Mad Style: Lady Lazarus

Posted on May 09, 2012

There were some interesting callbacks to earlier episodes and the ghost of Betty Draper loomed large once again. Let’s get to it.

This outfit served as a focal point because an actual story point hinged on the audience realizing that she had changed into a cocktail dress. It’s an unforgettable look, which is exactly what it was designed to be. Janie Bryant has a tendency to dress female characters in vivid or busy prints when they are in some form of emotional upheaval. This bold houndstooth serves to illustrate Megan’s mod style (mod dealt in blacks and whites extensively for a time) while also illustrating her inner turmoil.

This shift is so relatively plain in comparison that you can’t not notice that she’s changed her clothes. It’s a pretty dress, but it may just be the least showy thing she’s ever worn. She just wants to be as invisible as possible as she sneaks out. And framing her against a background the same color of the dress accomplishes that for her. Of course, the brilliant fuschia garment bag she’s sporting pretty much ruins the effect.

It’s notable that Peggy is here in her “career” color of mustard yellow. This has been her power color since the very beginning of the series and it’s consistently utilized for scenes where she either advances in her career or in scenes to illustrate how fully entrenched in it she is. So Peggy, in her mustard yellow, is all about work in this scene and Megan, in her very downplayed beige, is trying to sneak away from that world.

Man, did we ever see a lot of furniture that looked like Megan’s coat in the ’70s and ’80s. It seemed like half the living rooms in America had a couch or chair in that fabric.

Peggy and Megan are connecting on absolutely no levels here whatsoever. The color schemes and styles are wildly different.

Peggy is business-like and ever-so-slightly masculine in her brown jumper with a bow that could double as a tie. Megan is pure femininity in a far more traditional sense. Sure, she’s a copywriter and professional woman, but this entire scene was built around the fact that she is Don’s wife and she aced a campaign idea by acting like … Don’s wife. In this scene, the men all fade into the background and the two women become the focal point.

Of course people don’t dress to match or oppose each other and we wouldn’t expect either of these characters to dress like the other one, but when Janie Bryant wants to, she can forge connections through clothing without being obvious about it.

Like so. Megan is still in a very feminine and slightly frivolous dress (with that gigantic gold chain to speak to her wealth) and Peggy is still in a business-like vest and skirt, but – and this is where Janie gets subtle as hell – they’re both dressed in the same color scheme of blue and pink, with Peggy’s gold buttons calling back to Megan’s gold chain. Unlike the confrontation in the ladies room, this time, they are at least somewhat simpatico, even if Peggy can’t quite wrap her head around what Megan’s doing.

We can’t not have a certain fondness for the foppish gays of generations past, because they didn’t try to hide it, no matter how much opposition they were going to come up against. They had balls the size of Gibraltar to go along with their limp wrists and ascots.

This mod, striped double-breasted jacket and bold yellow tie look like something straight out of a Peter Max cartoon of the period.

Roger’s been sporting greys all season, so this black suit stood out to us. He is always deeply tied to his surroundings in scenes set in his office. His penchant for blacks and greys make him look like he belongs there and every other person who walks into the room – even if it’s Pete in a standard blue suit – stands out like a virus cell.

Well, it’s nice to see they got some new use out of the old Ossining Draper set. Redress it, slap a couple coats of paint on it, and put a depressed housewife in a flip ‘do standing in the middle of it and you’ve got yourself a twisted version of the show from two seasons ago. Pete is determined to live out some alternate-reality version of Don’s old life, except Trudy isn’t miserable like Betty was so Pete goes out looking for a miserable woman to fill that role.

To be fair, this isn’t a very Betty-like outfit, but it ties her tightly to her surroundings. She doesn’t just match them, she melts into them.

But with this outfit, the “Dark Betty” illusion is complete. This is EXACTLY something Betty would have worn when she was married to Don, except she tended to favor blues instead of black and dark brown.

Several episodes back, we noted that there was a rose motif being deployed in Joan’s clothing in scenes dealing with her marriage (calling back, perhaps, to the red roses she was given by her fiance just before he raped her or the vase of red roses she later smashed over his head). This is a beautiful dress and perfectly seasonal appropriate for October, but we couldn’t help noticing she’s wearing a dress of dead roses.

Another thing that jumped out at us in this scene – and this has nothing to do with style – is that Don dropped another meaningless lie into a conversation. This time, he said that Megan was “up for a part,” but she’s not. She failed to get the part. He did this before, blurting out to Roger that Betty had cancer (when he didn’t know any such thing) and telling that madame that he grew up in a whorehouse, when the truth is he grew up on a farm. We think Don’s trying so hard to be the good husband and not make the mistakes he did with Betty that his natural tendency to lie – a tendency that served him fairly well for a decade there – keeps slipping out, in relatively harmless ways.

For some reason, it makes total sense to us that Joan’s a tea drinker.

Harry, who seems to love his life (even as he constantly puts down his wife) is all pattern and color, while Pete, who clearly hates his life, is in drab and rumpled greys.

Peggy wore this dress when she pitched the Topaz pantyhose account last season, bringing in the account all on her own and breaking the ten-week streak of no new business, only to find out that her efforts were overshadowed by Megan’s ability to get Don to put a ring on her finger. Is it any surprise, then, that she’s wearing it again here, where she almost single-handedly ruined a client pitch and wound up getting into a fight with Don over Megan?

Two things about this scene: one, this shot keeps getting replicated over and over again this season. Keep your eye out for it in future episodes and then spend more time than is healthy trying to figure out what it means. Don keeps getting woken up by Megan again and again.

The second thing that’s notable about this scene is how much it calls back to an earlier scene from Season 2, when Betty, stripped of her makeup, wakes Don up on the couch to discuss the state of their marriage in light of his cheating.

Barefoot and in the kitchen. They weren’t exactly subtle about that one. What strikes us about Megan’s post-SCDP outfits is how young she looks in them. This scene almost read like a father and daughter rather than two spouses.

The kitchen is an explosion of colors and she fits right in. It’s perhaps a bit too on-the-nose (as if the bare feet weren’t enough) to have her dressed in burgundy while she’s fixing Boeuf Bourguignon.

Continuing the “daddy and little girl” motif. Except for the coat, she could be a 19-year-old college student here. Now that she’s not working in an office, we’re likely to see her in pants a lot more. She’s clearly dressed down here, but she can’t hide the quality of that coat, which inadvertently signals her wealth at a time when she’d probably like to keep it hidden. Acting students aren’t going to take well to someone who gives off the whiff of a dilettante, which is exactly what this coat tends to do for her.

And finally, this isn’t so much a style thing, but we absolutely loved the way this was shot. There was a massive incongruity between the cutting-edge mystical music and the opulent, capitalism-fueled surroundings, which the camera lovingly lingered over. There’s no way a man of Don’s age with as much invested in the status quo as Don is would ever understand the importance of “Tomorrow Never Knows” in 1966. Megan got it; which is why she directed him to play it first, but Don is absolutely incapable of understanding it.



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  • Paigealicious

    Unrelated to the clothes, but I want Roger’s office in my apartment. And Don’s kitchen. And Don.

    • MsKitty

      Since Jane picked out the furniture, I keep wondering if Roger will re-do his office.  Then again he might keep it to maintain his self-perception that he’s super “with it” now that he’s dropped acid.

      • Maggie_Mae

        He probably paid for the furniture Janie picked.  Paying alimonies, I doubt he can afford to redecorate. Besides, the color scheme suits his Silver Foxiness.  

        One note of hope: Since he said Jane wanted to have a baby, she might be more likely to remarry. Thereby saving him some alimony–eventually.  

        • She can’t be older than 25. Of course she’ll re-marry.

          • the_archandroid

            Didn’t Paul Kinsey put up her birth certificate as a bad practical joke?  I am pretty sure Jane is in her early 30s…

          • Lisa_Cop

            I don’t remember green being a big color in the 60’s but then again I was only about 6yrs old at the time Green (and all of its wonderful shades)) seem to be having their first lengthy triumph as a fashion color these last 7 or so years

          • barbiefish

            Yes, there was a lot of green in the mid-to-late sixties.  They still used institutional mint green tile in bathrooms.  In fashion, the flower power, psychedelic influence included both lime green and olive green (the latter of which was renamed “avocado” green, I guess in the 1970s).  This is coming from growing up in southern California during the MM period.

          • Sweetbetty

             Ah, yes, in the 70s Avocado Green and Harvest Gold became *the* colors.  Kitchen appliances, bathroom fixtures, furniture, drapes, carpets; everything could be found in those colors.  I grew up in PA so it wasn’t just a CA thing.

          • formerlyAnon

             On cannot mention avocado green & harvest gold without mentioning that orange color – not as brown as burnt orange, but not a true, bright citrus orange either – that seemed always to accompany them.

          • Lisa_Cop

            No, he put Joan’s drivers license (I think) up. Turned out Joan was about 33 yrs. old. In ’66 women over 30 who weren’t married were considered “over the hill”.

          • Paul posted Joan’s driver’s license in the 1st season. I think it was to get back at her for her rejection of him. Jane is definitely in her 20’s.

    • Spicytomato1

      I want the couch from Peggy’s office!

      • Paigealicious

         I do love Peggy’s office couch, even though it does look scratchy. Also, my parents totally had Megan’s coat as a couch in the early 80s.

      • rowsella

         My cat yearns for Peggy’s office couch.  I swear I can see her dreaming how nice it will feel under her claws…..  Which is why I am stuck with ugly microfiber and pleather.

    • Rebecca Jay

      I want Stan in my bedroom.

      • Wow, points for originality! I guess I’ll take Michael if we’re calling dibs. :p

      • bawoman

        Mike is cute,but those tight polo shirts of Stan have won me over

    • Sweetbetty

       My brother had that same white sculptural phone in his first apartment in the early 70s.  He worked at a high-end store in town and it filtered down to him from there; they had probably had it on display or on a back shelf for some years prior to it ending up with him.  I always thought it was the coolest thing.

      • zbkat

        That’s an Ericophone from the mid 60s. I found a cream one at a yard sale many years ago and it is such a cool design! The dialer is on the base and when you’re done with your call, you just put the phone down and it disconnects the call. I was so sad when I quit my landline phone plan in lieu of my cell phone, because I LOVED answering and making calls with my Ericophone.

        • Sweetbetty

           Yes, that’s it exactly.  And you had to be very careful when you sat it down that it wasn’t sitting on its cord or a pencil or the edge of a magazine or something else that would prevent it from sitting flat and engaging the hang-up button.  Back then the line would ring busy until the phone was sat down correctly and it could be hours until anyone used it again.

        • Cool trivia! It’s made by the Ericsson company, in Sweden they were called Cobra phones.

    • I love Roger’s office and how he and his visitors are always framed against it. I’d like to frame it and hang it on a wall.

    • ballerinawithagun

      Love that kitchen!

    • Synfrique

       Throw in the living room and I’m right there with you.

  • I’m surprised you didn’t mention that (sofa-esque) coat Megan wears is the same coat from Don’s flashback – it seemed to me like she wished she could go back to that time from the costume choice; also highlighting her difficult position as underling/wife. 

    •  It’s not the same coat.

      • Oh poop, you’re right. /sheepish It just looks a lot like the scarf. My bad! 

  • MK03

    LOVE Megan’s houndstooth dress. I must have one.

    • Joy

      Megan’s houndstooth dress reminded me that Dr. Faye had a few houndstooth outfits last season.  I think maybe Dr. Faye also wore one in the telephone booth when she broke up with the boyfriend we never saw (David) when she told him to “To sh*t in the ocean.”  

      Anyone think there is some connection between the houndstooth outfits, the telephone booth, break-ups?

      • Seriously. When I saw her I thought “Oh hey. She’s playing dress-up as Faye.”
        This totally reminded me of a more mod version of the all houndstooth ensemble the Dr. wore on her first appearance on S4.  The effect was jarring for me back then — setting her apart from the other women in office as a powerful professional, almost like armor (as opposed to the softer colored, patterned outfits she’d wear with Don outside the office).

        With Megan, I wonder if for her it the houndstooth dress was a “costume” of a ad professional, a role she clearly doesn’t want to play anymore?

    • I would so have worn that dress. I even had to think back on my wardrobe of that time to recall if I actually did own it. 

      • Sweetbetty

         I did own one similar in that time period.  The check was a smaller scale and the collar was white and the sleeves were 3/4 length, but as soon as I saw her it reminded me of mine.  And it’s probably just me and my non-glamorous lifestyle, but I was surprised that she had that other dress to change into at the office.  Did she normally keep a change of clothes there?  Or was she anticipating this call for an audition?  If I was Peggy I would have wondered why she changed since her hounds-tooth dress would have been perfectly fine to wear to a typical restaurant for a routine dinner with her husband.  And I’d have wondered why was she carrying the garment bag with the other dress in it then (if she didn’t need to change back into it before she got home to Don).

        • It wouldn’t be unusual for Megan to have something dressier stashed at the office for those unexpected client dinners. 

        • Sweetpea176

          Didn’t she arrive in the morning with the garment bag over her arm?  (And why didn’t Don think that was odd?)

          • Sweetbetty

             Did she?  I don’t remember.  And yes, it would seem that Don would think it odd.  Unless she routinely kept a dress at the office to change into for dinner with clients and perhaps had to return/replace the last one she wore.

    • Spicytomato1

      I had a very similar one from Talbots in the 80s but with long sleeves and a slightly narrower collar and slimmer overall silhouette. But Megan’s version is much more mod looking, even thought it was supposedly 20 years earlier!

    • bluefish

      I definitely had that dress in the late 60s as a teenager.  Except mine had hints of white and brown along with the black.  I loved it then — made me feel so grown-up.

    • JasmineAM

      Being from Crimson Tide country, I see too much houndstooth as it is. It’s very pretty, but it’s been tainted for this Alabamian.

    • I had a houndstooth coat in 1968.  I was twelve, and considering that styles move on to children a little later, I guess my coat was the height of fashion, though looking back on it now, I am sure I was a fright:  overweight, thick frizzy hair, cat’s eye glasses, and a houndstooth coat.  Yikes.

  • NurseEllen

    You know, Red Rose is a pretty famous tea company.  (“Red Rose–a potent cup of tea”).

    I loved seeing Peggy’s striped dress again and immediately thought she was using it as a good luck talisman…..too bad it didn’t work this time.  I also remember thinking that Megan’s beige dress that she wore for the audition did not fit her as well as most of her other dresses.  It seems to be too loose under the armpits and across the bust.  Maybe it’s another aspect of the attempt to fit in with actors, who, when they’re still in the stages of answering casting calls, tend to be a financially challenged lot.  Of course, as you point out, by the time she’s ready to go to class at the end of the episode, she has it much more worked out and is wearing slacks.

    Did Ginsburg actually get a new tie??? 

    In the scene in the bathroom–I was wondering, did those forced hot air hand dryers exist back in 1966?  Honestly, I don’t remember them coming into use until much later.  I don’t recall people being as freaked out about germs, even in public bathrooms, when I was a kid.

    • Susan Crawford

      They did, indeed. When I was an undergraduate, air dryers were installed in all our dorm bathrooms, and there would be a line-up of girls waiting to use them to blow their hair dry – we all wanted that long-haired, wind-blown Jean Shrimpton effect, don’tcha know. When there was a bad outbreak of flu at the end of the decade, the air dryers popped up everywhere.

    • Jessi03

      Red Rose is the tea company that used to give out a little animal figurine in each box, right?  I collected those when I was a kid and loved them!

      • Nayasabrina

         They still do!

        • Glammie

          Yep, and my daughter collects them.  She just finished months of the year.  Good thing we drink a lot of iced tea.

      • Sweetbetty

         When I go to estate auctions they often have a quantity of those little figures and they get lots of bids; I guess they’re still quite desirable by collectors.

    • A few episodes ago I noticed Megan’s bathing suit was really ill-fitting. I think sometimes the costume department is at the mercy of what they can find, vintage clothing-wise. Especially with all these really specific subtextual cues they want to hit. 

      I mean, a dress that would be appropriate for either a nice dinner or an audition, that ties Megan to the colors of SCDP, is correct for the season and specific year (probably harder with Megan than other characters), contrasts with Peggy’s costume and its own subtextual constraints, makes the cinematographer and the makeup artist happy, rates the proper above-the-line approvals, flatters the actress, AND this dress has to actually exist or be custom sewn with an eight-day turnaround time? No wonder things don’t always fit everyone perfectly!

      • Twinzilla

        And we forget that back in the 60s, nice women didn’t wear skin-tight swimsuits.

      • Marta Lilly

        I remember how ill-fitting that bathing suit top was! I wasn’t too tight at all, it just looked like it was custom-made for a woman with completely different measurements. But I realized that it was one of the few times something seemed to not fit on a character well.

  • You do know that what you are doing here is cultural studies analysis of the best quality, don’t you?
    I don’t know if anyone ever complained about you not focusing on just the clothes and the decor, but that last paragraph about Tomorrow Never Knows says more than some 1200 word essays I’ve been reading since Sunday. Keep doing it. 

    • MissAnnieRN

      Agreed on TLo’s Mad Style posts.  Stuff of substance.  That’s why they are getting linked to by the likes of Slate and Salon.  A quick comment on Revolver:  Yes, it was released in August of 1966, so it was the most current album of the time.  However, with all of the death motifs this season, I couldn’t help but note a.) The Title of the album and b.) the original album label that had dead babies on it that was revamped after public outcry.

      I’m only 34, so it’s not as if I remember this time fondly or anything.  But in the 80’s, you would have thought ti was 1966 the way my friends and I lived and breathed the Beatles.  

      • Glammie

        I thought it was a different album than Revolver–Yesterday and Today–that had the controversial cover with the baby doll heads.  Revolver has that great ink drawing/photo montage.  

        Now that TLo’s mentioned Roger’s wearing of black, I’m a bit more worried about him.  I hope he’s not giving up and giving away things in preparation for a final leavetaking.  Well, at least he’s allowed in a couple of bright pillows into his office.

        And why haven’t we seen him and Joan together given that both are now single-ish?

        Let’s see–he’s in black and new depressed housewife were wearing the funereal colors this time.  

        •  I’ve also wondered what might rekindle between Joan and Roger. Considering the baby, among other things…

        • Sweetbetty

           Right, the “Butcher” album cover was on “Yesterday and Today”.  If you come across one of those Butcher Albums you’ve got possibly several thousands of dollars in your hands.

          • baxterbaby

            And it was changed to the blandest cover;  Ringo sitting in an open steamer trunk with the others  posed around it.

          • Glammie

            Yeah, the replacement cover’s aggressively dull, isn’t it?  A bit of a nose-thumbing?

        • juliamargaret

          I wondered about those pillows, were they there before?

          • Glammie

            I don’t remember them–doesn’t mean they weren’t there, but I was wondering about that too.

        • MissAnnieRN

          My mother lied to me!  She always told me the only vinyl Beatles album we didn’t have was Revolver for this reason…Because she peeled the label off to see if she had an original..I will bring this up on Mother’s Day 😉

          • Glammie

            Funny, I just remembered that my brother-in-law does have a copy of Yesterday and Today–my husband remembers him carefully steaming off the second cover off the original cover.  I should ask to see it.  

            Mad Men and MM discussions have a way of making all sorts of random memories pop up.  It probably works as an Alzheimer’s deterrant.

          • Sweetbetty

             “It probably works as an Alzheimer’s deterrant.”             Oh, I hope so.  I spend way too much time here so that would justify it.  Plus, I certainly want to deter Alzheimer’s.

        • Fun trivia about that album- when they changed the photo, in some cases the stores just glued the new photo on over the old Butcher photo, so people went home with an album that had a hidden cover.  Very exciting, I’m sure, to find out later, as those covers became very valuable.

          As I recall from the Beatles books I read as a teenager, “Yesterday and Today” was only in the United States.  They did slightly different releases in Great Britain and the US until… Rubber Soul?  Revolver?  I can’t remember if Rubber Soul had a slightly different playlist in the US.  When CDs came about, they did the British release (the original) for both albums, which is why there’s no “Yesterday and Today” on CD (at least, I don’t think it was released on CD).

  • juliamargaret

    Thank you! Been refreshing my browser a LOT this morning waiting for this!

  • Jessica Rowe

    You forgot Mr. Belding.  Just kidding.  It’s just nice to follow a show where all of the female characters are getting what they want, regardless of the consequences.  I love The Walking Dead, but it’s painful to watch sometimes.

    • Sobaika Mirza

      Funny, isn’t it. Such female characters are a bit of a rarity these days and where do we find them? In a show that takes place decades ago.

      • Glammie

        In a show that has more women writers than average.

      • tsol

        I’ve read elsewhere that women copywriters were not uncommon at the big ad agencies at the time- Mad Men overplayed the glass ceiling in that respect. There were no female ad execs though.

  • PaulaBerman

    Another casual lie Don told is when he was letting Peggy know he was marrying Megan, he said, “It’s been going on for a while.” It totally had NOT being going on for a while.  Don lies to cover his ass as naturally as breathing.

    I love Megan’s clothes, and correct me if I’m wrong, but most or all of them could be worn today without being shockingly jarring. To me this indicates that she has timeless taste.

    • Qitkat

      I’ve been thinking the same thing about Megan’s clothes as you have. Her’s is the wardrobe I would want if I were still in the workplace today.

      • Spicytomato1

        I love her work style but I think I’d actually prefer her casual wardrobe. She looks great, albeit young as TLo pointed out, in the cigarette pants and simple tops. 

      • Linlighthouse

        Megan’s clothes go well with the skinny body type that was coming into style, thanks to Twiggy and others.

    • jblaked

      Totally agree.  When I watch movies or see photos from that era, the clothes seem more costumey and so out of whack with today’s styles.  But, much of what we see on Mad Men (on Megan, Jane, the guys) could be worn in 2012 and still look great.  The hair also isn’t as severe.  I have a picture of my grandmother in 1966 and her hair is as tall as a skyscraper, she’s wearing those awful cat eyeglass frames and her dress looks like it could stand on its own.  Perhaps Janie and Matt are purposely creating a slightly softer/prettier version of the 60s either to not to turn off viewers or to keep us focused on the action and not distracted by the clotes. 

      • suzq

        Actually, I think this has more to do with the business setting in Manhattan than it does what people in other areas of the country actually wore.  Even today, NYC folks dress just a little different than mid America or folks on the west coast.

      • Glammie

        Well, I have several items of my mother’s clothing from the 1960s and a lot of what’s shown fits right with it.  The one thing that raises a question mark for me are all the bows on Peggy’s clothes.  I tend to associate them with the power suit that women wore to work in the 70s.  Peggy’s use of them is possible, but I really recall them as being much more prevalent ten years later.  

        Megan and my mother (though she was older at the time than the Megan character.) could have swapped large chunks of their wardrobes.  

        I agree, though, that a lot of hair was stiffer.  They just didn’t have the same array of hair products with various levels of flexible holds.

        • Maggie_Mae

          Sometimes the costumes serve the characters, rather than exactly replicate costumes of the day.  I think that bows are one of Peggy’s “things.” 

          I’ve said before that hair would have been stiffer–although Manhattan was far from Texas, home of Big Hair. But I don’t mind them shielding us from the full horror of that look.  My 1966 grad picture featured moderately teased hair–prompting me to stop cutting it until the late 70’s.  Teasing? Forget it.  I got my ears pierced & wore lots of black–although it was a bit late to be Beat. Next stop–Hippieland!

          • Glammie

            Yeah, the stiff hair was one of the things that made the whole long, straight parted-in-the-middle hair of the younger generation such a contrast.  Sally should be growing her hair.  There are a couple of years where the long, straight-haired look is de rigueur for the younger generation.  

            I wonder if Peggy’s bows are Jane’s nod to Peggy being literally ahead of her time.  

          • Sweetbetty

             “although Manhattan was far from Texas, home of Big Hair. But I don’t mind them shielding us from the full horror of that look.”   Beth’s hair when her hubby brought Pete home for dinner was pretty darn big.  But, yeah, I remember bigger; may even have sported bigger myself.

        • girliecue

          Dippity-do! I was fascinated/obsessed with that sticky blue glop! The adult women in my family had  to hide it from my tiny little hands.

          • Lisa_Cop

            With all the hair products out there now, who would believe dipping do was the only thing available then!

        • rowsella

           That is because the styles have come full circle and the show has influenced todays runways.  I don’t think these would have been stylish 1985-1995; they would have looked dated.

          • Sweetbetty

             I’ve always heard it said that fashion, both clothing and home dec, runs in 20 year cycles.  When I was a teen in the 60s I often heard the comparison made with the short shifts of the day to the straight, short dresses of the 20s.  Of course, that was a 40 year cycle but I guess we can assume that the fashions of the war years of the 40s were affected by shortages and rationing.  But I also never noticed a resurgence of shift dresses in the 80s, so I don’t know how much truth is in the 20-year cycle.  And even if a current fashion shows definite influences of another era, there’s always a twist so you can’t just pull something out of your mother’s closet and wear it, unless you’re into wearing vintage clothing.

          • Glammie

            I sometimes wonder if people get fascinated by the clothes that were around a bit before they were born or when they were very young.  Those eras and earlier tend to interest me, but anything I remember wearing looks dated to me.  In other words, my mom’s old clothes–yes!  My old clothes–no!  I have some great stuff from the 80s, but I’d feel like Miss Havisham if I wore them.  My daughter on the other hand . . . 

      • Lisa_Cop

        My mother had skyscraper high hair. And those cat-eye glasses were the only ones available.

  • Sobaika Mirza

    Astute and wonderfully put together, as always. Thanks Tlo and happy hump day to all.

  • Love all the coats on parade this episode, especially Megan’s green raincoat and the coat she goes to class in. On a side note, we have seen Peggy wear at least 3 different coats already, would she have that kind of money? I could be completely wrong here but a good coat is usually expensive, would someone of Peggy’s level have money for 3, at least?

    I will never not see Rory Gilmore but it is to the actress credit that she can say so much with just her face, especially since she was dressed all frumpy housewife… I cringed at her head scarf, but I guess that was normal for the time?

    • It was raining on and off. Probably just didn’t want to mess up her salon hairdo.

    • rowsella

       Mom wore headscarfs a lot.  She was a bit younger than Megan, born in 1943.

      • Sweetbetty

         Born in 1948, my mom put me in headscarves (we called them bandanas) from my earliest memory and I wore them until the teased hairdos of the 60s came into style.  We didn’t want to crush them and all that teasing and hairspray usually held them in place pretty well.  My mom and her peers kept on wearing them for a while.  If we teens had to wear one (going to church, really cold day), we tied it loosely under our chin so as not to flatten our do. 

        Growing up we were often exposed to newsreels and pictures of “war torn Europe” and all the women and girls seemed to wear bandanas tied tightly on their heads and I got to the point where I associated that with being a poor refugee and would freeze my ears off rather than wear one that way.  I do still see a some older women wearing them, though.

      • Sweetbetty

         Born in 1948, my mom put me in headscarves (we called them bandanas) from my earliest memory and I wore them until the teased hairdos of the 60s came into style.  We didn’t want to crush them and all that teasing and hairspray usually held them in place pretty well.  My mom and her peers kept on wearing them for a while.  If we teens had to wear one (going to church, really cold day), we tied it loosely under our chin so as not to flatten our do. 

        Growing up we were often exposed to newsreels and pictures of “war torn Europe” and all the women and girls seemed to wear bandanas tied tightly on their heads and I got to the point where I associated that with being a poor refugee and would freeze my ears off rather than wear one that way.  I do still see a some older women wearing them, though.

    • TheDivineMissAnn

       Yep, headscarves were very common at that time.  My Mom had one in the pocket of every coat she owned.  The little thin mesh ones you bought at Goldblatt’s.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    Is it weird that I was struck by how well Michael wears pinks? He was the male version of Alexis Bledel’s character in the office scenes, all porcelain doll prettiness.

    • Spicytomato1

      I’ve noticed it, too. I love his costumes, so fitting for the character.

  • NDC_IPCentral

    Your Monday recap and Wednesday style analysis always contain so many revelations about subtleties that I didn’t catch or fully appreciate.  Thank you, Tom and Lorenzo, for your dedicated and deep work in reviewing the episodes and making so many connections.  You must be paying a young fortune for the screen-caps.  They are super.

    I knew I’d seen Peggy’s black dress with the not well-sewn-on (in my opinion) beige stripes, but how sly of Ms. Bryant to have her wear the winning dress in a losing presentation.  Bet that dress now has a taint for Pegs.  Dead roses for Joanie.  What a theme.

    I love “Mad Men;” I love your commentary on the show.  You make the show better for me with all your efforts.  Thank you so much.

    All the best,


  • MsKitty

    I totally covet Megan’s houndstooth dress and green leather coat.

    Not exaggerating at all when I say this has become a highlight of my Wednesdays. Thanks fellas.

  • margaret meyers

    Boeuf Bourguignon! In that spotless kitchen?   There would have to be 2 filthy pans, a bunch of messy spoons, dirty cutting board and knives, sauce smudges everywhere and an empty half-gallon jug of Gallo Burgundy, half in the stew and the other half in the cook.

    • I also wondered, when Don said it was “hot as hell,” if he meant temperature-wise, or spicy. Megan’s cooking is interesting to me – others have noted that it was Don, not Megan, who made pancakes for the kids, and I noticed that when she made “spaghetti” for Sally and Bobby, it was just noodles, no sauce.

      • NDC_IPCentral

         Of course, young kids, especially Bobby, would have wanted the noodles and no sauce.  Little kids (at least my nephews and niece when they were young) like it sauce-less.  Kids and bland (because their taste buds aren’t yet desensitized from decades of eating) go well together.

        • Jessi03

          Ahhh, the days of being completely satisfied by buttered spaghetti. 

          • rawrgrowlrawr

             I’m eating pasta with butter right now. Yum.

            I’m an overgrown child.

          • rowsella

             Our variation is spaghetti with olive oil and parmesan cheese sprinkled all over it.  Sometimes add ricotta cheese.    However when I was growing up, cheap suppers — egg noodles with butter or a can of chunky beef stew soup stirred in it.  Don’t forget the ubiquitous tuna noodle casserole.  Franks and beans too.

          • TheDivineMissAnn

             Oh, Lordy, the tuna casserole.  Especially during Lent.  Along with salmon patties from the can.  Mum used to add crackers broken up and fried with butter in with her noodles.  How I loved that simple (and cheap) dish!

          • Sweetbetty

             Yep, I ate tune-noodle casserole every Friday of my public school life (the Catholic school I had gone to didn’t have a cafeteria so we carried or went home for lunch).

          • TheDivineMissAnn

            Yep.  Walked home from Our Lady of Grace every day for lunch – about 8 blocks each way.

        • ldancer

          I dunno, I think that’s a myth, that kids like bland foods. Many children I’ve seen like stronger flavors if they’re exposed to them – onions, garlic, curry, etcetera. But, serving kids plain or buttered noodles is pretty common.

          • Glammie

            It may not be every kid, but it’s not a myth.  I say this having had to handle years of preschool/afterschool snacks.  And I live in a serious foodie area.

          • greenwich_matron

            My first child likes all sorts of food. I attribute that to my brilliant parenting. My youngest child is an extrudivore (extruded foods only, like pasta and hot dogs). The gods of smugness have punished me.

          •  LOL- extrudivore!!

          • makeityourself

            I have an extrudivore too and didn’t know it until now. Add string cheese to the list. Thanks so much!

          • Maggie_Mae

            We liked Chef Boyardee from the box.  Fairly bland–but better than plain noodles. We joked about  the canned parmesan smellin like kitty poo–but did add it to our spaghetti.  

            But we have spicy food in Texas. And my mother’s sojourn Up North gave us a taste for salad with olive dressing–AKA Italian Ethnic Slur Salad. (Hey, we learned better.) 

        • My kids would not touch any pasta without a sauce…

          • Sweetbetty

             One of my favorite dishes as a kid in the 50s was elbow macaroni with butter, salt, and pepper.  Thanks, mom; no wonder I’ve been overweight all my life!

      • fnarf

        If your boeuf bourguignon is spicy, you’re doing something terribly, terribly wrong.

        • I had assumed it was just hot, right out of the pan, but it makes more sense that “good at everything” Megan would be a lousy cook. Maybe not make sense, it’s just amusing really.

          • fnarf

            No, I’m quite sure it’s temperature-hot.

        • I have a travel guide to Europe from 1964 (one of those “If it’s Tuesday, this must be Belgium” sort of things), and practically every other page warns about the “overspiced” garlicky cuisine of France and Italy. I read the scene as the food being temperature hot, but it’s actually possible that the flavors in beef bourguignon might have felt pretty intense to a meat and potatoes American in 1966.

          • fnarf

            Oh, yeah. One of the funniest things I’ve ever read, in a book about the English football team Tottenham Hotspur in 1971, was when they went to play in Europe for the first time, and at the first meal in France literally none of the players could eat the food. They just sat there with the same expression Beth the housewife has, and could not touch it. Because of the garlic. Literally ANY amount of garlic was inedible.

            But I don’t think anyone would have called it “hot” as Don did — and Don’s pretty sophisticated foodwise for ’66 — fine restaurants, trip to Rome….

    •  Yes! When I saw that I thought, “And all she has is that little pot?!” I always pay attention to the food on this show, I worked as a chef for a while and I am a huge food nerd (I made Chicken Kiev for the season opener, lol). A couple of months ago, I made Julia Child’s been bourguignon – it took an entire Sunday and felt like every dish in the kitchen.

      • Glammie

        Whoa, memory flashback.  I remember when my father made Julia’s Beef bourguignon–and, yep, the kitchen was a serious, serious mess.  Splatters *everywhere*.  

        To be totally period, someone should be struggling through *Mastering the Art of French Cooking.*  It was kind of a culinary rite of passage for a lot of people.  

        • Maggie_Mae

          That’s more of a Betty thing to do; Megan will be going to acting class.  

          Which reminds me that The Draper House was realistically decorated, with items gathered over the years. Everything in The Draper Apartment matches–but that makes sense. I’m sure Don’s dreary Village pad was rented furnished–he probably brought his clothes a few boxes of books from the ‘burbs. And Megan was quite young, living in student/actor simplicity.  So they really did get all new stuff…

          Meanwhile, furniture from The Draper House is looking awkward in Lurch & Morticia’s Victorian pile.  Only the fainting couch looks at home….

          • Glammie

            Not Betty–Betty’s got weird food issues.  Maybe Trudy, if she ever gets out of her housecoat.  I also wouldn’t rule out some of the men.  Cooking was the housechore men were most likely to take on when the whole who-makes-the-bed housework thing became a feminist issue.  Almost every man I know is into cooking to some degree–my mechanic makes his own chocolates.  On the show, you know Don kind of likes to cook while Roger’s probably never boiled an egg.  Bit of a class thing going there . . . Don the farm-boy knows how to do a range of chores.

            Good catch on the furniture.  I’d love to know why Betty and Henry bought that horrible Victorian.  Guess it symbolizes that old-fashioned protected marriage Betty thought she wanted–but doesn’t.

          • Twinzilla

            Galloping Gourmet!

          • tsol

            In 21st century NYC most of the young professional women of my acquaintance don’t know how to cook anything more complicated than spaghetti with sauce from a jar. I usually teach them some cooking- a benefit of countless Boy Scout camping trips where you’re expected to cook for yourself.

          • Glammie

            I’m not surprised.  Cooking became one of those fraught things for women–not learning to cook showed that you had ambitions that went beyond getting an MRS.  Then, later, the increased emphasis on looking a particular way further complicated a lot of women’s relationships with food.  Meanwhile, cooking became the one indoor household chore a lot of men were reasonably happy to take on.

          • tsol

            The consensus seems to be that they weren’t encouraged to learn how to cook by their mothers and were largely spoiled in terms of dinner chores. The exceptions are all foodies who see cooking as a passion and way of life. My Dad cooked for us when he was unemployed for 1 year and of course when the grill was fired up. He handles a fair amount of the holiday cooking now that my Mom’s age has caught up with her- everything from Thanksgiving turkey to Christmas cookies. They raised us to be self-sufficient and respectful of money- living on takeout or pre-packaged foods was thought to be lazy and frivolous. 

          • Glammie

            Yeah, a lot of mothers of a sort-of in-between generation resented cooking and what it symbolized–i.e. chained to the stove.  Both my brother and my husband when they lost jobs took over the cooking.  Cooking dinner was my father’s big household chore as well–my mother worked–even though my mother was the better cook.

            I do cook, always have, but I’ve been told I’m a foodie. 

            My parents were both kids during the Great Depression–so I also got the self-sufficiency, frugality message.

          • sweetlilvoice

            My Boomer mother never cooked during my entire childhood. I think it was a rebellion thing as her mom was a great cook/baker. My dad worked all day and then came home and made dinner. He also just liked to cook, he still does even though he lives alone. My sis is a big foodie too, she makes tons of food just for one.

          • rowsella

             As wealthy city dwellers, don’t they just eat out most of the time?  I’m sure Megan learned some cooking at home in Quebec but it just doesn’t seem to be a Manhattanite daily chore; unless cooking is their hobby.  My dh loves to boast he is a better cook etc. but when he has to deal with it on a daily basis, he breaks down and is frustrated.  My Dad could cook some dishes but ultimately, most men through my life are “occasion cooks”– they make a special dish once in a while or grill on the weekends and somehow coast on that.

          • Glammie

            Eating out all the time is something that happened a bit later.  Eating out for a lot of people was a special occasion–something you just didn’t do that often–even if you were rich.  Someone like Roger would certainly eat out a lot more than most people, but not every meal.  I think the Don/Betty relationship kind of caught that–when they ate out it was at very nice places, but it didn’t happen that often. Don and Megan probably do eat out more than that, but I’d guess that there are a number of dinners that involve, say, a quickly broiled steak.  

        • Twinzilla

          Exactly.  I have made this dish a few times and the mess is monu-mental!  Still, I love the old school Revere ware mixed with the brightly colored cast iron dutch oven.  And the jugs of Gallo Burgundy!  I think that was the first table wine I saw in my house during the late 60s beyond champagne.

          • Glammie

            In a few years, there will be Orson Welles doing Gallo ads.  Is it wrong of me that this discussion of disaster-area kitchens makes me kind of want to try the recipe?

          • barbarasingleterry

            The dutch oven looks like Crueset, pretty expensive french cookware that makes sense with Megan’s background.  It is still available and places like Williams-Sonoma and higher end department stores.  Always in bright colors.

          • rowsella

             It’s Dansk.  Not Crueset. And it is not cast iron. 

        • Lisa_Cop

          Not sure but think Julia Child didn’t really take off until the early 70’s.

          • Glammie

            She started, I think, in the early 60s.  She was successful enough that Beverly Cleary mentions her being on television in Mitch and Amy, which was published in 1967.  The mom is into The French Chef and it’s how the parents rationalize having a television.  

            Nora Ephron has also written about how what she remembers about the 60s is the rise of competitive home cooking–inspired by Julia, James Beard, etc.

    • greenwich_matron

      Perhaps it was Stouffer’s Boeuf Bourguignon –  you know, follow the easy recipe on the side of Stouffer’s frozen beef stew box…

  • fnarf

    I’m a terrible person, but your screenshots of Beth the sad housewife’s perpetual “WTF FML” facial expression made me laugh out loud, perfectly understandable as it was.

    • Sweetbetty

       Compare it with Pete’s expression in the last picture above of him in his office with Harry. 

  • MK03

    Also, I can’t believe I didn’t notice that they reused the Ossining set! 

    • MissAnnieRN

      I didn’t recognize it, either!

  • I’ve mentioned before that I think green is a very significant colour when worn by the Mad Men women – as it seems to mean something like ‘the colour of Don’s heart’ and signify when he and the female character are feeling particularly close or connected 

    I thought it was significant that after she quit her job Megan was wearing a lot of green as outerwear – two green coats and a green apron – but underneath is wearing more ‘dangerous’ colours – red, burgundy and black.  Ostensibly she and Don still seem very connected, but methinks trouble is brewing beneath the facade.    

  • Though I am not a Mad Men devotee, I can only admire and appreciate the thoroughness, adroit hand, and sincere passion, you two gentlemen bring to the task of blogging this show’s costume work. As a costumer myself, I find that sort of subtleties that you speak about, are what I try to achieve myself, and what I look for in the work of others. Many thanks, Kiltd.

  • beebee10

    Thanks boys. So great. 
    My favorite outfit was Meghan’s last day outfit with that incredible dark green patent leather coat and scarf. Don’t know what it meant except that she was free but the sky is not clear. janie and co. must have so much fun dressing that character!

    • The same scarf she had draped over her arm coming into the office after the BIG FIGHT.

  • Hermione_Granger

    TLo wrote: “We can’t not have a certain fondness for the foppish gays of generations past, because they didn’t try to hide it, no matter how much opposition they were going to come up against. They had balls the size of Gibraltar to go along with their limp wrists and ascots.” I feel the same way about Austin Scarlett. It’s not easy for a man to go around in a frilly blouse and full makeup, but that’s who he is, and that’s how he dresses. I really admire that.

    • Munchkn

       When TLo posted that, I thought immediately of Emory and Michael from The Boys in the Band.  Of course they weren’t real but my friend Jody was/is real.  He was SGA president at UGA in ’75 and he was out and proud.  He was faboulous!!

  • snarkalicious

    This is probably a naive question, but exactly HOW does Janie Bryant find all these fabrics?  I’m assuming these clothes haven’t been sitting around in a closet for 40 years, waiting to be worn on Mad Men.  I was shocked a few weeks ago during the scene at Pete’s suburban home when suddenly the EXACT floral fabric from my grandparent’s couch showed up on Pete’s couch and curtains!  And my mother had that plaid coat (more or less) that Megan wore this week.  Amazing.

    • Most likely, it’s a combination of vintage pieces all ready in existence, found vintage textiles, and contemporary remakes of older fabrics.

    • Actually, I have several 1966 office dresses stored in my garage and keep meaning to send Janie pictures to see if she wants them. I think one of them still has the tags on it.

    • The amount of money spend on props per episode is in the 13 000-150 000 range. You can find a lot of ugly couches for that sum 🙂

    •  Have you watched any of the interviews with her on the AMC site? That might give you some info…for example she said the black dress that Megan wears in the Bisou Bisou scene in the season premiere was a vintage dress that she rebuilt.

    • Sweetbetty

       I deal in vintage clothing and textiles and you’d be surprised how much clothing (and other textiles) from the 1900s on up to last year’s  people have stashed away in their attics, basements, garages, barns, closets, etc.  It’s heartbreaking to find that people cleaning out the houses of older folks will just toss such things in the dumpster.  I’ve had many things pass through my hands in recent years that Janie Bryant could probably use.

      • Paul Clifton

        I’m proud to say that when our elderly neighbour died 2 years ago, without any known relatives, we called over a friend who runs a vintage clothing store, just a day before the flat was due to be emptied (everything going to the tip). He managed to save bags and bags of amazing vintage clothing from the 20s to the 70s; she had worked for 50 years at a major department store so had all the latest stuff. He set up a special window display with photos of her over the years, and all the items went to happy, new homes.

        • Sweetbetty

           You’ve just brought tears of joy to my eyes.

      • snarkalicious

        I can believe there is lots of stuff out there – I have an amazing mod dress my mom wore in 68 that fits and I LOVE it.  But it certainly doesn’t look fresh.  I guess I’m surprised at how new these clothes look – I have to believe many of them were made for the show.  I was just amazed that they located EXACT patterns and fabrics from that time.  Bryant is incredible!

        • Melissa Brogan

           Some of them are made for the show. Janie’s said she designed the inappropriately-cocktail dress that Joan wore into the office at the start of the season. She also had to completely reconstruct the sleeves of Megan’s Zou Bisou dress. Other items are indeed vintage, and I’m quite sure Janie and her team have the ability and access to freshen items up to look new or almost-new. Not to mention other bits of TV magic!

        • Sweetbetty

           Vintage sewing patterns are very desirable.  I got into a bidding war with another person at an auction for a box full of them and when I finally let her have them the auctioneer just shook his head an laughed.  I know he, and others, were wondering why anyone was willing to pay so much for old patterns.

    • VictoriaDiNardo

      There was a terrific piece on Plum TV that I caught a few weeks ago – half-hour show with some guy going over to Janie Bryant’s house, in her closet, and then to the costume shop she uses – it is vast.  They picked out clothes for him to wear to a cocktail party.  Maybe you can find it on line; it was great to see her explain how she picks things.  And she does have some things made.

  • I was hoping for some discussion of Megan’s makeup.  When she and Don walked into the office the day she was going to quit, her makeup was jarringly garish.  And her shiny, slick raincoat and dark lipstick make her look so hard next to Don, who was dressed in his usual.  I realize it’s fall, and darker colors are worn at this time of year, but damn – she actually reminded me of Freddie Mercury in the “I Want To Break Free” video for some reason.  

    • BradWatson

       I sorta gasped about that look too. So different from their accustomed morning entrance.
      And in that same outfit – TLo referenced the big herkin’ chain around her neck as a symbol of her wealth. No problem with that, but I also really reacted to it as pointing to the her feeling captive or imprisoned there… and, as she left, the leash Don will always have her on.

      •  Exactly.  She looked weighed down.  Not the flouncy Megan in yellow sun dresses that we’re used to.  And that was the last we saw her like that.  The next few scenes were her at home, in slacks, and a close-up of her with little-to-no makeup on when she’s running out the door to acting class.  Completely different, very natural, very much the artist (as opposed to the exec’s wife).

      • Jessi03

        The necklace actually made me think of Rachel Menken.

        • girliecue

          Get out of my head Jessi03! Rachel immediately sprang to mind. And she’s the first woman Don truly cared about that rejected him…

          • Jessi03

            Ooo, that’s a good point. I was just thinking that the type of necklace that formerly denoted “the other” (aka. Jew) is now being worn by a Park Avenue trophy wife, albeit one with a taste for exotic prints. I like your idea better, though!

  • 3hares

    I noticed Don’s little lie about Megan too–I thought it was a little guilty/defensive. In Don’s version, it sounds like Megan’s already got another career going so it’s practical for her to leave SCDP. In Megan’s version she doesn’t care if she has another job. It’s about being an actress rather than a copywriter. It also plays down her just not wanting to be there with him.

    • Spicytomato1

      Yes…I saw Don’s lie as sociopathically perfectionist, if that makes any sense. He “corrected” the truth slightly to make the situation sound that much better.

    • It irks me that most of the commenters are talking about Megan “returning” to acting. How can you return to a profession you were never actually accomplished in? She is returning to attempting to land an acting gig (which is a lot easier now when you married rich *end sarcasm). 

      I think Don’s lie was about making her sound like more of a success, that he knows she is not. 

      • 3hares

        I raised an eyebrow at Megan saying she’d just never tried as hard at acting as she did at copywriting. Because she actually didn’t try that hard at copywriting at all. If she gave acting even less effort how committed was she?

        • That was my reaction too! Girl, you have not worked hard at anything ever…. besides her acting class was after work hours, and it’s not like she will be landing one audition after the next so why exactly did she need to quit her day job?  

          I think Don might be asking himself the same thing

          • She wanted to stay on, finish up the projects she was working on and help train her replacement, but  Don said she should just make a clean break and quit right away.  He wants her to have what she wants – she wanted to be a copywriter, he made her a copywriter.  She wanted to pursue acting again, he gave her the go-ahead to immediately stop her current job so she could go for it.

          • 3hares

            I wouldn’t say she really wanted to stay on. She felt like she should, but a word from Don asking if she really wanted to even come back after lunch seemed to get an agreement from her. If she’d really wanted to stay she would have.

        • Glammie

          Yep, I don’t get the sense that Megan is a deeply dedicated actress.  Her ambivalence about success at copywriting seems more complex than that–tipped in, as it was, to her father’s failure as a writer.  Going back to acting seems more of a cop-out that will make her father happy.

          • Lisa_Cop

            Based on the remarks of her California girlfriend from S4, I think Megan did really try to act ( she makes a self deprecating remark about how the look of her teeth held her back). It’s just INCREDIBLY HARD to get a job in the arts. So many aspire but only a very few actually make it.

      • AutumnInNY

        I agree. She is returning to “attempting” to land an acting gig, which is a whole lot easier when you don’t have a bothersome day job/waitress job/etc to get in the way and have someone paying the bills while you try and pursue “your dream”…like your rich husband! I’m sure her classmates do not have the sweet set-up she’s got going and will see her as a dilettante like someone mentioned earlier on this post.  I for one don’t have much faith in her talents or commitment. 

        also agreed that Don is making her sound like more of a success than he believes she is.

        and lastly, am I the only one not seeing this marriage last more than one season? 

  • I truly and without joking think you guys need to created a book pitch around your Mad Style analysis. I don’t how that would work in terms of copyright and all but this is too well done to be left just as blog posts. Seriously………….oooooh, maybe even a Janie Bryant collaboration

    • MsKitty

      It would be tragic if all this effort didn’t result in a glossy coffee table book.

    • They announced a while back that they are writing a book at the moment. I don’t think it is about Mad Men though, but will doubtless be fascinating and excellent!

    • carolynmo

      Yes, please, on the book as well as the collaboration.

  • maggiemaggie

    Thank goodness for Megan! Although I grew up in pretty much the same time and place as Sally Draper and had pretty much her exact wardrobe, Megan is actually the first adult female character on the show who is recognizable to me.

    In that kitchen scene, where she is wearing slacks and cooking, she could totally be my mother. There were an awful lot of Megans in NYC at that time and I’ve always wondered why they were never shown on MadMen. My mother would not have given the time of day to Betty Draper!

    Also, this season is the first one that I’ve been able to get beyond period detail and focus on the story, not just the memories it brings back. Also MORE GINSBERG!

    • maggiemaggie

       To answer my own question about why hasn’t there been any Megans before this, obviously she is a new type, bringing in a new world…

  • VanessaDK

    I think Megan is always playing a part, and her clothes reflect that.

    • YES! When she told Peggy she was leaving it struck me as a bit fake, almost as Academy Award Winner fake reaction. I’m not saying she wasn’t sad, but that she went overboard by crying. 

      • She admitted to being a cryer, remember when she told her in the restroom that she thought she could cry just enough to make her quitting plausible.

  • Annie Leung

    Wonderful as always! This might be just me, but a lot of the outfits are screaming Peggy at me even though she’s not the one wearing them at all. The houndstooth dress Megan wears in the first shot calls back to the season 2 dress that Peggy wears in the promo shots and Beth’s outfit when she has her tryst with Pete is in all mustard! I can’t quite figure out why, but it seems like something ominous is pointing towards Peggy and it frightens me every bit as much as that elevator shaft. 

    Also, hooray for Ginsberg! It looks like he finally owns a pair of khakis.

  • A Reeves

    In the scene where Megan and Don do the Cool hip pitch–is that pink dress not the same one she had on when the two of them announced they were getting married?

    Thanks for another thoughtful analysis, Tom and Lorenzo.

    • A Reeves

      No, I’m wrong. This dress has a different neckline and is much pinker than the “announcement” dress. I don’t think it is an accident that I thought of it though. The colour story of Don and Megan’s relationship could be an ineteresting one. Now that she is “pulling away” I predict there will be more dark colours and more greens and blues.

    • nycfan

       Nope, different pink dress.  Here is the engagement announcement dress:

      Looking back at last season, you can see the better quality of most of her clothes this season (compare the two pink dresses, for instance), though the taste was already intact.

      • Jessi03

        Oh, wow, seriously!  Her makeup has really changed a lot, too.  Her hair is harsher, though still flouncy.  No wonder her dad noticed that she’d “changed.”  

        • A Reeves

          When I went back to check on the dress, I was struck at how much her hair had changed, too! The character’s make up is all very high contrast and dramatic as well. Really different.

          Anyway, I adsolutely loved the character’s costumes as the Rich Wife in New York City (working girl and dinner wife), I hope that this is not the last of her.

          That purplish dress–though TLo called it “blue and pink” is a colour that teeters towards the cool side of the spectrum. I’m curious if there will be more (foreshadowed by the green in this episode, too.)

  • I loved loved loved Joan’s brown-and-gold ensemble.  The colors were so flattering to her hair and skin tone.  When she’s standing talking to Peggy, with her purse, scarf and coat over her arm, you can see how beautifully put-together she is, so professional, stylish, and mature.  She’s moved from being the Queen Bee of “the girls” to the Mother Superior of the entire office.  

    • sweetlilvoice

      Mother Superior! That was John Lennon’s nickname for Yoko…
      Great visual!

      Beatles fan goes and sits down now.

    •  I own that same dress, or, at the very least, one with the same cut and almost identical fabric. Got it at a vintage shop. I was excited.

  • mellbell

    Another fatherly aspect of the kitchen scene was Don’s reaction to Megan’s bare feet (gently chiding her for not wearing shoes while cooking).

    • Cabernet7

      It’s kind of disturbing me now, but Jon Hamm & Jessica Pare really do look like they could be cast in something as a father and daughter.

      • Glammie

        Well, only if he were a teen-age dad . . . 

        • Sweetbetty

           Don’s 40 and the comments have been made that Megan looked like a teenager in her slacks, ponytail, and fresh face so saying that they look like they could be father and daughter doesn’t mean he’d have been too young of a father.

          • Glammie

            Well, she’s supposed to be 26 and he’s 40–so he’d have been a dad at 14 . . . don’t think she looks like a teen, even in slacks–she has a very adult face with the angular jawline and strong features, but that’s just my take.

      • girliecue

        John Slattery and Jessica Pare were father/daughter in the TV show ‘Jack and Bobby’. Apparently it was watched by me and 3 other people, even though the divine Christine Lahti starred in it.

        • asympt

           I watched it.  Though I didn’t recognize Jessica Pare from it.

          • girliecue

            Hooray – another viewer! Only two more to track down now. Jessica’s hair was a lighter brown back then. It still surprises me to see her with dark hair.

    • larrythesandboy

      Didn’t Anna say that she was cooking in bare feet when she slipped an broke her leg?

      • mellbell

        Oh my god, you’re right! I just re-watched that scene on Netflix, and Anna says, “Here’s the lesson: don’t fry eggs in bare feet.” I miss her.

  • I don’t have a link for this, but someone told me that another recap pointed out that the Beatles track Megan tells Don to play is not the track he actually played. Can anyone confirm/discuss?

    • sweetlilvoice

      I can’t confirm but as a Beatles fan I just knew that Megan would tell him to play that song first. That song really was amazing, especially for the time. Parts of it were also recorded backwards to get some of the effects. Plus it tied in with the Tibetan Book of the Dead theme from the LDS episode too. 

    • I can’t remember – did Megan tell Don to “Here, start with this one,” or “Here, start with the first one.”?

      “Tomorrow Never Knows” was the last track on Side 2 of Revolver.

      “Good Day Sunshine” was the first track on Side 2, and “Taxman” was the first track on Side 1.

      “Taxman” – now, there’s a song Don could probably relate to.

    • suzq

      I’m pretty sure she said, “start with this one.”  I think she would have been aware that this was the most forward song on the album AND that Don would only have capacity for just one song like that.

      • Maggie_Mae

        But it would have been kinder of her to play the record for him while she was around.  (With maybe a few puffs of pot–not that I’m advocating drug use, but Don was not averse in the old days at Midge’s.)  He might have enjoyed some of the more accessible tunes, first. Then ventured out….

        Instead, she just told him to listen to the weird one & left…

        • She should have skipped her acting class just to hold his hand through his first Beatles album?

          • MarinaCat

            This just killed me.

          • Glammie

            That could have been a good scene.  Better yet, Megan holding one hand and Beatles-fan Sally holding the other, guiding him into the psychadelic era . . . 

        • Sweetbetty

           Absolutely.  If they had sat snuggled on the couch I’m sure he’d have listened to and discussed the entire album.  Instead, he sat there alone listening to music he didn’t understand, much as he didn’t understand anything that was going on in his world, and thought, screw this.  It will be interesting to see how many more nights she can leave him alone before he’s no longer the man she “hoped he would be”.

    • Lisa_Cop

      It was the only one he played; they then used it over the episode credits.

  • surfergirl70

    Another color theme I noticed – green as the color of Megan’s freedom to pursue her acting dream.  After her middle-of-the-night talk with Don, she walked into SCDP on her last day in a slick green raincoat and a vivid green scarf.  Then the green apron in the kitchen, and the green coat (a different one? this one looked like leather) when she went to her acting workshop.

  • When Megan walks into the office in that shiny green coat, all I could say was “OMG is that ugly!”  It was authentic, that’s for sure.  But it looked terrible with that print dress and the patterned scarf.  I guess the costume designer was echoing her inner conflict with a clashing ensemble?  It looked better when she left after lunch, without the scarf. Because by then she was more at peace with her decision.

    • Lisa_Cop

      Oh? I love that coat; I want that coat.

  • HeatherD9


    Non-stop screen refreshing pays off!

    As always, many thanks to TLo for a great analysis.  These recaps give a whole new depth to my appreciation of the show.

    One small quibble.  You said Peggy wore that black & tan dress for the first time with Topaz…  Ummmm, actually, that was the second time we saw it.  Remember?  She wore it briefly in “The Chrysanthemum & the Sword” when Don reveals his plans to trick the opposition into breaking Honda’s rules.

    You wrote:
    “Check out Pegs! Where did THAT come from? That is a huge change in direction for her. Have we ever seen Peggy in black? Lots and lots of black showing up in this assassination-heavy period. Peggy, Joan and Faye have all been wearing it. Still we wouldn’t call this dress funereal. It’s kinda kicky, actually.”

    I just thought I’d mention it because that episode resonates with me as an example of when Don Draper & Company’s Ocean’s 11 style stunts worked.  Do you think Janie is making a call back to that time?  Is this another example of how Janie likes to pull through looks from previous seasons?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated,


  • CC06

    I am not quite sure what the reference re:  Megan being barefoot, wearing Burgundy, and in the kitchen making Boeuf Bourgiognon is supposed to be about.  Anyone care to help me out with that one?

    •  “Barefoot and in the kitchen” was a dismissive way of referring to women’s lives pre-feminist-movement.

      And the color doesn’t necessarily have to have an external meaning.

      • The way I always heard it was “barefoot and pregnant.”

        • Jessi03

          As soon as it showed her, my friend who is a Mad Men newbie went “Omigosh, did she quit because she’s pregnant?”

        • I’ve heard both used, fairly interchangeably, as well as a mash-up of the two phrases together.

          • Now that I think about it, the phrase I heard was “in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant.”

        • Lisa_Cop

          Me too – “barefoot and pregnant”.

      •  The first thing I thought of when I saw her in the kitchen was, Megan is literally stirring the pot! I thought “barefoot and pregnant” too, at first, but since she made it clear she has no intentions of becoming a mother, I mentally divided her outfit. On top, it’s all “see what a good little wifey I am, cooking you dinner and everything”, and the bottom is Laura Petrie pants and bohemian bare feet, screaming, “I am an ACTRESS, dammit!” while she tells Don, “You’re just who I thought you’d be.” He answers, “You too.” I got the feeling he was lying again. She is absolutely not who he thought she was.

        • Like like like!

        • Glammie

          And we know he’s not who she thought he was.  They’re both good at lying, aren’t they?

      • NDC_IPCentral

         It was a bit more brutal:  “Barefoot, pregnant and chained to the stove.”  We muttered that a lot back in my law school years and first couple of decades of work.    There’s an unfortunate subset of people who still adhere to those unfortunate sentiments. *resigned sigh*

        •  Since we’re on the topic of pregnancy, Don mentioned in this episode that Megan doesn’t want to have any kids. Was the pill already in common use by 1966? And wouldn’t it be a little shocking for Megan to not want to have children? She’s 26, right? And married? Seems like everyone would be wondering when she’s going to start a family. Also at age 26 would she be considered too “old” to go back to acting? (I can’t believe I just wrote that).

          • Joan takes Peggy to get birth control pills in the very first episode. 

          • juliamargaret

            Yup…was just going to say the same thing!

          • Sweetbetty

             Except Joan didn’t take her.  She gave her the name of her doctor but Peggy went on her own on her lunch break.  And I never could understand why she had to get the pills that very day.

          • greenwich_matron

            Oh, the miracles of “pilot time.” I love it when tv characters manage to visit three different people in one evening.

          • You’re right Betty!
            And I never understood that either. Especially for being such an important plot point.

          • All of a sudden, there were several choices, including the IUD and the Pill in addition to the long-used diaphragm. 

            As to Megan’s age, a single woman of 26 was actually bordering on spinsterism.

          • Melissa Brogan

             Your last line caught my eye. I’m sure that was true up through at least the early 80s. My mom as much as admitted to me that the reason she married my father and got pregnant with me (I was born a couple of weeks before she turned 27) was a friend at work teased her that she hadn’t done either yet.

          • Sweetbetty

             A friend of mine who had gotten married and had her first child very young in the mid-late 60s, just like I did, got pregnant with her third child when she was 28.  I remember her practically wailing, “Can you imagine!  Having a baby at my age?”

          • FloridaLlamaLover

            My Mom was 38 years old when she had me in1961– I used to tease her that I was a happy surprise, but one day she finally told me that they had waited to have me when they could provide for me!

          • Amy Fee Garner

            The pill came out in 1960, and according to my then-college-age mother, there was more or less a surreptitious stampede to get a prescription, often for allegedly managing “heavy periods” or other health excuses.  By 1966 it was extremely common for the younger childbearing-age set to be taking the pill.

    • rednotdead

      I assumed TLo were joking about her cooking bourgignon while wearing burgundy – similar sounding 🙂 

      • Jade Hawk

         it’s not “similar sounding”, it means the same thing. Anglicized, boef bourguignon is beef burgundy (because it’s a traditional recipe from the french region of Burgundy; which is also where the name of the color comes from, via Burgundy wines)

      • Sweetbetty

         The dish originates from the Burgundy region of France (in French, Bourgogne).

    • Munchkn

       That scene reminded me a lot of The Parent Trap when Brian Keith gets back from the camp-out.   Maureen O’Hara’s in the kitchen in her bare feet cooking beef stew. She’s got a dish towel tied around her waist as an apron.  Maureen’s even using a yellow stew pot, IIRC on a cooktop.

  • 3hares

    I was almost hoping you’d talk about Pete in that post-coital scene with Beth. Unfortunately he’s not wearing clothes so it doesn’t count, but I was stuck by how very different he looked: flushed, dewey and young (much like Megan). He’s never looked that attractive. Though I guess a lot of it is VK’s performance and genuine smile there.

    • Cabernet7

      I wonder if the reason they shaved his hairline back this season is just to make him believable as being older.  He naturally looks so young.

      • Melissa Brogan

         I believe Vincent’s said they modified his real hairline for this season.

  • sweetlilvoice

    Loved all the vintage Halloween decorations in this episodes. My friends collects those. Joan in dead roses…never thought of that. She looked beautiful as always.

    • Maggie_Mae

      Released in September 1966: Donovan’s “Season of the Witch”…

  • Love the foppish gay’s sideburns. Think that’s the first time we’re seeing those? It will be interesting to see if any of the main characters start sporting any down the road. (For fun – picture them all with ‘hippy hair’.)

    ooh, dead roses. That’s so good.

    And loved the storyboards. Wonder who’s doing all the art for the show. (Guess I could look it up.)

    You guys are great. Thanks. I can get back to work now.

    • sweetlilvoice

      Second the desire to see hippy hair! Loved the longer sideburns too. 

      • Sweetbetty

         I foresee Roger with a silver ponytail and Pete with a Beatles bowl cut.

        • asympt

           Not with Pete’s advancing forehead.

          • Sweetbetty

             That’s just it; he’ll try to cover the forehead with the bowl cut and look ridiculous since his hair is fine and stringy anyhow and now there’s less of it.

  • Spicytomato1

    Thank you for yet another fascinating post. I loved the heavy focus on Peggy, Elisabeth Moss really brought it this episode and I feel like her assertive wardrobe choices matched her attitude.

    And lol at “Dark Betty.”

    • Sweetbetty

       So far this season we’ve had Fat Betty, now Dark Betty; I wonder what the next version will be.

      • charlotte

        Apparently Fat Betty reloaded in the next episode. I may be the only one, but I miss Betty on the show. I’ve always found her to be an interesting character, and although she is no longer Don’s wife, their relationship has shaped her life (and the kids’ lives).

        • Glammie

          Oh I don’t mind a Betty infusion.  She’s so weird and her clothes are always interesting.  Plus, Bugles!

  • Tracey Konicek

    OMG!  That fugly plaid coat that Megan was wearing.  The first thing I said when I saw it was “Our couch in the 70s was that exact fabric!  SO itchy!”

  • bluefish

    Happy TLo Mad Men Wednesday!  I love these so much.

    There was a lack of exuberance in the clothing this past episode that really underscored the depressed and anxiety-laden mood.  A tense episode.  It was nice to see Joan wearing a less rigid hairstyle and it suited her.  As someone who would love to see Joan and Lane together —  happy if only for 15 minutes — I was heartened to see her having a cup of tea.

    I don’t know that Don doesn’t understand “Tomorrow Never Knows.”  My take was that he got it but didn’t care for it and that perhaps it left him feeling anxious and so he turned it off.  One has the sense that Megan in her Audrey look alike outfit (“Funny Face” pants and ponytail, etc.) was in some way walking out of their marriage at some level.  Not that she would be aware of it really but Don definitely would.

    Great call on Peter Max cartoon jacket.  So true!

    • No, I don’t think Don does get it. He doesn’t get the Beatles already even though the story makes the point that the early Beatles the client wants his music to sound like is fairly comfortable and even similar to older music such as the song they end up using. 

      Revolver was where the Beatles really broke through into a whole new  kind of pop music. People just weren’t used to hearing anything like that, and it seemed to just roll off of Don. It reminded me of my parents (who were about 10 years younger than Don in the late 60s) who, when I was growing up, would complain that they couldn’t understand the lyrics to pop songs with perfectly understandable lyrics. They knew pop music. They grew up with early rock and roll, but their ears weren’t used to what they were hearing, and they didn’t have the time, patience, or interest to adapt to it, so they just dismissed it. That’s where Don is in that scene.

      • bluefish

        Good points all but “Tomorrow Never Knows” — lovely and unusual as it is — isn’t exactly hard to get.  If Megan had picked out “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window” I can see Don being perplexed.  And, yeah, Side B of “Revolver” was a radical departure for the Beatles.  Side A was relatively tame.  

        I may not be the best judge.  My mother, in her late 40s in the late 60s, used to buy albums for me.  I remember her coming home one day with Procol Harem’s album featuring “A Whiter Shade of Pale.”  You’re probaby right though — my Mama was definitely no Don Draper! 

        • “Good points all but “Tomorrow Never Knows” — lovely and unusual as it is — isn’t exactly hard to get. ”

          It is for Don. That was the point of that scene.

        • Your mom was apparently in tune with the times, unlike most adults her age or even younger (my parents; Don) which means you’re judging contemporary musical reactions based on a statistical anomaly–not a very practical way to do analysis. 

          And, yes, “Tomorrow Never Knows” WAS hard to get because it was new. It can be hard to grasp what “new” was like back in the day, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a thing that caused enormous upheaval. We expect new and different and out of left field now and roll with it exactly because the world went through the late 60s and “Tomorrow Never Knows.” 

          It seems to me that you’re looking back on a turning point in history and dismissing it because it doesn’t have the same impact now. Of course it doesn’t. Once the world has changed, the impact is absorbed and only if you take the time to look at the before and after with clear eyes can you see the lingering shockwaves.

          • A Reeves

            I don’t know if it was the writing, Hamm’s acting, or simply a bit of my own projection, but when Don put on that track and all the discordant violins began–his experience reminded me of my first experience listening to rap.

            I was a philosphy grad student at the time and I remember making the argument that it wasn’t even “music.” At best, if anything, it was “sound poetry.”

            I wouldn’t make the same argument, today, necessarily, but it underscores for me just how strange it was at the time. How utterly foreign. Don’s reaction to that Beatles song took me right back to it. 

        • suzq

          Your mother probably recognized strains of  “O Mensch bewein dein’ Sünde groß” (O Man, Lament Your Sin So Great), from Bach’s Orgelbüchlein in “A Whiter Shade of Pale.”

        • Glammie

          Aside from the words, I think the sound of *Tomorrow Never Knows* was radically different.  Indian-influenced rock wasn’t something that was really around–and it even stands out as different than the other songs on the album, which are much more straightforward in their instrumentation and tonalities.

          And, uh, I still don’t like the song . . . always felt like the Beatles were trying too hard to be different, but whatever.  Still better than the dirge-y *All You Need is Love”.  And that I have opinion about this . . . well, my generational spots are showing.  Music was so important then  in a way it just doesn’t seem to be now.  I think the Internet really changed things that way.

          •  Eh, I’m not so sure. I think the internet’s made it easier for my generation (I’m 28) to love and obsess over a wide range of music that wouldn’t have even been possible just  a decade earlier, not to mention allowing artists to do genre mashups in ways that are groundbreaking and slightly insane. I think people (especially young people) geeking out about music and musicians never really changes, regardless of the period. It just manifests itself in different ways.

            Though I totally agree about the Beatles trying too hard to be different (but I am more of a Rolling Stones/yeye/Gainsbourg girl myself, so I think there is a bias.)

          • These comments that the Beatles were trying too hard are so post-modern hipster they make my eyes roll. 

            Another thing that fails to translate across time is just how *earnest* the music scene was in the 60s. Everyone was “trying too hard” because they were excited about all the possibilities the cultural changes, the advancements in technology, drugs, etc., were making available to them. Many of the major musical groups — including the Stones — were vying to outdo each other for the sheer fun and excitement of it.

            Dismissing that period of amazing creativity and advancement as “trying too hard” is pretty sad.

          • Glammie

            Hon, I am far too old to be a post-modern hipster.  I’m a junior baby boomer.  I was there, as a kid, in the 60s.  That young, confused kid at that Haight-Ashbury street fair?  That was me, observing.  

            So, I don’t share the generational self-enchantment of my older 60s brethren , but it’s not about being pomo–it’s more about seeing what happened as a result.  

            That teenager walking on Telegraph Ave. looking at the druggie burn-outs ranting on the street in the late 70s?  That was also me.

          • tsol

            That trying too hard resulted in some amazing music but ultimately led to prog rock,  fusion jazz and bombastic arena rock. Thank god for the late-Boomer punk and post-punk scene that let the air out of the pretentious gas bags of the hippie era.

          • Glammie

            Oh dear–it occurs to me that Bobby Draper will be just the right age to listen to a lot of Led Zeppelin.  I think there was a year in the 70s where every other song played was “Stairway to Heaven.”  Punk was definitely a breath of fresh air.

            Funny thing is, I’ve always liked the Beatles, but my criticizing one song means I’ve somehow slammed the creative outpourings of an entire generation.  Think I’ll go play some Clash now. 

          • greenwich_matron

            Poor boomers: they had to explain how wonderful they were to the previous generation, and now they have to explain it to all subsequent generations. Fortunately, they seem tireless in this regard.

          • Glammie

            Tell me about it.  I’m just enough younger that I’ve spent my entire life having to listen to how much better it was five/10/20/30/40 years earlier and how we younger ones just didn’t measure up.  

            And I’m not even going to get to outlive the Boomers–I’ll be stuck in their demographic tailwind the rest of my life or until I’m too old to notice the difference.

          • greenwich_matron

            I was born at the cusp as well (I think I’m Gene’s age). Someone once told me that every generation thinks it invented sex and music.

          • Glammie

            I never had that feeling–too busily being told about things like Woodstock.  Though I remember how nice it felt when some mid-60s types didn’t get punk.  

          • Sweetbetty

             “Tell me about it.  I’m just enough younger that I’ve spent my entire
            life having to listen to how much better it was five/10/20/30/40 years
            earlier and how we younger ones just didn’t measure up.”     And we boomers listened to the generation before us do that.  And the generations that follow you will have to listen to your generation do that.  Just like Heinz beans, some things never change 🙂

          • greenwich_matron

            I see your point, but only one generation felt the need to adopt a name for itself. “Generation X” was adopted to mean “younger than baby boomers.” Nobody calls baby boomers “Generation W” but they do call “Generation Y” “Echo Boomers.” Every generation congratulates itself, but no one else has managed to institutionalize it.

          • Sweetbetty

            The boomers didn’t come up with that name for themselves; they were given that name by the generation that preceded them. I remember as a child hearing about the “post-war baby boom” and the impact it was having in so many ways.  It was only natural for the term “baby boomer” to evolve for the members of that demographic.  If the boomer generation has institutionalized itself it’s because of its sheer size in numbers, not necessarily because they felt they were so much better than any other generation.

          • Glammie

            Uh-oh, we’re getting close to that one-word line thing.  Anyway, I think the sheer size of the boomer did and does make a difference.  It’s just such a huge bump that if you’re in the tail end as am I and Greenwich Matron you’re always seeing a particular generation kind of have an outsize effect on things.  And while it’s certainly not true of everyone–the size of the bump did make a certain kind of solipsism possible. 

             We younger ones never forget that there are a whole bunch of boomers.  Ones, for instance, who will take generational swipe at you as a “post-modern hipster” for not liking a particular Beatles song.  And  somehow my criticism of ONE song was seen as an attack on ALL late-60s music.  In other words, it’s not you Sweetbetty, but another poster who kind of set some of us younger ones off with that sense of “Here we go yet again.” 

            And I don’t think Generation Xers do have that sense of solipsism.  We’re a smaller group and there is a tendency to a wry, ironic sensibility–hello John Stewart.

          • greenwich_matron

            I agree with Glammie, and I shall try to resist the urge to out-snot every snotty comment I run across. 

          • Glammie

            Well, darn, I liked it.

          • Sweetbetty

             I never got that feeling about my boomer peers.  I always thought that we were just in the right/wrong place at the right/wrong time.  It was circumstances that caused all the change that the boomers carried out, not that people born during the boomer years were any better or worse than those born during any other period of history.  We weren’t born with the idea implanted in our heads that we were going to do this, that, or the other thing.  It was just a perfect storm of circumstances that caused the changes and the boomers were just the players in that act of the history of man.

             I’ve always admired the generation before us, the Greatest Generation that Tom Brokow brought to the forefront.  They lived through some truly turbulent times.  But I don’t feel that they were any “special” group of people, they were people shaped by the circumstances they were born into and raised with and just did what needed to be done at the time.

          • Glammie

            Sweetbetty, I think this isn’t directed at you, but at Jennifer Ford lashing out at “postmodern hipsters” who don’t appreciate 60s music–because I thought the Beatles were trying too hard with “Tomorrow Never Knows.”  

          • Well, I just said that I like the Stones, yeye (which is 60s french pop/rock) and Serge Gainsbourg, all from the 60s (though Serge started earlier.) I love 60s music across a variety of genres (from Wanda Jackson to Spector’s Wall of Sound, lounge and freakbeat), so I’m hardly being dismissive. I grew up listening to music from that decade and I used to be a mod, so if anything, I love the 60s a bit too much. And I’m not a hipster, I just really, really dislike the Beatles. Always have. I think that there were musicians back then who were actually doing amazing things, they just aren’t as well remembered as the Beatles.

          • Lisa_Cop

            I’m no hipster (middle-aged) but the Beatles’ music seems dated and facile to me; but I love the Rolling Stones.

          • Glammie

            What I was thinking of was the way music was really the big generational unifier/identifier.  What music you listened to said all sorts of things about you–and the advent of a new album by a particular band was a big, big deal.  It just seems like the cultural markers are more diffuse now.  It’s not just about the music.  Both *Almost Famous* and *High Fidelity* kind of capture the attitude.  

            So it’s not that people don’t care about music, but there are things besides music–other memes–that unify people–i.e. YouTube videos, Facebook groups, even a much wider variety of television channels.  I mean, as a kid there was ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS and one independent station where I lived.  Not the same variety of programming.  

          • Ah, I get your point. Yep, you are right, there aren’t those sort of musical signifiers so much anymore, unless you’re in a subculture (which is part of why I like mod culture so much).

          • Glammie

            Yeah, I didn’t say it well in the first post. And just to show how old I am, is there a current mod subculture?  I just know about the one in the 60s–Teddy boys and such.

          •  Yeah, there are a few places that still have mod/rocker subcultures, there’s one in London and I know California has a massive one. I think there’s one in Tokyo as well, though it may have mostly died off in the 90s…

          • Sweetbetty

             Before the 60s there weren’t many ways for music to spread in popularity the way it did in later years.  There weren’t TV shows devoted to popular music, most families had only one radio and it was in the living room or kitchen and, again, most music played on national shows were geared towards the adult taste.  In the 60s small transistor radios came on the scene and young people could have their own radio in their bedroom to find stations that played the newest music.  Much credit is given to Dick Clark’s American Bandstand when it went national for spreading popular music to young people all over the country.  Then we had the MTV generation who had access to music on TV 24 hours a day, then the internet made *everything* musical accessible to everyone at any time.

          • Glammie

            Yes, that’s kind of what I was trying to get at–the centrality of music to youth culture at the time.

          • Jade Hawk

             “Music was so important then  in a way it just doesn’t seem to be now.  I think the Internet really changed things that way.”

            the internet definitely changed things, but only insofar as people now have collections with thousands of songs, instead of a few albums; that, plus people now can individualize taste much more than before, so maybe something like the 60’s music phenomenon won’t quite happen anymore, because you’re so much less likely to see almost everyone in a generation find meaning in exactly the same bands; only mass-produced pop-music gets that broad of an audience anymore, and I don’t know that anyone finds much meaning in that.

          • Jade Hawk

             actually, I just dated myself as the older end of the Net Generation; kids now don’t really have music collections, they have Pandora playlists, and other internet “radios” and playlists that they share with their friends. The large music collections are from before that.

          • ldancer

            I’m really enjoying being reminded of how brilliant and innovative the Beatles were. I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s and went through a rabid Beatles phase at 12 and 13, reading every biography I could get my hands on and listening to all their records. Then in high school an older friend turned me on to the Stooges (oh lord how I’d like to see Don reacting to “I Wanna Be Your Dog”) and the Velvet Underground (shiny boots of leather, Don – you know you want to!), and then I discovered punk and no-wave and all that came after, and put the Beatles in the past with my other embarrassing preteen traits. Now, as an adult with much more diverse musical tastes and a more refined ear, it is a pleasure to be brought back to, as I said, their brilliance and innovation. And of course, George Martin! My dad, who got me into the Beatles, was utterly horrified and baffled to hear Sonic Youth coming out of my speakers (this would have been the EVOL/Sister era).

          • ldancer

            …and I was trying to add that now, it seems that there is just a lot more diversity of style and influence out there. There are so many great singer/songwriter types, many of whom I’ve only discovered on emusic or through word of mouth (Jens Lekman, Grace Braun, Amy Anelle) or who through some weird fluke are relatively well known despite their being uncompromisingly excellent (Nek Case), and still lots of little or medium-sized indie bands sweating it out in every town. The ways we listen have changed, but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.

            Sorry for the tangent. This is something I think about a lot these days.

          • Melanie Spaulding

            eh, i think most people genuinely into music still have their own libraries.  No one I know is going to rely on Pandora, because you never know what song you’re going to get next which makes it difficult to curate a playlist.  Even spotify is slightly problematic in this context because it still doesn’t have rights to a lot of more obscure bands.  

          • Not to mention that no matter how hard you try to curate a station, Pandora will eventually find a way to carry you back to top 40 pop. In a way, it’s a throwback to a pre-internet way of listening to music, when there sort of was what there was and you had to listen to it or not be into pop music at all.

          • ldancer

            Agreed. Pandora is pretty limited. Once a record nerd, always a record nerd. But I’m just saying that the internet has made it easier to find certain things (especially obscure stuff people are digging up – Cambodian 60’s pop!), and has continued the work that zines used to do in helping connect people with music you wouldn’t find on the radio.

          • Don’t worry, I date myself by still saying albums and hoarding damaged cassette tapes. 😉

          • rowsella

             Things like music trends and popularity move much faster now.  There will always be the genre followers though (country music, dance, hiphop) who resemble more the music audience of previous decades.  However, what I see is people who hop between genres and decades so no one artist or band predominates.  I see this with my son, who loves music and he will groove to one band or album and then move on to the next.  Lately he has been talking quite a bit about NoFX’s new album.  I think Pandora and YouTube are more popular as people don’t like being locked into one media form.

          • Sweetbetty

             I’ve never been big into any music.  When I was a teen I listened to all the popular songs, then identified with the music of the 70s as I grew through my 20s.  In the 80s my kids grew into teens so I was exposed to the music of that era.  By the 90s the kids were out of the house and if I purposely listened to any music is was “oldies” from decades past.  I have no idea who the popular artists or what the popular songs are today.  All this to say I’m in no way a music expert.  However I’ve held the opinion for years that when it comes to making an impact in the music scene there was Frank Sinatra, Elvis, The Beatles, and no one since has come close.  I’m not saying these artists were necessarily the best, but that they made the biggest impact.  I’m open to being corrected so please, y’all, tell me if you agree or disagree.

        • tsol

          Yes. I think people are romanticizing the Beatles and overestimating how “deep” their lyrics were. It all smacks of Boomer solipsism- you just don’t understand me, Daaaaad!!!

          • Sweetbetty

             I heard some “music expert” discussing the Beatles some time ago and they were disputing the idea that their songs had such deep meaning.  They said it was more like one of them would say, “I need to replace my swimming pool so let’s write a new song”.  I’m a senior boomer and loved the Beatles when they came along but I guess I was just superficial and I never tried to see the deeper meaning.

          • Glammie

            Nah, you just weren’t taking enough drugs.

            I always liked the Beatles, but never thought of them as deep.  What really stands out about them to me now is how many good albums they turned out and how consistent they were.  I mean song after song with strong hooks, good vocals, good production.  Most bands would be happy to get one or two good songs per album, but even weaker Beatles tunes were pretty decent or had something about them.  
            Despite my low opinion of “Tomorrow Never Knows”–I do give the Beatles props for transforming their sound the way they did.  “Tomorrow Never Knows” doesn’t successfully incorporate the Indian music–it’s an awkward work.  There are other Beatles song–i.e. “Norwegian Wood” that used Indian musical motifs more successfully.

          • Lisa_Cop

            I’m a younger boomer and liked the Beatles in the 60’s but never thought they were the greatest. Hey, Woodstock was in ’68; the Beatles didn’t come and weren’t missed. People are forgetting The Who, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, The Band, Jefferson Airplane……I could go on but won’t.

          • 3hares

            I thought the idea wasn’t that the words were too deep but just that it was so different from what Don thought of as a song people would listen to that he would just not get why anyone would be making those noises or saying those things. He wouldn’t get what anyone was getting out of it, much less why they thought it was awesome.

          • tsol

            I agree. The key is when Don asked, “When did music become so important?” His generation was certainly passionate about music but not in the sense of the late 60’s. In fact if Don was a young man during the Korean War he came of age during a pretty insipid era for pop music- the trough between big band and rock and roll. Sinatra was reduced to singing novelty songs, fer chrissakes.

          • Glammie

            I’d forgotten that Don said that.  But it’s kind of a key line.  I just remember guys building these *huge* record collections starting in the 60s and going well through the 70s–there was the whole era of the concept album. You’d wait for the album to come out and then you’d take it home and LISTEN very carefully to it.  Then there was all the careful handling because LPs scratch so easily.  CDs came in and part of their appeal is that they weren’t supposed to scratch–HA!

          • Sweetbetty

            I did notice that Don handled the record very carefully and I wondered if Jon Hamm knew to do that or if it was another careful period detail that he was told to do in the directing.

        • sweetlilvoice

          My Mom, a Boomer, hates the later Beatles stuff. I love it, I remember once I was listening to something (Blue Jay Way, I think) and she walked in my room and wanted to know what “that crap” was. 

      • charlotte

        And Don didn’t even like earlier Beatles songs. Didn’t he hum “I Want To Hold Your Hand” in “Faraway Places” and Megan was confused because she thought he didn’t like the song? Seems like Don’s relationship to the Beatles has always been an ambiguous one.
        I also wondered back then why Don wouldn’t like that specific song- maybe because he is scared of commitment. Holding someone else’s hand ties you to that person after all, and the idea of running away has alway been a part of his personality (becoming Don in the first place, wanting to elope with Rachel etc). Regarding the lyrics “And when I touch you I feel happy inside- Its such a feelin that my loveI cant hide- I cant hide- I cant hide” it struck me that this song describes exactly what the relationship of Don and Megan should be like.

  • Mariko Troyer

    I saw Megan’s first outfit of the episode as a call-back to what she wore back in S4, i.e. buttoned up little shifts, when she was a contented little worker bee:

    The houndstooth, as you say however, is entirely new. I’m also sure this outfit cost a lot more than what she was wearing when she was still a secretary.

  • fnarf

    The “dead roses” remind me of “send me dead flowers in the morning, and I won’t forget to put roses on your grave” from the Rolling Stones a few years later. Another death reference in the episode.

    • girliecue

      Okay, that does it. I’m putting my money on Roger as the one who dies. Who else but Joan would not forget to put roses on his grave?

  • KaileeM

    Your Mad Men Style posts are my absolute favorite. I look forward to it each Wednesday. Baby goes down for a nap, I fix myself a cup of tea, and then devour each photo and word.

    Although I’m interested to see how the plot develops with Megan’s absence in the office, I’m quite sad she’s not working at SDCP any longer. Her office and client dinner outfits are so fab. Maybe we will start to see more of Betty and her wardrobe soon…

    • Orange Girl

      Me too! Baby naptime.

    • juliamargaret

      Me, too, at least today…home with the little one in the morning since I needed to stay late at work later in the day.

  • VanessaDK

    About the last shot–I also love it because it shows how the whole living room is designed to revolve around Don’s recliner.  It is a very potent image both because it shows how alone he is in this world he created, but also because it is the stereotypical living room design from that era with the man’s special chair front and center.

    A man’s home is no longer his castle–the sisters are doing it for themselves….

    • Just the fact that he has a recliner at all indicates his “advancing” age. They were considered to be for older Dads, like Frazier’s father. Style-wise, it is at odds with his apartment’s au courant furnishings.

      • VanessaDK

        I think Frazier’s Dad was sitting in a very ratty and not stylish recliner in the 1980s or 90s. Don’s looks to me like a classic Eames lounge chair, now considered one of the significant designs of the mid-century modern era. I would think that it was still au courant in 1966,though it started production in the 1950s, and it certainly wasn’t in his house in the ‘burbs. 

        • ldancer

          I thought it was an Eames lounger, too…I’ll have to look again. My grandparents had that one forever, as did my parents decades later. In both homes, it was the record-listening chair. But my dad never had a “man” chair. Only my Polish_jewish grandfather had one of those, and I always associated him with Archie Bunker in my little mind.

        • You’re absolutely correct. I was having a knee-jerk reaction to VanessaDK’s comment about the recliner. I should have checked the photo she was referring to before I answered.

          About Marty Crane’s recliner — it was in exactly the same fabric as the sectional we had made for our family room in 1975. Very stylish for the time, but definitely ratty by the time it was on the show.

      • Hey, Frasier’s Dad’s chair could be made from Megan’s plaid coat!

    • juliamargaret

      Don also looks like the man in the series logo from that shot (when he’s sitting, not falling).

  • EEKstl

    Brilliant as always, TLo. I second (and third, and fourth…) others here to say you need to make a compilation of all your Mad Styles into some fab coffee table book. It would be on my coffee table, I can tell you that!

    I loved Megan’s “dinner dress.”  And while it was a neutral color, it was shot through with metallic which made it much more rich and interesting than had it been just a drab beige dress.  Megan does indeed look much younger post-SDCP, in part because her wardrobe and makeup is no longer “office sophisticate,” but also she’s no longer wearing false eyelashes – that makes a huge difference.

  • Rick the fop looks like he could be a character in “Yellow Submarine”. Which is funny because his commercial was based on “old” Beatles, but his own look reads “future” Beatles.

  • mommyca

    Also I was thinking that another scene repeating over and over (besides the one with Megan walking Don up in different scenarios) is the one with Don and Megan walking together into the office (although this -where she is wearing a green plastic raincoat- might have been the last one), I will have to make a little sacrifice and watch all the episodes again (for the nth time) and count both scenes…. 🙂
    I have to add that I love Peggy’s yellow mustard cardigan! I would definitely wear it now…. (ok, i mean, in the fall)

  • uprightcitizen

    The one shape I don’t really see represented this season is the pencil skirt. The women are either in very full skirts that harken back to the late 50s and maybe 1961 or so, or slightly mod drop-waisted dresses and shifts that would look very much in place in 1970 or later (much of Megan’s wardrobe, and the dress that Peggy wears to the Cool Whip demo could be seen in “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” which ran from 1970-1977). Both of those looks were prevalent, I’m sure … and Megan’s wardrobe consistently reminds me of “That Girl!” which debuted in 1966 … but my mother, who was barely past 30 in 1966, dressed very much in the mold of Tippi Hedren, pencil-skirted suits and two piece dresses in rich gabardines and wools. So fitted that walking briskly was probably a challenge. I can only imagine that if my mother, a homemaker, wore these extremely stylish suits to church and to go shopping, women in business would have worn them. Movies from the era consistently show that streamlined silhouette, but it’s just not showing up here. Maybe there just isn’t a character that embodies it. Joan’s dresses come close, but she’s more full-figured than the women that look really suited.

    Love the Draper apartment. It’s funny how, in the late 70s, we would have considered that the height of ugly, boring, old-fashioned decor, but it holds up so much better than any of the awful stuff in stylish homes from 1979. Even a few years later (1984), my college friends and I were appreciating the sleek lines of a lot of the mid-60’s clothing and furniture … and you could get it at thrift stores for practically nothing.

    I was struck by the way Megan dressed for her acting class. Wasn’t it was practically a uniform to wear those slacks and that black sweater and a coat with leather? Something East Village “beatniks” had been wearing for a decade (without going all the way to the cliché of the beret or scarf). Even when she is abandoning a corporate world that she feels she doesn’t fit into, she still has to put on the clothes of conformity for her new endeavor. In a way, she is conforming more laying on the floor of her acting class than she ever did at SCDP.

    • Liverpoolgirl

      Every episode this season I am dying for another glimpse of the grasscloth walls and dropped pendant lamp that hangs in the corner.  The low couches, jewel toned glassware.  Perfect!

    • Glammie

      Joan wears pencil skirt silhouettes pretty consistently and a pencil skirt on occasion.  I suspect the dress version is a little easier to manage on set–you don’t have to keep tucking in the blouse and the top shows in the sit-down scenes.  And a pencil skirt is going to show any under-the-skirt blouse rumpling.

    • 13lily13

       Possibly my favorite of Betty’s outfits was the Hitchcock-blonde type grey suit she wore (S1 or S2) on her visit to the psychiatrist’s office.

  • JMansm

    Excellent post, do y’all have anything to say about Pete reading Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 at the beginning? Or the Sylvia Plath allusion in the title? 

    • Maggie_Mae

      Those were mentioned in the episode recap.  Here, we’re concentrating on fashion & decor.  

    • purkoy28

      what is petes book about? 

  • The dress that Megan wears when she announces to Ginsburg, Stan and Peggy that she’s leaving is utterly fabulous.  I want it.  I think of all of the women on Mad Men, I’d like to emulate Megan’s style the most (even though I wish I could be a Joan!).

    • ldancer

      You know what I love about so many of Megan’s outfits? They look just like the outfits Betty and Veronica wear in Archie comics of that era, which I think were mostly drawn by Dan DeCarlo. Especially Megan’s Goodbye SCDP outfit, with the big chain. Cartoonish and wonderful.

  • Sweetvegan

    The ink stain where Megan’s father had Bobby refill a fountain pen on the ivory carpet is gone. I thought that was hysterical! And so passive-aggressive!

  • MilaXX

    Not much else to add  to all the brilliant observations here. Just a minor thing for me I noticed that in addition to her dead roses dress, Joan appeared to be giving Don some serious side eye. As if she too is just waiting for him to screw up. Can’t say blame her, but Joan seems to be pretty disillusioned with love these days.

  • TxMom2011

    I scrolled through the pics fast …. looking for the GLASS SWANS!!   I teared up when I saw them in the show… they reminded me sooooo much of my mama.  We had glass swans just like that in our house.    — I’ll go back and read everything now.  Just wanted to share.

  • Lilithcat

    In light of the death of ’60s iconic hairdresser, Vidal Sassoon, let’s talk about hair!

    I love Joan’s new softer look.  And I do think Peggy needs to trash that stiff flip and go see VS.

    • Qitkat

      Sad to learn this. The one and only flattering short haircut I’ve ever had was inspired by him, done by a dorm mate of mine.

      There’s an interesting documentary film about him which came out last year.

      I truly dislike Peggy’s stiff flip. If she keeps that any longer, she’ll really be behind the times. Girls, not me so much, were wearing that in high school in 63-64. I’ve got the yearbook to prove it. I was thrilled when it became fashionable to have really long ironed hair. LOL.

      • Glammie

        Peggy’s the Hillary Clinton of her day–bad-hair gene.  She’s going to need to grow it to her shoulders soon.

        • I did think her hair looked better the night she had her mother over for dinner. Her dress was better too. I always feel like Peggy is caught between wanting to look like the other woman and wanting to be taken seriously by the men. Always in those bland clothes, yet look at the Hot pink thing she was wearing when she thought she was getting engaged.  Come to think of it, I started my career in the “dress for success” time period. Blue suit, bow blouse, blue pump with mid heal, bubble bob hair……hmmmmm

          • Glammie

            I love the way Peggy never quite gets it right.  It’s so true of most women, but on most TV shows, the actresses are always dressed extremely well.  Peggy is a woman who tries, but doesn’t quite have a sense of style.  She’s gotten a little better over the years and has some occasional terrific outfits–but it’s hit or miss.  Meanwhile, with the hair, she had a makeover by her gay boyfriend and has sort of hung on to a version of that working-girl flip ever since.  

            That Dress for Success period almost destroyed the suit.  Blouses with bows and such have only begun making a comeback in the last couple of years.  I think everyone got so tired of the look–and, oh, yes, the bob.  I think there were entire corporations where every single woman had that haircut.

            Peggy will actually be pretty happy when that period comes.  She likes knowing precisely what to wear.

  • Joan looked considerably changed to me in this episode.  In addition to the dead roses dress (and no pen necklace!), her formerly upswept hair had a distinct downsweep to it.  Everything about her seemed more subdued.  Her planning a goodbye lunch for Megan fit the tone perfectly — not only because someone was leaving, but because Joan’s duties as a party planner for someone else pushes her further into the background.

    Love the Peter Max allusion!  And Megan’s furniture coat matches my 80s sleeper couch.

    • ldancer

      Oh dear, I hope Joan doesn’t become the next Ida Blankenship, in the 80’s….

      • juliamargaret

        Perish the thought! 

    • I think she looks kind of lonely in her office. 

    • Anna Bergman

      I think her hair looks pretty with more softness.  She’s a Mom now, we haven’t seen her with Kevin since the beginning but she must have changed.   Hope they show more Joan next week! 

  • I also thought that the play of shine in outerwear tied Pete’s and Megan’s mindsets together well: Megan, eager to leave the shelter of a comfortable job, was dressed in the patent green leather slicker, and Pete, wanting but relatively unable to leave his domestic situation, had rain splashed on his overcoat. 

    I was thinking how young Megan looked after she changed out of her SCDP workwear, too, and how that roleplay in episode 1 might have a hint of foreshadowing (“Besides, you’re *old*. I don’t *need* an *old* person.”)

    • rowsella

       After a few episodes, I am changing my opinion on whether that was actual roleplay.

  • Jade Hawk

    “Man, did we ever see a lot of furniture that looked like Megan’s coat in the ’70s and ’80s.”

    I still have one of those, dumped on us by the boyfriend’s parents. since it’s clashing with my purple wall, I covered it with a denim quilt and am waiting for the cats to finish destroying it.

    •  My 92 year old Mom still has one in the den too, it’s awful! But she mostly uses it as an extra surface.

  • Great fashion commentary as always! Although I’m really surprised that you didn’t show Megan in the elevator with that FANTASTIC bottle green shiny raincoat!  
      Also, Joan in ‘dead roses’ — oh man, I saw the design but just made that connection. Love her softer hair, still the Joan updo, but a tad looser and even allows a few stray tendrills.  We need more Joan!

  • Sarah Boshear

    Fantastic post as always! I just wanted to point out another interesting parallel between Megan and Peggy – this one in the hair design for this episode.

    It was a pretty big deal for Peggy when she lost the schoolgirl ponytail for a more sophisticated cut. But here Megan is going the opposite direction, swapping her sophisticated style for, well, a college girl ponytail.

    It just reinforces the season premiere’s theme about the advent of youth culture. It used to be that being an adult was something to aspire too, that that was how Peggy realized her dream. Now Megan’s aspirations are tied into appearing young.

    • Lisa_Cop

      Remember kids who were college age in ’66 had a saying that you couldn’t trust anyone over 30 yrs old.

  • purkoy28

    Maybe one of the reasons Don doesn’t seem to want to work at SCDP without Megan is because a majority of the women he had affairs with ar efrom work, be it secretaries or clients or co workers. He does alot of shitting where he eats.

    • sweetlilvoice

      And he’s gotten really bad about it lately….last season was the worst.

  • Caaro3

    Next to watching ‘Mad Men’, ‘Mad Style’ is the cultural highlight of my week.  I know it takes much effort on your part.  I hope you are aware of how much we BKs appreciate the brain power that goes into it.  Tom and Lorenzo, you are THE BEST.

  • “Don keeps getting woken up by Megan again and again.” Could be a sign of hope that despite his investment in the status quo, Megan will be his lifeline to the future. Although a song entitled “Tomorrow Never Knows” kind of dashes that hope. How about that rainbow lampshade at the end?!

    Loved how the exec in the striped mod suit looked just like the house in the illustration. 🙂

    And YES to the strong father-daughter vibe between Don and Megan. He’s clearly trying to treat her like an adult and an equal, supporting her decision to make a major career change. And yet, there are all these other signals that there’s an age gulf between them. TLo broke down the visual cues beautifully, clarifying just what was making me cringe a bit there at the end.

    Seeing her lying on the floor in black at the end, Megan strongly reminded me of Audrey Hepburn in “Funny Face.”

  • MissusBee

    I think I’m starting to get Don and Megan now. She is his second child-bride, a type he favors because innocence detracts from his own tawdry past and dependence gives him a sense of control (in contrast, Don’s mistresses tended to be Women with a capital ‘W’). Only, where Betty’s appeal was waspy purity, Megan’s is continental free-spiritedness. Except there’s the flip side – child Betty had a craving for attention/approval which Don exacerbated by his emotional disconnectedness, whereas Megan doesn’t want ‘daddy’ watching over her while she tries to discover herself, which leaves Don alienated and confused. HOWEVER, by ditching the path of success (advertising) for the path of uncertainty/failure (acting), Megan could be subconsciously trying to avoid adult responsibility and stay a child for a bit longer. Easier now she has Don to support her, like her father did before. Her aversion to having children may also be from the same source (*she* is the baby). So Megan is drawn to Don and wants to escape him at the same time. He wants to cling and control but knows that will push her away. He offers her orange sherbet and she gives him ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’.

    Sorry, I know it’s not style related, but it’s the clothes that TOLD me. And T LO.

    • I totally agree with this.

    • yes!  and as much as she wants to be free to find herself, she’s begging daddy (don) for his permission.  puh-leeze daddy can i be an actress?  i’ll be good, i promise.

    • Linlighthouse

      Remember also that Pa Paaa Calvet chastised Megan for giving up on her dream. Of acting, I suppose. Oh, Papa, and look at how well you’re doing with all that dream-following, getting your book rejected.

  • baxterbaby

    I was 14 in 1966 and I can honestly say that I had dresses which were almost spot on to some of Megan’s.

    • I feel the same way! I remember 1968-69 (I was 5-6) and Megan dresses so much like my mother when she was young. I do not remember her in the capri pants. But I do remember that blue jeans were just not done (and I was not allowed to wear them until High School). It kind of gives me the chills.

    • i was 18 in 1966 and i remember my mom making me dresses like megan’s, some of them wool and lined, to take on my “world cruise” in 1967.  of course, the hemlines had to come to mid knee, but then i just took them all up another 6 inches myself.  too bad i gave them all away later that year when i became a hippy and ran away to mexico with an outlaw.  but that’s another story.

  • “For some reason, it makes total sense to us that Joan’s a tea drinker.”

    You know who else drinks tea in that office? Just saying. (I think Lane would be really good for Joan, actually. He’d treat her like a goddess, which is not a notable quality of the previous men in her life.)

    • that would be an interesting relationship.  we havent’ seen lane for awhile, have we?

  • It was so interesting how Beth said something about drinking a glass of wine and going to bed and the very intonation of her voice sounded like Betty Draper! 
    On another note, as cool as it is to see these characters loosen up, I kind of miss the repressed and tense cast of seasons past- they seemingly talk about everything now!!

  • Carol Kino

    delete . . .

  • judybrowni

    Good wrap up, TLo.

    I also noticed that Beth is even dressed depressed: brown skirt and blouse, and then a funereal brown and black plaid Betty Draper dress.

    Hate to be the matchy-matchy police, but there’s no way Dawn would have worn that green sweater with a purple and orange blouse or dress (?)

    The Mod and Hippie dress might have been less matchy-matchy, but not those who wore peter pan collars. As the first “negro” employee, Dawn is going to dress more conservatively than the white folk, not less.

    The ’60s may have been the last bastion of matchy-matchy, among those conservatively dressed, in any case.

    • “Hate to be the matchy-matchy police, but there’s no way Dawn would have worn that green sweater with a purple and orange blouse or dress (?)”This reminds me of something my mom told me about a black woman who was the shampoo “girl” at the beauty salon where my mom had just started working as a beautician. Mom and this lady were talking about a dress my mom was wearing that was a bright color (this is in the late 60s) and this woman said she loved it, but she didn’t feel comfortable wearing bright colors because she didn’t want to look stereotypical. My mom thought it was terrible that she had been made to feel that way. I hadn’t thought of that in years. 

      • i thought you were going to say that she never wore that dress again.  glad everyone was not like my racist mom.

    • my take on the way dawn was dressed is that it was a way of showing her “negro-ness” slipping out.  my racist mother always told me that “those people” always wore bright clashing colors, and they also smelled bad and didn’t take care of their yards.  my mom’s family was from a small town in iowa and emigrated to so calif in the twenties.  she carried that racism with her until the last few years of her life when it was somewhat healed by her wonderful caregivers.

      • Maggie_Mae

        Ishmael Reed’s “Mumbo Jumbo” is a magical, mystical tale of ancient powers fighting for the soul of America–set in Harlem during its Renaissance.  At a Harlem rent party, he describes the ladies dressed in a manner that would be considered garish by “neuter-living Protestants”…

      • formerlyAnon

         I like your terminology: “somewhat healed.” Very appropriate.

  • AViewer44

    How could you have missed out mentioning Megan’s glorious green raincoat?  I have been waiting and waiting to see what you’d say about it . . . but nothing?  Color-wise I thought it was one of the most stunning pieces of clothing on the show.   Although maybe there is no deeper meaning in it beyond being good-looking.   

    • judybrowni

      I believe that was a green leather and suede coat: and yes, would have been expensive, and maybe, a bit too stylish for an acting student.

      • AViewer44

        I’m talking about the one she wore when she and don came into the office together for the last time. A dark emerald green vinyl coat. Stunning.

  • AViewer44

    Aaargggh. Sorry. Just figuring out how to post here . . . . all in a good cause.

  • judybrowni

    Notice also that Janie Bryant decked Don in a white shirt and tie, black socks and dress suit pants for his Beatles cut: obvious from what he’s wearing that Don’s not going to get Tomorrow Never Knows.

    • and he’s equally isolated from his own domestic life as represented by his colorful apartment.

  • Love Harry Crane. He’s pretty carefree, isn’t he? He hates his wife, but she is the reason he is where he is. The TV position was her idea. IMO, SCDP owes her a debt of gratitude for pushing them to keep up with the times. TV’s their biggest division now, it seems.

    Anyway, all this to say, “Actually, I’m big. I don’t know if you heard that about me.” Goodness Harry. Where exactly would Pete have heard that, and why are you bringing it up? 

    • i also enjoy harry.  that was my beloved dad’s name.  and he was a bit of a party boy like harry.  unfortunately he married a woman who eventually became agoraphobic (my diagnosis, she never admitted she had a problem.  she just thought that if everyone just stayed home, the world would be a better place).  speaking of harry crane’s wife, have we seen her?  i’ll have to go back and look at the party scene.  i like harry because he’s always trying to be “one wild and crazy guy”, but it never works.

      • She was not at the birthday party. The only place we may have seen her is at the Derby Day party. If memory serves, she felt very self-conscious and upstaged by the Campbells. Oh, and in the episode where she pushes Harry to invent the TV job for himself in order to move up. I don’t remember which seasons/episodes. 

  • Linderella

    The one thing I noticed in all the Megan/Peggy compare-and-contrasts this episode was the differences in their clothing when each played the wife in the mock-commercial.  Megan is glowing and literally bright, playing up her “role” as wife rather than a copywriter.  Peggy in her severe black dress with brown-to-beige vertical stripes, an outfit that she wore this when she landed an earlier account, which highlights the importance she places on her career.  No wonder she bombed in the presentation.  

    • yep, peggy is definitely not the submissive feminine wife type.  and unlike megan, she doesn’t have the acting skills to portray one.  i think that megan as actress is going to be an important theme.  in what ways is she acting in her daily life?  
      has she been acting all along in her relationship with don?  like don, she is able to be whoever she needs to be to get what she wants.

    • Anna Bergman

       Peggy’s clothing has been dreadful this season.   She looked like a little old lady next to Megan.  Buttoned up sweater vests and blouses with bows.

  • pottymouth_princess

    We had Don’s “man” chair growing up. Same chair also appeared on Frasier. Had I the room in my abode, I would have taken the thing when the siblings divided the household after Dad died. I’m heading to NYC next week and since I’ll already be at the Met one day, I’ll stroll over to 72nd and Park to try and envision which building Don and Megan “lived” in.

  • Great stuff, as always, TLo.

    Interesting you should mention Megan looking like a college student in that last scene, with her raincoat and tight pants. To me, Megan looks so much like Katharine Ross-as-Elaine Robinson in a certain scene in “The Graduate” (filmed in early ’67), when she’s walking across campus after a rainfall. It seems to me that other scenes in this episode called out to scenes in “The Graduate,” including Pete-in-phone-booth versus awkward Dustin Hoffman-in-phone-booth in an early hotel scene.

    • Lisa_Cop

      Or how about Jane Fonda in Barefoot in the Park, released in May ’67?

  • siriuslover

    Great post. I just watched the episode this afternoon. I missed Megan’s bare feet. Interesting images they’re conjuring because I see Megan as moving beyond Don in an almost masculine way, so the homey images are in a sense toying with the viewer.

    • she’s moving ahead like a man but using her femininity as a tool.  like joan, she’s using what she’s got.

  • AViewer44

    On a totally other note, I have Megan’s bright yellow boeuf bourgignon pot sitting in my kitchen cupboard. Exactly the same one! My mother bought it in Europe, maybe Scandinavia, before it was easy (or possible) to get Le Creuset here. This pot is nowhere near as heavy as Le Creuset, though.

    • rowsella

       It’s Dansk.  I have the same set (or parts of the set, of which the remainder will be given to me later).  It came in yellow and aqua.  I have two of the aqua small sauce servers, a yellow pitcher, an aqua wide low pan, and a twin of the yellow pan, only in aqua.  Although, not to be picky, I was told these are good servers but not to cook in them.   My husband’s grandmother obtained them when working part time in a department store in Yonkers.

  • Synfrique

     Brilliant insights!

  • Anna Bergman

    Joan’s dress seemed to be from the 50s

    • dead roses…perfect.  no wonder they’re dead, they been in her closet for ten years.

    • Fair enough. After all, the 50s ended only six years before.

      • Anna Bergman

        It probably was 10 years old.  Joan never wears those kind of prints. 

  • Isn’t it weird how far away the sofa is from the TV?  And with the size of the TV  –  what is that, a 14″  –  it seems an impossible distance from which to view anything!  Did people end up sitting on the floor just to get closer to the screen?

    • Pennymac

      Yes. At least, us kids did. And were constantly told to move back because too much TV was ruining our eyes. Now you can see why. 

    • judybrowni

      There was also the rumor that sitting too close to the TV would bath you in radiation of some sort.

      14″ wasn’t that small a screen in the ’60s.

      • Sweetbetty

         Oh yeah, I remember the radiation warnings.  And I seem to remember some special type of glasses that were marketed for kids to wear as they sat close to the TV; they were supposed to shield the eyes from the dangerous radiation.

    • i always used to watch tv on the floor.  my dad was an optometrist and he was constantly telling us to get back from the tv.  he firmly believed that viewing too close would ruin your vision.  i love the way that scene is shot, the couch looks a mile long.  it illustrates how isolated don is from the world around him, the way he is seated alone in the middle of the vast space, looking at life as if it were a display or a film.  he tries to understand it, but can’t.

    • HeatherD9

      I agree w my fellow kittens…  The living room does seem to be out of proportion.
      We have seen Sally & Bobby sitting on the floor in front of the tv in more than one scene (house/apt/hotel room).  However, it’s difficult to imagine them sprawled across the (now) spotless floor snacking on popcorn & playing w markers. 

      The aspect that struck me is how vast the space appears.  Some of the other characters commented on how big the apartment is in earlier episodes.  However, the part that I find unsettling is how unnaturally tidy it all looks.  Someone came through, cleaned up, & plumped the borrowed-from-Roger’s-office pillows. Everything is tucked away w very few personal items to denote that it’s a home instead of a white carpet magazine spread.

      Also, I thought it was interesting that the patio chairs are up on the table on the balcony.  I’m sure it’s to protect the furniture from an autumn shower…  Still, the scene looks like a hotel or club after hours.  I can just see it — the guests are gone, the band & staff has packed up & the star is at an after party while Don the manager/agent is left to pay the bill & turn down the lights.


      • sweetlilvoice

        Great visual….

  • I might have missed it, but have we discussed how that bright coral is becoming Megan’s color? She wore it after she got engaged to Don, during that big blowout at HoJo (when it matched the orange sherbert), during the “codfish ball” when she had that conversation with her father, and when she confided to Peggy that she misses acting.

  • miagain

    I wondered if that giant gold necklace was the piece of jewelry Don discussed with Megan’s mother while frantically looking for her a few episodes earlier?

    •  I think she’s been wearing it for a while… matched with her coral chevron coat/dress set and another outfit.

  • gsk241

    I just want to make a quick comment about the last paragraph concerning Don’s age and entrenchment.  At 40, Don is quite a bit younger than I am, so at first this scene seemed a little “off” to me.  40 isn’t OLD!  Then, I did some research because I’m a reference librarian and that’s how I roll.

    Anyway, a man at 40 in 1966 is much older than a man at 40 in 2012.  The average life span of a man born in 1926 was 55.5, so statistically Don is on the downside of his life whether he knows it or not.  Conversely, the average life span of a man who is 40 now is 67.4.

    Just a point of interest that I thought really informed that last scene…

  • CassandraMortmain

    Thanks for another great post.  I was hoping, however, that there would be a screen shot of Megan’s green rain coat.  That is one of the most stunning pieces of clothing ever to appear on this show.  Was it patent?  Plastic?  Whatever it was, it was fabulous.  One thing I’m noticing about Megan’s wardrobe, even though it’s absolutely on trend for the era, so much is also rather timeless and could be worn today.

    • judybrowni

      I believe it was green leather and suede, not a raincoat.

      But expensive, all the same.

      • Sweetbetty

         Megan wore two green coats during the episode.  One was a shiny green slicker and the other was the leather and suede.

        • CassandraMortmain

          I was referring to the shiny green raincoat, not the coat she wore at the end of the episode when she was going to class.  Though that was a fine coat too, it’s the shiny green slicker that I covet.  I’d wear it right now.

      • i adore that coat, and it’s my signature color.  i would cut a bitch, seriously…

    • Anna Bergman

       It seems like something she might wear to classes a lot, as part of her artsy look, it was really cool

  • friedalighthouse

    Am I just hearing it for the first time, or is there a new element of city noises (car honkings, etc.) on the soundtrack of Mad Men? I noticed it first in the office scenes, and then again in Don and Megan’s apartment. It made me feel like their apartment used to be a haven, but now it’s invaded by the outside world. Or maybe the city noise has been there all along and I never noticed?

    • judybrowni

      The city noise in Don and Megan’s apartment was remarked upon by the guests during Don’s surprise party.

      Pete looked wistful, missing the noise in the too quiet suburbs.

    • juliamargaret

      I noticed both the city noises and the suburban noises in this episode. There’s a big dog barking in the big Pete/Beth scene. It sounds just right for the suburbs. Not a city noise.

  • sweatpantalternative

    Has TLO called Megan’s bright orange yet? It’s popped up a few times, most memorably in matching the HJ bright orange sherbert. It’s tied to Don and their marriage, but not sure to signal turmoil or unity. 

    • greenwich_matron

      I noticed that Don and Megan were dressed similarly in the orange sherbet scene and the cool whip banter scene. Also, she wore a similar color last season during the beauty rituals focus group.

    • judybrowni

      Discussed in last week’s Mad Style.

  • Is it my imagination, or has what I’ll call HoJo Orange become the “crisis” color for Megan? It seems like ever since that episode, when she’s wearing some form of bright orange, it signals some crisis for her. She wore a dress of that color this time, as well as her nightgown when finally coming clean to Don.

    • Sweetbetty

       TV screens must play a lot of games with color.  I see a lot of people here referring to the same garment as orange or pink.  Megan’s diagonal HoJo outfit was definitely more orange than pink to me but her nightie looked very pink, as did her last-day-on-the-job dress.  Is anyone else having problems with these colors?

  • ccm800

    I’m betting your examinations of set and dress on this show is way more interesting than the show itself. I love reading these

  • P M

    I haven’t seen the episode yet, but: Joan’s dress is LOVELY.

    And is it just me, or is Joan’s makeup not quite Joan-y? It seems softer. 

    • Maggie_Mae

      It could be.  Surely she reads the fashion mags.  Even if her clothing budget isn’t huge, playing around with makeup is pretty cheap.  

      • P M

         Hmm….Mad Style: Makeup Edition. I’d read it!

  • I noticed in the SCDP scene where they’re going over the Cool Whip pitch, Peggy and all the men’s outfits have similar blueish tones and the pattern in Peggy’s blouse seems to have a similar colour to the stripes in Ken’s tie, but Megan sticks out completely in bright red. Even as she’s playing her role perfectly, she doesn’t fit in with the rest of them.

  • Lisa_Cop

    One slight quibble with the set design of the suburban train. I grew up in westchester and in the 60’s the trains did not have individual seats. They had long benches made of a hard caning and you could change the back to sit forward or backward. Also the windows were small (like NYC subway windows) with no blinds. The MM train seems modeled on what current day Italian trains look like. Also, even then there were only 1 or 2 smoking cars (remember Pete’s complaint about smoke) and in the evening rush hour 1 car that served drinks.

  • Lisa_Cop

    I don’t remember green being a big color in the 60’s but then again I was only about 6yrs old at the time Green (and all of its wonderful shades)) seem to be having their first lengthy triumph as a fashion color these last 7 or so years

  • FloridaLlamaLover

    I can’t tell you how much this image disturbs me…

  • barry brake

    As for Megan’s dress, I’d like to point out that 2 years ago, the authors said this:
    Tom: No, I’m not that good. I would absolutely have to do some research on that. The thing with the Mad Style stuff is it just happened to intersect with, Mad Men just happened to intersect with a couple of things of which we were both fairly knowledgeable, one of which was 60’s fashion, the other which was 60’s advertising. We happened to have an interest in that. But we can’t quote and say, “Oh, in ’66, this happened.” No, I can’t do that. When the show comes back, when I know what period it’s working in, I will start doing more research into that year and see what the differences were, but I can’t just quote off the top of my head and say, “Oh, ’66 was when, you know. black and white checked dresses were all the rage.” I really don’t know.

  • KSuKim

    Now that season 5 is on Netflix, I am getting caught up. The only things I would add to TLo’s analysis is that Megan’s plaid coat is in Peggy’s power gold (and is a riff on the schoolgirl plaids that Peggy often wears), and that the exotic dress she wears in the later scene when she says goodbye to Peggy and the other team members picks up the colors in the paintings behind her perfectly. In other words, both outfits serve to tie her to Peggy and to SCDP at the same time she’s on her way out.

  • Call me Bee

    Again, I know I’m a year late, but I absolutely sqeeeeed when I saw the art glass swans on the shelf in the Draper kitchen. I collect those and have a fair number of them.
    Just wanted someone to know that.

  • Captain_Kork

    Anyone have any thoughts on why the episode was called Lady Lazarus? I went and read the poem by Sylvia Plath and I’m wondering if it has to do with the subtle allusions made towards Pete Campell’s somewhat suicidal bent this season. But that seems like a stretch…