Mad Style: Dark Shadows

Posted on May 16, 2012

With families and family trees being so central to the story this time, it’s not surprising that the two branches springing from the Hofstadt-Draper union are both being defined through their clothing, and that subtle points about the differences in each household are being made.

Here, the Draper family is picture-perfect and in harmony as they all model the latest in 1966 knitwear. Don and Megan are both in shades of green and that’s the only use of color to illustrate ties. This is, after all, “their” house and the kids only visit twice a month. It’s also notable that Sally and Megan have almost-identical hairstyles.

Contrast the relative visual harmony of the above scene with this one:

Sally’s “other” family life is cluttered and noisy and not at all harmonic, which speaks less to the quality of, say, Betty’s parenting as it does to the fact that the day-to-day work of raising kids does not allow for white carpets, clean surfaces, and expansive city views for most people. Note that none of the costumes of the three figures call back to each other or to the surroundings in any real way. Family life is typically not harmonious and coordinated on a daily basis.

Given Bobby’s outfit, it’s a safe bet these kids are in private schools. We only fear that poor kid’s going to get shipped off to a military academy soon, considering how little anyone pays attention to him.

And while Sally and Megan are not coordinated here (indeed, they’re on opposite sides of a color wheel, as well they should be, given the text), they do tie directly into their surroundings. The Draper apartment is decorated entirely in autumnal shades of brown and orange, punctuated here and there by pops of blue. Even when there’s family conflict in this apartment, it’s clean and coordinated; as unlikely as a clean, white carpet with a toddler on it.

Meanwhile, as she so often is, Betty’s on a journey of her own.

Everything in this scene, from lighting to set dressing to props to that drab brown costume, are all in service to exactly one sentiment:

“This really sucks.”

Of course Betty would never use those words – or even think of her life in those terms – but these shots are a neat visual representation of the low level of annoyance and depression that both comes with dieting and kind of defines Betty’s general state to a T.

Had Betty had even the slightest inkling as to how this evening was going to go, you can bet she never would have worn this large, sturdy coat. When you think of Betty from the first 3 seasons, you remember an incredibly stylish young wife and mother, but here, she’s dressing in a more standard suburban-housewife style of the period. She looks both older than her age and larger than she actually is. We could say this all represents her state of mind, but the fact of the matter is, women over a certain size and over a certain age had little in the way of style options. This was the uniform, like it or not, and it was expected to span a range of ages from the late 20s to the late 50s.

Megan is, of course, completely free to wear the latest styles. Betty’s resentment and subsequent actions may not have been very nice or very fair, but this one scene illustrates her frustrations so effectively that it’s hard not to see things from her perspective. She does all the hard work of raising Don’s kids, but Megan gets to be their friend and live in a clean, modern, uncluttered home while wearing the most stylish of clothes. Given all that, it’s surprising Betty didn’t just throw her through the glass doors in fury.

And speaking of the suburban housewife uniform…

… you’re soaking in it.

What struck us about these scenes was just how put-the-hell-together most of these outfits are. These ladies are dressed up. Even more notable, and in line with what we said above about the uniform, is the fact that all these women are dressed very similarly and yet the youngest in the room looks to be late 20s or early 30s and the oldest in the room look to be closing in on 60. These are establishment women; upper middle class (there’s not one cheap outfit in the room) and married to men with very good jobs. They don’t have a lot of room or options to wear clothes that make them feel or look youthful. No bell-bottoms and paisley blouses for this lot. It’s moneyed, Republican housewifery, straight down the line. Respectable and restrictive.

This was probably the healthiest interaction these two have ever had. Not surprising, then, that they are a unit of blue in their costuming.

We have a vintage copy of that Better Homes & Gardens cookbook in the background and squeal a little whenever we see it.

In other corners of the Mad Men world…

It’s hard to tell from the story this season exactly what Peggy’s status is in the office. She’s been shown working as hard or harder than she ever has before, but she’s had no successes this year (none that we’ve seen, anyway) and at least one major failure: the Heinz account. On the other hand, no one, including herself, seems particularly bothered by this and in fact, the amount of respect she receives from her co-workers is greater than at any other time. We suppose she’s just plugging away, waiting for brilliance to strike her again, and fully entrenched enough in her career that no one (yet) has made any noise about her being on a downward trajectory. She’s been a copywriter for over 5 years at this point, after all; with a great deal of success under her belt. If no one else is worried, maybe we shouldn’t be either.  Everyone coasts from time to time in their career.

Still, it’s alarming to see her in this scene, practically invisible in a creative meeting. Janie Bryant uses costume and set to interact with each other, but we don’t think we’ve ever seen someone sit down on a couch wearing a dress that matches it almost exactly. Don and Michael got into a little creative dick-measuring in this scene and Peggy simply bowed out of the competition, leaving it to the two of them.

You could show these pictures to someone who knows nothing about the show and they’d easily be able to tell you a great deal about these characters and this scene. This is clearly Roger’s office; he is clearly in the superior position; Michael is clearly an outsider to his world; and yet it’s clear that they are collaborating. Who needs a script when the art direction does so much work to tell the story?

What did we say about her last week? Dark Betty:

Scary; right?

 

Accounts and media people wear business-like greys; creative people wear color and pattern. What does it say about Don that he’s dressed like a businessman and not like a creative one?

We so love it when we get something right. Last week, when Megan went off to acting lessons wearing a leather-trimmed coat, we noted that her acting friends weren’t going to react well to such inadvertent displays of financial security. And this week, while her acting friend tears into her for being a dilettante, what is Megan wearing? A leather-trimmed sweater. There are ways a costumer can indicate a character’s wealth without necessarily festooning them with jewelry and designer clothes. Little touches like leather trim can make the same point in a much more subtle manner.

Her friend, by way of contrast, is wearing something that’s obviously not expensive (and is a little ugly to 2012 eyes). Look at the striped coat over her arm. She’s nothing but pattern and color, fitting in with the burgeoning hippy styles of the period. With her struggling-actress lifestyle, she’s more in tune with what’s happening on the street than Megan is up in her penthouse with her leather-trimmed sweaters.

This is one of those costuming touches that give us a little tingle when we figure it out. Of course both figures are drawn in relation to each other and Don’s establishment suit defines him and his role just as much as Michael’s clothes (full of color and pattern) signal both his creativity and his lower status. But what made us smile was the fact that Michael’s jacket is clearly brand new, and since he’s been floating around in what look to be some hideously ugly hand-me-downs since the day he got hired, we’re thinking he took Roger’s Manischewitz bribe and treated himself.

 

[Screencaps: tomandlorenzo.com]

Tags: ,

  • Judy_J

    You guys are so good!  Thanks for the great recap.

  • http://twitter.com/smashtanner Patti Tanner

    What no picture of Don on casual Saturday?

  • jennmarie19

    “You’re soaking in it.” Bwah ha ha ha ha! A TLo classic. Great analysis as usual. I look forward to these posts as much as I do the show itself. 

    • carolynmo

      Awwww. . .you beat me to it!

      Madge! Loved the reference.

      • sarahjane1912

        And it crosses continents … even we, waaaay in the nether regions of Down Under, had Madge and her ‘you’re soaking in it’/'softens hands while you do dishes’ motif. Bless.

  • emw12

    I don’t watch the show, but i love the clothes commentary…Oh Tom and Lorenzo, you have hooked me!

    • http://myownrobotbutler.tumblr.com/ kittensnotkids

       me too! I’ve been reading the clothing commentaries since TLo started doing them, and have only seen part of one episode, ever. The TLo genius for critical analysis on this show is staggering!

    • http://twitter.com/SarahBeth81 SarahBeth

      I don’t watch the show either, but I do love the Mad Style posts. :) 

  • http://6things.blogspot.com par3182

    All I could think during the Weight Watchers scenes was how heavy those clothes were. Worst possible choice for a weigh in.

    • Sweetbetty

       I never joined WW but I’ve belonged to some other weight-loss programs where weigh-in were done and I *always* removed my shoes, jacket, big jewelry, anything that could add even an ounce to my weight, and I was careful to not wear anything heavy or bulky that couldn’t be removed.  These women could all remove at least one item of clothing for their weigh-in but none do. 

      • Pcatt

        I’ve been in WW, and while I was one of the members that would try to wear as little as possible to a weigh in, some people really do keep *everything* on – sweaters, heavy boots, etc. My guess was someday they would come in shorts and a tee shirt and have a miraculous 10 lb loss!   But in the Mad Men storyline, these women would have had much less choice about what they wear to go out, and once their outfit was put together, they wouldn’t take pieces of it off in public (even a members-only meeting like WW). 

        • Ksagun13

          I was in WW in the late 90s, I always went first thing in the morning and didn’t even eat breakfast first!  Thankfully, everyone weighs in privately nowadays.  I took off my shoes, jewelry, watch, hairclip, as much as possible.  

        • AZU403

          My mother’s Sixties-era WW advised members to weigh themselves first thing in the morning, without clothes, after using the bathroom. That gives you your lowest weight of the day and you get to feel a little better.

          • mixedupfiles

             That’s my strategy!

      • sweetlilvoice

        I weighed in during Dec and had left my boots on…I ‘gained’ 3 pounds. Next month, I remembered to take my shoes off and it was all gone. Recently, the woman weighing in front of me was asked if she wanted to take off her heavy necklace. She declined, it was one of those necklaces that looks heavy but is lightweight…a bunch of balls or something.

      • Brendan Schulze

        Which, when you think about it, is poor for them but good for the business. These ladies will think they weigh more, and thus go back and spend more money trying to get skinny when all tehy have to do is take off a 6-pound jacket.

      • CassandraMortmain

        In one scene there was definitely a glimpse of a woman on the scale in her bare feet with her shoes sitting right by the scale.

      • http://www.wordydoodles.com WordyDoodles

        I think they do remove their shoes. I noticed because I notice feet (having always wished for plumper toes– I know, I know). But yes, keeping their heavy coats and wearing those heavy knit dresses, it made me wonder why they bothered with the shoes!

        • http://twitter.com/purpleprose78 purpleprose78

          I always notice noses because I’m not entirely happy with mine so I get this.

          • http://www.wordydoodles.com WordyDoodles

            Now that you mention it, me too on noses! I’d never change mine but it’s definitely more “conversation piece” than “cookie cutter.”

    • nycfan

      Same here.  The screen caps reinforce that but also capture how miserable Betty is — I have a lot of sympathy for her in the diet/personal apperance frustration.  Too bad she is so often an otherwise unsympathetic character.

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

      And all I could think of is how not fat most of those women looked.  Of course, for the times they were.  But today people are much fatter.  No judgment, just an observation.  And I’m plenty fat.

      • Spicytomato1

        Very good point. There just didn’t seem to be as many extremes as today. Americans are fatter, for sure, but there’s also a fitness-obsessed segment that didn’t seem to exist back then. And women in Hollywood back then looked real, and didn’t seem to have the pressure to be super thin and perfect the way there are now. We’re all over the board these days!

        • sarahjane1912

          Apart from the exercising machines — the ones with the elastic straps that, er, ‘beat’ the pounds away, allegedly [discussed in some detail in the Comments section a few days ago] – what DID women who were trying to lose weight do in the 1960s to reduce? Did they walk? Play any sports at all?
           
          I feel so sorry for these women eking out a half-pound loss a week when if they’d only burn a few calories rather than simply count them, they might have more success. :-(

          • Lilithcat

            what DID women who were trying to lose weight do in the 1960s to reduce? 

            Believe it or not, they used the Royal Canadian Air Force exercise book.  It was hugely popular.

          • formerlyAnon

             As I remember it was mostly calisthenics – there might have been some jumping jacks or rope skipping, but cardio wasn’t really a “thing” yet.

          • formerlyAnon

             As I remember it was mostly calisthenics – there might have been some jumping jacks or rope skipping, but cardio wasn’t really a “thing” yet.

          • tallgirl1204

            My mother actually jogged in the mid-sixties to try to maintain her weight (as I recall, she was 5’6″, 125 pounds during that era).  She would run slowly about a half-mile or so a day, wearing keds or (even) loafers, shorts and a kind of very constructed brief top (not knit, but about the same design as a jog bra) around the two blocks by our house.  The neighbors thought she was nuts. 

          • formerlyAnon

            She was ahead of her time!

          • http://www.facebook.com/tuckeramy Amy Tucker

             This is true, of course, but even today WW does not really emphasize exercise. I was shocked, not just a year ago, to hear my WW leader tell the group, “Yeah, exercise is good for your heart and stuff, but what really matters the most is what you eat.” I’m paraphrasing, of course, but she basically blew off the 10-odd extra points I had earned that week going to the gym. I would imagine this is entirely fueled by profit – the less you work out, the longer you stay on WW of course!

          • sweetlilvoice

            As a WW lifetimer myself, I know what you mean. I think they try to start small-here’s the program, how to count points, portion control, etc. Then the exercise comes in but it can take lots of different forms-not just working out but walking and cleaning the house. My first week I lost 4 pounds because I stopped drinking soda and eating waffles for breakfast. I only had 1 or 2 sodas a day… not a real habit like some people.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/WZX2Z537ATKBMGDLHVLFYTENWE Notmy

             Well the saying even in fitness circles is “abs are made in the kitchen.”  Working out is important more for health and fitness but actual weight loss really is about diet.  You figure it takes about 30 minutes or more of running to burn off a cinnamon roll.

          • Mod_girl

             I know! All I kept thinking was,”Betty, at least go for a long walk or something!” (and I do realize that I’m looking at her through a 2012 lens, and this type of exercise was not in the “60′s mindset” at the time, and not realistic, but JEEZE.) Take a page out of Helen Bishop’s book and go for walks! 

          • CassandraMortmain

            There’s been a lot of recent research that shows that exercise doesn’t help as much with weight loss as people seem to think.  Of course exercise confers other real benefits for health and keeping the body toned and performing well, but unless you’re doing really strenuous workouts the exercise isn’t going to help that much.  Studies have shown that people think that because they’ve worked out they can eat a bit more.  Portion control is what weight loss is all about, whether you exercise or not. 

          • Snarky_Amber

            This. (I almost said the exact same thing)

          • muzan-e

            Amen. The P90 system we invested in last year? Fantastic for weight loss (and great for toning, of course). High-energy step classes? Fantastic for weight loss. But general calisthenics? It was quite a blow to discover just how little my morning workouts were doing for me, when I began trying to shed post-pregnancy weight a few years back.  The respect that working with weights taught me for my body led to better eating habits than any weight-loss regime every instilled in me. Straight calisthenics and dieting left me feeling like my body was the enemy, but lifting weights? Suddenly, the body was something worth nurturing and cooperating with – something that I could tangibly improve.

          • http://profiles.google.com/ameliaheartsu Amelia Logan

            That wasn’t true for me. A few summers ago I started running, I started at 1 mile and by the end of summer I was, on most days, running a 5k. I lost weight when I wasn’t categorically overweight when I started (I lost 2 sizes and curves). I know it’s anecdotal but I know cardio exercise results in weight loss for me.

          • Lisa_Cop

            You need to be doing both- exercise and diet.

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

            Well, Ossining Betty was a lot more active. She rode horses, walked the dog. Do they still have the dog? She doesn’t have a housekeeper now, right? Staying cooped up in the house is not helping her spirits. 
            Someone give Betty a Relaxaciser. :)

          • http://www.wordydoodles.com WordyDoodles

            Oh, that’s right about the horses! Good memory. Seems like a lifetime ago for her.

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

            I didn’t have to remember that far back. I caught up on the first 3 seasons just before S4 started. Mad Men crash course! And yes, it was the Mad Style posts that grabbed me! :)

          • MK03

            Betty doesn’t need a Relaxiciser. She has a washing machine. :D

          • Sweetbetty

             I’ve wondered if Betty has a housekeeper.  There’s never been any mention of one but she had Carla for her small Ossining house so I can’t imagine her cleaning the huge mausoleum they’re living in now by herself.  Plus, a man in Henry’s position would probably see that his wife had a housekeeper.  If they’re sending the kids to private school I can’t imagine they wouldn’t have a housekeeper too.

          • VanessaDK

             I think we are meant to see Betty as coming down in the world.  Henry looked like a big shot politico when they met, but he doesn’t seem to have the fortune she imagined, and with his confession that he “backed the wrong horse” I think his career is going downhill as well.  They may be sending the kids to a local private school, but they do not appear to  have a housekeeper (or new furniture and appliances, or friends, or dinner parties, or a coat of paint for their dismal 19th century house.)

          • Flooby

            Also, I bet Don’s paying for the private school.  

          • Flooby

            Also, I bet Don’s paying for the private school.  

          • Glammie

            My sense as well.  The house is big, but it’s relatively close to its neighbors.  Henry has connections, but not the money Don has.  Betty should have some inherited wealth, though, so I don’t think she’s poor, but she’s not married to a guy who’s going to be rich.  

          • mixedupfiles

             I have a friend who’s that age, and she says that for her circle it was all about diet – grapefruit and cottage cheese for breakfast, salad for lunch, fish and spinach for dinner.

            (Not something anyone will be able to sustain, but I know from experience that this regimen can really svelte a person up in the few days before a big event.)

          • Glammie

            Oh my goodness, I remember the grapefruit diet!  Early 70s, I think.  My mom tried it.

            Anyway, the points above about exercise are from personal experience too true.  I have to exercise a lot (an hour a day over several weeks) for it to affect my weight.  

            When my mom tried to lose weight it was all about diet, not at all about exercise.  She ate cottage cheese, celery, carrots and hard-boiled eggs.  Oh, and then there were various diet aids–horrible tasting Ayds diet candy.  This was the 70s.  

            The mid/late 70s is when you started seeing the fitness craze–running, aerobics, Jane Fonda.  Though I have memories in the early 70s of watching Lilias, Yoga and You with my grandmother.

          • girliecue

            Ayds! My mom ate those. They were awful, but since they were forbidden to elementary school me, I’d beg my mother endlessly for one. Geez, this must be why I like Viactiv calcium chews so much…

          • Chantelle James

            what DID women who were trying to lose weight do in the 1960s to reduce?

            diet pills?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sierra-Delta/100003182924700 Sierra Delta

            My mother and my aunts all drank a canned concoction (Metracal, I think?) for lunch and the occasional dinner and filled in the gaps with cigarettes.

            No wonder we Boomers developed a wide range of eating disorders!

          • Sweetbetty

             Yes, I remember the ads on TV encouraging us to join “the Metrical for lunch bunch”.

          • mcpierogipazza

            Jack LaLanne!

        • Susan Crawford

          What good points, Denise and Spicytomato1. Marilyn Monroe’s weight fluctuated quite a bit, and she was normally about a size 12 or 14, which today would have her visiting “thinspiration and pro-ana” sites, I’m sure. Glamorous women WANTED curves like Sophia Loren and Anita Ekberg, and Twiggy was not yet on the scene to promote the waif-look. Even Doris Day had real hips! However, when I look back at the era, and think about the dieting that went on,I seem to recall that “overweight” was just that – true obesity was not so ubiquitous, and it was fairly rare to see really overweight children.

          I would term the attendees at Betty’s meeting as “matronly” – yes, they were overweight, but it appeared to me that most of them needed, perhaps, to lose ten or twenty pounds. I did not see one attendee who would be termed “obese”, although I am sure they all called themselves by that term.

          In a year or so, however, when the youthquake really hit, and model superstars like Twiggy and Verushka and Penelope Tree came along with their curveless bodies and pipe-cleaner legs, the seismic shift hit with a vengeance.

          As for the fitness folks of today, I agree that in the sixties, things were very different on that front as well. The “gym rat” didn’t exist as we know her. I belonged to a gym back then, and when I think of my workout, I have to laugh. A few sit-ups on a slant-board; a half-hour class of ballet-style bending and stretching that was so gentle I didn’t break a sweat; ten minutes on a stationary bike, and then another ten minutes on that machine that jiggled the butt-fat.

          Then you went to the steam room or the sauna, took a cold plunge and if you had time, got a massage. Exercising until the sweat-balls drip off your nose? Puh-lease! So today, we seem to be much fatter or much skinnier than back in the Mad Men era – would that we could have some sort of happy medium, or at least a more balanced view of body image in general, no?

          • SewingSiren

            Just to be clear a size 12 or 14 in the mid fifties was MUCH, much smaller than the same numeric size in 2012.

          • Susan Crawford

            It certainly was! Nowadays, what with all the fudging of sizes, it is almost impossible to figure out WHAT those hang-tags really mean. It’s crazy, isn’t it? (And don’t get me started on Size 00! In my book, that translates into INVISIBILITY!)

          • SewingSiren

            I’m holding a commercial sewing pattern from about 1950 in my hand right now . The smallest size listed is a 12 the measurements for the 12 are bust 30″ , waist 25″ , hip 33″ . I doubt your “00″ is any smaller than that. In fact I reckon the waist is probably larger.

          • Susan Crawford

            Amazing, isn’t it? I suppose there has always been some playing around with sizing for vanity reasons, but it’s definitely out of hand these days. My mother did some fit and showroom modeling in her youth, and she was about a size six. Today, a size six might actually be considered on the verge of “plus”!
            Again: amazing times we live in.

          • Tanya Sparks

            I’m 4’10 and 90 pounds.  30-23-32.  Size 00 sometimes fits.  But in the 80s, when I was in high school, I was a straight up size 3.  I still have clothes from then that I saved and they all still fit just fine.  Vanity sizing is crazy!  

          • muzan-e

            The sizing chart that I have at hand lists a 00 as 31-24-34.  But mind, that’s a Banana Republic chart; in my experience their fit tends to be quite strange. I suspect you’ll see more divergence between the two as you go up the list of sizes. But that’s 100% guess. *g*

          • CozyCat

            I remember from my sewing days (back in the 70s) that pattern sizes were smaller than rack sizes.  So, either the size inflation had already started at that point, or patterns were just sized differently.

          • SewingSiren

            The vanity sizing in RTW had already started by the 70′s. I think in the 1940′s when the US government started standardized sizing the pattern companies and RTW manufacturers were equivelent. Because I have an old Sears catalog where most of the adult female clothing is sized 12-20 but the 12 is roughly the size of a 00 today.

          • MK03

            Yeah, I sit somewhere between a 4 and a 6 in clothing size. But when I’m making something from a pattern, that correlates to a 14. I still don’t get how that works…

          • SewingSiren

            It’s because the pattern companies haven’t updated their size charts as often as the RTW manufacture companies, but they have downsized (vanity sized )at least twice  over the last 60 years.

          • Glammie

            No kidding.  I’ve gained thirty pounds over the years WITHOUT actually changing my dress size.  It actualy kind of bugs me because it makes it harder to order clothes online.

          • formerlyAnon

             Yup. My daughter is a size 0 and is actually bustier than I was at her age – when I wore an 8 above the waist & usually a 10 below it.

          • Flooby

            Exactly!  I once read that Marilyn Monroe was a size twelve and I was so curious what that really meant I had to google her measurements- a 24 inch waist.  I’m a size 12 in modern sizing and very far from a 24 inch waist.  

          • roadtrip1000

            You’re certainly correct about the current extremes between the media’s ideal of weight and the reality of most people. However, in regard to Marilyn Monroe’s clothing sizes: the sizes back then tended to be larger. Size 12 and 14 then were a lot smaller than they are now. Now it’s all about vanity sizing. Over the years I’ve been to a few museum exhibits of clothing from Hollywood which (among others)included Marilyn’s white dress from The Seven Year Itch and one of Fred Astaire’s tuxes. It was amazing to me how tiny they were. And Tippi Hedren’s suit from The Birds looked like it wouldn’t make it round the waist of the average 8 year old nowadays. In fact I had that same feeling of surprise when I saw the old uniforms at the West Point Academy museum. People seemed to be not only thinner in the past but smaller boned than they are now. For the most part, they also exerted a lot more calories during their day-to day activities than we do now. I guess it makes sense that the cult of the skeleton took hold as the average person became fatter. Certainly, while they may have been tiny, none of the old-time Hollywood stars looked bony and emaciated the way many of them do now.

          • tripletmom96

             it’s true that sizing has changed tremendously over the last several decades, and many of the movie stars were much tinier than we knew — they were just so much larger than life on the big screen.  as for museum clothing — many, many of those pieces are quite small.  i recall a fashion show i saw of vintage clothing (including a couple of worth gowns from the 1800′s).  most of those dresses were extremely tiny, however the collector who was putting on the show explained that people weren’t necessarily smaller then;  it’s just that so much clothing was passed down from one wearer to another;  the really tiny clothes were less likely to be passed down and worn out because there were fewer people who could fit them, so they tended to survive in somebody’s attic, whereas the larger sizes were simply handed down and  worn until they were falling apart.  don’t know how accurate that info was, but it does make sense. 

          • roadtrip1000

             That does make sense. Also, I’ve noticed in estate sales that the dresses that have been saved for decades generally tend to be tiny. Probably were too hard to give away, too nice to throw out, and/or perhaps saved as a reminder of a former tiny self. I’ve seen some evening gowns from the 60s that were just knock-outs that could still be worn today (but alas not by me).

          • Glammie

            I was able to wear most of my mom’s clothes from the 60s when I was younger and thinner.  She was an inch shorter than me.  My grandmother, on the other hand, was several inches shorter, but was considered fairly tall in her day.  

            A lot of it was nutrition and wellness.  Kids in 1900 were not getting the optimum amount of nutrients to reach their genetic potential as far as height goes.

            Ironically, we’ve regressed on that front in the past 20 years.  Now kid’s diets lead to early weight gain and adolescence, which also makes for shorter people.

          • http://profiles.google.com/ameliaheartsu Amelia Logan

            My brother is an enormous gorilla of a boy/man. He’s a little over weight but he’s also extremely muscular – when he hugs you it feels like he could crush you. No one in our family is built like him, perhaps due to their nutrition growing up?

          • Melissa Brogan

             Tangentially, at the Experience Music Project in Seattle, I saw Britney’s red suit from  her Oops I Did It Again video. I realize her body’s changed over the years, but girl was TINY.

        • Glammie

          Yep, there are more morbidly obese, but the thin and fit are SOOO thin and fit that you can’t get that way unless you put in a lot of time.  

          My childhood recollections jibe with this–you didn’t as many seriously obese people as you do now.  My father  wore an XL and was considered fat. 

          • Flooby

            When I was a child, in the 80s, the “fat kids” then were what would now be considered very mildly husky.  I mean, they were just a couple pounds over weight- but since the rest of us were bean poles compared to us they were the “fat” ones.  I have a younger brother who is 17 years younger than me and is in high school now- it’s VERY different.  His whole life he’s been surrounded by children who are/were at least 40-50 lbs over weight.  

          • Glammie

            Yeah, I’m thinking back to high school and there were some chubby kids, but not 40-50 pounds over.  And those kids were pretty few and far between.  We just all moved a lot more as a matter, of course, and, again, there wasn’t tons of fast food.  There was more than there had been when I was younger, but we didn’t go there.  Also, portion sizes of everything were just smaller.

          • Flooby

            I’m starting to think it’s computers and screens in general that are to blame.  I mean, when you’re on a computer you’re COMPLETELY sedatery.  

      • Chantelle James

        People today are bigger than they were 50 or 60 years ago: we’re taller and heavier, with better bones, due in part to better nutrition. Personally, I believe that people are becoming bigger due in part to fast food and convenience food portion sizes and also to some of the stuff that’s used in food and food container production. Things that people created for “convenience” has brought us to this point today.

        Pattern sizes have changed a couple of times since commerical home patterns because available. Each time, the size number got small for the measurements – a size 16 used to be 34 bust, then it because 36, and now it’s 40.

        Part of me longs for the days of this show (and for a decade or so afterwards) when the “perfect” silhouette was created through girdles and bras and every woman had access to that shape. Nowadays, we have plastic surgery and photoshop that defines the “perfect” silhouette (and skin and hair) and that’s something that isn’t accessible to everyone anymore. That’s the only thing I’d want back from that era (well, aside from some fashions, design, and architecture), I think, because there were many popularly-held attitudes and beliefs from that era that I’m happy have been left behind.

        • Maggie_Mae

          We do have Spanx!

        • Sweetbetty

           ” Personally, I believe that people are becoming bigger due in part to
          fast food and convenience food portion sizes and also to some of the
          stuff that’s used in food and food container production.”
          Fast food and larger portions have definitely contributed to the increase in obesity but I’ve never heard anything about what’s used in food container production having any affect.  Please elaborate on that.

          • Flooby

            I think Chantelle James is referring to obesogens like BPA- which is found in a lot of hard plastics.  Just because I had to look up the spelling here’s the definition of an obesogen: Obesogens are foreign chemical compounds that disrupt normal development and balance of lipid metabolism, which in some cases, can lead to obesity.[1][2][3] Obesogens may be functionally defined as chemicals that inappropriately alter lipid homeostasis and fat storage, change metabolic setpoints, disrupt energy balance or modify the regulation of appetite and satiety to promote fat accumulation and obesity.  (From wikipedia, so take with a grain of salt.)

          • Lisa_Cop

            Trans fat in fast food is considered a major contributing factor towards obesity. Here in NYC it was outlawed about 1 year ago.

      • http://twitter.com/Toongrrl1990 Toongrrl

        Maybe some of them lost weight and just want to keep it up? I don’t know

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_R43QZLEGICWGDA6F5WZHLW5FAM Becky

      I really soaked up the scenes at the WW meeting.  I have successfully utilized WW but only because I could use their online program on my own (no meetings, no public weigh-ins, no chirpy pep talks). I was really struck by how difficult it must have been back then to lose weight.  I’ll bet that exercise (vigorous of course) would not have been an option or even existed for these ladies.  Plus you didn’t have the reduced fat, whole grain or other healthier options that you can find today.  Betty’s breakfast just looked sad.

      • Susan Crawford

        And adding to the difficulty of eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, the big cookery book news was “The Art of French Cooking”, and every upscale wife wanted to prepare something from Childs’s book at her next dinner party – cream sauce, butter and all. And the fresh food movement was years away, and thanks to those wonderful ad men, “convenience foods” were de riguer.

        It was NOT easy to subsist on one slice of crustless, toasted, dry Wonder Bread and half a grapefruit and a few cubes of generic Swiss cheese. Lunch? Scoop of cottage cheese with maybe a dash of pepper served on a bed of iceberg lettuce with a couple of tomato wedges. Dinner? Piece of fish and three spears of broccoli and a tablespoon of Minute Rice. Trust me. I lived it.

        • Caaro3

          I lived it, too, and I have three words for you: canned tuna everyday!  Yikes.  And the sight of that vintage WW scale gave me the freakin’ willies.

          • Susan Crawford

            I can’t believe we didn’t all contract mercury poisoning from that tuna!

        • sarahjane1912

          *Shudders*

          But no wonder those women had so much trouble ‘reducing’, dropping a half-pound here and there. There bodies downshifted into ‘starvation mode’ — thought they were fasting for the lean times — so held onto the extra bulk to see them through!

        • Glammie

          In some ways, it was harder, but, on the other hand, very little fast food was about.  You were pretty much making your own meals–so the potential for control was there.  

          • Susan Crawford

            Yes, very true. And just in case you were tempted to add a little extra to that yummy cottage cheese lunch, the old Weight Watcher’s scale was there to remind you! Also, the whole fast food thing was, as you suggest, much more limited. I loved that in this episode, when Betty catches her husband frying up a steak, he says he had a craving after all that fish she’s been eating. I liked that he was enduring her restricted diet as well.

            I really want to see a little more of him – he has so often shown himself to be a pretty decent man, trying hard to be a supportive husband and a good step-dad. It will be interesting to see if Betty manages to sabotage him, or if he has some hidden, dark underbelly. (Maybe a former wife up in a bat-filled Victorian attic??)

          • Glammie

            Curious, both Don and Betty seemed to have married less-toxic partners, but whether they can stay or be happy remains up in the air.  We really don’t know.  I’d actually hold out more hope for Betty–she’s not as damaged as Don is–but she’s GOT.TO.GROW.UP and it’s not clear that she will.  

            I think Don has grown up some–you see him try with Megan–but he’s always slipping up and he’s so damaged that it’s unclear to me whether he can manage a happy long-term partnership.

          • Lisa_Cop

            I don’t think Betty will ever be happy. Narcissists generally aren’t. Though they believe they are God’s gift to the world ( that they are the smartest, the prettiest, the most enviable) reality eventually intrudes to shake that self image. When Betty was married to Don all her friends, Arthur at the stables, and Henry all told her how lucky, smart and pretty she was. Only Don (with his affairs) damaged her self image. When narcissists don’t get positive reinforcement they first get angry and then depressed. Betty was angry that Don could find other women attractive (plus lie to her about many things) and divorced him in anger

            Now although she has a loving husband and a big house Betty is depressed because Don is happy. How DARE he love someone more than her. How DARE Megan be happy, pretty and young. How DARE someone have something and not her. Thus the anger and the depression. And until psychologists find a solution to narcissistic personality disorder I suspect Betty will be more or less unhappy forever because, especially as she ages, there will always be someone who she thinks has something (looks, youth, money, etc) more than her.

          • Glammie

            If Betty is truly NPD, then, yes, you’re right.  NPD is a bitch to treat because the narcissist thinks everyone else has a problem.

            But is Betty meant to be a full-fledged narcissist rather than someone with narcissistic traits?  It’s not clear to me.  Sometimes she really does seem mostly a victim of circumstances and just childish.  But she’s also done some pretty heinous things–setting up her friend for that affair and then condemning her for it, using Sally to get at Megan and Don.  

            I guess what it comes down to is are we meant to see Betty as someone capable of growth or not?  If Betty’s a portrait of a narcissist then she isn’t really capable of meaningful change.  But maybe that is Weiner’s intent with her–she won’t really be able to change with the times–she’s rigid and, perhaps, will be meant to embody the conservative backlash against the 60s.  

            In which case, her red suit really is a shout-out to Nancy Reagan red.

            Interesting.

          • Glammie

            Sort of following my own post here, but I ended listening to part of a Matt Weiner interview in which he says Betty Draper is the only character for whom he has a diagnosis.  And, yep, she’s a narcissist.  She feels she’s doing everything for everybody, but nobody else is.

            Sally Draper he describes as a future depressive and a survivor.  Bobby Draper also has a personality, but we haven’t seen it.

      • roadtrip1000

         It did look sad. Was it just my TV or was the toast burnt?

        • Spicytomato1

          It was. To a crisp. Betty seemed to look at it and mentally shrug, like “it’s plain, dry toast, does it really matter if it’s burned, too?”

      • http://profiles.google.com/ameliaheartsu Amelia Logan

        No that’s not true about healthier options. They had less junk and processed foods (including low fat BS).
        My mom’s mom baked fresh whole grain bread every week. And they ate real vegetables and meat not monsanto vegetables and hormone injected meats.

      • Susan Stella Floyd

        Reduced fat “foods” and whole grains are not “healthier options.” Please read some Gary Taubes.

    • tripletmom96

       i remember my mother in the 60′s actually weighing herself in different dresses before a WW meeting and choosing the one that was the lightest weight…. 

      • Lisa_Cop

        Does anyone remember Melba toast? My mom used to eat that with some cottage cheese for breakfast in those days.

        • Sweetbetty

           We also gave it to our teething babies to gnaw on with their hurting gums.

  • http://www.thechipsterdiaries.blogspot.com/ Jess

    I loved Peggy’s looks this episode. Damn, Michael looks good in that last screenshot…

    • AmandaCathleen

       Agreed! I would totally wear Michael’s plaid coat from that last scene.

    • terekirkland

       Looks like Peggy took Roger’s Sterling’s wad and went clothes shopping. :) That beige dress may be blah against Don’s couch, but she looks great in it!

    • formerlyAnon

       Well, he looks good for Michael. (that tie and wrinkly limp shirt are keeping the scruffy Michael we know & love in the picture.)

  • http://twitter.com/caramia_addio Hayley Steptoe

    Is it just me, or does Megan’s friend’s outfit resemble the Drapers’ oriental rug? And Michael and Don’s layers are opposites of each other (solid-pattern-solid versus pattern-solid-pattern). 

  • astoriafan

    I think that might be the first time we’ve seen Ginsberg with a new tie, too. Pretty sure he’s worn the orange and green one–with everything, whether it matches or not–every time he’s appeared up to this scene. Excellent point about the extra cash from Roger!

    • Verascity

       I also noticed the new tie!

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

      His clothes definitely improved this episode. I noticed his coat in that scene too. I like it. And he’s got a look on his face that says “I could get used to this.” (Well, until Don smacks him down.)

    • TheDivineMissAnn

       It also looks like he is wearing corduroy pants in the scene where they are sitting in Roger’s office.  Perhaps, after working there six months, he has improved his wardrobe in general.

  • ballerinawithagun

    Thank you! Love Megan’s butterscotch and brown sweater.

    • Spicytomato1

      That was one of my favorites, too. My mom had one very similar, even the texture, but instead of brown with the butterscotch it was forest green. She wore it usually with khaki cigarette pants, in the late 60s and into the early 70s. I think she might even have it still…I may need to hunt it down!

    • TropiCarla

      I am so obsessed with that sweater … desperately hoping to find one like it.

      • mixedupfiles

         Would be easy to make – so easy you could find a knitting class and do it as your first big project.

    • ybbed

      That sweater stood out to me also. I am a knitter so whenever I see it on tv I yell out “HANDKNIT”.  It was definitely a handknit sweater, and yes it would be an easy pattern to make it. 

      • Ellen Fournier

        I believe Sally’s sweater in that scene was also handknit.

  • http://twitter.com/SIxGablesBags SIxGablesBags

    This is the second or third time someone has been posed right over that silver band in the elevator in what looks like a “roadkill” tableau.  I can’t for the life of me recall the other time I noticed it this season…but it was someone else being dealt a blow.  That stripe was also used to draw a sharp line between Don and Pete a couple of weeks ago.

    • HeatherD9

       Hi there,

      I too was struck by the similarities in the elevator shot.  We’ve seen several of those now in the Time bldg including;
      Don & Pete (post fight w Lane),
      Don & Megan (moved to one side by a cold)
      Joan & Peggy (after firing Joey),
      Joyce & Peggy (with the rejected nude photos)
      & Joan, Peggy & Faye (beautiful girls)

      Also, although it was a different elevator — there was that shot of Roger & Jane on the way to the LSD party were they both had a “Why me?” look on their faces.

      I’m sure other bitter kittens may remember more. 

      HTH.

      H:D

  • Sobaika

    I don’t think Peggy is coasting as much as there is a rather large glass ceiling in her way. Bert Cooper still refers to her as a ‘little girl’ and there’s really no room for growth. She will either come to the realization that a copywriter is what she’ll be for a long time or maybe SCDP isn’t the place for her.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/4KLZGI7NMQE2LQDYYSMPFXANW4 Uche

      I’m guessing there was a reason why they made sure we were aware of THE PACT she has with Ken. He doesn’t seem particularly happy at SCDP. 

      • sweetlilvoice

        At least he has a life outside of it…unlike Peggy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=558631967 Ivona Foster


    day-to-day work of raising kids does not allow for white carpets, clean surfaces, and expansive city views for most people. Note that none of the costumes of the three figures call back to each other or to the surroundings in any real way. Family life is typically not harmonious and coordinated on a daily basis. ”

    Thank you for stating this. Commentariat seems to be up in arms about how selfish and mean Betty is and how great of a parent Don is, and Megan an amazing step mom. They have the kids for 4 days a month people! 

    • egl48

      Yes, yes, yes.  Betty is always being bashed, but she is the one raising the three kids while Don gets his fancy apartment in the city and carefree trophy wife.

    • Maggie_Mae

      Surely Betty has been able to find a replacement for Carla.  She isn’t working her fingers to the bone caring for the kids–two of whom are in school most weekdays.

      Was she forced to move into that tomb of a house? She certainly dragged her feet about leaving the place in Ossining; did she have no choice about the “new” place? Last season, she complained that the kitchen needed gutting; apparently, nothing has been done.  The house is a genuine Victorian monument, which will require quite a bit of style & energy to render pleasant.  She decorated her previous home–even hiring help for the living room. (And showed not a bit of interest in “modern” style back then.)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=558631967 Ivona Foster

        And if she has a replacement for Carla, what does that change?
        Betty is still the one dealing with homework, grades, discipline both positive and negative, etc… And guess what, being a parent is stressful and you break down and it is hell of a lot easier to break down when you have to deal with the kids every day, and repeat yourself 4 times because they never listen the first time. When you are a full time- stay at home every day parent you are not always able to be all understanding and be your best self, some time you just get pissed of and you want them to just do what you are telling them to do without talking back and arguing. THAT is parenting… it’s stressful and grueling and not always peachy.Sitting on a floor four days a month practicing your acting with your stepdaughter is not parenting, and it should not be applauded as some amazing achievement in parenting. I’m not defending Betty’s actions, and am actually quite ambivalent about Megan but I simply cannot understand all the bile being tossed at Betty. 

        • sarahjane1912

          There’s been a bit of bile … but I’ve mostly read it [and have expressed it] in various of Betty’s actions rather than at Betty per se. Enough’s been said about her putting Don/Megan ‘in it’ this week [and using Sally  as her little flying monkey to do so] but it’s fair to reiterate her behaviour was pretty toxic. 

          But every time I see her — and it’s been brought home even more vividly this week as she struggles on in her sad matronly clothes — I just think ‘Poor Betty’. 

          On the other hand, parenting IS difficult, of course it is, but I think the way Betty performs as a mother has no comparison with the average-to-good parent in your above description. She’s hardly coloured herself in maternal glory in any of the seasons to date, the proof of her ‘skills’ mostly keenly illustrated in how young Sally is maturing. Just my thoughts. :-)

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=558631967 Ivona Foster

            Betty certainly had several questionable moments, but all in all she is not nearly ad bad a parent as she could be. 

            Betty is a product of her upbringing, a product of her first marriage and of the way the society viewed women’s role at the time. I’m not saying this as an excuse for Betty, but simply as a reality for this character. 

            Bottom line for me is that she is there dealing with the not-so-glamorous every day (with better and worse results)  and then waltzes in Megan on the every other weekend, takes Sally shopping, glitzes her up for the ball and the two of them are best buds. 

            1. Treating the kids for the visitation time is not good parenting
            2. I would be pissed too if I had to swallow that and much more

            Was Betty wrong to bring up Anna? Absolutely
            Does she deserve to be bashed for it as the worst, most- selfish parent ever? Absolutely not
            Do Megan and Don deserve to be called great parents for how they handled it? Absolutely not

          • egl48

            And don’t forget that Sally’s stepmother dressed her up, a few episodes ago, to look way older than her age in a silver mini dress, knee high boots and a bunch of makeup.  Don had to tell Sally to wash the makeup off, and I’m sure Megan knew the look was inappropriate for a child so young.  She’s a weird stepmom.      

          • Glammie

            She’s a *young* stepmom.  She’s as close to Sally’s age as she is to Don’s.  So, yes, not tons of sense there.

          • Glammie

            To some extent, Betty’s a product of her time and place, BUT we see better mothering from other characters–Carla, fellow suburban moms (what was Betty’s thing with Glen?), Mona dealing with her weepy bride daughter.  Betty’s sense of entitlement has been out there. 

            Megan didn’t do anything to Betty in that scene to merit the whole Anna thing EXCEPT to be the younger, prettier second wife.  

            Betty left Don for another man.  For very understandable reasons.  But Megan’s done nothing to her–so Betty using Sally to go after her was not fair.  Understandable, but petty and mean.  Instead of owning her feelings and, at least, keeping her anger directed at Don, Betty took the easiest way out and tried to wreak havoc with Don’s marriage.

            She needs to stick to WW, feel better about herself, work on her current marriage and not use her kids as pawns in her divorce wars.  Don, for all his scumminess, has mostly kept the kids out of it as far as we know.

        • Glammie

          Who’s been applauding Megan as a step-parent?  She seems to be managing it, but even she called herself Sally’s “friend” not stepmom.

          Yes, being a parent is hard work.  But Betty, over the years, has been shown to be a crappy parent.  

          I’d also say that while being the parent of toddlers is exhausting, it is a lot easier when the kids are in school and it’s a lot easier with childcare.

          Betty’s childish and narcissistic–that has nothing to do with her being a stay-at-home-mom.  She does crappy things to people and pretty much defines passive-aggressive.  She’s an interesting, but not particularly likeable character.  I don’t think she’s meant to be.  As much as anything, I think she’s a commentary on the limited roles for women and what the results could be.  

          I’m curious to see what self-awareness Betty will develop.

          • rowsella

             Most of us are not perfect parents.  That has only been in vogue since the 1990s.  Most parents are lucky to be good enough parents.

          • Glammie

            Well, I was raised by the Don/Betty generation–and there were plenty of good parents back then.  I use a lot of my mom’s parenting techniques with my kid.  She wasn’t perfect and neither am I, but neither of us–or my grandmother–would have locked a kid in a closet.  

             Betty’s a fictional character–her crappy parenting is there to make a point.  And it is crappy parenting–by the standards of the day–thus the reactions we see from other characters regarding it.  And that’s because Betty’s been a child-woman, which was considered sort of desirable in the 50s (youngest average bride age in the 20th century was in the 50s.), but clearly carried some dark long-term consequences.

            But even then, some mothers grew up before they became mothers.

          • Lisa_Cop

            Amen. Since narcissists rarely develop any self awareness (they don’t think they need therapy and like to inflate their self importance) I don’t see Betty’s character changing for the better anytime soon. I think she has been deliberately made a villain of the show. Of course, though, I’m not Matt Weinef so who knows.

          • kcarb1025

            She won’t develop any. As @Lisa_Cop:disqus also said, narcissist personality disordered people never do.

          • Glammie

            Well, I hope Betty’s not supposed to be a full-fledged NPD, but she certainly comes closer than a lot of characters you see.  Just so little willingness to see things from someone else’s POV.  I have seen people change over the years, but, yes, Betty might very well not . . . still, at least she tried to be supportive in her primitive way with Henry.  

        • rowsella

           I agree.  Betty is entitled to a little shit stirring.  Why not.  I would have done it just to passively aggressively get back at Don and Meghan being such lackadaisical self centered airheads that they weren’t at the door with the kids on time. Four days a month and they can’t get it together at pick up time?

          • kcarb1025

            Really, you would attempt to destroy your daughter’s relationship with her father and stepmother just because you had to ride an elevator one time to pick up your kids from visitation? 

          • Glammie

            Four days a month and it’s the end of the world if they’re a little disorganized about pick-up time?  

            It’s all about perspective.

          • http://mllesatine.insanejournal.com/ mllesatine

             I can’t say that I wouldn’t do the same thing. Don made his first wife into this kind of ammo by keeping her a secret and Sally didn’t just parrot Betty’s questions. She knew exactly what she was doing. In a post a few episodes back it was stated that the divorce was good for Sally. Yes, of course it is. She now has a lot more power in her interactions with both parents: they all want Sally on their side. But a lot of commenters seem to think that this is going to destroy Sally.

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

          General response to a a bunch of people in this topic:

          Okay, we just deleted a good 60 comments arguing about whether Betty is a good parent or whether Megan is a stuck-up bitch and it’s getting pretty tiresome because rather than treat is as a discussion, some of you are treating it as a personal crusade. The same 4 or 5 people, some from the same IP address, have made it their mission to defend Betty from any criticisms, choking off discussion about anything else.

          Let people like or hate their favorite or least-favorite characters without speeches and diatribes being leveled at them, folks. It’s not about you.

          • Glammie

            Sigh, well there went my comment about Betty huffing the Redi-Whip, but I was getting frustrated by the Betty v. Megan stuff being so personal, so I’m okay with the sacrifice.

            Thanks for doing all that pain-in-the-ass moderating.

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

        Betty is clinically depressed. It is an actual thing.

        • Lisa_Cop

          No she’s not “clinically depressed”. When you are you can barely get out of bed, pay little or no attention to grooming and typically can not eat or sleep and thus lose weight. Betty is depressed but it’s because her narcissistic image of herself has been shattered. Gaining weight when depressed is considered atypical.

        • Lisa_Cop

          No she’s not “clinically depressed”. When you are you can barely get out of bed, pay little or no attention to grooming and typically can not eat or sleep and thus lose weight. Betty is depressed but it’s because her narcissistic image of herself has been shattered. Gaining weight when depressed is considered atypical.

    • Celandine1

      Betty isn’t the best parent in the world, but neither is Don. If people are praising him they are crazy. He gets to take the kids to fun places in the city but then often hires a sitter for the kids at night so he can go to events or to the office because they are an inconvenience the two weekends a month he gets them. He doesn’t deal well with any problems that arise, he loses his temper and yells both for inconsequential and important matters. Megan seems like she is trying to be nice and handles issues more maturely than both Betty and Don, but again, she doesn’t have the kids every day and deal with all the issues a mom normally does.

      • formerlyAnon

         And NONE of the three of them have the self-help and therapy resources that people have today to remind them that their divorce is supposed to be about the adults and be as little of an emotional torture for the kids as is possible.

        • Lisa_Cop

          IMO anyone defending Betty as a parent needs to get a grip. She is toxic and dysfunctional. Being a parent is about self sacrifice and it’s a hard job. If you’re not up for that and are going to use your kids like kicking balls, please don’t have children!

    • ybbed

      What I picked up from that family scene was that at Megan’s home it is okay to use ink on the white rug, it is okay to take the cushions off the furniture and build a fort. When Betty was looking around the apartment, it was a little messy, a few things out of place, records on the floor, pillows strewn around and whatnot. In other words it looked “lived in” like a normal home with or without children. I don’t think Betty’s house looks like that.  To me it implied a more relaxed, kid-friendly atmosphere, and that is played out in Megans and Bettys parenting styles.
      And what about Don’s sweater? It seemed there were quite a few knits on display.

      • sarahjane1912

        Not QUITE convinced that it was okay to use ink on the white rug [wasn't that an underhanded move by Megan's Dad to grubby up the pristine apartment? Okay, maybe just me!] … and as for the cushions/fort thing: look, I think most children build things with the resources they have [esp. if there's not TV on 24/7]; we did the same in the 60s but called them ‘cubbies’. 

        While our parents and their friends were yakking it up over cocktails on the patio/veranda, we children would always but always pull apart beds, and raid for cushions/pillows/blankets and occasional tables in order to construct our mini-houses. And given the relaxed/happy state said parents were in at the end of the night, it was never really a problem!I do see that Megan/Don ‘run’ a more relaxed home, but even the most stringent of ’60s homes had their moments of ‘children being children’ clarity. Maybe even Betty’s! ;-)

  • 3rdsister

    Megan looks completely at ease and comfortable in her clothes and home.  Betty looks awkward and out of sorts.  What a change in a few short years! 

    The impact of Betty walking around Don’s apt was palpable.  She was a voyeur — an alien in this world.

    And poor Peggy just melted right into that couch. 

  • J MN

    Couldn’t believe the women smoking in the Weight Watchers meeting!  I know people smoked indoors without a thought and even in the movie theaters but in such close seating and the daytime – blew my mind.

    • Sweetbetty

       Back then a lot of women took up smoking to help lose weight.  It was just the beginning of the time when smoking was seen as a health risk so I wonder if WW encouraged it?  You WW alumni should be able to enlighten us on that.

      • sarahjane1912

        Not sure about the WW stance was on smoking but I do recall my mother reminiscing that many of her contemporaries were advised to smoke throughout their pregnancies so they — and their babies — wouldn’t be/get too heavy. Yikes.

        • sweetlilvoice

          Sweet Lord, that’s just gross and sad. I’ve only seen a pregnant woman smoke once and I’m surprised she didn’t explode from the glares around her.

          • sarahjane1912

            Isn’t it [sad] though? Thank goodness my mother never took that advice [though as a physiotherapist, she'd seen more than a few cases of gunky lungs to educate her on the drawbacks of smoking well before it was widespread knowledge].

        • Susan Crawford

          Eleanor Roosevelt was a spokesperson for Lucky Strike. The tagline was “Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet.” Smoking was definitely associated with losing weight. I remember lots of girls at college who took up smoking when they started gaining “the freshman fifteen”.

          Women smoked and drank during pregnancy – frankly, it’s amazing anyone in MY generation survived our prenatal time, followed by a childhood of playing with toys with small, detachable parts, lead-based paint, and eating candy by the carload, including Nik-L-Nips (little wax bottles filled with uber-sugared liquid carcinogens.) Yikes, indeed!

          • Glammie

            Eleanor Roosevelt?  Wow, that’s wild.  

            I also knew tons of girls in college who smoked–keeping weight off was a big part of it.  They knew it was bad for you, but that was in the far future.  There were outdoor areas at my *high* school where it was okay to smoke.  But that was going out even while I was there.  California got into the whole no-smoking thing ahead of New York–so my friends in California smoked pot, but generally didn’t go near cigarettes, while my NY friends, particularly if they were in theatre, smoked cigs. *Particularly* if they’d gone to boarding schools.

          • mrmikec

            I’m slightly younger than Bobby, and during my freshman year in a Catholic high school, there was an indoor smoking lounge.

          • formerlyAnon

             You forgot the gallons of full caffeine coffee that pregnant women – and nursing mothers, if they nursed, drank. Also, the cars without seat belts or baby seats – even after seat belts were required in the front seat, they weren’t in the back.  Basically, our generation should be dead. Fortunately, kids are tough.

          • Susan Crawford

            My dad had a convertible, and he used to let me stand up on the passenger seat to feel the wind in my face! Ah, happy days, happy days. And yes, we WERE pretty tough at that!

          • baxterbaby

            And biking and rollerskating (on metal skates tightened around shoes with a key) without helmets, and sitting in car seats in the front seat  (or standing on the front seat next to Dad), or just being sent out at the start of a summer’s day to “play” and returning for lunch and supper only, tired and dirty, no questions asked…

    • sweetlilvoice

      Having been to WW meetings now, I cannot imagine smoking during them. Now, if there is a new snack that are introducing you get a sample. My first couple of weeks they had lots of new things, so I thought it was a regular thing….like cookies and juice in school. 

    • rowsella

       People smoked EVERYWHERE.  They smoked in grocery stores, in hospital rooms, in shopping malls, (bars and restaurants), public bathrooms, beaches, on cars, cabs, airplanes and buses, any and every meeting had smoking.  Particularly wherever there was stress, there were people smoking.  We had a smoking area at high school.  Cigarettes were marketed to make you think you look glamorous and cool.

      • Flooby

        I’ve seen pictures of my college in the 50′s and 60′s and students were sitting around a table with a professor and everyone was puffing away and using the ash tray in the middle.  It helped you think!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4KLZGI7NMQE2LQDYYSMPFXANW4 Uche

    I started watching Mad Men because of reading Style Recaps.This is my first Mad Style Recap, having gone back and watched all the episodes. 

    That being said, I REALLY LOVE Michael’s coat in that last screengrab.

  • VanessaDK

    I also think the costumes ate designed to evoke empathy or distance in us. Megan’s outfits are attractive clothes many of us still want to wear. Bettys clothes seem stuffy, ugly and discordant. Peggys outfits also seem quite attractive whereas Ginsbergs clothes are mismatched and a little odd.

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

      Yeah, I love Ginsberg:  his too big collar, tie askew, kind of just barely put together.  I think it’s a symptom of not having a lot of money for clothes, and then making the decision not to give a damn, although I think he does.  Hence the new coat.

      • Spicytomato1

        Interesting point about Ginsberg caring enough to buy a new coat. Wonder if we’ll see him evolve into full Don Draper fashion mode? Seems inconceivable at this point but who knows.

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

          But he didn’t buy a flashy watch or suit. He bought a warm, practical coat. He probably walks a lot. I don’t see him becoming Don either, but who knows? I’m sure there was a time in Dick Whitman’s life when he just wanted a warm winter coat.

          • Sweetbetty

             That’s what I was thinking; maybe it was just time for a new winter coat for Michael.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1183772509 Jen Hughes

    Oh how I cringed at the weight watcher meeting scenes. It did not differ much from the 80s meetings my mother drug my fat-child self to. Weighing in in front of everyone? Yep. *twitch*

  • Frank_821

    It’s funny how Ginsberg’s new coat is just as low rent as his old coat. Basically he’s like Peggy in that it will be years before he develops any style that clients can respond to

    That was a great observation about Betty’s house vs Megan’s apt. Of course Megan is fine having the kids over once every 2 weeks but that carpet alone makes it clear she’s not interested in being a mother. That analysis I think helps support my own continuing sympathy for Betty despite her childish/pettiness and the horrible way she acted this episode. She’s a long way off from moving on since she still has her demons and issues. Issues that were greatly exasperated by her marriage to Don who, when you really think about, was a total narcissist during their time together. If she ever allowed herself to get some real therapy, there might be hope for her. But alas I think it’s too late.

    Speaking of Don, what a great call also about he looks more like an accounts man than creative now. He really has neglected his craft and coasted and let others do what he is famous for.

    Perhaps 20 years down the line Sally will discover the whole truth about her Father and hate her mom a little bit less

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

      Very true. But you’ve seen Michael’s apartment. I would probably not wear anything too flashy if I lived there. :)
      And everything else you said, yes.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

         I think there’s a bit of rebel/punk in Michael that would keep him from dressing like Don even if he could afford it. He’s not going to behave politely just to please people and I don’t think he’d dress just to conform.

        • luciaphile

          Michael has no filter and terrible social skills. He also has a checkered job history. Not surprising that he wears cheap, loud, and poorly tailored clothes. I don’t think that wardrobe is even on his radar.

    • sarahjane1912

      I think Don always looked like an accounts man; all the SDP senior staff dressed like that. 

      What’s changed, to my mind, is that the creatives have become more relaxed as the seasons have developed. Of course, we had some early ‘Beatnik’ types — black leather jackets, turtlenecks etc — of those few young teams taken on a few seasons ago, but didn’t just about everyone wear the standard suit’n'tie get-up in the early 60s period at the agency?

      It’s the fact that DON hasn’t moved on — where other creatives have, sartorially — that struck me, not that he’s moving away from Creative.

      • Mod_girl

        So true! Makes me think of Kurt & Smitty, & how much I miss them! Even last year during “Chrysanthemum & Sword” when we got a little glimpse of Smitty at the CGC Offices, even Ted Chaugh (sp?), who fancied himself a “Don Draper”-type, was wearing a mock turtleneck(As was pointed out by T-Lo). Can you even imagine Don wearing that???

      • Melissa Brogan

         Yes. Creative is moving away from Don, who is practically inert these days. And he does not understand it, not one bit.

    • kcarb1025

      Or maybe Sally will hate her mother more because when she learns the whole truth about her father, along with that will be the fact that he didn’t have a mother, his father and stepmother were abusive and neglectful, they were dirt poor, and he still managed to pull it together for himself and find a way to support himself and his family and be an imperfect but good and loving father to his children even though he had absolutely no models for it, or for anything beyond a hobo and/or destitute farmer. And all of that makes her mother’s “hardships” look like a piece of cake and her excuses hollow.

      • Frank_821

        or maybe Sally will see how her mother could be so bitter after being with a man who totally deceived her almost the entire time they were married, how his deception indirectly lead to his brother’s suicide and how this same man never had any qualms continually indulging in infidelities including with Sally’s own teacher.

        Betty is selfish and a crappy mom and I don’t ever see them having a loving relationship but I doubt Sally would give her father a pass on his behaviour

        • sarahjane1912

          I think Sally’s reached the stage, if she hadn’t already [after the H-Bomb of her witnessing Roger/Step-granny in action] where she questions EVERY motive/move of her elders. She’ll see her father’s side at one point, her mother’s at another, perhaps even Megan’s every so often, and many in-between … 

          She’s receiving a barrage of different ‘life lessons’ in this period, all of which are creating one very mistrustful little tween. Mill-wise, so much grist here, so much from which the MM writers can take advantage. ;-) 

  • Sweetbetty

    “Given all that, it’s surprising Betty didn’t just throw her through the glass doors in fury.”          You were reading my mind, boys.  When comments were made about how mean Megan and/or Betty was in this scene I was thinking, “You don’t know what mean is”, picturing one, the other, or both crashing through the glass doors.

    • Ksagun13

      Through the doors is right!  I was actually worried that she’d throw Megan off the balcony!

    • rowsella

       When Betty was looking through the sliding glass doors, all I could think was, “it’s a good thing Bobby’s not standing next to her.”

      Also, I thought it was pretty inconsiderate not to be downstairs with the kids at their pick up time.

      • Glammie

        Which makes it okay to use your kid to sabotage your ex’s marriage?  How does that work?

  • MissMariRose

     It’s interesting that Roger introduced some color into his office with those throw pillows.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

       I noticed those, and how alien they looked.

    • HeatherD9

         Hi MissMariRose, 
      Not to be too bitter-kittenish…
       
      However, those throw pillows have been in Roger’s office since last
      season.  You can see them when he’s talking to Freddie in Christmas
      Comes but Once a Year..  I remember sitting there watching A Little Kiss
      &  thinking that Megan must have asked Janie for her decorator’s
      info since the office cushions look remarkably like the ones in the Draper apt.  It would make sense since the entire apartment looks like a highly decorated glossy in a magazine… No personal photos, no drawings tacked on the fridge, no handprints on the glass doors etc.  Certainly not a home for three active kids!

      My goodness, either TLo is rubbing off on me or I’ve been watching this show waaaay to much!

      • Sweetbetty

         Did you notice that in the photo of the three kids playing on the floor that Bobby is inside a “fort” made of three cushions?  I was kind of surprised Megan let him do that, but then, like others have said, she only has them there four days a month.  I wondered, too, if Betty ever let him do anything like that in her living room.

        • HeatherD9

          Hi Sweetbetty, 

          Thanks for the reply…  Yep, I did notice the cushions.  In fact CheriCPat & a few other bitter kittens & I have been talking about them.  Not to be too redundant but here’s some of it.  

           ” I remembered similar sofa/chair structures from my childhood (my folks had a Danish mod living room),
          then I thought “Where did those come from?’” … “ The cushions are on a sectional style bench that sits next to the steps into the sunken living room. If you look at Megan’s song & dance scene you can see it running along the edge of the conversation pit right below the band.”.. ”My family’s Jetsen-esque couch, chairs & ottoman set were in the same fabric.”"

          “Please note that Bobby has sheltered in Betty’s color.  Interesting to see how the 3 kids were staged oldest to youngest in fore, middle, & back ground. Maybe I’m just reading too much into all of this.  However, w a show as carefully staged as Mad Men — One never knows :)”

           The problem w posting is they get buried all over the place :)

          Also, re Betty letting Bobby build forts…  Do you remember when Don & Betty are telling the kids they’re separating?  The family is in the more formal (recently redecorated) living room & Bobby says something to the effect of “Are we in trouble? Then why are we in here?” It’s a small line, but I remember it because it summed things up so well.   The “Good room” is saved for guests & serious events.  My Grandma had a room like that — forget playing with the cushions — we weren’t allowed to set foot in there because it would spoil the rug!Thanks for the note.  H:D

  • ConnieBV

    I was totally waiting for comments on that green sweater/tan pant combo that Megan so OBVIOUSLY bought for him. The full-body shot of him in the SCDP hallway was awesome. 

  • MilaXX

    I have  that cookbook and seeing it makes me smile.

    • 3rdsister

       Me too.  It was my mother’s and I still keep all her little notes and page markers in place.  But so many of those recipes are just scary! :)

      • Spicytomato1

        They keep on updating that cookbook, too, with many of the old standbys intact, though. I tend to turn to it for cookie recipes or old-school comfort food.

        • http://twitter.com/purpleprose78 purpleprose78

           It is a quality cookbook.  I love mine. 

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

      I still have the one handed down to me when I got married in 1967. It’s still the best reference for making the basics, even if you have to adjust a little for modern ingredients, fats and cooking methods.

    • Sweetbetty

       I received one as a wedding gift in 1966 but a neighbor borrowed it some years later then moved away without ever returning it.  Curse her!

    • Logo Girl

      I still make the corn muffins out of there, on a regular basis. “Griddlecakes”, too. It is still good for those bread and cake type recipes. Not so much entrees, and especially not salads (when they put anything in gelatin and called it a “salad”)

  • maggiemaggie

    Sally Draper continues to raid my 1966 era closet. I totally wore exactly. those. clothes. I have especially fond memories of that paisley cardigan and just about jumped when I saw it.

    The art direction this season has really set me off even more than previous seasons… my own parents were still pretty happy and having fun in manhattan so it’s giving me warm and fuzzies that are probably not at all appropriate to the story!

    Ginsburg appears to have stopped wearing jeans at least.

    • BayTampaBay

      Love Ginsberg and his clothes in the elevator scene.

      I know many 20 somethings that dress like that today.

    • Sweetbetty

       I had that paisley sweater in blue and white.  My mom had bought it for me for Christmas in ’64 or ’65 and I never liked it.

    • Sweetbetty

       I had that paisley sweater in blue and white.  My mom had bought it for me for Christmas in ’64 or ’65 and I never liked it.

  • http://twitter.com/floretbroccoli Florrie Brafman

    Nothing about Sally’s Lanz nightgown?

  • Musicologie

    I didn’t notice it until I saw the pictures one top of each other, but notice that when Sally’s confronting Megan about Anna, she’s wearing the colors of the Hofstadt-Francis kitchen?

    • GypsyHowell

      I didn’t see it until you said that.  The two pictures in sequence show that Sally is wearing almost the exact shade of green from the kitchen.  Dragging some of that Betty Bitterness and Poison into Megan’s pristine unsoiled life.

      • formerlyAnon

         Or wearing the miasma of depression. Because that kitchen is lit to make it horrendously depressing. (Not that the lighting is the only thing which contributes.)

  • A Reeves

    Thank you very much, gentlemen. A pleasure to read.

    I thought you might say something about Betty and her blue. I can’t recall if you considered it significant. Perhaps not.

    • sweetlilvoice

      Lots has been said about Betty and her sad blue coat…you might want to check out the old posts for more info. They also did style posts for each specific character too. I think that was a few seasons ago.

      • A Reeves

        That was it–the coat! I was thinking it had been the colour, generally.
        Thanks.

  • GTrain

    I have the same cookbook :-)  Love the recap!

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

    Last week, people were commenting on how different Megan’s hair looked from last season. But damn, this is the first time it’s been clear that it’s the same as Sally’s. That says so much.

  • CheriCPat

    Where did the blue cushions Bobby’s fort is made of come from?  I don’t recall a blue sofa anywhere in the apartment.

    • TheDivineMissAnn

       Good catch!

    • HeatherD9

       Hi CheriCPat,

      I found it!  I found the blue furniture.

        After seeing the fort/cave that Bobby made, I had a similar thought.  Well, to be honest… First I remembered similar sofa/chair structures from my childhood (my folks had a Danish mod living room), then I thought “Were did those come from?”  So I paged through TLO’s screen caps.  The cushions are on a sectional style bench that sits next to the steps into the sunken living room. If you look at Megan’s song & dance scene you can see it running along the edge of the living room “conversation pit” right below the band.

      I agree that they do stand out in the autumnal green/orange/brown room.  However, they are very period appropriate.  My family’s Jetsen-esque couch, chairs & ottoman set were in the same fabric.

      It is interesting to note that Bobby has sheltered in Betty’s color.  Also interesting to see how the 3 kids were staged oldest to youngest in fore, middle, & back ground.

      Maybe I’m just reading too much into all of this.  However, w a show as carefully staged as Mad Men — One never knows :)

      H:D

  • Jennifer Coleman

    That WW woman’s hairdo had me reeling.
    I loved the cluelessness of Ginsburg in the scene with Roger. He comes in and sits in Roger’s chair, not as a power play, but because it’s the closest one to him. Roger cuts him a quick stinkeye. Also, his comment to Roger that Roger assumes he’s Jewish because of his name, seems telling to where Ginsburg is regarding his heritage – I think he has some sort of problem with it re: his disdain for his dad(?) & the ‘alien’ conversation with Peggy. Something is about to pop off with that guy – either sooner or later. He’s unstable.

    • Spicytomato1

      I know, that hair! And her whole demeanor was really sort of unsettling…chipper yet somehow almost demonic. Hmm, part of the devil theme in disguise? :)

    • ldancer

      He’s not unstable. He’s a kid born during the Holocaust and plucked from an orphanage. There is a certain way of being that stems from that. He’s in many ways a fairly typical NY Jew: brash, expressive, on his way up and out. But he’s also a refugee child. You don’t forget that, even if you don’t remember it. This was my mother and aunt, too. I know these people.

      • baxterbaby

        YES!

      • Jennifer Coleman

        ldancer, I get all that. But I think there’s something else subtler going on with him, as there is with most of these characters. He’s all ambition & talent with none of the WASP insecurities of Pete et al. But his position in the story arc is such an outlier, even in this group of misfits that I’m sensing something off. I’m getting a slight ‘Edward Scissorhands’ vibe here. That’s what I mean by unstable.

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

      It’s interesting to note that Ginsberg is sitting in front of the dots and Roger’s background is a solid greige. It’s like they’re sitting in two different rooms.

      I believe that Ginsberg’s question about Roger assuming he’s Jewish because of his last name is just a smart aleck response. How about Roger referring to Gentiles as “‘normal people’ like me?”

      • Jennifer Coleman

        Roger is such a charming racist/sexist/anti-semite, isn’t he? The most egregious character on the show yet the most cherished.

    • MissusBee

      I interpreted the Jewish comment as pure sarcasm as he knows in Roger’s worldview, he might as well be a bagel on legs (or ‘full rabbi’ like Woody Allen in Annie Hall). So ‘you’re assuming I’m Jewish’ is like ‘you’re assuming the pope wears a hat.’ He’s trying to lash out at Roger in a childishly antagonistic way throughout the whole conversation. Entitled, urbane Roger is more likely to enjoy the banter than at all get offended. I have to say I love these two together. So much fun. As opposed to with Don, where it’s much darker.

      Can you keep a secret? No.

  • http://asskickingadviser.com/ Ass Kicking Adviser

    ‘You’re soaking in it!’ You guys are so funny. Seriously though those scenes at the WW meetings were just too much. It’t too much to take in. What a bunch of wild outfits – Janie B. must have had a fun time with that!
    Also, I just noticed this time that Betty’s oven is actually ‘built into’ a bricked up old fireplace. Just makes you think of all the horrific things people did to old homes before real renovation became the norm. Just hiddy.
    But I can’t go without mentioning my favorite thing: Stan’s tubesocks. He might make his living as an artist but he’s an ex-jock through and through.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/EICGS3ZJZ2P5NYMR5ND55IACUQ Tara

       I loved Stan’s tube socks.  When I saw that I thought to myself, “Oh, that’s definitely on T&L this week.”  I was wrong!  I loved how those gnarly tube socks stood out in comparison to the revelation that he knows what’s up with Shelley.

      • Sweetbetty

         Those ankle boots he was wearing surprised me too.  The Beatles popularized ankle-high “Beatle Boots” for guys but they were sleek and zipped closed, not buckled.  Plus, Stan wouldn’t be influenced by the latest hip fashion.  His looked beat up, like he’d been wearing them for a long time and maybe for nearly every occasion.  They seemed more Brando-esque, sort of biker/hoodlum in style.

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

      I didn’t notice the fireplace or the socks. But wow! and wow! Love it!

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

    Michael’s tie is also brand-new, and it appears to be the first time he’s changed it since the character was introduced.

    Something I noticed and some Basket of Kisses commenters noticed as well was that women just wouldn’t wear heavy pins and jackets to a weigh-in. The kind of obsession with tiny bits of weight loss that WW encouraged would mean that a woman would try to artificially lighten herself by wearing lighter clothes and less jewelry. Ask anyone. That bouclé jacket and plethora of pins is not something someone who believes she deserves a pat on the back for losing half a pound would wear. 

  • GypsyHowell

    Sure wish we could hear a little of the backstory about how Betty ended up living in that house.  And how has she not redone that kitchen by now? I can’t imagine how it looks through her 1966 eyes.

    • mixedupfiles

       She’s depressed. She has plans, I don’t doubt, but she’s not capable of getting anything done.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

         She probably doesn’t think of it as “Her House”- just a place she’s presently living. There’s no indication that they entertain friends there- or have any friends at all, for that matter.

    • girliecue

      Not only is she depressed, which kills motivation, but she’s got that battle ax of a mother-in-law who you could only imagine would have plenty to criticize – oops, I mean say – about any changes to the house.

    • BayTampaBay

      I want the Henry Francis backstory. Did his first wife die? 

      • 3hares

        He’s divorced.

  • AliciaChamisa

    Those dressed up Weight Watchers were right on for 1966 in Dallas’ Highland Park-my mom dressed to go to the grocery store-Safeway in the Village…suit, dress and jacket, etc.

    • Spicytomato1

      Seattle, too, I think. My mother-in-law still dresses like that to a certain degree. She truly believes people should still be dressing up for those kinds of errands. She hides it well but I’m sure she’s offended, probably even pained, by her tween grandsons’ athletic wear inspired “style.”

      • AliciaChamisa

        Your comment about Seattle is so interesting; shows how widespread the dressed up lifestyle was back then…literally coast to coast! My own mom would be horrified that I wear athletic clothes for exercise; in fact she wouldn’t understand regular exercise that wasn’t “social” like tennis or golf…

    • 3boysful

       Hell, when I lived in Dallas in the late 1980s, I was embarrassed to go to the store (the Skaggs on Mockingbird) if I wasn’t dressed up!  Even on Sunday morning.

      • formerlyAnon

        I used to explain Dallas in the ’80s to friends by describing the difference between the women behind the rental car desk in the Dallas (heels, jewelry, full makeup, big hair, manicure, skirt) and Newark (company polo shirt, corduroy jeans, flat black service-worker Reebok tennies, hair containing no discernible product & sometimes obviously all day since the last time a comb touched it, little to no makeup or jewelry) airports.

  • Spicytomato1

    “We so love it when we get something right.”

    You, gentlemen, are far too modest. As if you don’t get so much right, so much of the time. Thanks for once again making my Wednesday morning.

    I hadn’t realized how much Sally’s personal style changed between the Draper and Francis households, the contrast is stunning. I guess she goes more mod for her city weekend visits, maybe she acquired some casual clothes on the recent shopping trip with Megan and her mom? But I guess the fact that she reverts back to her fussier, younger-girl attire when back in the ‘burbs shows that she hasn’t yet rebelled against Betty completely.

    Betty’s heavy coat and scarf at the Draper apartment made even me uncomfortable…stuffy and boxy and frumpy and fussy, all at the same time, in such stark contrast to Megan. The one scene where Betty looked almost youthful to me was the one with Henry and his post-dinner steak (yuck). Her hair was looser, almost messy, and she looked so much better.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

       Still, that was the kind of look a woman with Betty’s weight issue would wear at the time. The heavy material and cut hide the body contours so you can (charitably) attribute some of her size to the coat. It was the overall silhouette that mattered- you might look big but all the lumps and bulges were hidden.

      • formerlyAnon

         And she would have seen her “almost messy hair” as exactly that – too messy to leave it like that when she left the house.  Charitably, her peers might have seen it as ‘too young & girlish’ for her. Less charitably, that she was losing her grip with her grooming.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/rmccarthyjames RMJ12345

    Lots of scarves in this episode. I was particularly struck by that similarity in Megan and Betty; both have loose patterned scarves around their neck in their face off. On opposite sides of the color wheel, of course, and in vastly different outfits, but it’s tying them together. Both have Don as a noose around their necks.

  • MissusBee

    Also, sorry if I missed a comment on a previous episode, but what about Betty’s smoking? She seems to have quit, no? For four seasons, she pretty much smoked all the time, often when the kids were eating – as if she was using it as a substitute for food. If she switched bugles and sundaes for cigs the weight gain explains itself.

    I have to say I didn’t see Betty as bad as some in this ep. It was more about trying to be good and slipping. Even though she was parroting some WW spiel about taking responsibility got her own actions, I think she believes it and can see how much she has in the past blamed others for her own problems. That was what spitting the cream out was all about – her first impulse after seeing the Draper #2 lifestyle was ‘I am angry at them and feel sorry for myself ergo I need the food fix’. Then she realised she was falling into an old trap and turned it around. Her response to Henry later spoke to this moment and how she was trying to be a positive person, not a bitter, resentful bitch. Unfortunately, lapses are not just about calories – the Megan note was too much and she fell back on her other indulgence – bitchery – instead.

    If you are trying to be a better person, ‘maintenance’ is not enough.

    So I think her ‘I am thankful’ statement, though glib, was well-intended, like a mantra to herself. She doesn’t believe it – yet – but she knows envy is a problem and if she can be content (and accept small portions sometimes) then she can overcome her worst self.

    I stll find Betty’s journey intriguing and am glad when she shows up. Now more Joan please!

    • C. Rogers

      I’ve also wondered about the smoking and the weight gain— has she quit due to health concerns? Or is smoking Henry something dislikes? I don’t think we’ve ever seen him smoking, have we? It might have to do with January Jones’s pregnancy, too, I suppose. 

      Anyway, I like the comment about Betty trying and slipping a lot. In a lot of ways, it seems like she and Don are on parallel journeys this season— they’re both aware that they’ve gotten a second chance and are trying to keep up with it. But Betty, unlike Don, has the deck stacked against her. She’s raising three kids when she’s not much of a maternal person, living in that (gorgeous) tomb of a house, struggling with health and weight issues. Betty does rotten stuff, but it’s hard for me to not at least understand where her anger and bitterness comes from. 

      And yes, more Joan is desperately needed!

      • BayTampaBay

        I agree with you about Joan but I also want to see more interaction between Betty and Henry and more of the back story on Henry.

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

          Yes! I love their brief scenes together. And Christopher Stanley is so easy on the eyes.

      • Rachel Pagliocca

        I’m guessing the lack of smoking is mostly due to January Jones’ real life pregnancy… so we’ll likely see less smoking from Betty, and more cigarette case props.

        • Sweetbetty

           They don’t smoke real cigarettes on the show; they smoke herbal cigarettes.  Now, I don’t smoke either so I don’t know, but can a pregnant woman smoke herbal cigarettes without concern for her baby?  And couldn’t January Jones just not inhale?

    • MissusBee

      Sorry, on a style point I’d like to compare the mood for Betty’s meal at the start and at the end. The first was lonely and down, the second was at the heart of the family, baggy clothes showing how much weight she’s lost already, determined to savor every morsel. I think she’s got some real motivation for getting back in shape now. If being a cow doesn’t hit Don where it hurts, being thin and gorgeous might. Revenge is a dish more tasty than pumpkin pie…

      • sarahjane1912

        “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” … so sayeth Kate Moss. ;-)

        Someone should tell Betty. Tee hee.

        • MissusBee

          That’s because for Kate Moss thin = supermodel, whereas for most people it means something between abject poverty and simply taking up less space on the bus. What it means to Betty has yet to be seen. Does she want to reclaim what she sees as power, based on (in her mind) men desiring her and women envying her (to compete with Megan), or is she going to learn to take better care of herself as part of a more positive attitude to life – and take revenge by living well?

          Whichever way, I think Betty has always been the character who explores the dark, more uncomfortable side of how women in this era deal with their self image and it will be interesting to see what happens.

      • Sweetbetty

         Why would Betty being a cow hit Don where it hurts?

        • MissusBee

          I mean cow as in mean person, not large person.

    • A Reeves

      re: smoking.

      There is one scene in which Betty lights a cigarette in her kitchen. I forget which one it is. I’ve noticed that the smoking seems to be less prevalent than in the first few seasons. It may just be because 1) It is hard to film and keep the continuity between shots and angles with your actors using props all the time, though this show does a lot of it, and 2) I remember listening to a commentary in one of the earlier seasons and it was Christina Hendricks, I think, who mentioned the set “just stank” with all the clove cigarettes they burned.  Perhaps they reduced it, in part, for a better work environment!

    • http://twitter.com/melo_jelo melo_jelo

      If you look at the photo above where Betty is weighing the cheese, you can see several packs of Salems on the counter.

  • Bill Curtis

    Reading Mad Style is my favorite lunch break of the week.

    Have you met Janie Bryant yet?  I bet she loves you guys.  Is there an Emmy for costuming?  If so, you two should present it.

  • applescruffs

    Michael also bought a new tie!

  • http://twitter.com/RozSeven Roz

    Can’t stop dwelling on that elevator scene–Don looks so cold and bloodless and Ginsberg is all passionate with flags of color in his cheeks. Just perfect. And also keep wondering–Don exits the elevator for the office presumably but Ginsberg keeps riding it up?

    • the_valkyrie

      My take on it is that Ginsberg’s trajectory is going upwards, whilst Don seems kind of stuck.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZMU2QQUTAUEPU23MUTZBQ5W2PI Peter

    Another fabulous style recap. I’m a tiny bit in love with the both of you, I really am.

    I will say, though — I was hoping you might mention Jane in this post, only because I was LIVING for that Cruella DeVil-style cradle phone we saw her using in this episode. (I need to go back and watch the episode a second time… I’m not even sure there was anything else to address with her, since I’m pretty sure all we saw was the bedroom she shared with Roger, and her new apartment, which I think was empty.)

  • BayTampaBay

    Comment in wrong place.

  • BayTampaBay

    Comment in the wrong place.

  • egl48

     ”the low level of annoyance and depression that … come with dieting”
    Forget the style analysis — that is exactly how dieting feels!

  • Marian Humin

    I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your analysis. I look at the show in a brand new light now!

  • MsKitty

    but the fact of the matter is, women over a certain size and over a certain age had little in the way of style options. This was the uniform, like it or not, and it was expected to span a range of ages from the late 20s to the late 50s.

    Even though plus size fashions have come a long way since 1966, in some ways that’s still the case.  Try being a size 18 and shopping for evening wear…good luck in trying to find something that isn’t more age appropriate for your mother than you.

  • CPT_Doom

    The other thing I love about the elevator scene with Don and Michael is the negative – image quality. Both men are wearing gray and plaids, but Michael’s plaid is out front and covering his gray vest; Don is exactly the opposite. Michael’s outfit is of course also messy where Don’s is perfect put together, mirroring the two men’s habits with their emotions – Michael’s are out there for all to see; Don’s are careful covered up.

  • sashaychante

    My mother still has that BH&G cookbook!  I remember my mother wearing coats similar to the coat Betty has on…she called it her “car coat” which I think just meant casual coat.  I also remember her wearing those coordinated suits..matching jacket, skirt and clip earrings, with the ever present pantyhose.

    • AZU403

      Yes,the  good old car coat – cut a little shorter than an overcoat so that you wouldn’t get all wrapped up in it when you sat in the car.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CW5LKKJDK3YKBQNJ3YRGRPYZJY Katherine

    Love the Beth = Dark Betty comparison!  Thank you for pointing out the fur coat comparison as well.  I missed that one until you pointed it out.  Tlo your analysis make me get so much more out of Mad Men that’s for sure :)

    I’m kind of glad Ginsberg got some new clothes ^^.  Didn’t Joan point out that he’s the one doing most of the work now?

    Once again this episode shows me why at least some of the hate towards Betty is justified.  You can’t blame everything on Don and I think her pettiness and inability to keep calm with children play a major role in that.  That being said, taking care of children is hard work, but I believe Betty’s attitude makes things so much worse…

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

      It was obvious that Betty does not take an interest in Bobby’s schoolwork when she asked him if he carries around that many pages of paper every day.

      • http://mllesatine.insanejournal.com/ mllesatine

         In what way? Is she supposed to sort through Bobby’s school things every
        day to be considered a good mother? Sorry, but carrying around 10 loose
        pages is not going to kill this boy. It’s not like he is going to break
        his back walking to school.

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

          Wow, that’s quite an overreaction. Seems like I accidentally hit some sensitive nerve of yours. My point was that she appeared to be taking an interest in his schoolwork for the first time. 

          And by the way, my daughter is required by their teachers to sort through the backpacks of my grammar school-age grandchildren every day, sign the work and send it back to class.

  • MichaelStrangeways

    uh, Megan’s actress friend’s sweater is FABULOUS, not ugly!

    • Spicytomato1

      I know, I kinda loved it myself. 

  • BrightsideSusan

    Love you guys, love these posts.  I have my grandmother’s copy of the plaid cookcook.  I even made aspic once.

  • Sarah Crandall

    I made my “Mad Men”-addicted husband read a few of these style posts, explaining the added insight into characters, story and connections, and lo!  When Joanie walked into the scene, my pony-tailed, flannel and jeans, grunge-adherent SO blurts out “Joan is wearing purple…wonder what’s going on with her…”  In short, gentlemen, mission accomplished.  Keep up the excellent work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1129137319 Paula Pertile

    The WW lady was my favorite. Her hair! I can’t think where I’ve seen her before …

    Not a style thing really, but that one lonely brussel sprout on Betty’s Thanksgiving plate was so sad. I thought she’d be piling on the sprouts and white meat turkey, which are low fat, but maybe WW back then had different ideas about things. 

    Was there a black and blue plaid skirt on someone at the office (Peggy?). I can’t remember now exactly, except that I liked it.

    Betty’s blue kitchen dress was SO uncomfortable looking. And the kids in their school clothes. A tie! Why didn’t they get to change their clothes when they came home? Unless I missed something – was it breakfast, with them getting ready to start their day? I didn’t think so. 

    Don looked very hunky in that slacks and sweater outfit, compared to his usual business facade suit look. He was also in a creative mode while wearing that.The suit hems him in, its like packaging. 

    Thanks for another great recap!

  • VanessaDK

    Bettys kitchen looks like it was never very nice. The curtain below the sink makes it look like a tenement.

    • juliamargaret

      I wonder if, since it seems to be a big Victorian mansion, if the kitchen was meant primarily to be used by servants, and not the family. That might explain why it doesn’t look so nice. 

      • Maggie_Mae

        Yes, most kitchens from that period were meant for the servants.  They were not family gathering places. 

        The house is a genuine Victorian monument (the real one used by the show, that is).  But to make it a comfortable home for a 1960′s family will require a lot of imagination & energy.  Which Betty does not have….

  • MK03

    So much houndstooth and plaid! LOVE!

  • NDC_IPCentral

    Thanks for the really thoughtful insights – you bring so much to your analysis and make me appreciate the show that much more.

    A welcome mid-week bracer!

  • http://needtherapy.tumblr.com/ skadi1

    Betty’s shapely legs are cracking me up. Kind of ruins the chubby-housewife image.
    I covet every single one of the sweaters in the Draper house shots. Sally’s blue sweater is going on my to-knit list.

  • Lilithcat

    And speaking of the suburban housewife uniform  .  .  .  It’s moneyed, Republican housewifery, straight down the line.

    Got to disagree on a couple of counts.  That “uniform” was neither exclusively “suburban” nor “Republican”.  The left-wing, Women Strike for Peace, school integration activists in my very urban neighborhood dressed in exactly the same “put-the-hell-together” way, even when out on the picket lines. 

    • Glammie

      Hmmm, think it depended on the woman.  My mother, who was older than Betty, dressed pretty stylishly during that period. A fair amount like Megan, actually.  Mona in our short glimpses of her looked good.  Joan’s around Betty’s age and she consistently looks stylish without doing the youth culture thing.

      The thing that popped out to me that TLo didn’t mention was Betty’s red suit in the last scene.  I thought of Nancy Reagan red, but I was curious about what TLo would make of it.  Certainly made Betty stand out against the dismal green of the house.  It was such a departure from Betty’s usual cool tones.  Brightest thing anyone wore in the entire episode.

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

      You cut out an entire paragraph between those two clauses and then inserted “exclusively” into it to make your point, even though we didn’t use that word.

  • VanessaDK

    I don’t think Megan’s class issues arose when she married Don. She comes from a well educated family and her parents seemed well turned out. The shopping spree with her mom looked well practiced, and she countered Dons objections to his birthday party by telling him she was spending “her money”.

  • Susan Crawford

    Those Weight Watchers scenes were heaven. I noted the knit suits, which were VERY popular back in the sixties, and the boucle-tweedy ensembles. But what was also wonderful were the accessories: the scarves, the brooches, the eyeglass frames. Those are the little finishing touches that make Mad Men so incredible in the costume (and set design) department.

    Sally’s sweaters were also wonderful – especially the raglan-sleeved blue pointelle she wore to drop the loaded queston about Anna on Megan. A little Malice in Wonderland blue to set off the latest bombshell.

    Megan is clearly enjoying her newfound freedom to dress down – she’s barefoot a LOT now, and rocking pants and sweaters, but as TLo pointed out, these are NOT sweaters for gals on a budget. No Lerners or EJ Korvette’s for Mrs. Don Draper, thank you very much. That leather-trimmed beauty would be a knockout today.

    I loved the colors in the line-running scene with her acting buddy. Megan in her upscale burgundy sweater and slacks, and her friend in an outfit that looks a bit improvised – getting another few months of wear from the sleeveless dress by putting a sweater under it. This is how most young women on a budget made do, as I recall.

    At the office, the Roger/Ginsberg scene was one of my all time faves! Roger, immaculate and sharp to match his immaculate and sharp office confronting rumply and mis-matched Ginzo and discovering – somewhat to his amusement, I thought – that he still had the mojo (and moolah) to pull this difficult kid into his orbit.

    The pitch meeting was staged so symmetrically: the couch flanked by matching end tables and blue lamps with a blue ceramic ashtray centered on the coffee table: Peggy, almost disappearing into the upholstery, flanked by Don and Ginzo in shirtsleeves and Sweater Boy (wearing WHITE SOCKS! Hilarious!) balancing the team. BTW, I hereby go on record as wanting to own those lamps – so freaking fabulous!

    Betty’s ongoing dieting woes have been covered, but a word about the late-night snack scene. I would bet dollars to a lo-cal donut that she is wearing a Barbizon nightgown and wrapper. In the frigid Ossining winter, I’m sure she has a supply of Lanz brushed flannels, too, but for this time of year, I think Barbizon would be her brand. They were satiny, yet with a soft inner ”hand” and always trimmed with ruffles and lace insets. And that ice-blue was a signature color. Hubby’s robe and PJ’s were a great match. And in this softly feminine attire, Betty makes an effort to empathize with her hubby and talk about mutual support. We’ll see about THAT!

    Her intrusion into Don and Megan’s to pick up the kids was beautifully designed. The bulky, three-quarter-length plaid coat, the scarf, the lower heeled shoes all clashed with the streamlined decor, and she knew it. Catching sight of Megan pulling on a cute, sexy little top was actually heartbreaking. Well, as heartbreaking as a moment of truth for a mega-bitch can possibly be, that is.

    I was a little shocked to see Little Rory stroll into Pete’s office clad only in what looked like a Blackglama and some sexy panties. I wanted to reach for the phone to alert Lorelei! And how absolutely typical of Pete to have exactly THIS fantasy – the sexually daring, aggressive temptress who seduces him in the office. Shades of Dapper Don! Or like a scene out of Ian Fleming.

    Speaking of Don, the elevator scene with Ginzo – yikes! Talk about throwing flaming daggers? This storyline just keeps getting better and better. Ginzo’s plaid coat – thick, a bit large, obviously made of material designed to withstand a nuclear explosion – versus Don’s body-conscious, tailored coat. Look out, Don – unless that coat has a Kevlar lining, you might just regret it. We all saw that look in Ginzo’s eyes.

    Well, another great TLo recap – you guys are absolutely the BEST! J’adore you both!

    • Lisa_Cop

      So many wools and boucles in this episode. Too bad YSL didn’t invent RTW until the 70′s. I’d love to see Betty in a Chanel suit (if she could afford it on Henry’s salary).

  • Chaiaiai

    Hmmm.  I wonder about the use of hair dye on some of the extras, like the redhead in the WW meeting.  I was under the impression from my mother that dyeing your hair, back then in the NY suburbs (Mama Chai is from Darien), in upper middle class world, just wasn’t done.  That hair sticks out by a mile. 

    I’m not nitpicking, I’m just wondering.

    Great analysis as always. And man, you are so right about Dark Betty. She’s Dark and Unhinged Betty.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1129137319 Paula Pertile

      Women did dye their hair. My aunt famously claimed she’d dyed hers so much she couldn’t remember her real color anymore. But the opposite end of the spectrum was my mother, who hated dyed hair, and would say of a woman she didn’t approve of,  ”that’s not her natural color”, as if that said it all.

      • Chaiaiai

        Very interesting Paula and Susan.  I know of the “does she or doesn’t she?” Clairol campaign of the late 50′s.  Again, this may be my mother’s VERY WASP upbringing coming out – finishing school, boarding school, etc.  Frosting I could, in theory, see my mother’s mother doing – but never ever red and never ever obvious.
        And Paula, my mother would say “that’s not her natural haircolor” as a put down as well.  And she’s about 7 years older than Sally Draper!

    • Susan Crawford

      Women did dye their hair – lots of “frosting” going on back then, to give women that fresh off the tennis court at the club look (and cover grey) as well as full-on dye jobs. I do think, however, that a lot of women would never, ever admit to it. There was some residual stigma attached to it, especially if you went blonde (which automatically made you into a homewrecking, predatory slut, apparently!)

      • Maggie_Mae

        One aunt on my father’s side had white hair fairly young–lovely, striking, steel gray turning to white.  Her two sisters had black hair.  Years later, I realized they were the Black Irish side of the family; the two sisters had dyed their hair! It just wasn’t mentioned–back in the late 50′s, early 60′s. 

        At a wedding reception in “modern times” the best man’s speech included a family joke. Something about all the men getting white hair early–while all the women got hair of every color!

  • BigShamu

    My job as a kid (besides learning to cook & washing dishes) was to use those little hole reinforcements to strengthen the pages that were ripping from the cookbook binder rings.  Since being published in 1930 it’s sold 40 million copies and issued 15 additions. 

    Also love the little spice shelf. 

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

    I hope Betty loses a ton of weight, cuts her hair off like Twiggy, and let them all have it. 

    • Glammie

      I think Betty’s guaranteed to lose the weight thanks to J.Jones–a Twiggy or Mia Farrow chop would be a total kick.  Would love it.

  • LuLusLemons

    If I recall correctly, Peggy was wearing purple, her “this is the way it is, don’t cry about it” color (from season one), when Ginsberg found out his work was left in the cab. (Purple shows Joan’s heart; it seems to show Peggy hardening hers.) Yellow is Peggy’s power color; Megan is wearing it in an earthy tone when she diffuses a home situation. Betty is wearing a grownup version of Sally’s disillusionment sweatshirt and schoolgirl skirt when Sally turns on h er in the kitchen. It is interesting to see how these women are connected, and how well or ill they fit each other’s roles.

    Also, I feel like there is a lot of waist detailing on Peggy’s dresses lately, maybe having something to do with her

  • CassandraMortmain

    After weeks of wearing the same ugly and slightly inappropriate clothes, it was really apparent that Ginsberg had finally bought some new duds.  He looks a million times better but there’s still something off about him.  Not surprising considering what little we know of his history, but I find it a little disturbing that his work, no matter how brilliant, always has some underlay of cruelty in it.

    Megan’s casual clothes are good but I really miss her chic work outfits.  Up until she left the agency, she had the most amazing clothes of just about anyone in this show.  Her sweaters and capri pants, no matter how fashionable, just don’t measure up to things like her coral dress and coat or the houndstooth dress and coat, not to mention her many other gorgeous outfits.

    The WW ladies all look so good.  Quite a contrast to the yoga pants and tees uniform of moms and housewives today.  I’m always struck by street scenes in movies from the 40′s and 50′s by how pulled together everyone looks, regardless of their age, race, or class, compared to today when most people go around looking like slobs all the time.

    I get that the Francis pile is supposed to be a dreary, old-fashioned prison of sorts while the Draper Manhattan apartment is the very height of chic, but I can’t help it.  To my modern eyes the Victorian mausoleum looks so much more interesting.  I’d take it in a heartbeat over the very modern apartment.  Orange kitchen accents?  In a very short time that’s going to look more dated (and far uglier) than the Francis kitchen.

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

       For real.  That house is fab.

    • Spicytomato1

      “Quite a contrast to the yoga pants and tees uniform of moms and housewives today.  I’m always struck by street scenes in movies from the 40′s and 50′s by how pulled together everyone looks, regardless of their age, race, or class, compared to today when most people go around looking like slobs all the time.”

      I agree that we seem to keep taking the notion of casual to new lows…but I think it’s a uniquely American phenomenon (granted MM is an American show). It seems that people in Europe, especially, tend to still look fairly pulled together. I haven’t traveled there lately but my sister was in Eastern and Northern Europe not too long ago. And while she’s no slob she said she felt distinctly underdressed compared to many people out and about.

      • 3boysful

         Case in point (sadly):  Most of the week, I run around doing errands in a post workout state.

        But at least I’m not the people who wear pajama bottoms on planes!  Remember when people got dressed up–gloves, even!–to fly?

        • girliecue

          A friend’s husband works for Delta, so she gave me a “buddy pass” to fly out to San Francisco with her. With the buddy pass came a list of rules that Delta has for employees, relatives and friends that fly on Delta’s dime.  They have a dress code – no athletic shoes and no jeans. Although gloves were not specifically mentioned, you were encouraged to look as respectable as possible.

      • Lisa_Cop

        I’ve been there recently and it’s true. Americans are recognizable because of their casual dress (especially sneakers). Also Americans and Germans are fatter.

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

      There are plenty of women (Dallas area, but surely all over) whose “yoga pants” look is just as meticulously put together as these outfits.

  • LuLusLemons

    Ambivalence about creating a family…

  • mommyca

    OMG! in the scene when Sally confronts Megan about Anna, there is this ceramic mug in the coffee table (which I saw Megan’s dad using it a few episodes back): I have the same exact mug (and the whole set) which belonged to my mother in law! That’s so awesome! :-) 

  • susu11

    I want a lady-version of Ginsberg coat! Great observation about the coat probably being bought with Roger’s bribe money.

    Despite her somewhat tenuous place at SCDP I have to say this episode was also the most well put-together Peggy has every looked throughout. The wine color long-sleeve dress and the mustard-color mock turtleneck she had on in other scenes kind of reminded me of Joan- the column of color and clean lines. I think she has settled into her copywriting role there, but there will definitely be a pivotal point where the glass ceiling is going to hit her hard and she’s going to have to re-evaluate her role at SCDP. For me, being so put-together lately means our dear Peggy is on the move forward, if not necessarily upwards. 

    Whoa and great callback with the ‘Dark Betty’ pics. A bit creepy, isn’t it? 

  • mowa5

    Wow, I just love reading your Mad Men pieces every week…you are so good.

  • Mod_girl

     Your comment makes me think of Kurt & Smitty, & how I miss them! Even last year during “Chrysanthemum & Sword” when we got a little glimpse of Smitty at the CGC Offices, even Ted Chaugh (sp?), who fancied himself a “Don Draper”-type, was wearing a mock turtleneck.(As was pointed out by T-Lo)

    • roadtrip1000

       I hate it when that happens.

  • Jenny66

    In the scene where Don kisses Megan and Sally goodbye to go in to the office on the weekend, I got a weird vibe that he was actually kissing both his daughters, as opposed to his wife and daughter.  I think this is because both Megan and Sally are dressed youthfully, both in sweaters and both sitting on the floor, and perhaps that staging was intentional?  Am I the only one to think this?

    • sarahjane1912

      Not at all. :-) I thought that very thing when I saw him bend down to kiss them both one after the other.

  • AutumnInNY

    “Given all that, it’s surprising Betty didn’t just throw her through the glass doors in fury.”….haaa..lol. Love you Tlo. As always right on with your comments and brilliant observations. I agree, and correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t this the first time these two have met?  Meganwas pretty rude to Betty. I’m not Betty’s biggest fan but I had to feel for her in these few moments. That outfit, while expensive made the former Mrs. Draper look years older, heavier and more matronly than ever. Megan’s youthful style and smugness permeated the room.

    • 3boysful

       I’d say Megan had the right to be rude–Betty came WAY into the apartment, beyond the foyer, even if she had been invited in, which she wasn’t.  And she clearly wasn’t just admiring the view (well, she was actually envying the non-scenic view, but that’s the point).

    • Sweetbetty

       ” correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t this the first time these two have met?”
      I’ve been wondering the same thing.  It’s been a year now since Don and Megan became engaged so it seem like they should have met but then again, if Don is always there at drop-off and pick-up time for the kids and if Don always walked the kids down to the street, there really isn’t any reason for the two Mrs. Drapers to have met.  But then you’d think they would have awkwardly introduced themselves to each other when they ran into each other in front of the glass doors.  Then again, like TLo said, that meeting was so tense it’s fortunate someone didn’t go crashing through those glass doors and off the balcony :-)

    • Sweetbetty

       ” correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t this the first time these two have met?”
      I’ve been wondering the same thing.  It’s been a year now since Don and Megan became engaged so it seem like they should have met but then again, if Don is always there at drop-off and pick-up time for the kids and if Don always walked the kids down to the street, there really isn’t any reason for the two Mrs. Drapers to have met.  But then you’d think they would have awkwardly introduced themselves to each other when they ran into each other in front of the glass doors.  Then again, like TLo said, that meeting was so tense it’s fortunate someone didn’t go crashing through those glass doors and off the balcony :-)

  • bluefish

    You guys are amazing in these fashion round-ups.  I live for them now — Too much to comment on so I won’t but I have been wanting to confess, sheepishly, since the start of this season that as much as I can admire and appreciate it, I don’t care for Don and Megan’s apartment.  Not the unit itself — but the color scheme — the furnishings are mid-Century and beyond chic but the color scheme has always felt flat to me — Something not quite right about it. 

    The Weight Watchers clothes were indeed amazing amazing amazing. It’s so funny to me that Megan now wears her skinny Audrey pants all the time — I mean all the time. 

    And Joan’s hair is getting looser and looser — love that.  No more of the supertight, headache inducing updos.   Now bring me back Lane Price next week, please, and I will be happy housewife.

  • dciminello

    Note the Barnabas Collins Dark Shadows upturned vampire collar on Michael’s jacket! This was also the case earlier in the episode on Pete’s coat when he was in the elevator…

  • http://twitter.com/TheWaltWhitman Walt Whitman

    Anyone else notice the amazing rainbow of the WW women?  They’re each wearing a different color: http://wpc.4d27.edgecastcdn.net/004D27/Television/MadMenS5/MMS5E9/mss539+7.jpg

    Obviously a conscious choice on the part of the show.  IMO it’s trying to show that WW is trying, like many other parts of society, to make a very diverse group of women into a single, restrictive ideal. 

  • Frank_821

    Something concerning someone else’s comment about Megan coming from an affluent family. It occurs to me that this girl may never have seriously struggled with anything in her life. Megan is nice enough and talented but consider. She was, what, 23 when she gave up acting. During her first foray she probably was living off her parents to get by. And attempting to be actress had little risk for her that regard. I wonder if she probably was a little out of touch even then with the realities of the struggles of pursuing this profession.

    She can claim all the passion she wants about acting, but her fellow actors probably perceived her as a dilettante before. Truth is she and everyone else knows there is no risk in her failing even now since she has Don to fall back on

    • Glammie

      Yep, this is what I’ve been thinking.  I’m not at all convinced that Megan has a great amount of drive.  I think she and Betty share a similar passivity–both are pretty enough that men project fantasies on them and they kind of slip into the role.  The whole type-of-women-Don-marries speech by Joan alludes to this.  Don wants a fantasy and Megan is willing to play that fantasy–thinks that she should.  

    • greenwich_matron

      Actually, she never expressed a passion for it – she only said that she gave up too quickly. Her father said that she had a passion and she decided to try again after she realized that she wasn’t pleasing him anymore. 

  • carpediva

    My pitch for the ad above:

    A snowball is standing outside some gates marked “Hell” that the Devil is just opening. Then you hear in confident voice-over the snowball saying, “I gotta tell ya… I kinda like my chances!”

    Bah-DUM-bum.

    • Sweetbetty

       I meant to bring this up before…was Sno Ball an actual product at that time?  And what was it?  When they first mentioned it I was thinking “sno-cone”, but then they seemed to talk like it was a drink, like a soda.  But Ginzo’s artwork of a literal snow ball brought me back to sno-cone.  I don’t remember any product called “Sno Ball” from that time.

      • UsedtobeEP

        What about those coconut covered cakes made by Hostess?

      • A Reeves

        I think it was. I clicked through to the link TLo gave to us about the smog–poking about the site, I found reference to the product. They hunted down a few more things referenced in the episode, too, like the resteraunt Jane, Roger and the Rosenbergs (the wine people) had dinner in.

        • Sweetbetty

           So what was “Sno Ball”?  And I don’t think is was the Hostess snack cake since they were talking about it being cold and refreshing.

          • BayTampaBay

            A different version of a Sno-Cone.

  • http://twitter.com/malaulau Madeleine La

    Interesting, how Peggy and Beth both wear that dark pink shaded lipstick.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NWBWRRJTOVHCXYJDK53DSJWEII Caroline N

    You guys have outdone yourselves this week! And Betty – can Janie find her uglier clothes???

  • luciaphile

    Just want to say–another great post. 

  • texashistorian

    I just HAD to weigh in (ha ha) because I’ve been thinking about this episode a lot.

    First, I don’t think Betty is necessarily unhappy – she has a spouse who loves her (well, it seems like) and a pretty good life. This is the life she chose, after all, but her petulant, child-like ways get her into that awful small-mindedness. It’s like she can’t see the forest for the trees, and I feel sorry for her. She is such a silly woman, like her mother-in-law once said.

    Megan is also becoming more child-like. That pout she gave after getting her comeuppance was very Betty-like, and her sitting on the floor with the children was very childish, too. Megan, however, is an upbeat kind of person, and has figured out Betty’s childish games. I hope Don’s treatment won’t make her into another child-bride, but it just might.

    Peggy is, of course, my favorite character, but I’m thinking she’s going to go for a major career change. She might even start her own agency. That whole exit thing, her name not being on any work yet she works after hours, and her cryptic talk with Roger in the elevator are all indicators (to me, anyway) that she is going to move forward. Especially with M. Ginsburg there ready to steal her thunder.

    I’m just postulating, of course… but thanks for providing a way to add to the conversation, guys!

    • Frank_821

      You hit a major point about Betty and why people can loathe her actions but still feel for her. Betty was strong enough and smart enough to walk away from a bad marriage that was basically destroying her. However she still carries a lot of baggage from that marriage and her relationship with Don in general. She’s lacked the self-awareness to get any closure on that and to deal with. Don’s current marital situation doesn’t help. As stated above Megan has done nothing really to her. Megan is the representation of the life she might have had with Don if things had been different between them. It’s Don she’s angry with and still angry with.

      It seems like Betty has never sat down with Don and told him outright what life with him has been like for her over the years. In reality it’s not that she stopped loving him but that she was too unhappy with the way her life had gone to stay with him. She’s never had a chance to express her angry and frustration in a clear and constructive way. If true couples therapy had existed back then, she might have had the chance. She really should have been point blank asking Don why he could never be honest with her or trust her. Why couldn’t he be faithful to her? sadly betty is not aware enough that she needs that closure to allow herself to move forward and rebuild her life. Ergo she’s in a holding pattern and giving in to her childish and petty resentments. She doesn’t know how to get rid of them. Again a GOOD therapist could actually help her

       It also seems that even though Don is aware that he is more culpable for their marriage failing, it doesn’t seem like he’s ever apologized to Betty and tell her outright he is sorry he failed her

      • http://twitter.com/TigerLaverada TigerLaverada

        They both screwed up. Betty’s responsible for her own behavior like any adult, whether she’s aware of that law of life or not. Like every divorced couple I’ve ever known, they both owe the other an apology.

  • http://twitter.com/lareveuse lareveuse

    Note, Don’s plaid scarf and Ginzberg’s plaid coat–though for some reason, I just want to call it a muffler. 

  • paintedfish

    I’ve just seen the YSL retrospective collection and after learning of his Beatnik collection and it’s failure, it’s interesting to see leather trimmed clothing as representations of wealth a few years later.
    also loved “you’re soaking in it” I almost did a spit take.

    • cleep1000

      Me, too! We’re revealing our age, I guess.

    • BayTampaBay

      Roberto Cavalli really picked up the leather trim and ran with it in the early 70′s.

  • wworldtree

    Sally’s clothes in the early scene with Betty and the family tree resemble Joan’s!

  • Qitkat

    Having young grandchildren (almost 3 and 5½), I’ve always found it hard to believe the scenes with young Gene, so blissfully playing alone with so few toys. Not that my grandsons don’t play alone, but he always seems so isolated from his brother and sister and any adults. And content with very few toys. Although I’m quite sure that today’s children have an overabundance of toys compared to the sixties. Perhaps it’s a throwback to “children should be seen and not heard.”

    Sally has always clearly been the focus with the children. I’ll bet many of us with kids on this board feel sorry for both Bobby and Gene, benignly neglected. Which may come back with a vengeance if the show continues a few more years.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1241487378 Lauren Lynch Fox

      Me too. I just figured that they don’t want you to notice Bobby or Gene that much. I also think what you don’t see is a “Play Pen”. My grandmother was always sticking me in a “play pen” in the 60′s (I swear, until I was 5). Parents would put you in that thing and go about their business doing things in the house When I had my son, my aunt asked me where was the “play pen” and how did I get things done. I informed her that we did not use play pens anymore and did not worry so much about “getting things done” and spent the day following our babies around. She did not understand the concept.

      Betty looks like a play pen mom…

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

        “She did not understand the concept.” LOL

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1241487378 Lauren Lynch Fox

          Maybe we had a lot of “Betty” types walking around then.

      • Qitkat

        I’ve noticed that a lot of today’s moms are not play pen moms. But in defense of the play pen, which I used judiciously mostly before the age of 2, it was a life saver when fixing meals. The parents of the 5½ and nearly 3 year olds have never owned one. When I babysat, many times I wished they did. They also never got high chairs, and their table tops showed it. My oldest son and wife now have a 6 month old and say they intend to get one. Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it ;-)

        • http://twitter.com/purpleprose78 purpleprose78

           I have a friend who has used baby gates to turn her living room into a gigantic play pen.  I suspect when I was a child that baby gates weren’t as common.

          • Sweetbetty

             I can remember as a small child a baby gate, the kind that folded open and closed in diamond shapes, at the bottom of the stairs to the second floor.  I guess my mom was afraid I’d fall down the steps if I had access to them.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3KCDEX4FOTCFHZP6WLKSOOKUVM Danielle

        We still have play pens, they’re just half the size and called pack & plays now.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1241487378 Lauren Lynch Fox

          My kids had “pack and plays” and I could not bring myself to use the thing. I used it to hold toys.

      • HeatherD9

        Hi Lauren,

        I was going to mention the pack ‘n play as well, but I see Danielle beat me to it :)

        We got ours because of the in-laws. I have 5 MIL (it’s complicated) so we visit a lot of don’t-touch-that houses.  It was nice to have a safe place to let my lil girl sleep that kept the cat/dog/older cousin at a reasonable distance.

         That said, I was reluctant to use it as a baby corral at home.  It didn’t seem right to leave her in there just so I could do chores etc. — sort of like the Glo Coat commercial.  Then my hubby started to call it “Baby Gitmo” & it was all over.  We just got creative w ways to keep her safe & engaged.  My fav is to set her in the highchair & let her skate ice chips around while I make dinner.  Not sure if I’ll teach her to mix drinks to have before supper a la Sally tho’.  Hmmm… maybe I can build her a fort out of the sofa cushions!

        I agree Betty looks like a play pen mom — One of the one’s with a parasol “For outdoor fun too” (ick).  Although she seemed pretty comfortable just handing the kids over to Carla.  ***Sigh** I miss Carla!

        H:D

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1241487378 Lauren Lynch Fox

          Baby Gitmo! LOL. We called it baby jail too!

    • Sweetbetty

       And at the Thanksgiving dinner scene he even waited until everyone took their turn telling what they were thankful for before he dug in.  I felt bad that he was left out of that little game, too.  We do a similar game at our Thanksgiving dinners but we start with the letter “A” and go through the alphabet as we go around the table several times.  When there were babies that couldn’t talk yet we always made up something for them to be thankful for and at Gene’s age we would have tried to coax something out of him.  He must be saying a few words by now.

    • sweetlilvoice

      Don didn’t even remember to buy him a present at HoJos. Since Megan was the baby, she’ll probably pay more attention to him. If she’s still around that is. I tend to pay more attention to my friend’s oldest kid because I’m the oldest.

  • HeatherD9

     Hi MissMariRose,
    Not to be too bitter-kittenish…
      However, those throw pillows have been in Roger’s office since last season.  You can see them when he’s talking to Freddie in Christmas Comes but Once a Year..  I remember sitting there watching A Little Kiss &  thinking that Megan must have asked Janie for her decorator’s info since the cushions look remarkably like the ones in the Draper apt.

    • Glammie

      Well, keep in mind that Gene’s being played by a two-or-three year old.  All sorts of limits as to how much time he can spend on set and what he can do.  Keeping him calm with some blocks while they get the scene done is probably about what can be managed.  

      But, yes, in real life, there’d be a *lot* more interaction.  

      • Qitkat

        Good points Heather and Glammie. I wasn’t even considering the child acting laws. I’d love to see Megan handle a temper tantrum from Gene! I think we can all imagine how Betty would deal with one. I loved that sofa cushion cave also, a classic. Good word *static*. Sitcoms show children as much more active than dramas seem to.

      • Qitkat

        Good points Heather and Glammie. I wasn’t even considering the child acting laws. I’d love to see Megan handle a temper tantrum from Gene! I think we can all imagine how Betty would deal with one. I loved that sofa cushion cave also, a classic. Good word *static*. Sitcoms show children as much more active than dramas seem to.

      • Sweetbetty

         Usually they use twins to play young children so they can double the filming time.  And I’ve heard that when a scene is being filmed with a small child in it the director tells the older actors that they better get it right each time because when the kid gets it right, it’s a print.

      • Sweetbetty

         Usually they use twins to play young children so they can double the filming time.  And I’ve heard that when a scene is being filmed with a small child in it the director tells the older actors that they better get it right each time because when the kid gets it right, it’s a print.

  • http://twitter.com/mirrormirrorxx Paola Thomas

    I found the use of Betty’s blue to be interesting.  It’s always been her signature colour, and here she’s wearing it when she’s being ‘good’ and feeling in control – during the homework scene and the first WW scene when she’s losing weight.  Not sure if it’s pale blue or white she’s wearing in the scene with Henry, but it’s noticeable that they’re harmonising at the blue end of the spectrum (Don and Megan harmonise in green, but you know my thoughts on the meaning of green). When Sally is being Betty’s ‘mini-me’ with Megan, it is noticeable that she’s wearing blue too.

    In the final confrontation between Betty and Megan, Betty is out of blue and in beige – one of the most nondescript and unflattering colours for a blue-eyed blonde – except for her scarf.  And this is tied in the most unflattering and matronly way possible, juxtaposing with the slimming youthful way Megan wears her scarf.

    • egl48

      Betty looks so pretty in baby blue. It brings out her eyes.

  • roadtrip1000

     After his break-up with Jane one of my first thoughts was “Now he can re-decorate his office.” It was Jane who decorated it after all. But who knows? it might suit post-LSD Roger after all.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SHI7GDUMZR5XZ75YE6275ILIJY tallsy

    One thing I would be interested in reading about is that Stan rather consistently wears clothing with horizontal stripes. Is there anything we’re supposed to take away from that?

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

      Just that Stan likes to accentuate his chest. :) No really, I have no idea. But he certainly has a style, doesn’t he? I seem to remember his clothes being even tighter in seasons past. Before he stopped being such a jerk.

    • Vodeeodoe

       I always think he’s trying to look like one of the cast of those Beach Blanket surfing movies. He kind of dresses like Frankie Avalon.

      • sweetlilvoice

        He’s as douchey as Frankie too.

        • Vodeeodoe

           HA!

  • roadtrip1000

     That WW leader reminded me so much of my 6th grade teacher from 1967 I had a flashback followed by a craving for cookies. She would pass them out if we were “good”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1241487378 Lauren Lynch Fox

    Even at her weight, Betty would be a pretty woman. So why does her appearance bother me so?

    • formerlyAnon

       Because the show puts such emphasis on how much it bothers her? Or because we didn’t see her gain it gradually, she went from slim to more-than-chubby from one season to another?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1241487378 Lauren Lynch Fox

        Good points. I think also she looks so uncomfortable in her stiff clothes. Even her night gowns look uncomfortable

    • Sweetbetty

       A person’s face reflects what they are feeling inside.  If Betty has a relaxed smile on her face, which she actually does sometimes, she is beautiful.  Mostly, though, she is suppressing bitter emotions and it shows on her face.

  • Lisa_Cop

    Yeah Michael finally has some appropriate office attire: nicer slacks, coat and tie.

  • Glammie

    Okay, I’ve been through the comments and don’t see this–so I’ll put it out there–why had Betty changed to a bright red suit for the last dinner scene?  Is she trying to cheer herself up?  Assert herself against the dingy dark kitchen?  Be a proto-Nancy Reagan?

    I am curious about its significance because I don’t recall ever seeing Betty in bright red before.  

    • egl48

      My husband and I were speculating last night as to whether Betty is in part based on Nancy Reagan.  As I recall, Nancy was criticized for not being a nurturing mom and being cold and bitchy.  Having said that, I do love Betty, and I’ve missed her this season.

      • Glammie

        Hmmm, but Nancy did a serious adoring-political-spouse thing–in some ways, she was more a Megan–being a second wife and former actress with two stepchildren as well as her own.  And I think Nancy liked politics.  

        That said, John Hamm has said Don Draper should end up writing Reagan’s “Morning in America” campaign.  (Which, amusingly, was penned by Hal Riney, based in liberal San Francisco.  Riney, like John Hamm, had a *great* speaking voice.  He did his own voice-overs.)

        • egl48

          O.K., I’m trying to visualize Nancy singing Zubi Zubi Zu.

          • Glammie

            Hee!  But Nancy did love her astology and Frank Sinatra.

      • Lisa_Cop

        Think I read that Betty is based on Matt Weiner’s own Mom.

        • Glammie

          Oh, that’s kind of scary.  Not quite as scary as Livia Soprano being based on David Chase’s mom, but scary enough.  I think Matt Weiner and Baby Gene are born in the same year.

    • Vodeeodoe

       It was Thanksgiving; she was dressing up in a cheerful color for the holiday. I think.

  • Vodeeodoe

    I’m hoping at some point soon, Don will get an emergency makeover. There has to be some way he can still be the leader of his company and not look like an old man. His suits are starting to stick out like a sore thumb during his business dealings. He’s handsome and he’s not *that* old, he could certainly work a younger, hipper look; and I think it would help the business out, showing that he is moving along with the times.

    • Cabernet7

      I’m obsessed with Don’s hat.  I keep waiting for him to get rid of the damn thing, even though Matt Weiner once said he never would.  This season, he’s been carrying it around, but I don’t think I’ve seen him actually wear it.  I don’t know if that means anything or not.

      • Vodeeodoe

        I love his suits and hats, it’s just that when he’s standing next to Peggy or Ginsberg – he looks like their dad. He needs to find some expensive way to start dressing like Stan. I think it was this episode, where they look at the advertising magazine article and say that the agency that’s doing well has leaders who “look like Peter, Paul and Mary”. If they can see it, they need to figure that it means they need to start getting more modern.

    • ybbed

      don’t worry, the sideburns will lengthen, the lapels will widen, it’ll happen

      • Glammie

        Oh, I am trying to picture this and just having a hard time of it.

  • lchopalong

    I also enjoy the fact that Don’s scarf is plaid like Michael’s coat, and Michael’s vest is very similar to Don’s coat. They’re the same, but in reverse.

  • http://twitter.com/dianasof Diana

    I also thought that in the scene where betty is wearing a blue dress, she is telling sally about anna. later, it’s almost like sally has become a mini-betty in her light blue sweater when she confronts megan. 

    • http://twitter.com/TigerLaverada TigerLaverada

      I made the same connection, except that I thought Sally’s aqua sweater harkened back to the turquoise kitchen walls at Betty’s house. It seemed to me that Sally was bringing that atmosphere of negativity into her dad’s home.

  • formerlyAnon

    I’m actually pretty impressed at how Betty continues to look well-put-together. As you point out, it’s a matronly, suburban look that is a psychological comedown from her glory days – but she hasn’t given up.

    “She does all the hard work of raising Don’s kids, but Megan gets to be
    their friend and live in a clean, modern, uncluttered home while wearing
    the most stylish of clothes. Given all that, it’s surprising Betty
    didn’t just throw her through the glass doors in fury. ”

    Yup. Given how dreadful Betty’s coping skills are, it’s surprising she isn’t “helping” Sally bake cupcakes to take to Dad’s by helpfully mixing some strychnine into the icing.

  • http://twitter.com/phoebenorth Phoebe North

    Not a word about Ginsburg’s Caulfield-esque deerstalker?

  • http://twitter.com/CruelVisionary Alas Cruel Visionary

    My mom had that Better Homes and Gardens cookbook!

  • CapertonBarnesMiller

    What about the fact that Don’s plaid or his “creative” side is hidden under his coat while Ginsberg’s plaid is outside.  Open and sloppy for all the world to see.  Love it.

  • http://twitter.com/ndpndntfilm Susan Velazquez

    I kept checking the page everyday to see if you guys posted this week’s Mad Men Style yet. Now when I watch the episodes, I look at the costuming as well. 

    • Laylalola

      I only started watching this year (and a few weeks ago caught up with all seasons) because of the recaps and costume reviews. I swear, I thought I watched carefully — but not only do TLo’s episode recaps always note something fascinating I had completely missed, these second reviews of the fashion and styling flat-out blow me away.

  • Chantelle James

    We have definitely seen better mothering from other characters. However, Betty has a lot of her own issues and she just isn’t equipped to be a great mother to those kids. She’s not the worst mother ever, or even the worst mother for that time.

    I totally agree that she needs to own her feelings and work on her weight, self, and marriage (not necessarily in that order) but that kind of introspection wasn’t really encouraged back then, AFAIK. Thank goodness we’ve changed enough to be able to see that these are the things she needs, but it’s unlikely that she or anyone else will see them because of the era in which this show is set.

    • roadtrip1000

       On the subject of Betty’s need to express her feelings – I wonder if we’re going to see her with any female friends this season? Betty seemed somewhat detached even with the WW woman who sat next to her and encouraged her to share with the group. Poor Betty – she needs a “Sisterhood is Powerful” moment.

      • sweetlilvoice

        I miss Francine myself…she was great. Never forget her in the first season, smoking and pregnant. “Oh Betty, you always have such bad luck entertaining.”

  • greenwich_matron

    I would love to have seen Ginsberg buying his new clothes. Does he agonize over colors and patterns? Does he just grab the first thing on the rack? Does someone make him a list? Maybe his costume talk with Megan had an affect on him.

    • Lisa_Cop

      Are you kidding. Every straight man I know HATES shopping. My father would go to Brooks Bros. and let my mother and the salesman decide (as quickly as possible).

      • Laylalola

        Yeah but that coat — something tells me he loves it. Might have bought it on sight, but he definitely chose this one.

  • Chantelle James

    My mother also dragged my fat-child self to those WW meetings in the 80s, too. I alao cringed when I saw those scenes because they reminded me so much of the meetings I’d attended. Calling out the weight loss or gain… *shiver*

  • http://twitter.com/TigerLaverada TigerLaverada

    I don’t get to read the fabulous dissections of MM until late in the day, and I don’t always have time to wade through the vast number of comments. So if this has been covered already by all and sundry, apologies.

    Just wanted to say that, having worked in ad agencies for years beginning in the 70s, the execs always wore business suits. Didn’t matter if they were on the creative or account side, above a certain level that was the unwritten dress code. When I began as a graphic designer I wore some pretty free-spirited clothes, but when I became a CD it was suits all the time. It was done for the clients, who often needed reassurance that krazy kreatives were real-world business people, too.

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

    Look at Kiernan´s face in the second pic of the “Anna confrontation” triptych. The girl has some acting chops.

    I love how these analyses make me realize all kinds of stuff that I missed even in my obsessive watching and note taking. 

    Catching the Dark Betty thing? I bow to you, my superiors.

  • Lisa_Cop

    Due to the smoking laws in California ( prohibiting smoking in the workplace) no one on the show smokes real cigarettes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kate-Thomas/1061191356 Kate Thomas

    Also notable, I think, is that Michael’s creative coat pattern is out loud and proud while Don’s scarf is tucked in neatly, only allowed to peek out from under his business suit.

  • Kenneth Warthen

    So when Megan and her friend are running lines, did anyone else’s eyebrows go up when Megan’s friend mentions that Don and Megan’s apartment is at “Park and 73rd”? 

    Did anyone else’s mind immediately jump to A Chorus Line? “Grab a cab/C’mon see the wizard/At Park and 73rd” for some “Tits and Ass”? No. It was just me and my showtune drenched brain?

    Oh. Okay. I’ll shut up now.

    • roadtrip1000

       My eyebrows went up because that section of town is so expensive. In fact, the late Brooke Astor had an apt on 73rd and Park. That’s where the big money lives. Love your Chorus Line connection though. I’ll have to dust off my album and listen to it again!

    • sarahjane1912

      Oh verrrry good indeed! *Applauds wildly*

      That’s a really cool observation and I cannot help but think it HAS to be an ‘in-joke’. Or something. I’ll be giggling about that all morning [and possibly singing the lyrics too]. Cheers! :-)

    • boomchicabowwow

      That’s EXACTLY where my Broadway addled brain went too!  I saw that movie when I was 11.  My mother was NOT happy to have me unconciously singing that particular tune under my breath all day.

      • Sweetbetty

         A traveling production of that show came to my small town several years ago.  After that song was sung two older (50-60ish) women two rows ahead of me got up and walked out of the theater.  I don’t know what they thought might be coming next but apparently the mention of T & A was just too much for them.

  • Lisa_Cop

    Due to the smoking laws in California ( prohibiting smoking in the workplace) no one on the show smokes real cigarettes. The

  • http://twitter.com/Elissa_Malcohn Elissa Malcohn

    My first thought during the Manischewitz dinner was that the pattern in Jane’s outfit called strongly to the pattern in Bernard’s tie.

    Love your posts, TLo!

  • marienabend

    For some reason, picturing Ginsberg buying a brand new coat and treating himself gives me more sympathy towards the character and his dejection in this scene. Wonderful insights I wouldn’t have gotten without you, TLo!

  • http://mllesatine.insanejournal.com/ mllesatine

    In what way? Is she supposed to sort through Bobby’s school things every day to be considered a good mother? Sorry, but carrying around 10 loose pages is not going to kill this boy. It’s not like he is going to break his back walking to school. 

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/toodleskitty79?feature=guide AWS

    This episode will never be a favorite but I feel it’s one of the most important eps of this season.  Obviously, it’s setting up and continuing a few ongoing rivalries.  It’s also setting up the current mind sets of the characters.

    That jacket Ginsberg bought himself is the kind of thing my father loved and wore throughout his life.  There’s something blue collar (flannel plaid) and practical about it because it’s insulated and warm.  But it’s never been the most stylish thing going.  I realize, thanks to TLo’s brilliant observations, the deeper meaning of the jacket for Ginsberg.  But it is also practical and will last decades.  He could have bought a nice wool, full-length coat but he chose that because that jacket is HIM and his background and his current class status.  If we didn’t realize the jacket came from Roger’s side money it would still be significant. But knowing THAT makes me love and respect Ginsberg even more…

  • DEE RUSH

    The glorification of Megan Draper continues.  Weiner really made sure that fans would revolve their love around her, in compare to the struggling Betty.  As one who is struggling with weight and a good deal of personal unhappiness and frustration, I am more than ever, sympathetic with Betty.  But since she is not ideal – even in Weiner’s eyes – her character assassination and the Megan worship continues.

  • peachy16

    I was appropriaely uncomfortable during those Weight Watchers scenes.  Didn’t anyone in that meeting realize that they should be wearing their lightest weight clothes on weigh-in days?  No jackets and sweaters or even strands of pearls?  A bunch of rookies….

    • greenwich_matron

      Doesn’t anyone ever game the system? Wouldn’t you want to wear something heavy before the holiday and bare feet and a tank top after?

  • Lattis

    The last picture of people at the office? With Rizzo, Peggy, Ginsberg and Don . . . two things. One is that Rizzo & Peggy are really in sync (standing the same way, same look on their faces). 

    And two (yikes!) Don looks like John Boehner in that shot! Holy hell. My Don Draper fantasies just took a beating.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sue-Gallagher-Briggs/1463772497 Sue Gallagher Briggs

     I just discovered that Ossining, NY is where Sing Sing is located, a symbol I missed until now.  That Weight Watchers meeting and Betty’s tiny meals made me hungry!  Does anyone think the painting on Roger’s office wall looks like a giant cheese grater?  I always want to scream “watch out” to anyone entering his space.

  • http://twitter.com/danielleRwest Danielle West

    Please tell me y’all noticed how well Don’s pants fit him in certain areas in the scene when he was in the office on Sunday…

  • sunsetsu

    In the 1960s, my mother had a steady supply of prescription diet pills. They were amphetamines. She called them “cleaning pills” and  got her exercise cleaning the house. Her friends used them, too. I’m surprised Betty Draper’s doctor hasn’t suggested she take diet pills.

  • maya s

    i also like how when Michael is dressed, everything is a bit crumpled, off center, asymmetrical – the tie, the vest, the coat…
    Don may look like an ad, but Michael is the “scrappy upstart” who’s actually coming up with them.

  • Call me Bee

    I know no one is gonna read this, given that it was posted a year ago…

    But the shot of all those women reminded me that one never left the house in slacks or without a “third piece”–a sweater, jacket or vest–over their blouses or dresses. My mother did the same. It wasn’t until 1969 or so, when school systems allowed teachers to wear slacks (they had to be “pantsuits”) and women became more comfortable wearing slacks in public. Still–jeans were only worn at home till the 70s. It was the end of an era….