Mad Style: Signal 30

Posted on April 18, 2012

Because this episode was dominated by men in suits, it’s a little tougher to pull out any sort of inferences or meaning from the costumes. To our amusement, we found ourselves desperately scanning all the ties, looking for something to present itself. To our surprise, something did.

This episode revealed that Ken and Peggy have the office version of a suicide pact: if one of them goes, he’s taking the other with him. This brings to the forefront something that was only hinted at in previous seasons; that they have a bond and a friendship. Ken was one of the first men (besides Don and Freddie Rumsen) to see that she really did have what it takes to do a “man’s job.”

Peggy’s “power color” has always been a golden (or mustard, if you’re being less poetic about it) yellow. Not only does that yellow in her dress call back to the same shade in his tie, but if you look at the back of her chair, her coat matches his suit.

It’s interesting that Ken still wears a hat. Young men of the time had abandoned them in droves in the wake of JFK’s hatlessness. He’s young, but he’s still a somewhat conservative country boy at heart.

There’s little to be analyzed in this scene, but it provides a nice snapshot of the different styles the SCDP men trade in. Don’s suits, like Pete’s, are almost always a solid color and both men tend toward solid-colored ties. Bert’s suits are big and loose, in the manner of old men, and he never wears a neck tie; always a bow tie. Lane sports waistcoats, plaids and tweeds. Roger is always in pinstripes or grey suits and he also favors vests, which were not considered particularly stylish at the time. In Lane’s case his vest indicates his foreign-ness and in Roger’s it indicates his early middle age. We’ve said it before: Roger has probably been going to the exact same tailor to get his suits made since he was a little boy and it’s probably where his father’s suits were made as well.

Joan, of course, stands out as she always does against a backdrop of men. Here she’s in a brilliant lipstick-pink (which not only matches her lips, but her nails as well), which calls to mind the vivid pink cocktail dress she wore to visit the office a few weeks ago.

There was some subtle signaling going on regarding roles in the office this episode. Peggy’s a female copywriter wearing a yellow, grey and white dress and here’s Megan, the other female copywriter wearing a dress in the same colors, but of course much more modern, expensive and stylish than Peggy’s, as befits her secondary role as the wife of a senior partner.

They’ve padded Allison Brie’s costume to make her look a little chunkier, which is yet another way Pete’s life is slowly resembling Don’s old life, although Betty would have never allowed herself to gain weight when she was Mrs. Draper. She even dieted while pregnant, for God’s sake. Unlike Betty’s weight gain, however, we think Trudy’s minor pudge has more to do with how happy and settled she is, rather than beingindicative of some deeper unhappiness.

It’s notable that Trudy’s silhouette here isn’t the latest in 1966 styles. Shirtwaist dresses were still being worn a good ten years from this point by housewives at home, but this kind of cupcake silhouette went out of style several years before. Contrast this with the stylish Trudy and Pete who were childless and lived in a well-appointed Manhattan apartment. She got the baby and the house in the suburbs she always wanted, so things like being up on the latest fashions no longer interest her.

Note how much pattern there is in the Campbell home (this will become more obvious during the dinner party) and how Trudy herself is dressed in a wild print. This provides a sort of visual noise which is slightly unsettling, reflecting Pete’s own feelings about his home life.

And contrast that with his crush, whose clothes couldn’t be simpler. And because they’re form-fitting and there aren’t layers of crinoline or architectural foundation garments underneath (not to mention that they’re pink), there’s a sexual component at work here as well. You can’t not notice her body under the clothes and everything about them indicates her youth in contrast to the other women in the episode. She’s almost literally dewy. She’s also, because Pete and Trudy live in an upper middle class section of Connecticut, preppy and (to use a word we’d never normally use) wholesome in a way the clothes worn by the kids outside the Stones concert a couple episodes back weren’t. Those kids were outer-borough, she’s pure New England bedroom community

In the real world, people at dinner parties don’t normally show up demonstrating their vast differences through their clothing. Not in so nakedly (pun unintended) obvious a manner, that is. But in a filmed drama, it represents a perfect opportunity for a smart costumer and things were working on several levels here. The three women are dressed in vastly different styles, indicating their own differences. Trudy is the only houswife here and she’s in something traditionally feminine, floral, and slightly out of style. Cynthia still works in the city and lives in Queens, so her style is pretty much up-to-the-minute. Megan not only works in the city, she lives in it, married to the wealthiest man in the room (check that gold metallic purse), which means her clothes are up-to-the-second stylish, not to mention bolder and louder than the other women’s clothes.

Note how much the dresses tie into the surroundings, picking up the colors of the room. This subtly reinforces the idea that the home is the woman’s purview. Trudy is in charge here and even the other women (neither of whom are housewives) know that they’re supposed to run off to the kitchen while the men talk.

The men aren’t so different from each other as the women. They all work for the same company, after all. As Megan indicated earlier, they’re spending the night “in the country,” so a plaid blazer was called for, as opposed to the staid business suits these men all favor in the city. Ken and Pete are wearing typical preppy plaids, but Don’s is more stylish and bolder, befitting a wealthy city man who’s a decade older than them. Pete and Ken are also dressed in similar shades of beige and blue, which denote both their youth in relation to Don, as well as the fact that they both do the same thing for a living. They’re accounts, and Don, in his attention-grabbing red and black plaid, is creative.

Cynthia and Ken match, more so than any other couple here.

Although Pete and Trudy’s beiges call back to each other. Pete’s the only man who didn’t take his jacket off in the heat. That’s partially because he’s so stuffy, but it’s really because, as someone keenly aware of etiquette, he knows it would be bad form for a host.

But Don and Megan’s outfits don’t call back to each other at all. We don’t think that’s an indication of the state of their marriage. After all, Pete and Trudy’s outfits match more and they have the most troubled marriage in the room. Instead, we think it reinforces Megan’s independence from Don. She doesn’t do what she’s told like other wives.

Again, note how much pattern there is in the Campbell house. It’s distracting and a bit unsettling.

Again, vast differences in shape, silhouette and style. Cynthia and Megan are more modern. Note how they’re both wearing gold metallic shoes and dangly earrings.

Wholesome, preppy, American teenagers; a dying breed in 1966. She’s not played up in a sexual way at all. He, on the other hand, is wearing fairly tight clothes for the period to show off his body and contrast it with Pete’s. He’s all youth and power and implied sexual prowess and Pete’s a middle-aged schlump, easily confused for a teacher or other form of authority figure to these kids.

No matter what, Roger’s always going to have a thing for buxom redheads.

How long did it take you to figure out they were at a whorehouse? There’s nothing particularly slutty about the clothes here, except for the fact that her cleavage is so prominent and she’s wearing some extremely large earrings, which would have been considered showy, at the very least.

And the modern leopard skin underwear is, of course, pure sex, as are the somewhat tawdry surroundings.

This was a fabulous costume. The shape and style indicate her maturity relative to the other women in the room, but it’s still flashier than the average woman’s clothes and the earrings are downright massive. Again, this wouldn’t have read as slutty or tacky, but it’s definitely showy as hell. A married or “respectable” woman her age at this time wouldn’t have dressed this way.

Account men wear grey suits. That’s all there is to it.

Not really. In fact, Pete and Ken have been known to break out the more colorful suits, which always indicated their youth. Grey has always been Roger’s signature color. Pete and Ken are nothing alike, nor are they anything like Roger, but the point is being made here that they’re all tied together and have the same goals, even if their methods of achieving them are vastly different. Pete and Ken are eventually going to become Roger, although the thought would probably appall both of them.

In an episode where his Englishness came up against his partners’ American-ness, it’s notable how Lane’s outfits all worked a red, white, and blue theme, which could refer to either country or both of them. Since he’s stuck in a limbo where he doesn’t feel as English as the English and will never be fully accepted by the Americans, it signifies his confusion about where he’s supposed to be.

Very subtle reinforcing of their roles as women in a man’s world. They’re both in shades of blue. Peggy’s worn both that skirt and that blouse several times before but Joan’s dress is new.

Note just how coordinated Joan’s outfit is; everything from the jewelry down to the shoes matches either the dress or the scarf. She’s pulled together, both in the fashion sense and in the emotional sense; a column of unity and efficiency, as opposed to Peggy’s penchant for sloppy and slightly mismatched pieces.

Pete just wants to be Don, more than anything else in the world. And he wants Don to love him and praise him. They’re both in blue suits, white shirts, and striped ties (Pete’s in yellow, a color that signifies cowardice and sickness), but they really are nothing alike. The cut of Pete’s wide-lapeled suit is more modern than Don’s (and note that Don has a hat and Pete doesn’t), but Pete is a disheveled mess and Don is, as he usually is, smooth and unruffled. Two men going in different directions. Pete’s trying to hang the entirety of his existence on his role in the office and Don’s slowly getting bored with work and the politics that come with it, preferring to get his happiness from his home life; something of which Pete is totally incapable.

 

[Photo Credit: amctv.com - Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]

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  • Eclectic Mayhem

    Ooh, ooh sir, Sir!  The pink polka dots in Lane’s tie match Joan’s blouse!

    • FashionShowAtLunch

      Was just going to comment that!! Very subtle, but definitely indicates a camaraderie between the two.

    • FashionShowAtLunch

      Also his pocket square.

      • Eclectic Mayhem

        Absolutely!

      • Eclectic Mayhem

        Absolutely!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-TallGirl-Freeman/1043623567 Jessica TallGirl Freeman

    Brilliant, as always.  And I want Megan’s entire wardrobe, as always. 

    • TropiCarla

      That yellow, grey, and white dress gives me pangs of longing.

      • MissAnnieRN

        The one with the Chevrons and the A-line skirt?  ME TOO.  I want it.  Preferably today or tomorrow :)

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Julie-Chase/731391326 Julie Chase

          I look forward to Megan’s clothes almost as much as the show itself.

    • ballerinawithagun

      Especially the way the triangular piece points to her face. She is in control!

  • bluefish

    Thank you both — I just adore these — so fun and so well-done.  I love Lane’s looks — Jared Harris is delicious and suits, vests, and shirts picked out for him are wonderful.  Love that cream-colored vest. 

    Dated or not, Trudy’s dinner party floral is gorgeous — Too bad her house appears to be hideous in its decor.

    And Joan looked gorgeous in that teal shift with the scarf.  Beautiful color on her and the fit of that dress is just amazing.

    I tend to like Peggy’s style — messy as it is, I enjoy her work outfits. 

    • sweetlilvoice

      I like Peggy’s style too. I really adore the outfit she wore while spying-the teal and gold patterned blouse and little necktie. Super cute.

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      Delicious is a great word. I feel the same way about Lane and his wardrobe. I loved the suspenders peeking out from his vest. No detail is missed!

      • http://twitter.com/chylde bellalozza

         :-) The Brits call them “braces”!

        • Eclectic Mayhem

          ‘Tis true.  Suspenders – to us – hold up stockings (ie a garter belt?).

          It’s all very confusing.

        • Eclectic Mayhem

          ‘Tis true.  Suspenders – to us – hold up stockings (ie a garter belt?).

          It’s all very confusing.

    • formerlyAnon

      Oh, I can almost never admire Peggy’s style – probably because it’s too close to how I felt I dressed (or was dressed by others – I wasn’t yet in high school at this time) in the period – never quite in step with the latest and always with a hint of dishevelment (and not the sexy kind) in evidence or held barely at bay. 

      Looking back, I was often more fashionable than I *felt.* But way closer to Peggy than Megan.

    • MK03

      Joan is my style icon, always perfectly put together and matched down to the smallest detail, but Peggy is more like how I really dress: More practical and a little haphazard. Maybe that’s why I identify with her so much.

    • http://www.wordydoodles.com WordyDoodles

       I like Peggy’s style, too! I don’t think of her as messy, per se, but just less occupied with getting her outfits right and more occupied with keeping her nose to the grindstone.

      Still trying to wrap my head around Jared Harris being “delicious,” but I love that there are people out there who think so! To each their own!

      • megalomania79

        I agree with you, Wordy. I always think of it as she’s dressing like a man.  I mean, I don’t want to be that general or anything, but she’s career-focused.  Her clothes are always masculine.  A-line skirts, sometimes pleats, but almost like a uniform.  Pussy bows are really her only feminine touch (oh, and those awesome green pumps she had on). 

  • http://twitter.com/wtflanksteak Ali B

    T.Lo! When I saw Trudy’s dinner party dress ALL I COULD think about was Betty’s dinner party dress when she has the Heineken beer. It’s a similar shape and the colors are muted versions of the one Betty has it. Their hair is even similar. It just reinforces even further that Trudy is a little stuck in her ways and compares Don’s first marriage to Pete’s marriage. 

    • http://theargiehome.blogspot.com/ Gus Casals

      Yes!  Of course, the main difference is Trudy is actually happy and that party was the complete unraveling of Betty. I would love it if they gave a Alison Brie a change of being that mad on this show…

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-TallGirl-Freeman/1043623567 Jessica TallGirl Freeman

        Betty was also “actually happy” until she found out Don was cheating on her (and of course a myriad of other things)…and now that Pete seems to be heading down Don’s path of infidelity (not to mention he slept with Peggy the night before his wedding), I wouldn’t put it past Trudy to pull some crazy out of her pocket.  

        • MK03

          He’s been on that path to infidelity for a long time. He slept with Peggy a couple of times in season 1, picked up that model in season 2, and we all remember what happened with Gudrun in season 3. Pete has never been faithful to Trudy, he’s just cheated a lot less than Don cheated on Betty. 

          • http://profiles.google.com/marteani Barbara Guttman

            I think the most marked difference between their cheating is the involvement.  Don constructed long, elaborate affairs with women quite different in personality and power than Better.  He wooed his women, they fulfilled a huge emotional role for him that he was unwilling to allow his wife to have.  Don was trying to escape his life.
            Pete goes out and has sex, randomly, with Whatever Woman.  He projects onto them any personality they’re allowed to have, quite literally with the prostitute.  He gets his partnership from Trudy.  Pete kept saying in this episode, “this is what I’m supposed to do,” as if having extramarital sex is another thing on the checklist.  House, wife, kid, hookers.

          • MK03

            Very true. Don is almost a serial monogamist (if you can be such a thing while cheating on your wife): Most of his affairs were real relationships that seemed to be on more solid ground than his marriage. Proving, once again, that Pete will never be Don no matter how hard he tries.

          • formerlyAnon

            Though, if he wants to be married, this could be a good thing. Random casual sex is often not nearly as destabilizing to a relationship as a competing relationship.

        • http://twitter.com/asciident Melissa Brogan

           Well, that’s not quite true. We are introduced to a deeply sad Betty in the very first season who can’t seem to shake the loss of her mother (and her mother’s domineering attitude). She ends up having to see a doctor because her fingers are going so numb she can’t drive–then goes (shamefully!) to a psychotherapist who reports on her to Don, which she finds out about and feels betrayed.

      • sweetlilvoice

        Yes! Please let her get pissed at him again. My money is always on Trudy.

    • Vlasta Bubinka

      That was a bigt hing another blog mentioned too. Pete has wanted to be Don, and sadly it seems his marriage is turning into Don and Betty’s.

    • YAELS

       I’m glad you mentioned this! It seemed to scream to me as a tie-in as well. They are almost the identical dress, signaling the  path of Pete following the path of Don and all other parts going with it.

  • Scimommy

    I thought Don looked ridiculous in that plaid blazer that Megan made him wear to the dinner party. Seriously. And it’s hard to make Don Draper/Jon Hamm look ridiculous.

    • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

       You’re looking at it through 2012 eyes. In 1966, it was perfectly stylish.

      • MissAnnieRN

        I was visiting my Mom on Sunday night (she was in college in 1966) and forced her to watch with me.  She giggled when Don trotted out that jacket and said “Oh my god, THAT JACKET.”  In a nostalgic way – much like we look at what we wore in the 80′s and groan and do repetitive face/palms.  My mom has a picture of herself, 8 months pregnant with my brother in 1968 wearing some equally – if not more – hideous pants.  

        • annrr

          THAT PLAID is right. I know I’ve seen it before. I am thinking the Bob Newhart Show but on Emily not Bob. 

        • janiemary

          I had bell bottoms in THAT PLAID a few years later… circa 1972.  I also had the pink shell the young girl was wearing… no, I mean, that was my shell!  How did Janie Bryant get a hold of it??

      • http://carolineatthemovies.wordpress.com/ caroline

        It’s more that he looked so uncomfortable in it.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jessica-TallGirl-Freeman/1043623567 Jessica TallGirl Freeman

          Yes, this.  I think he looked utterly uncomfortable and therefore ridiculous. I too, laughed.  Then he finished it up saying “hey….you……” to Ken’s wife because he didn’t remember her name.  

          • Spicytomato1

            That was hilarious. I liked seeing a “lighter” Don, the delivery of that line was perfect.

      • Scimommy

        It very well may have been perfectly stylish, but it’s just not *him* (IMHO, obviously). I think the writers and costumers were trying to make a statement re: what Megan wants Don to be vs what he is.

        • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

           Don has worn plaid jackets several times before, most notably when he was in California and at his surprise party. If he was uncomfortable, it had to do with where he was, not what he was wearing.

          • Scimommy

            I can’t believe I am actually arguing with you guys, but I thought he looked uncomfortable as soon as he put it on, not just when they got to the Campbells. And I’m not saying this about all plaid jackets – just this particular one. The cut and the colors just looked… wrong somehow. Sorry I can’t be more articulate and explain why.

            Ok, I’ll go stand in the corner now.

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

             We never saw him put it on. We saw it for the first time when they arrived at the Campbells’.

            Yes, we’re being a little argumentative here, but we noted the consensus reaction to this jacket on twitter at the time and we think most people misread it. We were prepared to have this debate. Don wears plaid jackets outside the office frequently (like most men of the period would when faced with a social event) and we doubt very much that Megan picks out his clothes for him.

          • http://twitter.com/AilatanMyopic Ailatan

             But in this case, they made it a point to mention that Megan had bought this sports jacket for him. When they were in the Manhattan flat he was wearing his usual solid colour jacket. When we see them again, we realise that Megan actually made him change his mind (for the 2nd time in this ep., btw)

          • VanessaDK

            But it is also true that the designer expects 2012 viewers to watch it–when she chooses costumes for Megan she is consistently choosing dresses that are both stylish for the time, and still look good to us, so we see Megan as attractive. She may just be playing around with Don’s jacket because it is fun, but may also be trying to send another message.

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            Yes and no. We’re arguing about Don’s feelings toward this jacket in the context of the times. We disagree that he would have felt uncomfortable wearing it as it was perfectly appropriate and stylish for a wealthy middle-aged man of the period. There was nothing about the jacket that’s notable in context.

          • VanessaDK

            Thanks for the reply–that assessment fits well with the two perspectives I mentioned in another post–that the costumes both carry an element of individual expression for the characters, and relationship to their moods or attitudes, and also work together in the context of the show’s visual tableau’s, and I love that you are so aware of both levels in your analysis.

          • g_mo

            I feel pretty strongly that the context in which it becomes notable is the context in which we actually see that it was not Don’s choice of attire for the occasion, but something Megan bought for him and that he did not wear until she prompted him to.

            And thus, in that context, how it looks to my 20-something-in-2012 eyes (far more garish than the other men’s plaids, an overbearance of red that makes Don look sunburnt, maybe even a little snug) seems pretty significant.

            I wouldn’t be arguing this point if they hadn’t spent a precious moment of runtime making it clear that Don did not choose this coat, neither for this occasion nor for his wardrobe at all.

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            We’re just going to have to agree to disagree. There would be no reason for Don to feel uncomfortable in this jacket. It’s appropriate for his age and station in life and it’s perfectly stylish for the period. And as we’ve said, he’s worn plaid jackets plenty of times before; in California, at his surprise party, and on dates with Faye Miller.

          • g_mo

            Okay, okay, I will be agreeable about disagreeing, and I promise to drop this…after just one more point:
            It’s not just that it’s a plaid jacket (because, yes, we’ve seen him in others), it’s that it was *this* plaid jacket. I am content to take your word for it that this very plaid jacket is perfect for the period and for a man of his age and station in life. And would expect Megan to buy her husband just that, in fact! But this one stood out to me the way no other jacket of his did, and I just don’t believe that the detail that it was Megan’s purchase and Megan’s choice for the party was entirely without significance.

          • http://twitter.com/TMamBo Therese Bohn

             g_mo I completely agree. Don in other plaids has looked comfortable and sporty. Sorry TLo, but although Don wears it for Megan’s sake, I can tell he doesn’t love it. Yet the fact that he wore this jacket really does show his devotion to Megan        

          • http://howtofaint.tumblr.com/ How to Faint

            You’re practically going to have to do an illustrated retrospective of Don’s plaids before some people will concede the point. :D

          • charlotte

            Perhaps Janie just wanted to emphasize how uncomfortable Don feels by putting him into a jacket that the viewers- from today’s perspective- might consider ugly. It is definitely easier for us to sympathize with him that way than if he had worn a less noticeable, more “classy” jacket.

          • Scimommy

            Ooh, you are probably right about us not seeing him put it on. However, my point remains that this particular plaid jacket, be it the height of stylishness, is just not Don. It’s Megan (not in the sense that she’d wear it but that she’d pick it), but not Don.

            You know how you do the “Girl, that’s not your dress” posts? Well, I think
            that this is a case of “Don, this is not your plaid jacket.”

          • Sweetbetty

             Agree.  He’s gotten used to doing as Megan wants and may realize that she has a good fashion sense so didn’t feel uncomfortable in the jacket (though as I noted earlier, it did look a bit snug), but I doubt if Don went shopping alone that he would have bought that jacket.

          • Chickadeep

            Yes! This is Don’s Sinatra-in-Palm-Springs-era look. Confident, successful Alpha Males of that era rocked those high-contrast plaid jackets in the mid-’60s; the look “trickled down” to the gaudy, mass-market Herb Tarlek/used car salesman polyester monstrosities in the mid ’70s, but in 1966, Don’s look was considered very fashion-forward for a guy of his age/status in a creative profession.

            As you pointed out, Pete & Ken are Northeast Preppies–Pete wouldn’t look out of place at the club and Ken’s almost-Buffalo-plaid is classic New England dressy casual from that era (replaced in the ’70s by the blue blazer/khaki or jeans combo we still see today); Don’s a different animal entirely.

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            “Yes! This is Don’s Sinatra-in-Palm-Springs-era look. Confident, successful
            Alpha Males of that era rocked those high-contrast plaid jackets in the
            mid-’60s; the look “trickled down” to the gaudy, mass-market Herb
            Tarlek/used car salesman polyester monstrosities in the mid ’70s, but in
            1966, Don’s look was considered very fashion-forward for a guy of his
            age/status in a creative profession.”

            Thank you! Or, as another commenter mentioned further down, Rowan & Martin in Laugh-In. This is going to be an issue going forward with this show. It’s not going to be as easy for the viewers to place the clothes in context because unlike the Mid-Century styles of the earlier seasons, the clothes of the late ’60s haven’t aged well.

          • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

            Saw a brief image of Dick Clark flash by on the news tonight wearing a very similar jacket. Not sure what year.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

            Megan says “Why don’t you wear the sportcoat I got you, it’s the country” so not only did she buy it for him but she picked it out for him to wear. At the end of the scene, she orders him “You’re driving, now go change” and he goes. 

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            We’ll concede that she bought it, but any other interpretation of how Don felt wearing it is 100% in the eyes of the viewer. We don’t agree that he had any reason to feel uncomfortable in it.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

            It was certainly meant to demonstrate her youthful influence, and that it was unusual for him with the bright colors, per Janie Bryant (see AMCTV interview). Whether that made him uncomfortable, yeah, that’s debatable. I think the scene demonstrated that once he got over his objection to going to the party, he managed quite well. Not sure he had a good time… but he was certainly comfortable enough and even managed to demonstrate his superiority as usual over all the men by swooping in and fixing the sink in mere minutes. 

          • Charley18

             I thought the jacket was definitely played for a giggle by John Slattery (this week’s director). It’s mentioned twice, Don trudges off to change and Slattery cuts at the front door just as they enter. Classic editing technique to highlight a visual: when we see it in the next shot, it practically screams.

          • http://changeyourliferideabike.blogspot.com calitexican

            in this episode she did say she picked out that particular jacket for him. 

          • AZU403

            It was a particularly large plaid, not a subtle one, and so I read it as “See, I’m wearing a casual jacket already!”

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RHLSUVX3NCPB4OSS5BM7GZIXUE P. Capet

        yeah, but i don’t think it suited him.  to me it was another reminder of how megan is trying to update him, but i think he’s just going to look more and more ridiculous if this trend continues.  can you imagine don draper in a nehru jacket?  

      • PaulaBerman

         It was stylish AND it looked ridiculous, like so many au courant trends that do not hold up to later viewings. Megan is definitely moving Don out of his comfort zone.

      • Maggie_Mae

        Then fixing the faucet gave Don an excuse to strip down to his t-shirt.  I’ll bet Megan was not the only lady who, umm, noticed him….

        Yeah, he’ll play the fashion game to please his wife.  But his real self is not as suppressed as it was in former years.

        • YAELS

          I think that’s actually a really interesting point. The fact that Don removes not only his jacket, but his SHIRT in the service of showing his manhood sends a loud message about his comfort in his skin right now (once again contrasting Pete).

          • GypsyHowell

            He had to strip down to Dick Whitman to get in touch with his manual labor/ know-how-to-fix -anything-on-the-farm persona.

      • twocee

        It might have been stylish, but it hurts the eyes to look at.

        Of course, so did my neon orange suspenders back in the 80′s.

      • Sobaika Mirza

        Agreed. It’s just so bold and loud, and he stands out immediately from the rest. I thought it was in reference to him so not wanting to be there.

      • http://www.wordydoodles.com WordyDoodles

         To me, he looked like he could be featured in a Lucky Strike ad.

    • http://profiles.google.com/denise.alden Denise Alden

      Ridiculous, no, but I burst out laughing when I saw Don in that plaid blazer (not unlike Hank Azaria does when he sees Nathan Lane as Mrs. Coleman) and thought it was brilliant because we’ve never really seen Don dress like that.  And the fact it wasn’t his choice (Megan’s directive to wear a sportcoat because they were going to the ‘country’) made it even more interesting. 

    • jblaked

      I loved Don’s plaid jacket.  I’d rock that look in 2012.  I realize I stand alone.

      • http://profiles.google.com/awilsongirl Amy Wilson

        I thought it was cool too. Hell, I’m a woman and I would wear it if it were cut to my shape so you are not completely alone.

    • reebism

      My friend and I both considered it a complete and utter eyesore…but we were born 20 years after this episode was set. 

    • dash1211

      My dad had a jacket just like it!

  • http://twitter.com/TheRedZavodnik Ginger

    *Clap Clap Clap*  Thank you, TLo!  I LIVE for your recaps and Mad Style posts.  They’re the reason that I started watching this show in the first place.  I’m currently patting myself on the back because I’ve become very adept at picking up on these very same things in the show, thanks to your guidance.  I’m a very proud Bitter Kitten.

    • VeryClaire

      I know, I found myself noticing Trudy’s first dress and looking at the women’s clothes at the dinner party in a very different way!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LKEXXETU3A347XGCCWUYZ6K3TE NJScor72

    Ha ha ha… the first screne of the dinner party when the women were standing in the entryway, the first thing I noticed was that each woman was wearing a color that mimicked the background walls and immediately thought, “I wonder what TLo will say about that, something about how their outfits tie them into the home while the men’s plaids don’t match the walls and Don’s is the most contrasting, indicating him as the one who wants to be there the most…”  Damn, you two are rubbing off on me…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LKEXXETU3A347XGCCWUYZ6K3TE NJScor72

    I mean be there the least….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UXHOYXPNJJ4MQH6IHYSI3G5ILI M

    It took me 3 seconds to figure out they were in a whorehouse.  Not sure that’s something to be proud of, but hey.  Also–I thought the madam was Adele for a good 5 seconds. 

    • Sobaika Mirza

      I felt like a dunce watching this episode – it wasn’t until Pete and Ms. Leopard Panties went on their own that I figured it out.

      • MissAnnieRN

        you aren’t the only one.  When Pete’s um…errr….Lady said something like “Slow down, I don’t do this by the minute” I got even more confused, because I had already started thinking “Hey, they’re at a brothel” then she threw me off again…..

        • PaulaBerman

           But the lamps in Leopard Undies’ room were pure brothel.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UXHOYXPNJJ4MQH6IHYSI3G5ILI M

          I think I knew when Roger said he had a “friend” who was having a “party” and the guy said “I like parties.”  I felt it to be understood after that.

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

            “That’s Roger’s department” said it all. :)

          • formerlyAnon

             But then, “party girls” was the euphemism I grew up with – though “grew up with” implies much earlier exposure to the idea than actually was the case – for prostitution in a business context. So of course my mind went there

    • ballerinawithagun

      Initially I thought they had just gone “around the corner” to a party, but then things happened too quickly and the women were so agreeable. One of the previous times they had gone to a party, all the partnering up with women didn’t go as well. 

  • schadenfreudelicious

    If only Christina Hendricks could dress to flatter her figure in real life as well as Joan does on the show…..

    • formerlyAnon

      Though I have to admit that some (that would be me) would criticize because her more form fitting outfits would look too tight to me outside of a costuming context – especially without the iron clad undergarment look she definitely has on the show.

      • schadenfreudelicious

        agreed, especially regarding the need for the industrial strength undergarments, but there has to be some happy medium between “costumey” and the “babyheads on a platter” look she serves up so often?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=584364405 Sabrina Abhyankar

          babyheads on a platter? Wha??? I can imagine what you mean but wha??

          • schadenfreudelicious

            lol, nothing quite so ominous, TLo often refers to the look of exposed heaving bosoms/cleavage on the amply endowed as “babyheads”

  • Ozski

    Another brilliant post! Never noticed the unified colors between Ken & Peggy and I watched this episode twice. Am I the only one who thinks the Madame looks like Adele?

    • schadenfreudelicious

      Adele in about 20 years, but definitely….:)

  • http://twitter.com/AShinyOConnor A Shiny O’Connor

    Great review TLo. Do you think the red prints of Lane’s ties signify the increasingly noticeable discontent bubbling below the surface and the rage which will break out, when he rearranges Pete’s face.

  • Sobaika Mirza

    Maybe it’s because we’ve never seen Don in such a bold plaid before (correct me if I’m wrong) but I thought his jacket highlighted just how out of place he was feeling back in the country. It’s not his life anymore, nor does he want it to be.

    • VeryClaire

      I agree, he looked physically uncomfortable in that jacket, almost like it didn’t fit him properly, mirroring how uncomfortable he felt in “the country”. The ‘burbs don’t fit him properly either.

    • GypsyHowell

      Definitely. Both Pete and Ken’s jackets match the (hideous) patterned curtains and upholstery fabrics.  Don’s jacket screams “Get me outta here!” The shots of him with his jacket off, sleeves rolled up and loosened tie clashes less with the surroundings and, together with his whole demeanor, suggest he’s resigned himself to blending in for the duration of the party.

      Trudy hasn’t just “not kept up with the times,” she’s regressed to 1960 Betty. That first blue and green dress looks awfully like a dress Betty wore for Sally’s ill-fated birthday party in Marriage of Figaro, and of course, there’s Trudy’s version of the Sad Clown Dress. That, and all the awful “country” decor.  It makes you feel a little bit sorry for Pete.  I wonder if a neighbor boy has asked for a lock of Trudy’s hair yet?  

      Adele?  Am I forgetting someone, or are people referring to Andrea from last week?

      • Sobaika Mirza

        Adele, the singer.

        • GypsyHowell

          Oh THAT Adele! Hahaha — I’m living inside a Mad Men bubble! 

      • Sweetbetty

         Trudy’s dress reminded me of the dress Peggy wore to Don’s surprise party (which was commented on as being slightly out of style), which reminded me of the dress I wore to my early 60s 9th grade party.

      • townclubpop

        I actually liked those curtains. 

      • http://twitter.com/sara_clarke Sara Clarke

        What I don’t understand about Trudy’s new outdated look is where she GOT that stuff? Not two years ago, she was as up to the second stylish as Megan is right now. Granted, that was before her pregnancy, and it’s possible that she went back to wearing her pre-pregnancy clothes rather than doing a lot of shopping after getting out of maternity stuff. I mean, they did just buy a house, and she has a baby to look after out in the middle of nowhere. But I’m pretty sure that Trudy wouldn’t have been caught dead in that dress in 1963, let alone ’66. So where did she even get it? Is it some kind of hand me down situation due to Trudy’s body changing after her pregnancy? Are Trudy’s sartorial cues getting warped by suburbia? (Then again, pretty sure WASPs in Cos Cob, CT, were not still dressing like that in the mid ’60s.)

        • Sweetbetty

           That’s been making me wonder too.  It’d be one thing if they had been living in that house since the early 60s and she had her clothes of that era stashed away in the attic or something.  Since they moved fairly recently you’d expect her to have purged her wardrobe, as well as the rest of her household, of things she no longer used.  So it does seem like she’d actually have to go out and try to find the full-skirted dresses she’s wearing and I somehow can’t see Trudy shopping at a thrift store.

    • http://twitter.com/TMamBo Therese Bohn

       Excellent point!  The first thing he said to Megan in the car was “When I wake up I want to see skyscrapers!”  I think the Campbells home was too reminiscent of the ol’ Draper place. However,  the Campbells have gotten super gaudy all the sudden. (I miss their super cool old apartment and the giraffe tryptich! Don’s old place in Ossining had a warm comfort to it, but Pete and Trudy’s is totally frenzied (as TLo pointed out)  However, I do like the 7-foot stereo! That was big affluence in the 60s, although Pete may have bought it to compensate for his shortcomings.                         

    • http://twitter.com/TMamBo Therese Bohn

       Excellent point!  The first thing he said to Megan in the car was “When I wake up I want to see skyscrapers!”  I think the Campbells home was too reminiscent of the ol’ Draper place. However,  the Campbells have gotten super gaudy all the sudden. (I miss their super cool old apartment and the giraffe tryptich! Don’s old place in Ossining had a warm comfort to it, but Pete and Trudy’s is totally frenzied (as TLo pointed out)  However, I do like the 7-foot stereo! That was big affluence in the 60s, although Pete may have bought it to compensate for his shortcomings.                         

  • SorayaS

    Pete and Ken don’t wear pocket squares- I suppose that indicates their youth but I never really thought pocket squares were old fashioned?

    Trudy in her outdated cupcake dress made me a little sad as she has always been so stylish- I suppose you’re right that it is an indication of her being happy and caring for a baby that she doesn’t care so much about fashion these days.

    It wasn’t until I saw the picture of Joan eavesdropping that I realise she was listening in on the intercom!!

    • Sweetbetty

       It actually takes more effort for Trudy to get dressed every day in a dress that requires crinolines and at the least a long-line bra.  If she was slacking off about being up to the minute in fashion you’d at least think she’d take the easier route of wearing easy-fitting shift dresses around the house.

      • formerlyAnon

         True. But I think her slacking off is more in terms of shopping and ‘keeping up with trends’ than in relaxing her grooming any more than the amount that wrangling a baby all day engenders.

    • Spicytomato1

      Regarding Trudy and her unfashionable ensemble, it’s crazy how much fashion, or actually our attitude towards fashion, has changed in the context of the major life events, baby, move to the burbs, Trudy is experiencing. Now when women are in that situation and don’t have the time or inclination to care about fashion, they don’t necessarily dress in an out-of-style manner, just a more casual one. I guess back then there really was no “casual” option, like my mom “uniform” of jeans, t-shirts and cardigans. Jeans, t-shirts and cardigans can pretty much transcend fashion trends and it’s easy to update them when the styles do shift (bootcut jeans vs. skinny ones, for example). Just an observation…sorry for the long discourse!

  • MissAnnieRN

    Especially after this week’s episode – in addition to your brilliant analysis of the themes of MM and the art direction/constuming, I am wishing for a body language recap of the episode!  These actors are just brilliant.  Of course, I think I’m also responding to the director’s guidance as well – maybe it’s just that John Slattery rocks as much as anything else.  But no doubt that what wasn’t being said was just as important as what was being said.  I think that’s true of most of the episodes.

    I have nothing to add to this brilliant essay.  Although I haven’t gone looking yet, I was really hoping the internet made gifs of Don taking off his shirt and getting down to business in the kitchen and Lane taking off his jacket and rolling up his sleeves and decking Pete.  

    • Sobaika Mirza

      There are definitely ones of Pete getting punched in the face. I saw them within the hour of the episode airing. If I find it again I’ll post the link here.

    • Sobaika

      Here you are! http://cdn.wg.uproxx.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/PETE-CAMPBELL-KTFO.gif

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1396777506 Christin Pardy-Nosenchuk

    holy crap.  The Campbells have my stove, or, I have their stove.  Thats crazy.

    • http://twitter.com/breadandputter Jennifer Adams

      I had that stove in my old house! It is really perfect for them.  That was a top of the line stove  – in 1955. Makes sense for a nice house they bought and didn’t build themselves.

    • http://viridianpostcard.blogspot.com/ viridian61

      And note the details in their kitchen.  we would pull that stuff out now but part of the vernacular architecture of the time.  Hubby and I HAVE that table and chairs.  He inherited it from his parents when they finally upgraded to a new set.  we still use the set every day  – very sturdy and well made, if a bit ugly.

    • deathandthestrawberry

      I can’t get over those kitchen cabinets! We had the same hinge style and cabinet pulls in the house I grew up in (1973 onwards). My parents finally ripped them out in the mid 80s.

  • PastryGoddess

    Fantastic post guys.  

  • http://theargiehome.blogspot.com/ Gus Casals

    Is Megan’s party dress a Pucci, or at least trying to recall one?
    And the men’s plaids at the party are an eyesore seen together.
    Awesome post, as always. I was watching all the suits and thinking ‘boy, are TLo going to be aggravated”

    • MissAnnieRN

      I defer to TLo on these things, but I own a vintage Pucci dress from the period (I actually found it at Goodwill for $5!!) and the patterns are VERY distinctive, this doesn’t remind me of mine or others I’ve seen.  But I defer others more experience than I.

      • NDC_IPCentral

         I do not think that Megan’s was a Pucci either.  Pucci prints were usually swirls that were outlined in black, as I recollect.  I was given a Pucci bra-slip (very trendy!) as a high school graduation present from an aunt in ’68.  It was in an electric blue, purple, lighter blue, white, with black outlining.  

  • HM3

    Please note that Cynthia, Megan, and Trudy’s outfits not only reflect their socioeconomic status: they also hint (and this may be taking a bit of a leap) at the “stages of wifehood” that each are in. Cynthia and Ken are both young and starting off in their career paths, living in the less-glamorous Jackson heights, but independent of parental aid (as indicated by Cynthia during dinner). Her dress is basic yellow, no design. Meghan and Don are a step above (though mostly thanks to Don’s age and advancement of career)–they are independent, but also financially stable, and enjoying the glamor and luxury that comes with a manhattan life. Meghan’s dress picks up the yellows in Cynthia’s outfit, but “blossoms” them into a vibrant, elaborate pattern, indicating an advancement of sorts. Finally, Trudy, the settled suburban housewife, was once in the same position as Megan–recall the Campbell’s glamorous Manhattan apartment–but she has since evolved into “less flashy” roles of motherhood and housewifedom. Her dress therefore appropriately picks up on the florals of Meghan’s dress, but the flowers are changed–pretty, but less graphic, and dulled. This may also be why, in the stage directions, the three women stand by the sink in this order…

    …IMHO.

    • HM3

      –also, during the dinner party, while Pete and Ken’s blue and yellow jacket and trouser combinations are literally reciprocal, reflecting (as TLo said) their status as account men, Pete seems to be withdrawing from this typecast role. The only thing preventing the two from completely matching are their ties. Ken’s is a rather basic, subdued shade, while Pete’s blue and red stripes pick up on the pattern in Don’s jacket: it’s as if Pete’s outfit (if outfits could talk, though I’m certain they do), in its own little way, is making an optimistic little elbow nudge to Don’s. I believe this reflects the last of Pete’s optimism, which was at full boar in previous seasons, but which has quickly begun to wane this season.
      Alternatively, throughout the entire dinner, from their more “meager” financial status to Ken’s wild stories and Cynthia’s fascination with the shootings, the Cosgroves seem to be the odd couple out. The Drapers and Campbells, on the other hand (even if unwillingly so) seem to share a closer bond.

    • Spicytomato1

      Nice job, if T Lo were teaching a course on this stuff (and I’d stand in line to sign up if they were), you’d be an A student!

      • HM3

        Thank you, thank you. I so desperately crave their approval (I really do)! Someday, one of them will reply, and invite me to high tea or something, and we’ll laugh and roll our ye at Stella McCartney dresses together…

        …if only…*SIGH*

        • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

          Darling, why don’t you come around to the castle this weekend for brunch? We’ll have our driver pick you up.

          • HM3

            OH MY GOD I just had a small heart attack and nearly spilled my morning coffee! Give me a sec…

            *squeals like a tickled pig*

            …I live one state away, but I will be there in TEN. With breakfast. And I will NOT ask to smell your hair.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2CNDPMVO4W23R5TVC2QMTJ5BZE Heather

    TLo, fabulous post as always. I’ve found the last few episodes a bit slow (actually started to doze towards the end of this one – then woke up during the Lane-Pete fight), and your recaps and Mad Style posts have helped me get a bit more out of them. 

    LOVED that whorehouse and Don’s rapport with the madam. Someday, I’d love to see a Mad Style post on the Hookers of Mad Men. In your copious spare time, right? :-)

  • Judy_J

    Pete and Trudy’s apartment in Manhattan was so tasteful and modern; their house in Cos Cob looks like it was purchased from a Sears catalog. Same thing could be said about Trudy. She has settled completely into her suburban housewife role.

  • http://twitter.com/foodycatAlicia foodycatAlicia

    Megan’s work dress reminds me of Charlie Brown’s jumper.

    • MissAnnieRN

      Perhaps, only a much more more fabulous version.  I want it!

    • PaulaBerman

       I thought it looked like a cheerleader’s uniform.

  • Carrie Levin

    Great post!  Re:  Pete/Don connection – Don’s plaid jacket is actually quite similar to the one Pete wore to Don’s surprise party.

    • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

      My first thought, too. Did Megan buy it for Don after she saw Pete wearing a similar one? My second thought was how perfectly the pattern was matched. Then compare Don’s jacket to the third plaid one on the show — Michael Ginsburg’s cheap, rumpled mess. I do love me some Janie Bryant.

  • KSuKim

    Also note Lane’s suspenders. British, rather than retro. 

    • VanessaDK

      Then they must be “braces” rather than suspenders….

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        I was trying to remember the word! Thanks! “Suspenders” are garters…

        • funkycamper

          Or hold up the pants of lumberjacks!

  • http://www.lippsisters.com/ Deborah Lipp

    Love these.

    Ken’s publishing rep companion also has a hat: I see the hats as tying them together; Ken conforms with publishing when he’s with publishing, with advertising when he’s with advertising.

    Also, Peggy and Joan both have pussy bows when they’re spying on the men (or, Joan has a scarf tied like a pussy bow). They’re conspiring.

    • Michelle Nguyen

      There now needs to be another Mad Men fan group called “The Pussy Bow Conspirators”. Either that, or someone needs to create a retro-60′s band with that name.

  • Tamara Schechter

    Trudy’s dress at the dinner party reminded me of Betty’s dinner party dress with the fabulous polka dots (that she stayed in for days and days). Not the same pattern but same sort of material, sheen and silhouette. I really find it fascinating that she is becoming Betty in that ugly suburban house. Crazy. I also find it interesting that Trudy buddied up to Megan immediately, the same way she once did to Betty – a testament to Pete and Trudy’s social climbing and how they are always looking to get ahead with Don.

    • GypsyHowell

      Trudy IS a shameless social climber — that’s part of what I can’t stand about her. (I know, I’m a party of one.)  Did you catch her anti-semitic comment when Megan presented the box of brownies from William Greenberg’s ?  ”No bakeries here in Cos Cob.  No Greenbergs either.”

      • Sobaika Mirza

        Yeah. It’s always sort of jarring hearing/seeing stuff like that from characters you like overall. I wonder if Trudy would have had the gall to say something like that in front of Roger’s wife.

      • Frank_821

        I don’t know if social climber is an accurate term for Trudy (or Pete). I always got the impression they both came came from an affluent environment even if  not from old money. I think it’s more that she knows how to play the game and has no qualms about playing. It’s clear she likes Don and Megan but it is good tactics to nuture relaitons with a senior partner. It’s about success and not position. They’ve got position. Despite all the problems, she and Pete are well suited as marriage partners. She is just as ambitious as Pete and embraces the role of the woman behind the man. This contrasts her with Betty and that partly relates to her appeal, IMHO. Pete has drive, talent and ideas. Trudy as the social charm and she has perspective on Pete’s strengths and weaknesses to help guide and advise him.

        I thought the reference to Greenberg’s was about the store not about jewish people. I would say though it would not surprise me if Trudy was more of a snob.

        • charlotte

          “I thought the reference to Greenberg’s was about the store not about jewish people” I agree. Didn’t take that as an antisemitic comment.

        • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

          I agree – Pete and Trudy both come from money and aren’t social climbers. Professional ambition and social climbing aren’t the same thing. I think Pete’s is old money too. I think the comment about no Greenberg’s was intentionally vague, meaning wise. Her affectation when saying it was very flat, as I recall. She could have been thinking “thankfully, that’s why we’re here!” when saying it, or she could have been simply stating the fact that there are no Greenberg’s, aka Jewish people, in their Wasp-y town – while neither supporting or condemning the fact. If that makes sense.

          • http://oneblueberry.com/ LaVonne Ellis

            Certain areas in Connecticut were well-known for anti-Semitism at that time. Country clubs used the term ‘restricted’ to indicate ‘no Jews allowed,’ and it applied to real estate as well. So Trudy’s Greenberg comment had to have referred to that. There was a movie back then about this – can’t remember the name.

          • 3hares

            Gentleman’s Agreement perhaps?
             Yes, I think it was an anti-Semitic joke. Otherwise it’s a bit nonsensical. She’s basically saying “No bakeries here in Cos Cob. No specific-bakery-that-Pete-likes either.” She wouldn’t have said it in front of Jane Sterling because it would be impolite, but amongst a bunch of WASPs it’s witty.
            Pete definitely comes from old money, though the money is gone. Trudy’s new money, but there’s a lot of it.

          • http://oneblueberry.com/ LaVonne Ellis

             That’s it – Gentleman’s Agreement! I thought it was The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, but a quick check of Wikipedia told me I was wrong. Thanks!

          • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

             Gentleman’s Agree – good movie. And yes, the restricted towns were sadly abundant. The town I grew up in MA had also been restricted into the 60s before we moved there. Perhaps Trudy’s comment was to simply highlight the casual anti-semitism of the day. If you’ve seen Auntie Mame – the  “Upson-Downs” matriarch  was much broader in her anti-semitism, but it was played for humor.

        • Spicytomato1

          Yes I thought the Greenberg’s reference was kind of a clever dig at the lack of diversity in the sticks.

          • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

            Since she was ruing the fact that there was no Greenberg’s Bakery, I didn’t think she was saying that having no Jews there was a good thing. To my Jewish ears, it sounded more like a statement of fact, not an anti-semitic one. But then, I don’t go looking for inflammatory, prejudicial comments under every rock.

      • Eclectic Mayhem

        Ah – I didn’t actually understand that – I just thought it was the name of the store.

  • NDC_IPCentral

    For me there’s no better way to start a Wednesday than with your “Mad Style” posts, Tom and Lorenzo.  Thanks as always for making connections and finding patterns and signals that help to weave the grand tapestry that is “Mad Men” over the years of the 1960s.  I, as a teenager, certainly had dresses similar to several; of those shown in this episode.  The fact that some outfits are “purchases from a few years ago” (Trudy’s “cupcake” dress would have dated from the earlier 60s) reinforces the verisimilitude in the show that people keep their clothing for a number of years and wear those outfits over and over again.

    That “in the country” characterization of Cos Cob, Connecticut and environs is STILL the way many parochial New York City-ites regard anything north of the Bronx.  I found that ludicrous when I first moved out here back in the 1970s, and I still do today.  Amusingly, a lot of Manhattanites have no sense of the compass (N, S, E, W) or where the five boroughs of New York are in relation to the rest of the Empire State.

  • cluecat

    Only one use of the phrase “tie into the surroundings”!  That is my Mad Style drinking game.  

    (I tease becuase I love!)

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      Roger’s tie matches the door nameplates EXACTLY. You can pretend they said it then. :)

  • Annie Leung

    Love! I always look forward to these post so much! Something about Megan’s dinner party dress unsettles me, I’m not sure why. I think it’s fabulous and reminds me of the dress she wore to the Heinz dinner but something about this one feels like it’s trying to hard. Trudy and Cynthia match each other more and even though the colors of her dress call back to them and the decor in the Campbell household, it seems like she’s still the odd duck out. Even Don and his bold jacket play along better with the other men and the settings.

    I love how coordinated Lane is though, even his suspenders match!

    • barbarasingleterry

      Maybe you feel like that about Megan’s dress because it is a little more expensive and up-to-date than either Cynthia’s or Trudy’s.  Megan is the alpha female only due to her position as Don’s wife. She is about the same age as the other two women which would make her an equal in a different context.  Her professional position/status is really the same as Cynthia’s and her status as a wife is less settledthan Trudy’s.  She is asserting herself in a way that may be a little too bold for the situation, just as Don’s plaid jacket is bolder than Ken and Pete’s.  Don has earned that status, Megan has not.

    • Spicytomato1

      I hear you about Megan’s dress. I thought it and her makeup looked almost deliberately costume-y, like she was masquerading as someone’s she’s really not. Or maybe that’s just me assuming that something just isn’t quite what it seems when it comes to her.

      • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

        I couldn’t figure out why Megan insisted on accepting Trudy’s invite after Don made it quite clear he did not want to socialize with his employees. (Although Pete is a junior partner, he is still a subordinate.) A desire to be with other wives her own age? She was one of the girls at the dinner party, but keeps herself apart from those at the office.

        • Sweetbetty

           I thought she just didn’t want to do his dirty work.  Don was used to passing such tasks off to his wife or secretary (and Megan has been in both roles) but Megan is no longer his secretary and she’s definitely not a wife like Betty.  She told him if he wanted to cancel, he’d have to do it himself.  I don’t think it mattered that much to her if they went or not.

  • bookish

    I love that photo from the dinner party with Megan, Cynthia, and Trudy laughing while the sink sprays water everywhere. They just look like they’re having such a good time despite the mess, and of course it’s a good view of the dresses.

    When Pete originally started fiddling under the sink to fix the faucet, my brother-in-law said, “That’s not going to fix a drip.” So I found it particularly funny when the sink problem came back with a vengeance while all their guests were there.

    • grouchywif

      I had that same reaction. I do the plumbing around here and when he got under the sink I told my hubby that there was nothing he was going to be able to do under the sink to fix the drip because the problem wasn’t down there. I was a bit mystified as to how he actually got it to stop until Don explained it. I never would have cranked up the water pressure in response to a drip that was obviously caused by the faucet. Poor Pete. He’s totally out of his depth in the ‘burbs. That very well may have been his first plumbing attempt ever.

      • GypsyHowell

        I was actually amazed that Pete even bothered to try.  Or that he owns a toolbox.  I would have thought a call to the plumber would be his first response. He is so out of his element. 

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

          it was probably one of those things he got as a housewarming gift or bought as sort of an “I have a house now, I need TOOLS” ritual, but never opened. The way he said “I’ll go get my tool box” was kind of like he was following a script. House broken = Man go get TOOLS. 

          • GypsyHowell

            Pete with a tool box is kinda like Pete with a gun. Trying so, so hard to be a man.

          • Spicytomato1

            Yes, that’s pretty much how I read the scene, too. Funny.

        • http://oneblueberry.com/ LaVonne Ellis

           My first response was, “Just move the faucet, Pete! Move the faucet!” The drip would stop making noise positioned over the ridge between the two sinks. Ask me how I know.

          signed, Woman Who Never Fixes Anything (and Who Pays For It Later)

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

            Or, my solution, put a big bowl under the faucet. Once the bowl fills with water, the drips aren’t as loud. Bonus is you can use that to water your plants in the morning. :)

          • Kylara7

            …and mine was “just put a dishcloth in the the bottom of the sink until morning!”  Stops the noise so you can sleep…and then call the plumber or fix it in the morning.  :)

          • Kylara7

            …and mine was “just put a dishcloth in the the bottom of the sink until morning!”  Stops the noise so you can sleep…and then call the plumber or fix it in the morning.  :)

  • PaulaBerman

    I noticed that everyone was wearing windowpane plaids in this episode, including Peggy at the Ptomaine Diner. Do you think that is significant? It really stood out for me. The women were in prints, except for Peggy that once, and Joan in a solid color. I think this distinguishes Joan as more smooth, columnar, an oasis of cool blue awesome in a sea of slightly nauseating plaids, paisleys, and florals. At least, I think that’s how Lane sees her. Then you have the teenage girl, a column of pink– the maid and the matron, both desirable, both seen as an escape?

    • http://dentsdelait.tumblr.com/ Nancy Marion

       I saw it as Peggy reflecting what the men were wearing—as much as she is starting to chafe against being one of the boys, she still wears the women’s version of menswear.

  • MsKitty

    As always, a highlight of my week.  Thanks gents.

  • SewingSiren

    Both Trudy’s dresses are reminiscent of dresses that Betty wore several years previous, the at home dress looks like the one Betty wore for one of her children’s birthday party’s. And the dinner party dress looks like the dress Betty wore for the business dinner with  
    Roger and his first wife.  
    I understand that Trudy would not go forward in fashion, but would she go backward and start wearing crinolines, that she didn’t really wear before? I doubt it.

    • http://twitter.com/foodycatAlicia foodycatAlicia

      It seems like something very young women do sometimes – they’ve fixated on what life is going to be like at a certain stage and everything has to fall into line with that image. They are the women who wear wedding dresses they designed when they were 6 and nothing about their adult taste or prevailing fashion will change their mind! Maybe she, as a young girl, saw a Sear’s catalogue and decided that she was going to be the woman in the suburbs wearing those dresses and housecoats and having that life? 

    • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

      Well, she doesn’t fit into her “city” clothes anymore. She would have had to buy different stuff anyway. So either, 
      1) This is what is fashionable (and available) in the country, or
      2) She’s got the complex that a lot of women seem to have, “I won’t buy any of the new, stylish stuff until I lose these last 10 pounds.”

      • barbarasingleterry

        I agree that the clothes are what is fashionable and available in the country.  Trudy would want to dress to fit within the area and people she deals with on a day to day basis.  The suburbs/country is always a little behind the city in terms of fashion.  Each area has its own norms.

        • GypsyHowell

          I don’t know. Betty lives out in the burbs and she hasn’t worn anything like that in years, it seems to me. You could chalk it up to Betty having superior taste, except we’ve seen Trudy be pretty stylish and up to date in years past. I think all the scenes in Cos Cob were meant to be disorienting, a hit-you-over-the-head flashback to Don and Betty’s life 6 years earlier.

          Loved the 7 foot stereo cabinet.  We had one of those.

      • Eclectic Mayhem

        *cough* THAT sounds awfully familiar… 

    • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

      Here in Los Angeles, those crinolines were out of style in 1959. Full skirts were worn flat. I missed the fullness but not the work involved to keep those slips stiff.

  • MsKitty

    EDIT: Was replying to another post, don’t know how it got here.

  • MsKitty

    EDIT: In response to P. Capet

    I think Harry will probably be the first one we see wearing a Nehru jacket. He seems to have his fashion forward moments, probably the result of spending so much time in Hollywood wooing clients.

  • http://twitter.com/Fotstan Joe Johnson

    Great Mad Style post as always, guys!

    Those plaid jackets remind me of those worn by Rowan and Martin when they went to the party room on Laugh-In. They’re very of the moment for a certain middle-aged set, though only for a few more years.

    • SignLadyB

       Absolutely Rowan &   Martin–thanks for the recall. Good night, Dick.

    • barbarasingleterry

      You bet your sweet bippy!  Will we see someone in a bikini with body paint at a Hollywood party?

  • http://www.facebook.com/teddy.musolino Teddy Musolino

    Trudy cracked me up in this episode. She’s so awesome. Even if she’s dressed a little out of date. Pete had better not turn her into a second Betty

  • HM3

    Finally (and I promise, I’ll stop after this)–I was struck by TLo’s mention of Pete’s yellow tie, at the end of the episode. This may be another stretch, but it echoes outfits worn by two other characters with massive, face-hitting-pavement downfalls: Duck Phillips at the Clios ( http://cdn.videogum.com/files/2010/08/duck.jpg ) and Freddie Rumson’s last hurrah ( http://i.realone.com/assets/rn/img/3/4/4/6/23306443-23306447-large.jpg ). Despite his deplorable sense of entitlement, I have always loved Pete’s character, so I would hate if this is tragic foreshadowing…

  • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

    I’m curious about Megan’s and Peggy’s sleeveless dresses in the office. As late as the 90′s women were told never to go sleeveless in the office. Or have open toed shoes or bare legs.  Of course, it depends on the office, but since the men are always so conservatively dressed in SCDP, I would think the women would be too.  Or was that a “rule” that came in as more and more women entered professional ranks – say in the 70s?

    And funny, to my eyes, of the three ladies at the dinner party, the only dress that is timeless is Trudy’s. While not “of the moment” in 1966, it’s the only one a girl could wear today and not look like a costume. Charlotte York would most definitely have worn it. I think it says more about Trudy as a person than just her waning interest in fashion. She’s showing herself to be more than just an “of the moment”.

    I think the styling of Cynthia makes her look very middle aged. Megan, of course, always looks great.

    I disagree that Ken will be Roger in a few years. Pete, probably, but not Ken. And Pete certainly will never have Roger’s charm or wit.

    • luciaphile

      I don’t know about office wear, but sleeveless a-line dresses were very much IN around that time of the show. Ever watch Dark Shadows? Most of the female characters walk around in Mary Quant knockoffs.

      • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

         Oh, definitely the style of dress was very in. I just wondered about them in an office setting. Joan is always very buttoned up, which seems more “appropriate” to formal office wear.

        • sweetlilvoice

          She may be buttoned up because of her chest size. I have large ladies myself and outfits that look adorable and appropriate on my coworkers with small chests, look very trashy on me. I couldn’t wear a maxi dress to save my life. Joan has cleavage in a t-shirt and we know she doesn’t show cleavage in the office (except when she visited with the baby). She may figure her best defense is to be more concealed and classy. Plus there is also the sexiness of ‘what lies beneath’ her clothes. Sometimes it’s sexier to conceal rather than reveal.

        • Christine Moreau

          I agree with Linda – now that you mention it, I do find it bizarre that sleeveless dresses were allowed in the office at that time. I didn’t grow up then, but had my first office job in the late 90′s and sleeveless was not allowed (as in – you got written up for it) – same with open toed shoes and no hose. Granted, this was a conservative office and SCDP is creative, but it was also 30 years later….

      • sweetlilvoice

        Indeed they do! Their clothes are amazing. Love that show…can’t wait for the movie.

    • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

      I think those rules became more prominent as women moved up from the secretarial pool into the offices. In the ’60s, such rules wouldn’t have been codified the way they are now. Remember, at the time, secretaries (the majority of women in office environments) were still seen as part hostess, part wife.

      • Spicytomato1

        Yes, the contrast between the button-up, covered-up men and the more exposed women is indeed telling in how the women were regarded. I hadn’t thought of that. 

      • mixedupfiles

        I was in a conversation the other day about when spaghetti straps became kosher. I remember wearing them to church services (a conservative church, and my very conservative mother bought my clothes!) in the late 70s, early 80s as a teen, not thinking twice about it. But since perhaps the late 90s, I have religious relatives who have felt that spaghetti straps anytime are the mark of a strumpet.

        Something might be just fine, until some people get threatened and decide it’s not fine.

        • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

          I wore spaghetti strap dresses in high school and even under my high school graduation gown in 1961.When I left college, I worked as a teller at Bank of America. Sun dresses were definitely OK.

    • AZU403

      If it was hot we wore sleeveless dresses, in fact the air conditioning was usually on full blast so you had to keep a sweater in the office. In 1967 I had a dress that was almost exactly like Peggy’s. I think the skirts are an inch or two too short for “grown-up” wear in 1966. Did you notice how large Cynthia’s hem is?

      • formerlyAnon

         Yes. Also, you note Peggy had a jacket (in the diner scene). If she felt the need to mirror the men’s suits, say she was meeting clients for the first time, she could put the jacket on over the dress.

    • http://profiles.google.com/marteani Barbara Guttman

      I still see Cynthia’s dress out on the street.  I own one very similar to it but in gray, and no buttons.  

    • Spicytomato1

      I’m with you on thinking the sleeveless looks, fabulous as they are, might be frowned on in the office. But maybe things did evolve as women’s roles changed. I do agree that in the 80s and early-mid 90s, sleeveless was a taboo. Then when business casual became more common things really loosened up big-time. I remember being horrified in what had to be the late 90s (because my son was born in 1999) when a woman on my team took her jacket or sweater off in a meeting and spent the rest of the day in just a very thin camisole with spaghetti straps (and she was most definitely not small busted). It was all downhill from there. I remember one guy even saying that we needed a rule that we should never have to be subject to the “nipples, knees or toes” of any co-worker. Ever.

    • http://twitter.com/sara_clarke Sara Clarke

      Re the classic-ness of Trudy’s dress? Totally disagree. I can see myself wearing Cynthia’s dress in 2012 (granted I wear vintage, but still – I can see it on the racks in a boutique). Whereas Trudy’s looks dated even for 1966. Her clothes in season 2 (which I’m currently watching on Netflix) look more current. 

      Re sleevelessness in the office – I work in a super-liberal field and still feel a little self-conscious going sleeveless on all but the hottest days. And I always keep a cardigan in my desk drawer, just in case. I hadn’t thought about it, but yeah, that is a little fashion-ey and not necessarily office appropriate.

  • http://profiles.google.com/ruthieoo Ruthie O

    I live for this post! Seriously, I refresh my reader over and over again until Mad Style pops up. Love it!

    I wonder how happy Trudy really is. Pete referenced post-partum depression in the first episode, and I doubt she’s received any treatment for it (especially in 1966). Also, unlike Betty, we never see any scenes that focus just on her, so we may never really see her true emotional state. Hmmm…

    • 3hares

      He didn’t reference post-partum depression, imo. He just noted that Trudy had driven him to the train station still in her bathrobe, something she never would have done years before. It sounded to me like it was just referencing Trudy’s priorities. She’s seemed quite happy when we’ve seen her. She just doesn’t dress up as much.

      • Sweetbetty

         It was the man Pete was talking to on the train who referenced PPD, even though he didn’t use that term (I don’t know that that term was even in use at that time; they called it “the baby blues”).  Pete didn’t dispute the comment so we can assume that he felt that was the problem.

  • sweetlilvoice

    Thank you! Thank you! I’ve been looking forward to this post for days! I also read all the Mad Men posts comments too, so I look forward to that as well. I love all the stories other readers share. 

  • Clio_Bluestocking

    I may be wrong, but the bow isn’t really a big part of Joan’s wardrobe. That’s more of a Peggy thing. Wearing one her, in her return to the office, and in a scene with Peggy in which they are both on the outside of the conference room spying in, could that perhaps be an indication that she has moved in a Peggy direction, accepting the importance of her job to her sense of self?

    Lane’s little pocket square, before he takes off his jacket for the fight, looks like military ribbons.

  • http://www.facebook.com/saefields Sharon Fields

    I truly appreciate your analysis of the costuming as a plot device.  I have done a little bit of costume design, love it & miss it.  I go through movies scene by scene looking for the costumers hand in building character.  Thanks again – I just made some lemon ginger scones and wish I could share with you.  

    • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

      Hmm…lemon ginger scones…Lorenzo’s favorite : )

    • Spicytomato1

      Nice, sounds like the perfect accompaniment to Mad Style. When I saw this post I wanted to open it immediately but I forced  myself to wait until my tea had finished brewing and scrounged up some chocolate so that I could sit down and enjoy a few indulgences simultaneously. Heaven! (I haven’t been getting out much lately, obviously!)

  • http://twitter.com/RozSeven Roz

    And check out the dessert–hideous technicolor parfaits–in the background of the kitchen shots.

    • crackineggs

       I just noticed those too – as garish as the whole house!

  • nycfan

    The looks on their faces watching Don’s Superman plumbing routine is priceless.  Makes me wonder what the look on my face was during that scene.

  • nycfan

    Also wanted to add that as Don’s style stays somewhat static relative to the times (small lapels, hat, notwithstanding the sport coat that Megan made him wear), he is coming much more sharply into focus as a man of my grandfather’s era for me.  My grandfather wore a hat right up until his death in the early eighties, I don’t even know where he got them.  It seems to me part of the story this season is whether Don will grasp what is about to explode around him or remain fixed, a man who used to intuitively grasp the way culture was moving, now increasingly out of touch and out of time.   Thus far the costuming suggests that Megan may drag him kicking and screaming forward through the 60s and into the 70s (key parties with Megan & Don anyone?), but he may never actually get it the way he once did.

    • Sobaika Mirza

      I think the talk he had with the young lady at the Stones concert was a clue – he doesn’t get young people anymore. Anyone remember (no idea which season or episode) but Don gets into an elevator with two younger men and a woman gets on, and sternly reminds them to take off their hats. He’s Old School.

      Megan is upping his cool quotient for now, but I see them hitting a wall.

      • sweetlilvoice

        I think too that it’s a black lady as well who gets on the elevator. He’s still a gentlemen. Anyone else remember?

        • Sobaika

          Oh, my memory has a white woman in it. Anyone remember clearly?

          EDIT: Found the scene! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiP1z9qfojA

        • Sobaika Mirza

          Flagged?? Maybe because I included a YouTube link to the scene, finally found it. It’s a white lady, and it looks like it’s from Episode 2 of Season 1.

          • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

             Not sure why the lady’s race would matter. But, etiquette of the day (and still should, but doesn’t) dictated that a man never wear a hat in the presence of a woman when indoors, and really the only time a hat indoors was acceptable at all was in the lobby or elevator. So, if men were alone in the elevator, they could leave their hats on, but as soon as a woman stepped in, they were to take them off.

          • Sobaika Mirza

            The race would matter a great deal on this show. If the lady were black as the other poster thought, it would seem as if the young men were ignoring her because of her race and not their youth and disdain for old school manners. Thus making Don seem even more awesome.

            Also, not sure why this should still be the etiquette? Unless there’s some reasoning I’m missing behind taking off one’s hat. With the way people present themselves these days, I’d beg them to keep their trucker hats on their greasy hair.

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            We always thought it was funny how people held onto the old saw about men removing their hats indoors when we’re pretty sure most people would scoff at the expressed idea that a lady should always wears white gloves.

          • mixedupfiles

            I find it so charming. My older uncles cannot cross a threshold without reflexively reaching for their (cowboy) hats.

            And I should also say, I would welcome a return to gloves for everyday, out-of-the-house wear. My reasons are germ-phobic, but the stylishness would also be nice. Not that I want anyone taking issue with a girl out and about in just jeans and a tee. But I would love for a woman in a skirt and gloves to be standard, as well.

          • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

            Me too. My Dad would never have been indoors in a hat, or without his shirt sitting at the table, no matter how hot a day it was. I think he is exactly Don’s age, which is fun. I asked my Mom this week if he ever wore a bold plaid jacket in the 60′s and she said no. He had a madras plaid cotton jacket, but didn’t even wear that. He was def. the dark suit/white shirt wearing kind of guy.

          • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

            Call me old fashioned, but with few exceptions, I’ll always think a man wearing a hat indoors is tacky. I don’t take it as a personal affront, or anything.  Re: comparison to gloves, they weren’t very practical indoors and you could never use your iPhone with them today!

          • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

            Kind of tough to use an iPhone if you’re forced to carry your hat, too.

          • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

             Touché.

          • sweetlilvoice

            Indeed, that’s what I thought-Don respects women despite their race. They are all ladies to him. He’s a gentleman and he’s had to learn manners. He’s risen above his rural roots. Now, this was before some of his more horrible behaviors-sleeping with his secretaries, hitting on that young girl in California, getting drunk all last season and blacking out, grabbing that woman’s crotch, etc. 

          • sweetlilvoice

            Indeed, that’s what I thought-Don respects women despite their race. They are all ladies to him. He’s a gentleman and he’s had to learn manners. He’s risen above his rural roots. Now, this was before some of his more horrible behaviors-sleeping with his secretaries, hitting on that young girl in California, getting drunk all last season and blacking out, grabbing that woman’s crotch, etc. 

      • nycfan

        Yep, but I thought there was hope that he might get what drives them (thinking of Don’s rebirth in California and his thing for the pre-hippy teacher) even if it never alters his own behaviors and outlook, but this episode seemd to be leaning toward the idea that Don will never be able to understand what is about to happen.  He has always had his old school streak and that played out again in his unspoken criticism of Pete for partaking at the bordello, despite the obvious irony of Don Draper criticizing anyone (even to himself) for such behavior.  By the same token, Don wasn’t offended when the Bordello madam suggested he might be gay, more amused at her tact in making the suggestion, which seems consistent with his being “beyond” race/sexual orientation/etc. (but not gender) — to a point.

    • Spicytomato1

      Don’t you think your grandfather’s hats were probably all vintage vs. him buying new ones? I imagine most men of that era would hang on to their clothing/accessories forever. I know my dad kept one hat from the 60s through the 80s until he finally gave it up and let us use it for dress up. And my husband now would be content to wear the same stuff, decade in and decade out, if I didn’t implore him to update in the interest of career advancement! So he gives in sometimes. But not on shoes, he resoles his over and over again.

      • nycfan

         You are probably right, he just held on to and cared for the “vintage” hats he owned.  In point of fact, my grandfather was closer to Roger’s age (a WWII not Korea age guy) but they are doing a great job of demonstrating how the divide between those two generations (Roger, who fought in WWII, and Don, who briefly served in Korea) is collapsing as the younger generation begins to hold sway over the culture.

      • formerlyAnon

        That’s hilarious – about your dad’s hat, because my dad did the same thing (kept one hat long after he and every other man in North America quit wearing them.) I realize now that wearing a hat was so much a part of a “professional man’s” uniform (and he was a first generation professional and very aware of it, feeling it both as a positive and a negative) that he probably needed to know he had one, in case a situation came up in which it was needed.

        • Spicytomato1

          Interesting insight. My dad was also a “first generation professional,” and in fact switched from blue to white collar mid career stream. It makes sense that they’d hang on to their hats, symbolic as they were, even if only unconsciously aware of that.

      • Maggie_Mae

        Hats stopped being compulsory outdoor wear for all men.  But some sharp-dressed Black & Latino men kept wearing them, as well as the older white guys. 

        Then, there’s the Stetson–not just for cowboys.  I sometimes had lunch at the Rice Hotel Cafeteria in downtown Houston in the early 1970′s; the elderly tycoons who ate there wore suits with just a touch of Western style & the narrow-brimmed Stetson that LBJ favored.

        Certain classic styles were & are still made.  Won’t post a link here, but Miller Hats has its showroom a few blocks away from my house. They carry more than cowboy hats & fedoras; top hats & derbies may still be obtained.  (Ooh, they have Sherlock Holmes hats!)

    • http://twitter.com/asciident Melissa Brogan

       My father’s a decade younger than the Pete Campbell character, and he still likes to wear a hat when he can find them.

  • deathandthestrawberry

    I may have said this here before but Ken Cosgrove’s wife dresses exactly like my mom did during this period. My mom kept her hair short until the early 70s and seemed favor the same kicky dresses cut just above the knee. She also was a working girl in Manhattan (Jersey though, not Queens), but was never as flashy as Megan nor had the income. Anyway, I wanted to point out how spot on the costuming is. It’s like looking at an old photo album!

    • http://twitter.com/Fotstan Joe Johnson

      I hear you about the spot-on, photo album quality of it all. It’s one of the most mesmerizing things about the show. I always have to remind myself that all of these actors were born in the 1980s and 1970s. Well, not Robert Morse and Slattery of course, but you get my drift.

    • sweetlilvoice

      I think that Cynthia’s style is the most timeless too. I see dresses like this being made now (out of cotton usually and not the ‘modern’ polyester.) I own several and the ladies I work with often comments on them and how they are a throw back.

      Maybe that’s because Cynthia is on trend but not totally trendy….Megan looks literally like she was just at a photo shoot and Trudy a photo shoot from the early 60s.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

    The one thing I think you missed is how unusual it is for Don to wear a jacket like that, and that it was on Megan’s urging that he wore it, not to mention that she bought it for him. It really stood out. 

    I just love Megan’s clothes… 

  • Pants_are_a_must

    I guess that’s just noughties sensibility, but I find Lane to be the most stylish man in this show.

    I also love Megan’s earrings in the dinner party. They look like sugared plums.

  • crackineggs

    I noticed in the very first scene with Pete watching the film, he was checking out his classmate and his gaze lingered over her shirt which was a floral with a white background.  It was very similar to the curtains in the Campbell living room, right behind the massive stereo.

  • sarah081

    The other thing that jumped out at me immediately was how similar Trudy’s dinner party dress was to the pink floral dress (almost the same style and shape, if I recall correctly) that Betty wore during the SC dinner party with Roger, Don, and Duck.

  • SignLadyB

    You know my first thought when Don and Megan entered Pete and Trudy’s home? Don immediately lit a cigarette! I know that was perfectly acceptable in 1966–G-d knows I did it myself–even in homes where it was obvious there were no smokers there were ashtrays. Still, I just gasp! Ah, how the times have changed.
    And then you all can be proud of me for noticing color tie ins–the ‘madam’ not only was wearing a rather too fancy (can I say garish given the times?) dress but it was yellow–Andrea’s color the week before. But this time Don was in total control.
    And when Don went to fix the faucet? Off with the white shirt and down to the (sigh) white tee shirt. Although he DID have a bit of a tummy crawling under the sink.
    And speaking of tummies, Joan hasn’t quite recovered her figure, has she? Very nice bit of padding just a little and that new blue  (green?) dress is just a smidge tight so that when she is sitting with Lane there is just a hint of a roll at her waist. 

    • formerlyAnon

       One of the markers of my parents’ parties in my memories (along with stuffing black olives with cream cheese – was that de rigueur for any one else at the time or just my mother’s way of keeping us occupied?) was the pre-party rounding up & cleaning of all available ash trays & the post-party emptying & cleaning. Washed them all at once in their own half-sink of soapy water.

      • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

         nasty, old ciggie ash and butts. Good memories…

        • formerlyAnon

          It is amazing how normal things seem – until they change. Cleaning ashtrays was so ordinary then, and I’d find it so gross now.

          • sweetlilvoice

            I agree! For my smoker friends, I put a cup outside, spray it with Pam (so I don’t have to scrub it), then dump the butts later and take out the trash! Old ashtrays are pretty cool though.

          • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

            Never thought about Pam. I despise finding cig butts on my lawn.

  • VanessaDK

    I love the way your comments both allude to the characters having backstory and making individual choices (Ken wears a hat because he is conservative; Trudy places less emphasis on fashion in the ‘burbs), but also acknowledge Janie Bryant’s decisions as a costume designer (the contrasting outfits at the dinner party; relationship of dress to scenery).

    Thanks for great comments!

  • VanessaDK

    Almost forgot–Kudos for continuity for having Pete’s tie still tucked into his shirt even when he is leaving in the elevator.  Too shook up to get himself back in order.

  • Vlasta Bubinka

    Over at bathtub fabric, she’s talking about how Trudy’s dress looks like Betty’s party dress from season 2. Not the colors or print, but general style and silhouette with the straps, open neck and big full skirt.

  • Sweetbetty

    I was surprised at the toolbox too.  I imagine it as maybe a housewarming gift given to them when they moved into the home and that was the first time he ever opened it.  But his lying on his back on the floor under the sink looked like it was something he had been doing all his life. Maybe he had watched a plumber fixing a sink in one of his city apartments.

  • gubblebumm

    No mention of the pocket hankies of the men in the board room?  All different as well!!!  

  • Sweetbetty

    Maybe Pete is just blaming post-partum depression for the changes he sees in his wife.  Maybe Trudy is happily settling into her natural state but he doesn’t like it.  Just another theory…

  • golden_valley

    I thought Megan looked overdressed, or at least in the wrong season during the dinner party.  The other two women were in summer colors and styles.  Megan looked autumn to me…those long sleeves and the high neck.  
    I remember those hideous plaid blazers…they persisted into the early 70s.  You should see my husband’s bar mitzvah pictures from that era in New York suburbs…ugly and loud.

  • Frank_821

    When people were talking about Pete’s continued emasculation in the main recap. I thought everyone’s reaction to Don fixing the sink was very revealing about him. Here he is stripping off his layers that evening (both literally and figuratively) and the women swoon and call him hero. Everyone including Pete applauds him. After all these years, the mystique of Don Draper is more than just a veneer or illusion. Part of Don’s charisma and “Don Draper-ness” is tied to Dick Whitman the man underneath or at least integrated.

    And Don coming to the rescue did not seem to bother Pete. He didn’t seem to mind being upstaged in this instance since he was upstaged by his hero. Don is the alpha male and the person he respects and admires the most, so that makes it okay. 

  • http://twitter.com/StickyClicky Barbara Benham

    I think Don’s jacket is absolute clownish and is a clue that Megan isn’t as sophisticated and hip, never mind in tune with Don, as we might think. And her dress is very prudish, as if she was hiding her sexuality now that she’s married.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/W7A5N4G7FDTV5U2KOHBVSB55XI Basket

       Exactly.  When I saw Don wearing that jacket I thought of a buffoon.  Someone play-acting. 

    • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

      Sorry, we rarely say this, but you’re flat-out wrong. Both outfits were very stylish for the period.

      • Sobaika Mirza

        It’s going to happen more and more, you’ve mentioned this in your posts. The show is transitioning to looks that look cray (as opposed to classic) in our eyes.

      • Vlasta Bubinka

        Not only were they stylish, but there is nothing prudish about her short skirt. A lot of the swingy short A-line dresses had sleeves and high necks, creating a very covered look atop bare, long legs.

        • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

          To tell you the truth, those skirts seem too short for 1966. They might be right for magazines and models, but it was a good year or so before girls in their 20s would wear anything so far above the knee. I wore a short wedding dress in 1967 and thought it was very daring that it was above my knees.

    • http://twitter.com/TigerLaverada TigerLaverada

      Having been alive and wearing adult style clothes in that era, I can vouch for the authenticity of the styles. Not liking the way they look now doesn’t mean people didn’t like the way they looked then.

      • Maggie_Mae

        Well, some of us decided we hated the “polyester clothes of the plastic people.” So we were about to began wearing denim, army surplus & stuff from the Salvation Army. And made our own clothes.  We’re short years from the scourge of Tie Dye–a look that I never cared for & have avoided in recent revivals.  But the looks on the show are quite accurate.

        Megan’s dress is more “covered” on top.  I know that, nowadays, some ladies adopt the next season’s styles the minute they hit the stores–without waiting for the “correct” season.  I wonder if Megan is jumping the gun in something from the Autumn 1966 line, rather than something suitable for August.  

        • http://twitter.com/sara_clarke Sara Clarke

          That, and also I’ve always heard the classic fashion maxim that if you’re going to go with a short skirt and bare legs, you’d better be relatively covered up on the top half of your body. Cleavage and legs = streetwalker. So far, every time Megan has worn a miniskirt, it’s been with a high neckline at least, if not full sleeves. 

          There’s also that moment in August when you just LONG for fall clothes…

  • formerlyAnon

     This was a masterful Mad Style post.  Or so it seemed to me. Maybe because I’m less conscious of the details of male attire? Or maybe because I get worse at looking at things in the abstract as the clothes resemble more the clothes I personally wore.

    In any case, you fellas should be allowing yourselves a bit of well-earned pride in your work.

  • Sweetbetty

     Agree completely on Megan’s outfit; it would have looked perfectly in place at a Thanksgiving dinner.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_543JWZNT6UC5FCKPTKDBC2XKTQ cheryl

    I have to say I completely disagree with your reading on Ken and Peggy’s arrangement. I don’t think they’re planning on leaving the agency together, but rather have a deal that if one of them gets a lead on a client, the other will always be included in the pitch. Neither of them has indicated in quite some time any desire to leave SCDP, but they have shown admiration for the other’s work in the past. I think it’s just an agreement to keep each other in the loop and support each other within their office, not a look towards going outside of it.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/M476USE6GD6VEE4RO6JA22VRLI Kriesa

      That was my take as well. I don’t think that the pact has anything to do with either of them leaving SCDP together, and I don’t see either of them wanting to leave at this point. However, it makes complete sense for them to work as a team internally. I’ll bet that the pact dates back to the Topaz pantyhose weekend pitch from last season.

      • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

        Ken said outright, “If I go, you go.” Now, we suppose that could mean “If I go to a meeting with a client, you go with me,” but we doubt that very much, since Ken goes to meetings with clients all the time without Peggy.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_543JWZNT6UC5FCKPTKDBC2XKTQ cheryl

          I did take “If I go, you go…” to imply “…to a meeting,” though perhaps it doesn’t have to be in the literal sense, as long as the other one is included in the overall project as soon as possible. And the fact that Ken was so blatantly pushing her away from that lunch when she was physically present and available would definitely have gone against such an agreement. 

          Peggy is in the most powerful position she’s been in yet, and is more and more comfortable grabbing even more power wherever she can (i.e. gleefully blackmailing Roger), and Ken has found an agency in which he has managed to move his workload around so as to be able to keep up the writing that means so much to him. Both have worked hard to reach the standings they have, and I doubt either one would choose to leave such difficult-to-achieve situations. 
          If it is in fact the way you two interpreted it to be, I’m sure it’s something that will come up in the future. That would be way too juicy a potential plot twist not to explore. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see…

    • Sweetbetty

       That was exactly how I felt about it and was surprised to read others’ take on it, about leaving the company.

  • fursa_saida

    Love that chevron dress of Megan’s.

    Re: Peggy and Joan’s outfits reinforcing their “women in a man’s world” status – you forgot to mention they both have scarf(ish) details. Men love scarves, you know.

    • sweetlilvoice

      I mentioned that line to a friend’s husband and he said it’s true. A man can look at your scarf and boobs at the same time and not get yelled at. Just  his opinion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=739196218 Leah Burns

    I actually thought Ken looked like the best dressed man at the dinner party. That blue dinner jacket went nicely with his hair.

  • judybrowni

    Marvelous assessment Tlo.

    However, I think Janie was off a skosh with Trudy’s daywear.

    A shirtwaist that structured, maybe: but crinolines underneath that poofy for daywear around the house? Nope, nada.

    Crinolines for party wear, maybe, and yes it would be slightly out-of-style.

    But a poofy crinoline during the day, dealing with a baby and housework? Impossible. Even if Trudy had dressed up to go to the bank, or wherever, unlikely.

    Cupcake shirtwaist, yes, puffy crinolines for daywear, not in 1966. Even for the less than stylish.

    • http://twitter.com/Fotstan Joe Johnson

      I agree with that entirely. I get what Janie was trying to do, but she took it a step too far for ’66. I’ll choose to assume Trudy was on her way to an important PTA meeting or something, and decided to go old-school overboard to impress the other parents, who she thinks are more conservative than they are. I do this so I can keep up my belief that MM is perfection.

      • judybrowni

        With a new baby, the PTA is also unlikely.

        When she reaches school age, yes. 

        But with a baby, her concerns and time would be more directed toward the baby, not the baby’s far future.

        (And I say that as someone whose mother served as President of the PTA.)

        • http://twitter.com/Fotstan Joe Johnson

          Oh yeah, duh! Good call. I’ll assume she was going to some other fancy suburban ‘do, and then ended up looking foolish in her 1957 dress.

  • imakeart

    I got to choose the fabric for my first solo bedroom when I was 7 (ok, I’ll spill that was 1970,) and it was the exact print of the Campbell living room sofa and drapes! I remember my mom trying desperately to convince me I’d get tired of that giant, bright floral…I never did.  What a hoot when I saw it Sunday!

    • juliamargaret

      I have to admit I kinda like that print!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/76MOACGITT5AHEG24N6E7RZWDA Kay

    We are in the closing stretch of a full kitchen remodel – one of the best parts was finally getting rid of the wallpaper; it was the exact wallpaper in the Campbell kitchen. Ugh! It was the first thing we tore out, we set in on fire just to be sure it wouldn’t come back.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/6ZTUEB4QB2IOMFORNTKQCSDHDQ robin-m

    I love the photo of Lane kissing Joan. Her body language is very mixed — her hands and neck show surprise and confusion, but her torso is definitely leaning in toward him. (I know, her torso naturally leans in . . .  but think of how emotionally different this photo would be if her back was stiff.) Joan with Lane . . . if it weren’t for that pesky Brit wife of his.

    • Maggie_Mae

      And that husband of hers.  I’m sure that, as far as the rest of the world knows, Joan is bravely waiting for her hubby who is saving lives in Southeast Asia.  In fact, neither she nor Greg may have taken any legal steps yet; he’s safely out of the picture for a year….

      • Sweetbetty

         Right.  Since she’s in no hurry to re-marry she might as well keep collecting his military benefits while he’s out of her hair.

  • carolynmo

    I’ve resisited this show as long as I could, but after reading these posts for so long, I finally watched it and really liked it.

  • EEKstl

    My husband and I laughed out loud when we saw Don in that sport coat.  While stylish for the period and he looks good in it (because after all… he IS Don Draper), wow, is it loud.  It really is a testament to Don’s relationship with Megan that he acquiesced to wear something that is so completely different from his uniform, and something that would call that much attention to himself.

  • http://thoroughly-me.blogspot.com/ thoroughlyME

    Check out how high the stance is on Pete’s sport coat. He’s the only one in a three-button jacket, and he looks so buttoned-up and stiff and desperate to impress Don. Ken’s one-button jacket seems to fit with his laid-back personality, though I was surprised how eager-to-please he seemed at the party. Then again, he’s in Pete’s house and wearing Pete’s color, so maybe the shit-eatingness is rubbing off on him.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/J2VE4NE2FY2BP4QD2XOYKJGLPI Laura

    Can I just say that the fact that all the women screamed and giggled (instead of freaking out) when the water sprayed all over the kitchen demonstrates a great deal of comfort, ease and confidence, especially for Trudy? Can you see Betty reacting that way if that happened in the middle of a party in her house? 

  • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

    An impression that struck me. Peggy isn’t just matching certain men at certain times (Michael, Stan, now Ken). She’s matching them in general. She is dressing like a man because she has become like one of them. I’m not saying anything new here, just tying it all together.
    But what’s notable is, her clothes haven’t been linked to any of the Senior Level men. She matches the lower level, because that’s where she is stuck. Peggy is in a fashion rut and a career rut. Can’t wait to see how she pulls herself out of it. Hopefully she will.

    • http://oneblueberry.com/ LaVonne Ellis

       I’m rooting for her and Ken to start their own agency and compete with SDCP. :)

  • formerlyAnon

     Okay, sharp-eyed tableware-loving minions: the gravy boat? Maker/pattern?  You can see the shape of the handle & spout best in the first photo of Ken & Cynthia at table, the pattern on the body in the Megan/Don side-by-side, 2 down from the close up of Trudy’s necklace.

    It looks very familiar, but I associate such patterns in my mind with the ’70s, or very vaguely with something earlier my mom used to call generically “California Pottery,” but which I associate with a more rustic finish – not the very shiny almost irridescent white that the interior of this jug seems to have. In any case, I’m curious.

    • Kathleen Tripodi

       It looks like Cabbageware, which leads me to hypothesize.

      1a. Cabbageware was first popular in the 18th century.  I know the 70s had a lot of Colonial Revival  going on because of the bicentennial (my grandparents had a set of cabbageware glass plates from the 70s), but would it be going on this early and the Campbells?  Probably not, based on Trudy’s dress. 
      1b. Antique and referencing old family money/prominence?  Most people don’t actually use antique dishes, even when trying to impress your boss/hero.  The life cycle of china (according to my archaeology professor) is you don’t use your parents (dated/ugly), use your grandparents (old enough to be pretty again, not so old you venerate it), and anything older is display only.
      2.  The chip-and-dip (lettuce and tomato pattern) was part of a set.
      3.  They (Trudy) bought it recently as part of their new “country” lifestyle.

      My bet is on #3.

      Also, they are serving Beef Wellington.  Love it!

      • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

        I don’t see the chip-and-dip in these pictures. Am I missing it, or is it not pictured? Is it the same one that they got for a wedding present??

        • Kathleen Tripodi

           The wedding present one.  It wasn’t pictured; I was just referencing back to the first(?) episode.

      • formerlyAnon

        Beef Wellington! I couldn’t remember its name either (though, unlike the china I knew that I did at one time definitely know it.)

        Maybe someone else can nail it. It didn’t seem like “the latest thing” at any time since Trudy & Pete’s marriage.  
        I was thinking it might be family china or an (old fashioned, at the time) wedding present.

        I kept thinking ‘cabbage leaves,’ but I remember Cabbage Ware as being more uniformly green. (That doesn’t mean it actually IS, just that that’s my memory.)

        If I ever tear myself away from this blog long enough to get some work done, maybe later I’ll employ google in the search for the a pattern name.

        • Kathleen Tripodi

           18th century cabbageware was often green and white.  There was a very similar fad for cauliflower ware.  As for 20th century, I have no idea.  We archaeologists only care about old things.

          • formerlyAnon

            Thank-you for the additional info. So far, my googling skills + 20 minutes have not found a match. I may just have to wonder. 

        • http://profiles.google.com/sara.e.munoz Sara Munoz

          Somebody posted a link to NYPL’s pinterest page. They have a Mad Men board and have lots of pictures of various artifacts fro mthe show. Maybe they’ve posted it?

      • Jessica Goldstein

        Regarding 1b: The same goes with names, too. Compare the number of Lisas, Lindas, and Dons to Henrys and Amelias. I do like my mom’s china, though, maybe because it was old fashioned when she picked it in 1957.

        • http://www.lindamerrill.com Linda Merrill

          Hmm. one of my brother’s is called Don – funny. Very popular names in the 50s and 60s.  And I don’t love my mom’s china, although it’s Limoges, it’s too “cabbage patch rose” for me. She picked it in the mid-50′s, but it was a newish pattern, I think.

      • Jessica Goldstein

        Regarding 1b: The same goes with names, too. Compare the number of Lisas, Lindas, and Dons to Henrys and Amelias. I do like my mom’s china, though, maybe because it was old fashioned when she picked it in 1957.

  • Candigirl1968

    Handsome really looks like the boy stand-in for Don, doesn’t he?

    Looking at the pic with the three women laughing in the kitchen, I can’t help but think about how different the dynamic would have been had Betty been there instead of Megan, and whether Don would have ripped off his shirt and fixed the sink.  

  • cmb92191

    Re: Ken’s hat

    My father in law (RIP) would be slightly older than Don but younger than Roger. He was a business man from the early 50′s to mid 1990s’.   He always said “Never trust a man without a hat”.  Ken’s publishing agent is an older gentleman.  It could be that Ken realized this hat trust or mistrust and had it as a prop.   Have we ever seen Ken actually wearing a hat?

    My MIL (RIP) had that very same Trudy necklace.  It looks very familiar.  In fact, I may even have it somewhere. The large earrings are just so interesting.   I have a few pairs of her earrings and they are HUGE by today’s standards.  One pair looks like mini candlelabras and they are so heavy. 

    Look at the pic where Roger is lighting Red Head’s cigarette.  Doesn’t her profile remind you of Florence Welch?  With Madam Adele and Florence the party girl- I like the way this room is headed!

  • theotherTLO

    TLo: THANKS for putting all the work into this.  I just love reading it.  I totally agree with the readers here that think Trudy’s party dress calls back to Betty’s dinner party dress.  Similar lines, fabric.

    FYI, the “whore house” is actually the executive floor in a friend’s office building in LA :).  He posted pics of Peggy and Ken sitting outside the building while shooting S. 5, so funny to see how the used the site!

  • formerlyAnon

    Has anyone commented on Megan’s cocktail ring at dinner? Hair, makeup, jewelry and dress: she’s in the vanguard.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=21011106 Sumari M.

    Joan’s teal dress is a callback to the teal dress she wore in ‘The Good News’, where she tried to beguile Lane with mentions of leg and breast to no avail. :)

  • girliecue

    Loved the closing shot of Ken in his underwear and black socks writing in bed. It was fun watching an old man in the making, although I don’t think he is going to turn into Roger. When the 60s and early 70s are done, I see Ken and Cynthia becoming more liberal than Pete and Trudy. They both seem to have more of a social consciousness and conscience than Pete and Trudy, and I would like to think they place more value on happiness and personal fulfillment than money and status. After all, they live in Queens, not Manhattan and he IS still writing after getting reproached by Roger, no?

    I was also struck by the fact that I’m the same age as Pete and Trudy’s baby. Having memories of the time MM is now set in has really changed the way I view it now. Cynthia’s hairdo made me recoil in horror I felt in the early 80s at women who still had the exact same do. Like I said, it’s like watching old people in the making. It’s a bit disconcerting to now have bits of my own zeitgeist so consciously crashing into the show and interrupting the narrative. It has also made me more thoughtful about the episodes and brought a new level of appreciation for T Lo’s posts. So thank you, Lorenzo and Tom – from a whole new place.

    Lastly, I really hope Joan starts wearing her hair down at one point. CH looks soooo much better with it down, the updo seriously messes with my tolerance for styles I hate, and it would be a great way to illustrate if/how Joan decides to handle the future vs. adhering to past-based behavior and beliefs. Especially when it comes to men…

    • http://oneblueberry.com/ LaVonne Ellis

      That’s funny, I didn’t realize that my annoyance with Cynthia’s hair was for the exact reasons you mentioned – it looks very old fashioned to me, just like the older generation of women back then. I was wearing a blunt cut with bangs that year, copying Gloria Steinem, and I felt at the HEIGHT of fashion.

    • mixedupfiles

       Yup, that’s my mom’s hair, and yup, I recoiled.

      • girliecue

        I believe Mrs. Basil E. Frankwiler also sported the same hairdo.  ;)

        • mixedupfiles

           Hah — too true!

  • sweetlilvoice

    Thanks! Much appreciated. The scene shows how Don is a gentleman at heart.

  • sweetlilvoice

    Thanks! Much appreciated. The scene shows how Don is a gentleman at heart.

    • mixedupfiles

       Well, yes, but that scene was about a lot more than just gentlemanliness. It was the modern world — frank (and coarse) sexual talk, in front of a woman — crashing into the old world. The hat had nothing to do with the interaction, except as a means by which Don could chasten the guy for his behavior.

      • sweetlilvoice

        Yes, you are also right about that. I forgot about what the men were talking about. I’m re-watching season 1 and will keep an eye out for that scene. 

  • sweetlilvoice

    Love them! Thanks!

  • granddelusion

    I am so over Christina Hendricks, what a bore; the men are clearly all slime; that jacket is about the most painful thing ever; and that headband is so wrong.

  • Kathleen Tripodi

    Just saw that you did an article for this on Slate today!  Awesome!

    • formerlyAnon

       Really? Way cool. I’ll have to toddle over there and read it. Well, eventually. Better go do some work, first.

      Congratulations, fellas!

  • http://profiles.google.com/marteani Barbara Guttman

    Oh man.  Don.  Poor Don.  I’ve seen enough Laugh-In to know this was coming.  It’s finally time.  I was dreading this moment.  It’s time to put on my 60s-Tinted-Glasses.

    Not all fashion is like fine wine.  For proof we have bell bottoms, zubaz, and Don’s jacket.

    • Sweetbetty

       Didn’t bell bottoms have a very slight resurgence just a few years ago?  I don’t find them particularly unattractive though they don’t work well on my short legs.

      • http://profiles.google.com/marteani Barbara Guttman

        Something (usually jeans) with a more bell-like pant-leg (generally referred to as a flare cut) made a brief resurgence, but many bell-bottoms were basically pants with a dress on the bottom. 
        This kind of thing: blog.monstervintage.com/wp-content/uploads/bells-4.jpg

      • http://profiles.google.com/marteani Barbara Guttman

        Something with a more bell-like pant-leg (flare cut) made a brief resurgence, but in the end many bell-bottoms became pants with a dress on the bottom.  Often in the most hideous pattern possible, because color theory was abandoned in the late 60s and didn’t come back until after the 80s.

  • Susan Crawford

    The boardroom table scene, where hapless Lane pitches his potential Jaguar account was masterful. Joan’s colorful yet ladylike fuschia-pink provides a single note of real color for a while, and then it is a sea of neutrals, punctuated by Pete’s navy suit. Lane has rarely looked more British in his dress than throughout this episode.

    The “upstate” party at Pete’s Cos Cob manse was beautifully coordinated – no need to expand at all on T and Lo’s analysis, since they nailed it perfectly. Although I have to say when I first saw Don’s plaid jacket, I laughed. Suddenly, after all these seasons, Don breaks into color! It was a bit like the “Wizard of OZ” cene where Dorothy opens the door of the farmhouse to all the color of Munchkin Land!

    The scene where Roger lectures Ken about being committed to the job was just about my favorite scene. To Roger, things often seem black or white: you either nail the account, or you fail. It is done THIS way, or NO way. You’re an ad man or you’re wasting time. Roger’s black and white, ultra moderne office decor really symbolizes so much about his former success, and his current decline. The world isn’t quite as neatly arranged any more. He knows it, but in his stark office, he doesn’t have to see it right in front of him.

    I also loved the fight scene! Lane’s Marquis of Queensbery fight stance against Pete’s American crouch-style was a wonderful touch, and when, after taking a couple of blows, Lane finds his zone and kicks Pete’s ass, I truly felt vindicated on his behalf. (GO LANE!) And that marvelous moment when Pete tucks his tie into his shirt – priceless. A piece of sheer douchebaggery if I ever saw it!

    I’ll bet you anything that teenager in Pete’s driver ed class was wearing Papagallo flats with her pink outfit. Probably lime green with pink leather camellias on the toes. And of course she would wear blue-label Keds – perfect mid-sixties suburbiana.

    I have to say I was moved by Joan’s handling of Lane’s awkward lunging kiss. She let him know it wasn’t on, but did it in such a way that he kept his dignity.

    The “party girls” were pretty perfect, too. Just a little too gaudy, a little too overt, a little too too. But the Madam – now THERE was a gal you would NOT want to mess with. The over-decorated caftan, the jewelry, the hairstyle – honey, she could clear that apartment in under a minute and never muss up one element of that outfit. And that gal had Don sized up right away, I’m thinking.

    I think Ken’s new story, based on recent events at the company, marked a major change for him. Yes, he killed off his sci-fi alter ego, but Algonquin was born, and that paragraph seemed straight from something very real and very insightful. The snippet we heard was Cheever, with a twist of O’hara and just a whisper of Fitzgerald for garnish. Keep at this story, Ken. I smell a best-seller with a whole world of potential storylines for the series regulars.

    • girliecue

      You are brilliant, Susan Crawford! Can’t you just see Algonquin’s novel becoming a best-seller and Pete finding out David Coe is based on him? Wouldn’t that be the perfect straw to break Pete’s back and drive him (perhaps literally) to death? Oh lord, I’m becoming obsessed with MM conspiracy theories! But there are worse things a girl can take up, aren’t there… 

      Really enjoy your posts, Ms. Crawford. I love that PUFs are an insightful and funny lot, and you do much to uphold our reputation! And I too have always wanted to be Empress. Of the Universe, of course. Queendom just seems so… pedestrian (unless you’re talking about drag queens).

  • reebism

    Was the coat Peggy had on her chair the same one she wore in The Suitcase? It looks like it’s the same color. 

    I love how I’ve learned color stories from this show! Cynthia’s dress matches the Campbell’s house and all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Katherine-Lavender/553350310 Katherine Lavender

    I would LOVE to see the scene where Pete arrives home to Trudy looking like a couple of pounds of mince. Although I expect he’ll just tell her he was mugged or something.

    • formerlyAnon

      If he does (lie to Trudy) he won’t get away with it. They may live out in the distant suburbs, but they socialize with folks from the office – and this is going to become a story to be revealed under the influence of alcohol, if not sober. I’d bet “the boys” end up turning it into one of those jokes-that-aren’t-really-that-funny but will not die. 

    • Sweetbetty

      I was thinking about that all through that excruciating elevator ride with Don.  How is he going to explain his face to Trudy?

  • Spicytomato1

    “it’s a little tougher to pull out any sort of inferences or meaning from the costumes.”
    If this represents what you can mine from a “tougher” episode, fashion-wise, I can’t even imagine what you’ll come up with when the source material is richer. Bravo, gentlemen. You should be teaching a course…Mad Style 101?

    Great screen grabs, I loved looking at each and every one. The whorehouse shots look a lot like my parents’ snapshots from that era and I’m pretty sure theirs wasn’t a whorehouse in any sense of the word. So like you said, it took me a minute to register that.

  • Vodeeodoe

    Seriously. I am so impressed at how prolific and and professional you guys are. Bravo, T&L !

  • rechercher

    Trudy’s wardrobe has always read “matronly” to me. When she lived in the city her clothes looked “old for her,” and now that she’s in the suburbs they just look out of date. The character is dressed to project maturity, and Trudy is certainly the mature one in the relationship.

  • Wendi126

    Something I noticed in these still pics that I didn’t when watching. Lane has a Mets flag hanging in his office. This is interesting to me because in 1966, the hapless Mets who had only been an organization for a few years acquired Tom Seaver. He was an ace from the start propelling the team in victories and popularity culminating in the 1969 World Series win. In choosing to be a Mets fan rather than the classic often winning Yankees, Lane is cheering for the underdog as well as the new kid on the block..much like himself.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RHLSUVX3NCPB4OSS5BM7GZIXUE P. Capet

      it also makes me a little sad.  it’s touching, like someone took him to a game and he bought a banner and put it on his wall, like a kid who wants to fit in.

      • formerlyAnon

        Even more, I think he’s probably genuinely enthusiastic about baseball – he *wants* to embrace the States, though his Britishness (and his wife) keeps getting in the way.

  • Judy_J

    Just noticed how the drapes and sofa in the Campbell’s house are of the same fabric.  My mom did the same thing when she redecorated our house in the mid ’60s.  I didn’t realize till now that it must have been a “thing” then.

    • rowsella

       We had velvet flocked wallpaper that matched our 1970′s gold green and cream brocade sofa.  Even our dining room chairs matched in our open plan split.

    • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

      OK, so now maybe you can understand why all us older readers continue to defend “matchy-matchy” clothes. EVERYTHING in our world matched during our formative years. I’m sure that Trudy also has some throw pillows that are in the same floral fabric. Matching and coordination were very important in both clothing and decorating.

  • SignLadyB

     I love this discussion and went and looked at the scene. Watching Don’s face (and knowing what we know now about Don) I think that beyond the mannerisms of the time Don is extremely conscious of propriety (especially in public) because it was something he worked very hard at learning.
    Consider the background he came from and where is is now. There was no “”Proper Etiquette for Dummies” in circulation at that time. You learned it from your parents and peers.
    Maybe part of his charm with both the men and women in his circle was is  careful observation of the mannerisms of those around him.
    Think of another elevator scene (I believe it was the very first episode) where he had no qualms asking the black elevator operator about his cigarette choice. That apparent comfort may have hearkened back to his youth and time in the army–as well as the fact that I believe he was in the elevator alone.

    • Sobaika Mirza

      Are you talking about Mad Men’s very first scene? He asks a black busboy about cigarettes, but it was in public at a bar. I remember an old interview with Matthew Weiner, he was saying that Don grew up in poverty & it put him beyond the race thing. He just so happens to get the black secretary. He doesn’t have the same hangups the rest in the office do.

      He also enjoys off-color jokes (‘not on my watch’) and would probably blow a gasket of Sally had a black boyfriend. Don shows up as more progressive than Roger (in his blackface, remember that?) but I think there’s a limit. Peggy, Ken, and even Pete probably have more leeway than he does. I’m interested in seeing where that limit is and if Megan is the one who leads him to it. And if it’s something we might cheer on (like shutting down those men in the elevator) or if it’s something our modern eyes might balk at.

      • SignLadyB

         Oops, yeah that was the busboy, forgot that.
        And, yes, I agree that he got the secretary just by happenstance.
        I would disagree (I know, shock!) with Weiner’s statement that Don’s poverty would put him “beyond” the race thing. But I think his time in the army might have made him more, not accepting exactly but,comfortable with CASUAL mingling. But yes, I can’t see him accepting Sally with a black boyfriend.
        And yes, again he apparently enjoys off-color jokes but  probably as much depending on the social situation–peer pressure, as actually habitually making them himself–double standard, what is proper behavior in a given situation.
        And I agree also that Peggy, Ken and Pete may all more broad minded in general partially because of age, partially because of a more urban (I’m guessing on Ken) upbringing. But do you think Peggy’s mother would be charmed if Peggy brought Michael home? And Pete’s apparent lack of prejudice I think comes as much from his sense of entitlement (patronizing) as from a real understanding of racial issues. Pete, as has been brought out even in this episode, REALLY understands the proper way of doing things–keeping his coat on at his own dinner party for example.
        Okay, off my soap box, I hope I don’t come across as some kind of a know-it-all–I really know very little, but love the discussions that are engendered by these blogs and responses.

      • charlotte

         Sally and a black boyfriend? I’m so waiting for that now!

    • roadtrip1000

       You might be thinking of the episode where Pete Campbell asks the black elevator operator which brand of television he owns.

  • TheDivineMissAnn

    At the party, Trudy has spaghetti straps, Cynthia (classic 60′s name!) is sleeveless, yet Megan is in autumnal colors and long sleeves.  It doesn’t look like a sheer fabric either; and even it if were, we’re talking late July or early August, no?

    What do you suppose that’s all about?

    ETA: And the Madame was wearing…..wait for it…..yellow!

    • http://twitter.com/asciident Melissa Brogan

       Someone mentioned this earlier, but… Megan’s wearing a very up to the minute outfit. The fashion then was very short skirts (hers is even a bit shorter than Cynthia’s rather stylish dress) with the top half much more covered up. It may not have been sheer, but it was probably a light fabric. I doubt Megan was too warm that night.

      • Maggie_Mae

        Megan might have been wearing something from the “Transitional” line.  That was the fashion mini-season for late summer/early fall.  Ladies wore light fabrics in dark colors, since everybody was sick of pastel summer frocks.  Transitional was also popular for Back To School–especially in pre air-conditioning Texas.  But our Transitional dresses were far dowdier than Megan’s…..

        • http://www.GiftedCollector.com Nancy Abrams

          Transitional clothes were my favorite and perfect year ’round in L.A. In 1966, they would have been earth tones with a lot of muted paisley.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GXUCGSTJKG5S4XOKJ6SWJZAA3I John

    I too like Megan’s chevron dress. I do wish there was a little talk about Mr Jaguar, particularly his dot tie with pin.

    Also, the way the horizontal stripes accentuate Handsome’s power. (Maybe a slight misstep to dress Jenny so innocently in that scene when it’s designed to show her sexual attraction to him.)

  • Sophie Collier

    As I scrolled down past the leopard undie scene to the next photos, my mental narrator went “And then Adele showed up.”  

  • Uncle_Podger1

    Art Historian here. Love your analysis of the clothes! I noticed that the brothel has at least two reproductions of works of art that help advertise their wares:“Le Bain Turk” (1832) by Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres &  William Adolphe Bourguereau, “Nymphs and Satyr,” (1873). The first shows a fantasy vision of a Turkish women’s bath and the second naked nymphs dragging a satyr into a pool for fun times.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Carlson-Nikoleit/100002490979930 Margaret Carlson Nikoleit

      I also noticed the Ingres! But not the other. Great observation.

  • AudreysMom

    great analysis – for some reason my attention was with Baby Campbell’s high chair. Maybe it’s the pain in my back from the time i spent in one just like it.

  • Lilithcat

    How long did it take you to figure out they were at a whorehouse? 

    No time at all.  It was obvious from the conversation at dinner that they were headed to a brothel.

  • http://twitter.com/lareveuse lareveuse

    You missed the pocket squares! I love the pocket squares. I would love to hear your analysis of the different folds. :)

  • judybrowni

    I owned a skirt like Peggy’s with the inverted pleats.

  • MissAnnieRN

    YES!  I’m a twisted bitch, but I love it.

  • MissAnnieRN

    I love uproxx.  I haven’t read it lately.  Now I’ve just got to find a Don Draper taking off his shirt to fix a faucet gif and I will have completed my day :)

  • Derwen

    Apologies if this has already been said but Don’s jacket is in the Mad Men title colours – something TLo taught me to notice.  

  • divebarwife

    We were expecting some comments from you guys on the ‘cheerleader’ look of Megan’s yellow and black sleeveless number as compared to the actual teenager in the similarly cut pink sleeveless top…

  • http://twitter.com/cjewells Cindy G

    Flowers were really big in this episode. In particular I noted the clothes worn by the young lady in the drivers’ ed class. Most of her clothes had flowers on them, even her flip flops (or whatever there were called them) had a huge flower. Except for the last scene, she either had flowers on or the sweet girlish pink of the ribbed sleeveless top and pedal-pushers. Where it changed was in the last scene where we see her wearing a skirt with wide plaid in, I believe, black or navy and another not-so-innocent color(s). Her boy friend is in the process of running his hand up said skirt, with out protest from the young lady! Most definitely she is not an innocent flower-or-pink-wearing girl anymore! I can’t remember if she was wearing a headband or not, but in the scene wear she first sees the studly guy she is wearing a very white, dare I say, nun-like white headband. 
    Also, the madam at the bordello is wearing flowers on her very in-your-face yellow dress, but these flowers have black centers and have nothing to do with innocence!
    Lots more flower usage, I won’t go into, except to note that the young lady had me thinking not only about her innocence but the coming of flower children and flower power. 

  • FloridaLlamaLover

    Just got around to reading this post and I’m wondering why TLo have the detail shot of Trudy’s dinner party necklace?  No commentary added below, wondering if it reinforced her being out of step, accessory-wise, for the time?  I’m a curious, not bitter, kitten this morning.

  • wooohoo

    I’m late to the party, but did any one notice the lack of ladies shoes?  Maybe since the last episode was such a shoe spectacular, but I really noticed the absence.

    • Sweetbetty

       The only place I noticed that was in Don and Megan’s chase scene and I wondered why she wasn’t wearing hose.

      • wooohoo

        I was referring to the lack of shoes in Signal 30.  

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/U6IZUF22TJ6SUFDLIIVIVE6I4E ve2

    Hi, just wanted to highlight that Trudy’s dress at the dinner party is strongly reminiscent of Betty’s at a similar dinner party in one of the previous seasons. She is wearing another version of Trudy’s dress in the episode where she feels slighted after she unwittingly buys into Don’s ‘exotic imported beer for housewives’ pitch, offering Heineken beer as ‘beer from sweden’ or something, and causing all the clients to look admiringly in Don’s direction.

  • mariel trill guillot

    I just loooooove your blog about Mad Men!!!
    Mariel, from Argentina

  • boomchicabowwow

    You too?!  I had the suspenders AND the knit tie.

  • maya s

    Poor Lane. i thought that kiss was going to happen in the first episode of the season, the way it was staged (yet came right with Joan referring to Don’s good looks). it’s fun to see how these characters have come close – remember Lane’s harsh words that he doesn’t fall for Joan’s charms.. haha!

    Also, after noting all the patterns in the Campbell residence, the whorehouse was explosive with patterns. doesn’t it look in the stills like a dark, twisted, subconscious correspondence with Pete’s house? the flip side of suburbia in the male mind…
    plus note the “art” on the walls :)

  • Linlighthouse

    “If you look at the back of her chair, her coat matches his suit.” Yes, but it’s odd that she brought a coat in July in New York. A sweater is the most she might need.