember that publications like “life” and “time” were written by the older generation — the people this sort of stuff was shocking to — but the younger people laughed at that, like you do at your parents when they tried to use slang.  we’d been wearing minis since ’64.  in ’66, we started wearing MAXI skirts, granny dresses, and midis, to push the envelope.  megan’s dress wasn’t really all that cutting edge for a party in ’66.

    • funkycamper

      My sister graduated from high school in ’67 so I asked her about the clothes and she never saw anybody wear real mini-skirts until she went away to university, after graduating from junior college in ’69.  Shorter skirts at college but not real short mini-skirts.  No short skirts at high school at all but they also had the rule where if you got on the floor on your knees, your hem had to touch the floor.  But, then again, we lived in a very small town that didn’t even allow girls to wear pants to school until 1973.  No jeans until 1975.  So a lot of the 60’s passed the town by, I think.

    • judybrowni

      No mini-skirts in my high school either. Knee length, only.

      But mod fashion wasn’t even that fashionable there. We were “college prep” dressers (which would later be termed “preppy.”)

      Although it was a public high school in a lower-middle class community (go figure). No slacks on girls, no jeans for boys.

      My freshman year in college jeans were also verboten for class (1968-1969) at a public college!

      All of that changed as the 70s approached.

      • ryaddictive

         i was telling my kids about not being allowed to wear jeans/slacks/pants to school.  i remember waiting for a bus in a skirt and coat in the snow, in st. louis (where i went to jr. high), and the wind chill factor was so low that the wind felt like a razor.  my brother stood there, all warm in two pairs of jeans and sweatshirts and a coat while i FROZE.  ugh.

        • formerlyAnon

          In the year we lived in Minnesota (yeah, we moved a lot), coincidentally the first year I begged for a skirt shorter than my dad could tolerate seeing on his daughter (jeez, Dad, I was SEVEN), I remember waiting for the bus wearing tights AND pants on underneath my dress, coat, etc. We had to remove the pants when we got to school.

          Of course, that’s the year I remember I had to use my (6′ 4″ tall) dad’s old rain coat as my halloween costume (witch) because my winter coat had fit under the costume.

    • ryaddictive

       i was in southern california — maybe that’s why we were a little ahead of the curve.  still, i think new york would have gotten there first.

  • Suzerstl

    I’m also hoping for an underwear discussion – was the black lace set Megan wore really accurate?  I had something similar from Victoria’s Secret in the mid 90’s.

  • jeeplibby02

    Isn’t Joan’s apartment the same set that was used for Sal and Kitty’s apartment, right down to the paint on the walls?  I remember when Ken had dinner at their place, and both Kitty and Sal were dressed to match each other, and the the decor.

  • jeeplibby02

    Watching Trudy’s transformation helps me understand why women (especially housewives) who were in their mid-30s back then always looked 12-15 years older. She isn’t out of her twenties, and already looks halfway to middle age.

  • jsnyder1

    Question: Is Joan wearing her absentee husband’s pajamas under her robe? (I know nothing about what women wore around the house in that era!) Although, they do look like they fit her and could be hers. Just thought that if they were her husband’s, it would be an interesting nonverbal statement about her character. If not, there goes that theory! 

    • judybrowni

      Joanie has worn those pjs before, adorable with her glasses.

      • jsnyder1

        Ah, good to know. Thanks!

        • judybrowni

          Although I don’t remember if it was before or after hubby’s deployment.

  • funkycamper

    Can I just say that Megan’s shoes with the amazing black dress would be considered so matronly today.  And they are so much more comfortable than the teensy stilts of today.  Wish they were considered fashionable now.

    • mixedupfiles

       I went on a Mary Tyler Moore bender a few months ago, and was shocked at the heel heights. Basically nothing over two inches, possibly 2 1/2. Things are really pretty out of control, right now. I expect look-backs to this era will have a lot to say about the heels.

  • rketeckt

    Fashion many thanks.  I love hearing your analysis and commentary…

  • MN Bajric

    Oh. My. God. What a great scroll-down and read. Thank you!

  • thank you

  • mixedupfiles

    I notice in the screen caps – though I didn’t while watching the episode – the navy guy in his uniform. ’66 – the war was escalating, but people wouldn’t generally have been paying a lot of attention yet.  Just a little hint about what’s coming.

  • Alexandra

    Fabulous write-up, how I’ve missed these!

    Am I the only one who thinks Peggy and Abe look like they could be brother and sister? Very similar facial features

  • Alexandra

    Fabulous write-up, how I’ve missed these!

    Am I the only one who thinks Peggy and Abe look like they could be brother and sister? Very similar facial features

  • Lorie Fleming

    Great analysis, love your blog! Thanks for sharing your insights on Mad style. My fave dresses were Megan’s black Zou Bisou dress and Joan’s hot mama back at the office look. 😉 oh, and Megan’s Jackie/ Marilyn in one black lace undies!

  • This is the first season of “Mad Men” I’m watching when it’s on TV (I watched the first 4 seasons on Netflix over the last 6 months), so I didn’t realize that there would be so much GREAT commentary on this blog! LOVE IT! I’m definitely glad I’m watching “Mad Men” with the rest of the world, if just for the T Lo commentary!!! Such an insightful post.

  • Emmyllou

    My only complaint is holding Katy Perry up as a paragon of high style. Otherwise, this is a truly marvelous article, and so much broader than fashion critique, it’s a cultural assessment. Bravo

    • Katy P. is not a paragon of high style any more than the Mad Men party girl compared to her. They are both just what the youth of the day considers modern, cool and hip. That boa and mini are cute on a 20something but hardly qualify as high style

  •  Yep – I just did a little googling and found this in a 1966 timeline: “June 29, 1966

    United States warplanes begin their bombing raids of Hanoi and
    Haiphong, North Vietnam.  By December of this year, the United
    States had 385,300 troops stationed in South Vietnam with sixty
    thousand additional troops offshore and thirty-three thousand in

  • Lattis

    To her young friends, she’s fabulous and fun. To the SCDP crowd she was either inappropriate or begging for sex. They couldn’t – none of them – see it as just fun and playful.

    Great observation.

    Megan’s moment was kind of reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe’s singing for President Kennedy, “Happy birthday, Mr. President.” And I’ve been thinking about the similarity and differences between the Marilyn Monroe model of sexiness and Megan’s version. 

    Also, I get a bit of a dog-collar vibe from the sequin trim around the neck of Megan’s dress. Like a little foreshadowing of the domination/submission sex roles that Megan and Don enact later in the ep. 

    And I have to add this: Megan cleaning the carpet on her knees with her very nice butt displayed for Don’s gaze is as close to “presenting” (like a chimp) as a girl can get. Amazingly, (after millennia) I guess it still works. 

    • holdmewhileimnaked

      pretty much every time.

      great observations beyond that, btw.

    • Carrie Bradshaw

      You can’t argue with lordosis.

  • Wow. I really should see Mad Men.

  • holdmewhileimnaked

    you write so impeccably well & yr analysis is so spot on i dont wanna say anything that might sound like a criticism.
    it’s got nothing to do w/ yr writing or analysis, then, believe me, when i say: oy vey, if that is the hipper than thou crowd of new york 1966 i can only imagine my very own parents mustve been in the stratosphere of the LA hipoisie. they werent, though. close, i guess. but not that close. [i know someone whose father was on the cover of sgt pepper, for example, while my father only knew people who were on it.] out of my family it took me to actually penetrate the hip-o-sphere–me, the one person in my family always dressed like a combo of yr two best dressed in the room–the two you have, quite righteously, chosen–& being yelled at almost continuously by my leftist mother for it. bad values, i guess. it also, as you point out, tends to aggravate the other people in the room.

    cos of that & some similar there are many days i would rather have lived on the african veldt & instead penetrated the hipposhpere, but i digress & not all that well.

    my only other confusion here is about the middle aged woman wearing pants. did women really do that in 1966? didnt it take a couple more years? then again, i can remember 1966 only the smallest smidgen of more slightly better than can tom, for an almost identical reason. the earliest memories i have of my mother would be from a few years later. she wore pants forever & ever once they were allowed, still hadnt worn any. nor, i dont think, had most of the people we knew–which ranged from architects, psychologists, movie & music industry people to my best friend’s father [who was a drug dealer about to go down for the third time]. i can only remember one woman among them all wearing trousers. & the earliest i can remember is several years later than ’66. so i dunno.

    edited for grammar & also to add:
    the one thing that confused me about what i saw & know of this episode is that the person who is supposed to be the trendiest sings a song that is several years old & terribly out of style at the time she sings it. that i dont get at all.


  • Something has been bugging me since seeing Megan’s dress at the surprise party.  (And I re-watched the first hour last night because I loved it so much) – I feel like there was a movie made in the 60’s or 70’s where someone like Jane Fonda wore a dress nearly identical to that. Does anyone else get that vibe?  It’s like I can see it on a body but can’t recall whose face wore it.  Maybe it was worn on an awards show – like the Oscar telecast? If anyone can help me solve this mystery I’ll be extremely grateful.

  • margaret meyers

    You only did messy work in dungarees. 

  • Great post as usual. I felt so bad for Trudy, I want them so badly to be the cool hip couple they use to be. Everything about her look just read matron, from the up do to the high collar and frill. Her outfit was the biggest shock of all. 

    Abe and Peggy fit so well, they dressed up for the party (what they consider as dressing up nice) but I think they just don’t care for the youth movement and what’s hip- he has his politics and she has her work and that is it. they will show up, and play nice for most part, but they will always go back to their respective work instead of sitting around getting high and drunk just because they can.

  • miagain

    “that evidence of a society crumbling.”
    I noticed the trash strewn street scene… exactly as it was.   This was before the huge push to stop littering… and trash was indeed everywhere!
    I am 57, so this is my era…. I remember so well my parent’s parties, and my amazement, when one time (probably 1966 or ’67) I discovered half the group was sitting on the floor in my parent’s well appointed living room.  I was thunderstruck… never seen anything like it!
    The thing I remember about the mini skirts of that era, was the difference between a “store bought” mini, and merely a skirt that had been shortened.  Believe you me… we 6th graders knew the difference!!
    My husband is from Fairfield County, CT… so believe me, all those commuters are his tribe… he chuckled at the kitchen and the suit that Pete wore… right from his Dad’s closet.
    Home again, home again!!

    • EEKstl

      I felt exactly the same way!  I was born in late 1961, grew up in NYC and as I said to my husband on Sunday: I REMEMBER this!  This is the first time in all five seasons that I can actually start relating to a period personally because I was conscious during it.  Granted, I was young but this IS the way it was, we even had a step-down living room too! I’m waiting for those French striped sailor tops paired with white jeans and thick-rimmed sunglasses.  Then it’ll be real deja vu all over again.

  • Kayceed

    I’m late to the party, but wanted to make one comment that I don’t believe has been voiced – check out Peggy’s parure! She is the only one at the party sporting one, which looks a bit provincial compared to the other ladies.

  • bluefish

    What a great, great post.  Thank you both so much!  Just loved it.

  • Dagney

    Actually, that eyeliner is all over the place in San Diego.

  • nancylee61

    I have to say, I was born in 1961 and I remember being at the doctor’s office on Staten Island, NY, when I was about 5 or 6, and every young girl in the office had on a skirt that short. I remember because I could see their girdles when they sat, and I asked my mother about it, who told me they were wearing girdles. I think more women wore skirts this short in 1966 than you guys think. 🙂 At least in NY.

  • whatladder

    Megan’s black dress totally reminded me of things Agent 99 wore in Get Smart. Megan has a pretty strong 99 vibe.

  • GrFace

    Regarding the look and feel of Pete’s new kitchen as a symptom of decline.  Come ON!   Let’s not be too hard on the “declining style here.”  It’s a kitchen.  In a house.  In the 60s.  No open floor plans (at least those that integrated the kitchen.)   It was not a place to show off the marble or butcher block counter.   We should put down our copies of Dwell (or stop looking at and coveting like I do) and recognize that kitchens back then were not imaginative nor were they expected to be.  Money was dropped in other rooms, not the kitchen.  Even the Beverley Hillbillies’ kitchen sucked compared to what we expect today in the modern home.

  • michael johnson

    Megan was more embarrassing than Lucie at her most embarrassing.

  • Candigirl1968

    This was the happiest part of my day.  Awesome.   

  • Megan Patterson

    I never noticed that Joan’s still in her old apartment, like her PREMARRIAGE apartment! Holy crap! That is kind of grim. But I did notice how much the Campbell’s new kitchen looked like the Draper’s, except like, a quarter of the size. That thing is TEENY. And Pete doesn’t look as good when he doesn’t wear his signature blue suit. And I can’t believe he is like, THAT guy on the train. It’s so weird! Poor Pete, the country is not agreeing with him.
    Also I just rewatched and was like DANG Megan’s eye makeup looks fabulous, so maybe it will spark a trend. Her party dress is to die though. THOSE SLEEVES. 

  • Tom as the illegitimate child of Roger and Joan? One can only dream.

  • Fionnuala Barrett

    VERY similar!

  • Juliana616

    To die for is right!  And kids were hardly ever strapped in chairs, cars or anything.  We managed to survive however.

  • salymander

    According to Reddit’s make up subs, that eye make-up is coming back.

  • ChemicalRefugee

    —– quote —–
    From “A lady never leaves the house without her gloves” to bra-burning in ten years)
    —– end quote —–
    There was no bra burning in the 1960’s or 1970’s. The whole idea is a myth that was etched into people’s minds by sheer repetition (mostly on TV shows that were referencing the women’s rights movement in a disparaging manner).

    Burning a bra would have made no sense as a symbol of freeing ones
    self from male oppression, because the bra was invented by a WOMAN to
    free women from the versions of the corset that were in use at the time
    (which were far too restrictive to any woman’s ability to move freely).

    Draft cards were burned
    bras were not burned.
    They were also a female invention (not a male one)

    If the bra was any kind of symbol at all – it was a symbol of females taking control by themselves, and freeing themselves from restrictions that were not sensible; a symbol of women taking control of their own lives and were also an invention that made their lives physically far easier because you can MOVE in them (the corset style they replaced was restrictive…unlike the “jumps” that were common earlier in the 1800s).

    Also, given that most bras wer made of synthetics (early nylon and polyester), they would have been very dangerous to burn (meltling plastic and toxic fumes).

    The modern bra (unlike the few first very flimsy earlier versions of similar garment types) was not so flimsy that they gave no actual support (the earlier similar garments were useless for support). However in the 1950s the designs fell totally into male hands, and the result was the creation of very uncomfortable and impracticable POINTY bras that had an unflattering and completely unnatural shape (the bullet bra – everything had to look like a missile, a bullet or a rocket…even the cars had “fins” on them).

    The dislike among women for this unflattering lingerie style was so strong, that anyone who could, just saved up their cash and bought their lingerie from Europe if they had a way to do so (especially from France where the bras had a nice rounded feminine and more natural shape).

    This became such a common element of silent rebellion of young women against their society, that it became very common in the 1950s for American women who were going to school in Europe (often in France), to go out and buy new underwear almost IMMEDIATELY after landing. The American female students in French university programs, would go shopping and buy all new underwear the same day they got to the country (and then throw away the old terrible designs). The natural curved look of the French lingerie was eventually adopted by US companies (at least in part)., so that they no longer had breasts that looked like two artillery shells..

    *** ThE 60s Rebellion

    But, by the time that the 60s social rebellion was under way, American bra designs (all of the women’s lingerie styles) had long since changed to mimic the natural shapes of their European counterparts…so that female breasts on those lucky enough to go to Europe for a year or two…had a bust shape that was soft and curvy, instead of hard and pointy like bullets.

    When the 60s social rebellion did take place, there was a bust related clothing rebellion element, but it was not the burning of bras. It was a rebellion against the fact that women were mistreated if they went out without a bra on. They were treated like hypersexual prostitutes if they went out without a bra on. That was just wrong. The younger generation (and the rebels in the older generations) knew perfectly well that there was nothing wrong with being a bit bouncy, because breasts were normal & that there were even times when going without a bra made an outfit look better (and it also meant having the ability to wear backless clothing & low plunge blouses and dresses).

    After the braless rebellion came and went and it was acceptable to not wear a bra…we got to the new rebellion. The one about true equality and the right to be left alone no matter HOW you are dresses (or IF you are dressed). This is the right to not wear a top at all. Men can, women COULD fcor most of time and in most cultures…just not right now, and it makes no sense at all.