Mad Style: The Doorway, Part 1

Posted on April 10, 2013

…And we’re back.

And boy, are we ever happy and excited to be back here. Before we get started, we’d like to be a little self-serving and obnoxious.

When we first came up with the idea of Mad Style and wrote the first couple of entries, Tom said to Lorenzo, “I’m not sure why, but this feature is going to become the most popular feature on our site.” And it did. We say this not to pat ourselves on the back (no, really) but to say “Welcome,” to the scores of people coming back to us or coming here for the first time because someone recommended this feature to them.

The second thing we want to say has to do with the… well, we guess we’d call it the “point” to this whole obsessive endeavor. Mad Men is one of the most analyzed shows on television and probably, when all is said and done, one of the most analyzed in the history of television. The downside to that can be an awful lot of over-analyzing. And we admit we’re as guilty of it as anyone. But the point to this kind of reading of the show is to deepen the understanding of it; to open up the conversation and demonstrate that there’s more to a filmed narrative than just the text or the acting. It’s not to crack open a code and find a hidden meaning inside like a prize in a Cracker Jack box. There are multiple layers and multiple meanings in any text of any depth. The best anyone can do when analyzing it is to understand that and accept that they’re bringing their own interpretation to it. There are times when we can fairly definitively say what the intent of the costume designer, Janie Bryant was, but it’s more important in this kind of analysis to sometimes separate the intentions of the artist from the work itself and see what the work is saying independent of them.

Now let’s dive in.

There was a lot of interaction between hot and cold imagery in this episode; and on film, one of the best ways to convey heat is through intense color. Alternately, cold tends to be conveyed through washed out, gray-toned colors, as we’ll see later.

Anyway, the Hawaii scenes were awash in color and it served a bunch of purposes. First, it’s Hawaii, so the colors place you in the setting; second, it’s hot and like we said, intense color serves to convey heat onscreen. Third, and most important of all, we’re on the cusp of 1968, in the wake of the Summer of Love; a time when design, but particularly fashion design, exploded all over the masses in a way it hasn’t done before or since. We want you to, as you go through these posts, keep in your mind’s eye the iconic look of the show, back when Don and Betty were married, Pete and Peggy were flirting, and the offices of Sterling Cooper were a monument to mid-Century design. Think of all those pale, washed out colors, grey flannel suits, delicate, neutral plaids. Think of the glamorous client dinners and award dinners that Betty and Don used to get dressed up for. Hold on to that image of glamour and restraint that typified late ’50s style, because from here on out, everything is wildly – and we do mean wildly – different for everyone.

Everyone except Don, of course.

This is all very typical resort clothing of the period; very much of its time and place. It’s of some interest to us that Megan is consistently dressed in purple throughout these scenes. Megan’s wild prints define her as much as Joan’s pencil skirts or Peggy’s schoolgirl outfits. It signals her youth and trendiness, as well as her somewhat carefree personality. At times, it’s used to refer to her other-ness, as someone who is not an American.

This woman represents a perfect example of what we think Janie’s thesis for this season will be. It’s about the way these wilder styles trickled down to the less fashionable in such a short period of time. That woman’s suit couldn’t be more traditional or conservative, but her beehive is getting ever larger and closer to Jesus as the ’60s go on. Which isn’t to suggest that this is a trendy or even new look. Bouffants and beehives have been around for years at this point. But they really reached their zenith, both figuratively and literally, by the late ’60s, when even elderly women were wearing their hair big and bold, and the heights reached ridiculous proportions.

Again, perfectly normal and representative resort wear. So much so, that you could dress like this now. You can’t differentiate characters too much when they’re all walking around in Hawaiian prints but Don’s respectable middle-aged man’s summer blazer effectively draws a sharp generational line between him and the young soldier.

More purples for Megan. We’re only including the wedding pictures because we figure dozens of people are going to comment that their mom/sister/aunt or they themselves wore a similar dress for her wedding. It’s very much of that post- “Priscilla & Elvis wedding” period, with the big hair worn down in the front and the veil worn back on the head over a relatively simple dress.

Mirror freaking images of each other. Or perhaps negative images would be more accurate. Two over-pampered, over-furred, over-lipstick-d unhappy women. It’s amazing how costuming can take two people who absolutely look nothing like each other and make you see how much they’re alike.

That living room shot could be from a TV Christmas special of the period. Betty is still – and probably forevermore – dressing in that conservative, mature Republican political wife drag, right down to the bow on the front of her suit. She is, after all, a package to be presented to the world. Sandy, the girl she looked at as a younger version of herself, is dressed in a very Betty pink with a similar bow across the front of her waist, tying the two together across the scene. It’s notable how much Sally stands apart. Betty and Mama Francis are tied together; Betty and Sandy are tied together; but Sally, in her brilliant blue dress and simple hair (the simplest female hair in the scene, if not the entire show, signaling the adoption of more relaxed hairstyles for young girls in the post-hippy period), she’s a bolt of sarcasm cutting the room in half.

There’s almost no point in looking at the males in this scene because it was all about the women. Henry is traditional and conservative, as always.

Look at the little toilet paper roll angels next to Betty. Cute.

This was a great little bit where the costuming took over the storytelling. It was a bit confusing the first time around, but once you realize Megan’s wearing two wildly different outfits, you get that we’ve crash cut to a flashback and then back to the present day.

More use of furs here, both on Megan and on Sylvia. Sylvia’s style is clearly mature – in a lot of ways, too mature – and highly traditional. Her Catholicism is referenced frequently and you can see the prominent gold cross against her stark black dress, nun-like. She’s a foreboding figure in the scene; especially in relation to the bright, sunny, wild Megan, whose reaction borders on histrionic, as opposed to Sylvia, who is composed, concerned, and making the sign of the cross.

There was much discussion – as there would be – about Betty’s shocking rape joke. This is an instance where we don’t think over-analyzing it serves much purpose. It’s fairly straightforward, as all of Betty’s emotional responses are. She has always liked to rebel against the restrictions of her life by occasionally being shocking in some way. This is a woman who shot the neighbor’s pigeons, picked up a guy in a bar during the Cuban Missile Crisis and fucked him in a back room, manipulated a good friend into adultery because she didn’t have the nerve to do it at the time, and dressed up like an Italian prostitute in a neo-realist film and flirted with a bunch of Roman lotharios. She likes to be bad, and Don helped fulfill that side of her. Henry; solid, traditional, unflappable Henry, just doesn’t turn her crank that way. So in order to get a rise out of him (so to speak), she went to the blackest kind of humor she could dredge up. You have to remember how differently people saw rape at the time. It was under-reported and under-prosecuted to a sickening degree, and most of the population thought on some level that it was simply about sex that got a little out of hand.

It’s not a coincidence that her joke involved raping a young girl she sees as a stand-in for herself. It’s also not a coincidence that she’s dressed in the same pink that girl wore in the previous scene, with a similar bow prominently placed on the front. It’s feminine (to a coquettish level) and youthful and it’s meant to be jarring in the context of the scene.

Meanwhile, over at the Draper household, Megan is in a buzzing, angry print that signifies her mood in this scene.

Back again to Betty, drawing those parallels in pink. We groaned when we saw Betty’s bathrobe, as we suspect anyone who lived back then would. It seemed every house had at least one version of this robe appearing in milions of Christmas morning home movies. Scratchy, stiff and highly synthetic in most cases, it was an awful look that made even slim women look like mattresses.

It’s only lightly signaled in this episode – and barely signaled at all here – but Abe and Peggy are clearly worlds apart. He’s obviously getting more entrenched in the counterculture and liberal causes and it is, of course, all over his clothing. Peggy, on the other hand, is the stylish, go-getting New York career girl of the period, with her knee-socks and beret. We may look at this outfit and see Velma from Scooby Doo, but this really was NYC-stylish in a “Marlo Thomas in That Girl” kind of way.

Peggy wears a lot of blues and greens in this episode, possibly signaling a new set of power colors to replace her old, mid-Century, mustard yellow power color. The blue-and-green color combo was extremely popular during this colorful period, as was the pink-and-orange one. They come back in and out of style, but they’re fairly strongly identified with the late sixties. As was purple, for that matter, which we’re already seeing a lot of.

Blue and green. Power and money. Her coat and her suit have masculine touches and she’s wearing a plaid scarf slung around her neck, exactly the way Don does.

She also serves as a perfect balance between the two men in the room; one in blue, one in green.

Cutler, Gleason and Chaough is clearly not the modern, cutting edge agency SCDP is trying to present itself as. In fact, the late ’50s-style design we see glimpses of makes it look almost exactly like the old SC offices. No surprise there, as Ted Chaough clearly likes to poach talent from Don’s agency.

Go-getting youngster Bob Benson could have walked out of an ad of the period himself, so perfectly does he capture that sixties post-college, career man style. He is yet another version of a younger Don coming into the story. Don himself looked at one time like he could have walked out of an advertisement, but not so much anymore.  Bob’s suit and tie are cut slim, but not as slim as a few years before. It’s a more relaxed, preppier style of suit with way more touches of color to it than Don’s.

Then again, as we’ll see, business wear shifted radically in a very short time.

To be fair, this is not indicative of most offices in 1967. SCDP, like a lot of agencies of the period, had a more cutting-edge vibe to it than, say, working for an insurance company or law firm. The pot-smoking out in the open in the office was a bit much, as we don’t believe SCDP would be quite that open-minded about it, but it wasn’t unheard-of for the period. Again, we’re looking at a representation of just how much things have changed and just how rapidly it occured. We are, after all, still in the same year we were when we ended last season. But in less than a year, many people look drastically different. Ginsberg is running headlong into the counterculture styles of the late ’60s, even as he works to sell Dow chemical to the masses. Stan is as Stan always was, except with a much more epic beard.

New office gal almost serves as a Peggy stand-in, with her blue, schoolgirl plaid. She’s clearly no Peggy, though, and we think the almost-but-not-quite style similarity is meant to highlight that.

Dawn’s making good money. Her wardrobe looks more expensive all of a sudden, with more flourishes to it. She’s obviously much more comfortable in the office and isn’t giving off that “must be a credit to my race” vibe of last season.

Bam. There’s your 1960s. Women’s styles have been getting bolder and louder for a little while, but it was 1968 when men’s styles really exploded and, like we keep saying, spread out over multiple demographics. Even Roger, who is the oldest man in this scene, is wearing new, brighter styles; a royal blue double-breasted jacket with brass buttons (speaking to his wealth). Pete, on the other hand, is digging in his heels and becoming even more establishment, adding Roger’s old vest to his suit to give him an appearance of experience and authority. Harry is, of course, off on his own; inspired by the wilder California styles for a while now, he’s got the freedom to fly his color and pattern flag proudly. Five years ago, he looked like this. And that kind of rapid change in style – for someone who isn’t part of the youth generation and isn’t considered all that trendy – was very normal for the period.

Don is unchanged, of course. Inflexible and having a harder and harder time of it as the world around him changes.

Joan didn’t get much to do this episode but Janie Bryant clearly wanted to make sure she made an impression. This bright purple suit with ruffles on the collar and cuffs, calls back to the more Edwardian styles of the younger set, from the Stones to Hendrix. Which isn’t to suggest Joanie’s heading to Monterey any time soon; just that the styles of the younger generation trickled up. It also manages to mimic menswear – something new for Joan that started when she became partner.

Purple used to signal heartbreak for Joan, but that’s clearly not the case anymore.

Caroline – who never, ever fails to make us laugh – serves as a reminder that for plenty of people, the newer styles could stay on the racks, thank you very much.

Meanwhile, Peggy is still working a Catholic schoolgirl look, but one that manages to be far more stylish and grownup than her previous attempts. This worked perfectly for this scene because she was referencing her Catholicness all over the dialogue (that grumpy, rote “And also with you,” was hilarious). We’ll see this outfit again in a much later scene, where it will serve a slightly different purpose.

And finally (for now), one final representation of the clash between old and new; traditional and bold – and how it’s encroached on every corner of society. We’ve seen young ladies in styles like this on the show, but mostly in the background. Having her all over the office like this  – and actually working, not attending a party in the background  – is a visual lightning bolt. She’s new, she’s bold, she’s like nothing else in that office, and most important of all, you can’t take your eyes off her. The tumult of the late ’60s has arrived, and it’s standing in Don Draper’s office, literally wiping the sweat from his brow.

Part 2 is here and our initial non-costume-related review of this episode is here.



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  • charlotte

    It’s here! I’ve been refreshing the page all day. And I am one of the people who first came here to read those posts.
    Shouldn’t it be “from the Stones to Hendricks” 😉 ?

  • Sign me up for Peggy’s green coat!

    • charlotte

      I want it, too!

  • decormaven

    Excellent style recap, as always. Can’t wait til you dissect the second portion of the show. Jane’s outfit at Roger’s mother’s funeral is shout-out worthy.

  • Sobaika

    Brilliant job as always, TLo. I love the way you write about and present the costumes on this show. So many details one doesn’t notice at first glance (the mirroring of Betty and Mama Francis, between Sylvia and Megan) to examine and obsess over. Bravo!

  • Ahhhh, a Mad Men T-Lo on my computer this morning. All is right with the world

  • carolynmo

    Mad Men is back, Mad Style is back– life is good.

  • Eva_baby

    For me, style wise, this episode was all about the fellas and their hair. The women don’t look too differently than they did in S5. But Harry, Ginsberg & Stan all feel like they leapt forward.

    • zenobar

      And at this rate, they’re all just a few episodes away from looking like Meathead.

  • jmorino08

    I want that orange dress and those boots right now!!

  • Nicholas

    Was I the only one who watched the episode for the first time, observing Peggy in the pitch room, and suddenly thought to himself “OHMYGOD, her buttons have golden borders on them, IS THIS A POWER COLOUR MOMENT?!”

    This blog has ruined me. RUINED.

    • And she was OWNING that room. The client had no idea how terrified and nervous she was. Woman has come into her own. Well-played, Peggy.

      • urbanamish

        i literally stood up and applauded peggy as the client left the room, then rewound so i could see the nausea
        over take her. oh, elizabeth moss i think you are brilliant!

      • Eric Stott

        She’s dressing older – in a good way.

  • Woot! TLo is the perfect digestif after the 2-hour premiere on Sunday. Thanks boys!

  • This is kind of awesome. Looking forward to part II. The Betty analysis by itself just opened my eyes to a number of things that even my obsessive observation had left aside.
    Thank you guys!

  • crash1212

    YAY! I’ve been waiting for this and you didn’t disappoint. I’m going to read it again and watch the episode again. You inspire me, T & Lo. It’s going to be a great season!

  • Girl_With_a_Pearl

    Well done Gentlemen! Even if Pete is mimicking Roger, his sideburns are growing, which is more than can be said for Don. Loved that first scene in the office with him standing waiting for his picture to be taken with all the other members of the office suddenly looking more late sixties in dress.

  • bxbourgie

    So happy Mad Style is back! Love the analysis, I tell all of my friends who watch Mad Men and even some who don’t to check TLo’s Mad Style posts.

    Peggy’s new wardrobe is EVERYTHING. I was expecting to see more red, since that seemed to be her power color at the end of last season, but the blues and greens signifying money and power work for me too. I need more JOAN!

    So looking forward to the season AND to Mad Style. On to Part II!!!

  • sarahjane1912

    LOVE the style recap. Thanks TLo.

    A few things I noticed:

    — Adore Megan’s bargello/mock-tapestry mini-skirt and bolero in the kitchen scene. Really worked. The lippy didn’t match, but hey-ho, it definitely signalled a clash of things in this instance.

    — Peggy’s hair. I’m not so sure about this look. It seemed as if she had dialled down into a more conservative look compared with a couple of the previous seasons. I thought she looked almost a bit old for her age with that hair rather than adopting a ‘power hair’ look, because it did age her. Maybe that’s just me. Maybe that is how women-on-the-rise wore their hair in those days. Of course, I can see it didn’t need much work apart from half a can of Elnett on the run, and it did conform with the image she was trying to present, but still … it rankled with me slightly. I think she could get away with more. Perhaps a Mrs Brady feather look [though that is a few years in the future, I suspect, without looking it up!]. Again, I have to remind myself that she’s in business. BIG business. And I love the power blues and greens she works in all her scenes. And the nod to ‘cute’ she had going with the kneesocks and beret.

    — The collective new hair-dos [or not] of the male characters — Sensational. Even Roger seemed to be sporting a slight quiff in his shrink scenes, although that was obviously because of the way he was lying on the couch! And I loved that I had to peer through the hair to spot the character in certain instances. I like working for my info on Mad Men.

    — Wanna make a statement? Wear purple — of course, Megan rocked this colour throughout — which was pointed out very well — but Joanie’s purple just blows Megan’s looks out of the water, in my humble opinion. As many said in the episode recap comments, we really didn’t see enough of Joan, but with that outfit, even though it pays lip service to her new role as partner, the scene opens with a bang — that hair! that incredible colour! — and we were reminded of her in absentia right through the piece, even if it was to wonder when we’d see her again. Interesting.

    — The electric blue Sally is sporting certainly clashes with the other females in the scene, but what is going on with that flat Elizabethan collar? Weird. Plus … maybe others might know: is that a St Christopher’s medal around her neck? Significance?

    — Love love love the sunkissed looks in Hawaii and then back home [compared with the others]. Don wears a tan and his usual suit; the other lads wear casual Fridays and hair. Nice juxtaposition. Only Pete seems to bridge something between these two diametrically opposed groups. The old v the young in this ep were, as ever, absolutely branded by their outfits and hair. It’s been coming for a while, but in this series, I think Janie Bryant wants to sock one’s face with it. Which isn’t such a bad thing.

    I’m sure there’s more, but that’s the stuff upon which I’ve been dwelling in the past few days. Can’t wait to read other feedback!

    • I’m pretty sure the necklace Sally is wearing is the necklace Don bought her (or, rather, sent his secretary to buy) with Sally’s initials on it. If you look back through the Mad Style posts Sally is almost always wearing it.

      • sarahjane1912

        Oh brilliant. *Bangs head on table* I feel like an idiot for forgetting this, but thanks for that!

    • decormaven

      The necklace Sally is wearing is the monogrammed one with SBD on it- Don’s gift to her back in S4. The one she requested in her letter to Santa.

      • sarahjane1912

        Thank you! As I said above: feel silly for not remembering this, so cheers for the info. 🙂

    • Qitkat

      One of the jarring things to me involves Peggy’s hair, because I’ve been watching Elisabeth Moss in Top of the Lake, currently airing on the Sundance channel. This contemporary drama shows how versatile even the same medium short haircut the actress wears can help create wildly different characters on each show. In Mad Men, this is still a version of *helmet hair*, with all strays firmly sprayed into place, on a woman of some power, still on the way up; on TOTL, the same style is natural, per today’s standards, yet her strength shines through in spite of the more vulnerable, casual look. Also interesting to me is that I wore a similar, over-sprayed ‘do in the mid sixties, and the more casual style now too, in almost the same length.

    • 3hares

      I think Elisabeth Moss has said that Peggy is definitely older than most women of her age, that she goes the more conservative route rather than turning hippie. Which makes it more interesting that she’s with Stan. She also said she picture Peggy looking exactly the same way in 2013. She’s your grandmother who gets her hair done once every 2 weeks the same way she did in 1962.

      • You mean Abe? Abe is definitely going more counterculture. These two are in that weird transition generation between The Greatest and The Boomers. I think Peggy isn’t very conservative personally, but she feels that to get ahead and keep respect, it needs to reflect in her clothing that she is good at her job. If she came to work dressed like Phyllis the secretary, she would be afraid of making a wrong impression. She’s doing the same thing she’s done since Season 1: dress the part, but then surprise everyone by defying expectations.

  • Absolutely my favourite posts you guys do. I feel like I’ve learned so much through reading your Mad Style posts, about storytelling through costuming. Thank you for doing them!!! 🙂

  • mgood

    I just realized, beyond the mirroring of their outfits which I feel like you’ve trained me to notie, how Betty’s dark-dyed hair made her look even more like Mama Francis. Or…Megan. I mean, I thought “Oh – a reaction to that kid’s remark.” But I did not think about why it was such a particularly dark shade rather than a lighter brown. How did I miss that until seeing this post? Thank you for opening my eyes, TLo!

  • urbanamish

    a madmen episode isn’t complete until i read you guys. thank you.

  • VictoriaDiNardo

    Tom and Lorenzo, thank you so much for adding a depth of interpretation and awareness of the costuming and relationships in MadMen that I wouldn’t have been attuned to without you. Your posts enrich my experience of the show, as I know it does for others, and raises my consciousness of presentation and the meanings conveyed in ways of dressing ( and that goes for the daily posts as well) . Much much appreciated.

    • Very well said, Victoria. I agree completely. There are times I feel very out of place when reading many of the comments here, but on Mad Men I don’t feel like my enjoyment of the show is complete until I read TLo’s summaries. Even if I just read and don’t comment, I feel enriched.

    • judybrowni

      Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou, TLo.

      Gave a gay gasp, when I saw Mad Style was up.

  • My mother had a swimsuit in a very similar purple print.

    Didn’t the Partridge Family have costumes like Joan’s suit?

    • Yes, and that’s a perfect example of how hippy, youth, and rock and roll styles went incredibly mainstream. I mean, you don’t get much more mainstream than Shirley Jones.

    • SonOfSaradoc

      Had a very similar purple, flowered bikini and matching shirt/cover-up in 1971. Daughter now wears the shirt.

  • Hey Stan. You’ve got a little hair hanging into your face. Here, let me brush that aside for you…

  • Speaking of Stan. I hate to ask, but that’s not a dickie, is it??

    • MK03

      It looks like one of his trademark short-sleeved sweaters.

      • Sure, of course. Just seems a little odd under a button-down, but whatevs.

    • I think it’s a short-sleeved mock turtleneck sweater. We sold those at the vintage clothing store where I worked.

  • a fan

    “We may look at this outfit and see Velma from Scooby Doo, but this really was NYC-stylish in a “Marlo Thomas in That Girl” kind of way.”

    The actress who plays Sylvia also played Velma in the Scooby Doo movie. Tee hee.

    Thanks, TLo.

    • Therese Bohn

      I knew I’d seen her somewhere before!

    • pawtley

      Lindsay Weir!

      • Meg0GayGuys6

        OMG you’re right!!!! I thought she looked familiar! Before you said this, I thought the actress playing Silvia was much older- I was giving props to Don for going with someone his own age. Props revoked!

        • Meg0GayGuys6

          And let me just clarify, props not given for the cheating thing… Don’t wanna give off that vibe

        • vandeventer

          Well I think Sylvia is supposed to be 40ish (mentioned having a college-age kid), so you can still give Don props for going for someone his own age! Linda Cardellini is about 37 in real life, so it totally works.

          • sarahjane1912

            Did Don ever make a habit for cradle-snatching or cougar-nabbing? I mean … I don’t think Midge was that much younger than him, but the school teacher probably was, I suppose … Bobbie Barrett was the very image of an ‘older’ woman [in my eyes] but maybe she and Don were actually the same age [but she just looked like she had more mileage on the machine?!].

            I’ve never actually noticed that Don has gone too far from his own age in terms of dates/lovers, unless one considers the Betty-type blonde he dated briefly just after his divorce.

            Strange to think Don is only in his early 40s now [b.1926] when this show is seven/eight years into its run. And he’s years longer into his catting around.

          • Meg0GayGuys6

            It’s probably just the ones that stand out in my mind are younger. I know he’s gone around the block a few times, but the ones that I always think of first are the teacher, the artist (Rose Marie DeWitt’s character), and Megan. And they may be very close in age, but to me Don seems much older (maybe his seriousness has to do with it). You’re totally right though, lots of variety in that man’s book.

          • oldbobbydraper

            i think midge is older than megan and the teacher, who are about the same age. megan is 27, so she and don are actually part of the same generation (the “silent generation”).

          • judybrowni

            Betty slams Bobbie as that “old woman” — yeah, no cougar favors in that age.

          • judybrowni

            And women married at 19 and 20 in the previous era, had the first baby pretty darn fast, and were considered middle-aged and suffering from “empty nest syndrome” in their late 30s.

      • UsedtobeEP

        Yep, Lindsay Weir. It was the biggest shame when Freaks and Geeks was canceled. I was a huge fan. That show was excellent and very true to life of its time, as well.

    • Rebecca Baker

      Linda Cardellini! It took me until her second scene (the NYE party) to recognize her. I couldn’t believe how much older she looked with the styling. I looked her up on IMDB and she’s 38, so older than I thought she was. She usually looks much younger than that!

      • Spicytomato1

        I think, to our eyes, the hair and makeup and fashions of that era generally make people look older than they are. They’re less soft and natural. I look at photos of my mom when she was in her mid to late 20s back then and at first glance she looks closer to 40. Then once I can see past the heavy eye makeup and helmet hair, I see she was practically still a kid!

  • TheDivineMissAnn

    Your comment about the beehive getting closer to Jesus was laugh out loud funny! I thought women of all generations had pretty given up gloves at that point, but I guess that wasn’t the case.

    Betty’s quilted bathrobe brings back memories I have been trying to suppress. But our Joanie, omigod, she looks drop dead gorgeous!

    • sarahjane1912

      Had glove-wearing gone out by this stage? I mean, for everyday stuff [not because it was cold!]? I had to wear gloves with my school uniform until at least 76 or about then, and I know my mother wore them to Go To Town until the early 70s, my school uniform requirements aside!

      PS. Why do quilted bathrobes always come in such crappy flammable material?! Heinous.

      • judybrowni

        Glove wearing hadn’t gone out of style for some of the older generation of women (but in Hawaii!), or maybe, little girls at Easter.

        • sarahjane1912

          I had a hunt last night for old baby pictures and found ones of my christening [late 67]. EVERY single woman was wearing a pretty summer suit with hat and gloves and matching handbag. I know it was a ‘special occasion’, but the gloves thing was definitely still around, at least in my home city. 🙂

        • formerlyAnon

          Gloves hung around for major, traditional occasions and Easter into 1966 or 1967, in suburban circles in our southern, conservative, small-to-mid-sized American city. I can’t recall ever seeing one on a woman outside of church(and it was older women mostly) after 1969.

    • Flora O

      Joan = Marilu Henner

    • Eric Stott

      Betty may have needed that quilted bathrobe. Even with oil, gas & coal being cheaper back then the Francis house must be pretty drafty in the winter. That family scene highlights how they’ve just dropped modern furniture into it and completely ignored the architecture. In real life they would have probably given all of that varnished wood a coat of neutral paint.

  • PastryGoddess

    I love you guys!

  • Therese Bohn

    My MM experience isn’t complete until I read the TLo Mad Style! I can’t help but look for ‘callbacks’ between the character’s clothes ever since I’ve read these great fashion reviews– like seeing how a character reflects or stands out from their background. Now I look for that feature in every (scripted) show I watch, but no one does it better than Janie Bryant! And I thank TLo for enhancing my costume watching experience!

    Can’t wait for part II tomorrow, and really can’t wait to see more Joan this season!

  • jilly_d

    A couple years ago i was wandering aimlessly around the internet when i fortuitously stumbled upon your Mad Style posts. I instanly became addicted to them and everything else on your site, and now I look forward every day to the 30 minutes when i can sit quietly at my desk with my lunch and snort diet A&W through my nose while you fashion-snark. And so I say to you, TLo, THANK YOU. For Mad Style and so much more. Sometimes you two are all that gets me through the day. Forever your bitterest kitten, jilly_d.

    • It’s a lot more than 30 minutes if you read the comments– which can just as insightful as the recaps themselves. I was born in 1976, so I love getting the scoop from folks who knew this era. 🙂

      • Sweetbetty

        It takes me about two days to get through all the comments in a MM post and I hate to skip them because they do add so much to the whole experience.

  • I’m not entirely convinced Joan’s purple wasn’t still about heartbreak.

    * She’s getting her picture taken as partner, which she got through the other partners treating her like a prostitute.
    * The photographer is talking to her like a sex object instead of like a partner.
    * Roger is watching her and talking about her while she’s getting her photo taken. The person Joan felt most betrayed by in the whole Jaguar situation was Roger, because they loved each other once, and she thought he’d think more of her.
    * That two-toned purple suit calls back to nothing more than the two-toned purple outfit she wore when Greg raped her in The Mountain King. I know that’s immediately what I thought about.
    * Joan doesn’t look happy here. Look at her facial expressions and her body language. She does not look triumphant. She looks uncomfortable.
    * The only other references to Joan in the show are all about her past and her sexual relationship with Roger.

    I felt like what little bit of Joan there was in this episode was clearly calling back to her past and the things that have been done to her, especially by Roger. Joan is very good about picking up the pieces and moving on, but Joan never forgets a betrayal, and I think she definitely feels like Roger betrayed her. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of Joan’s story line this season is about how she’s dealing with the fallout from that.

    • urbanamish

      i ‘m feeling this exactly. roger treated her like a whore. it was unforgivable and will change their dynamic forever.
      joanie is all about being appropriate (remember her quoting emily post while arranging the place cards for greg’s dinner party?) she is a partner and did not show up at the funeral. heart broken and betrayed .

      • I didn’t even realize that Joan wasn’t at the funeral! Thanks for that!

      • P M

        Oh my goodness that’s right. Even though she was the one who made the arrangements, if I remember correctly – Roger’s instructions to Caroline, remember? I wonder if Roger’s mum knew about the two of them??

    • Sort of off-topic, but I wonder how many of the partners felt happy about the photo shoot (besides Pete).

      • Nicholas

        … And who can honestly tell when the smarmy and unctuous Pete is ever sincere, when it comes to being appearing happy and content?

        • P M

          Considering the next ep’s teaser features him pouting and scowling a lot, we’ll see, won’t we 😉

        • Eric Stott

          I think that Pete is getting reckless talking to Don like that. Don may not be as in control as he was five years back, but he could still knock Pete on his ass, figuratively and literally.

      • Sweetbetty

        I wondered why they chose to do the photos at Christmas with all the decorations visible in the pics; it seems they’d want a more generic background, unless they plan on using them for next’s year’s Christmas card.

    • MK03

      Yeah, I just can’t imagine how Joan and Roger can have any kind of relationship after last season. From his weary resignation to (what he thought was) her decision to her giant “fuck you” in wearing the fur he gave her to meet that sleazeball, I think they both burned their bridges.

      • ideated_eyot

        Greater chance of Joan and Don by series’ end.

        • formerlyAnon

          I want better for “our Joanie.”

    • Girl_With_a_Pearl

      Yes! And I’ll add the part about Peggy and Stan speculating about Joan and Roger having an affair and whether or not it was still going on. There are no throwaway lines in Mad Men season openers.

      I thought that was really interesting since we the viewers thought that Roger and Joan’s affair was always kept secret, but then we learn that just like in a real office, people either suspect or know when two people in an office are having an affair.

      • not_Bridget

        And even if Peggy knows the truth, she’s not going to tell Stan.

        • I miss the interactions between Peggy and Joan.

    • filmcricket

      Lovely insight.

      Gotta say, though, my favourite moment of the episode was Harry pout-stomping his way past Joan up the stairs, upset that he wasn’t getting his picture taken. She did your job better than you did when she was still ‘just’ the office manager, you clown, get over it.

      • That was my favorite part of that scene. Actually, Roger’s snarkily dismissive comment, “we’ll be done soon.”
        Poor Harry.
        No, poor Jennifer. Their home life probably sucks.

        • Chickadeep

          I’m guessing Jennifer is going to be first in line when they organize the first women’s consciousness-raising group in her neighborhood, a charter subscriber to Ms. Magazine, and dumping Harry’s ass for a hot Angela Davis lookalike she meets while door-knocking for Bella Abzug.

    • another_laura

      I wondered the same way. The pose she ultimately strikes is awkward-looking, as though she’s trying to draw focus from her body. (Frankly yes, all the partners looked uncomfortable in their posing, but they paid a lot of attention to Joan posing on the staircase) I’ve been wondering how they’ll do the ‘single mother’ arc for Joan this season.

    • Another point – perhaps the partnership is not exactly what she was expecting. What I’m sensing is that she might be a partner but none of the others (except maybe Don?) treat her as an equal.

      When Roger found out that his mom died he brushed off Caroline and told her to “Get Joan, she’ll know what to do.” Arranging a funeral is not a task for a partner. Roger still treats Joan as an office manager.

      • 3hares

        When the Jaguar deal went through the other partners were still ignoring the deal. Don didn’t know she’d done it. Pete was the one who escorted her in as a partner. But since then I think they all treat her as a partner. I think Roger’s asking for her was personal as much as professional. After all, it would never have been her job to plan his mom’s funeral as the Office Manger.

        • judybrowni

          No, of course it would have been Peggy’s job as Office Manager to arrange Roger’s mother’s funeral! Who else?

          Remember the first episode of MM when Joan informs Peggy that their jobs are as much nurse, wife and mother as anything else?

          • 3hares

            I was thinking of that–but Peggy was Don’s secretary and Joan wasn’t Roger’s. Roger would technically ask his secretary to handle it, so Caroline.

            Now, in *this* office he would have asked Joan because everyone knows Joan is great at handling this sort of thing. Don asked Joan to find him an apartment (after Don had no secretary). But my point is that Roger asking isn’t, imo, about him treating her like an Office Manager or a secretary. It’s him looking to Joan to make things better because she always knows what to do.

    • Jennifer Coleman

      I think the purple now is Joan’s version of making lemonade from lemons.

      • I think the purple is indicative that life is not done throwing Joan a few more disappointments though I can’t imagine what else could possible happen to her.

    • Cheryl

      Why were the partners posed on the stairs at all? I thought maybe they were celebrating the ribbon-cutting but the decorations were actually for Christmas, not any ceremony. So the only possible reason I can think of is that her bust looks even larger when photographed from below. I’d never have anyone pose me like that; I know what my body looks like from all angles. This served to make her more of a “sex object” than a successful businesswoman. I don’t mean that the photographer sabotaged her, but the circumstances did.

      • Eric Stott

        That sort of angle would have been typical of the era- it’s somewhat dynamic and the staircase gives the background some movement – and indicates they now occupy a two-level office.

  • Frank_821

    Hurray for these posts. As a film buff, I really appreciate the mad-style posts. Of course it requires some like Tlo to point janie’s wonderful and layered work. What she does she not be obvious

    I immediately thought with Peggy in the office-the catholic school girl has grown up!

    It’s funny how silly some of them men look in the mod late 60s fashions. Stan and Roger seem to fine to me. still seem natural. Ginsberg looks ridiculous-but it does better reflect his cantakerous character

  • And you’re right, TLo, these are my favourite posts. Glad they’re back!

  • Angela_the_Librarian

    I feel like we should all receive college credit after reading these posts! I have learned so much about costume design and story telling by reading Mad Style posts over the years. Brava!

    Also just wanted to note how much I enjoyed Peggy’s date night outfit. I thought it looked a little more playful than her usual style.

  • Kara Hallead

    Mad Style reviews are what brought me to you guys! Reading these is as important to me as watching the show. Also, I don’t even watch PR anymore, I just read your posts. ; )

  • carnush

    I’m so excited these posts are back. Thank you!

  • gabbilevy

    Just want to stop by and say thank you for doing these epic posts. I’m one of the ones who found you guys when Mad Style was recommended to me by a friend, and I started reading them before I had ever watched a minute of the show. Now I have a TLo tab open all day, every day.

    • zenobar

      I have a TLo tab, too!

  • Great, great dissertation, guys. Your posts make an already enjoyable show that much better.

  • OrigamiRose

    Like with the show itself, I find myself returning to your Mad Style posts, gleaning a little more insight with each visit. Thanks for all the hard work and thought you put into these, it is very much appreciated 🙂

  • Funny Velma comment for Peggy, considering Linda Cardellini is in such a different mode in the episode as Sylvia.

  • Mmmmmm a new Mad Style post by you two. It’s good to be back!

  • Spicytomato1

    Great post, thank you. Suddenly my crappy morning feels not so crappy when I can drop in and feast on all the insights here. Two things that struck me (well three but the last one’s from part 2).

    First, I’m surprised that Don is so incapable of changing with the times, considering how he reinvented himself. Him standing in front of the window with his too-short pants really hammered home to me how lost he seems right now.

    Secondly, I am in awe of Peggy’s transformation. She has really come into her own and I loved seeing her at home, at work, on the phone. Her style hasn’t changed as dramatically as her overall attitude, but the subtle differences in how she presents herself to the world compared to the early days are pretty cool to see.

    • not_Bridget

      Who is going to change Don’s look? I bet Jane ensured Roger updated his look during their marriage; he’s still on the prowl for young women, so he’s still trying to achieve a “hip executive” look. .

      Megan is certainly style conscious, but I can’t see her taking the time to give Don a makeover. (Would he want it?) She spends most of her time in the theatrical world, so she might not know the fine points of that “hip executive” thing. I could see her giving him a hideously inappropriate tie as a gift….

      • Spicytomato1

        You’re totally right. I must’ve been thinking of Don in the context of today, where men can actually be responsible for their own look. So when it came to men’s changing styles, it was probably only the single guys who decided which trends to follow. The married guys were subject to their wives’ whims and tastes.

        • Qitkat

          But some of them today are still subject to their wives’ tastes and don’t give much of a fig about their own look. I have had to force my husband to give up some extremely dated things, and he can be stubborn. Old clothes are like comfort food.

      • sarahjane1912

        Not a complete makeover, perhaps, but I’ll bet Megan has had a hand in some of his sartorial choices. What about that ‘snazzy’ jacket Don wore to the dinner party last season? TLo mentioned it as being quite bleeding edge for its time [the dinner party where Don shucked his shirt to fix the plumbing]. Sorry, TLo; you probably didn’t use the phrase ‘bleeding edge’, but I do recall you mentioned it as being pretty fab for its time [and for Don]. So at least out of the office, Don is ‘with it’ to an extent. Megan probably chooses all his holiday/weekend clothes but stays out of his work wardrobe, in my humble opinion. 🙂

  • Ash

    Mad Style reviews are the reason I came to this site too, courtesy of TV critic Mo Ryan. I know this is primarily a fashion blog but I do wish I could read TLo reviews on my other favourite shows too, like Game of Thrones or The Good Wife.

  • Ilyse

    I am proof of Tom’s accurate prediction- I found y’all while looking for Mad Men reviews, and have checked back almost daily for all your posts – MM and beyond – since then. And I tell anyone who will listen to check out your reviews because they are so insightful and fun. Y’all are smart and hilarious. Thanks for bringing it every day!

  • Wendi126

    I was 7 in 1968 and my Barbie doll wardrobe included a leopard coat like Megan’s with a matching fur hat. I still have two cases of Barbie clothes from 66-71.

    • That’s awesome!

    • formerlyAnon

      OMG. I hadn’t thought of those Barbie wardrobe cases in years. I thought those (the early ones, not the later ’70s versions) were the most glamorous Barbie accessory EVER. For some reason they had the allure of wardrobe trunks that the upper crust might take on their foreign travels at the turn of the century for me.

      • Qitkat

        I coveted those wardrobe trunks just for the reason you stated, but I never had one, or even a Barbie. When she came out in 1959, I was nearly 13 years old 🙁 Although of course I had other dolls. I’ve always thought I missed out on something iconic.

        • formerlyAnon

          I’m roughly a decade younger, but I never got one of the wardrobe cases either. I’m sure if I had it wouldn’t have been such an alluring object.

        • You’re not alone. I never had a Barbie either until I bought one for my daughter. Since she’s grown up now, her collection is stored in totes, collecting dust, but once a year we take them out and go back in time.

    • Spicytomato1

      I do, too! Although mine is more like from 70-75. I just washed and pressed every tiny thing, including all the amazing pieces my mom sewed and crocheted, to give to my niece (since my sons have zero interest). It’s like a time capsule. I even have a golf set, with a plaid skirt and matching bag with all the equipment and tiny cleats.

    • VicD

      I gave mine way when we moved in 1974. I am 52 years old and regret it TO THIS DAY.

  • zenobar

    This is my first time following TLo “Mad Style” in conjunction with the current season. Such a delight.

    Three things: 1) Peggy’s new look puts me in mind of Dana Scully. Anyone else feeling this? 2) Interesting juxtaposition of Dawn and the framed print just behind her (is the subject of the print a ballerina/dancer? I can’t tell, could anyone else?). 3) Adding to Pete’s co-opting of Roger’s style are his bright blue tie and pocket square, which match Roger’s Thurston Howell III jacket.

    • Wow, you’re good, I noticed that too!

    • Speaking of Dana Scully, did you catch the guy who played her brother Bill in this episode? He was the Koss headphones guy!

  • rhymeswithspoons

    I looked through the credits to match actor faces and names, and the new copywriter lady is named Margie Koch. Two Margarets… hmm, not a coincidence! 🙂

    • hunt3002

      There’s a lot of iterations of Margaret on the show. Peggy, Margaret Sterling, Midge, and even Megan is a shortened version of Margaret. So, you’re absolutely right, there’s no coincidence.

      • 3hares

        Meg’s the usual shortened version of Margaret. Megan is usually its own slightly different name. But it’s still pretty close, you’re right.

        • Logo Girl

          That probably depends on family or region. Margaret and it’s variants, iterations and nicknames would include: Meg, Maggie, Peggy, Peg, Marjorie, Megan/Meghan, Margarita, Rita, Greta, Marjorie, Marge, Midge, Margit, Marnie… even Pearl.

          • Daisy is a nickname for Margaret as well!

  • formerlyAnon

    I lived through the transition (albeit not as a working adult) and I hadn’t realized how quick and dramatic it was, at least in more cutting edge environments until this commentary. And I had forgotten that knee socks were at one time fashionable (I remember wearing them over pantyhose – required with a dress by my Catholic high school – a few years after this.)

    Also:” isn’t giving off that “must be a credit to my race” vibe of last season.” Spot on, as always, gentlemen.

    • another_laura

      ack! yes! knee-highs over pantyhose, I totally did that, too, your post reminded me! Knee-highs with mini skirts (and sneaking pantyhose out of the house to wear underneath) was a huge part of my junior high experience, which was 1967-1969.

      • formerlyAnon

        So funny! In my case, panty hose or tights were required by the dress code (no bare legs!) and the socks were the tolerated personal addition.

        • VictoriaDiNardo

          I recall seeing a photo several years ago of Diane Sawyer when she was on 60 Minutes, showing that what you didn’t see below the talking head – she was wearing knee socks.

    • EveEve

      Ah, knee socks. I will never forget as a school girl reaching down to tug them up as they sagged during the day. Pre-spandex or lycra of course. My school uniform allowed only navy blue or white. Always cotton and always with the cuff turned down – just so.

      And back on MM topic: I don’t see Don’s wardrobe changing very much. He is stuck in the second of Dante’;s Inferno’s (the book he was reading on the beach) circles of hell. Lust. Circling and circling – never to rise. Repeating his sins of the flesh over and over, wanting to change and not being able to.

      • sarahjane1912

        We had kneesocks for our summer uniforms and wore ‘garters’ with them. Not garters in the traditional sense; these were merely bits of wide elastic, sewn or knotted together, which held our socks up. Of course, by the time we had reached senior years in school we were being warned that said garters = varicose veins. Go figure. For winter: always always tights. In the flattering shade of ‘toast’ [a brand colour]. If we wore a different colour, we were reprimanded and told to don the appropriate colour the following day.

        You’re right about Don’s wardrobe … but then, I think a lot of businessmen DID have a look and regardless of fashions changing, they maintained that look pretty much throughout their working lives. The only thing which changed in my father’s [merchant banker] look was the width of his tie or whether he donned a waistcoat or not [depended on the season]. As for the style: always dark, almost-always plain charcoal/black, unless he had a very slight suggestion of pin-stripe on occasion. Which was an 80s thing [from memory]. Before that: he looked the same through the sixties/seventies/eighties/nineties. That’s just the way things were [for him and his cohorts at any rate].

        • EveEve

          If the only clean knee socks were the ones stretched out with worn out elastic (with the broken end bits all hanging out like a crazy fringe), then I would try to scrounge rubberbands out of the mess of our kitchen ‘tool’ drawer, to put under the cuff. An uncomfortable accommodation I do not miss.

          • sarahjane1912

            *Shudder* I was forever losing garters, and doing exactly the same with rubberbands! What memories. And the kitchen ‘tool drawer’; yup, had one of those too. I’m grinning because it is funny how some things can be the same the world over even though we may be thousands of miles away [I grew up in Australia] and even though these things happened years ago. *Smiles*

          • ditto

  • Emily

    Did anyone else notice the wife who hosted Don and Megan in Hawaii — a redhead in a yellow dress? Her whole style reminded me immediately of that of Don’s old fling we met last season, the one he dreamt he murdered during his fever dream. I felt it couldn’t be a total coincidence, and it foreshadowed the reveal at the end of this episode. Disappointed that it wasn’t mentioned here.

    Interesting too that we are seeing a shift in the female characters’ power colors. Notably, that yellow was once Megan’s. Hope that purple doesn’t eventually mean for Megan what it typically has for Joan.

    • sarahjane1912

      ..And yellow — the mustard kind, especially, as TLo have pointed out in the past as well as in today’s Style recap — was a Peggy colour too. If memory serves, Megan’s yellow was more a sunny yellow, a gold, a shiny kind of yellow that suggested [to me at any rate] her approach to life at that time [and still now, I suppose, given her burgeoning soap career]. Peggy’s yellow was more indicative of her ‘work colour’, her on-the-way-up colour, if you will. Good to see Peggy has moved on from there into power blue/greens, I think.

    • decormaven

      Nope, I thought the same thing about Ms. Royal Hawaiian. I almost expected her to say, “Don… my bad penny.”

  • formerlyAnon

    And the obligatory (for me) memory checks:
    knee socks!
    period Christmas tree lights
    quilted polyester satin bathrobe!
    toilet paper roll Christmas crafts! (In our case, an entire nativity scene.Probably straight out of Good Housekeeping’s Christmas issue)
    Peggy’s plaid zip up jumper!
    Also: the colorful tie as the “modern touch” in a conservative work place.

    • sarahjane1912

      Oh wow, yes: everything you’ve said, BUT snaps for the Christmas Tree lights observation as well. I KNEW there was something else I wanted to comment upon: did anyone else notice that EVERYBODY’S Christmas Tree had the same lights? And that the only difference between them was the height of the tree? Now, I know that lights — back in those days — were pretty much all the same, but I just loved that there was that synchronicity in everyone’s house in their decorations. And bayonet lights: what memories. The lights with which all our trees were decorated at least until the late 70s. Bless.

      • Yes who could forget those big glass bulbs, boy were they ever heavy and cumbersome to put up but since we had nothing to compare them with, who knew? The were really durable though, lasting for years.

        • sarahjane1912

          So true! Still — unlike the miles of fairy-light bulbs that are the fashion these days [so it seems!] — despite their basic durability, if just ONE of those bayonets lost its mojo, the whole strand went out. I still have visions of my father unscrewing those big glass bulbs one by one to find the culprit! 🙂

  • Girl_With_a_Pearl

    Bob Benson could have stepped out of the set from My Three Sons.

  • AViewer44

    I think you got Betty’s rape joke exactly right. It doesn’t have some sinister hidden meaning. It’s just her way of doing something shocking to break free (and to spice things up).

  • This is FABULOUS, guys! You are spot-on.

  • Tangent 1: I would like to take the phrase, “The bigger the hair, the closer to God” and turn it into – “The bigger the hair, the closer to space.”

    What I wonder is if Joan and Megan might talk at some point this season, as purple in this episode practically ties them together – same shades and hues, different styles of dress.

    Love Abe’s handlebar mustache – I had to doubletake to make sure it was really him. On the same facial hair note, when Ginsberg appeared, I had to pause and sing the Welcome Back, Kotter theme song to my boyfriend (who didn’t get it since we’re both 25 and he didn’t have cable tv as a kid to watch reruns with a super-tv obsessed family like mine).

    Also, it’s interesting that while Surrogate Pegs is wearing her style of dress, Ginsberg is wearing Peggy’s old signature yellow, and almost matching the peacock print perfectly. It really illustrated how she was missing (and probably missed, given Peggy and Stan and their BFF phone call, which I fucking loved).

    Dawn looks so pretty! I’m excited to hopefully see more of her, maybe wearing something fabulous at an office party. Love her kicky little plaid with the ascot. She’s so freaking cute. And I love her pixie-bouffant – it’s half what I’m doing to my hair right now because I’m due for a haircut (though hers is obviously styled to perfection).

    Roger Howell, III, mmmmyes. I like Harry’s plaid jacket.

    Anyway, I will take Dawn’s outfit and Peggy’s last outfit in this post as inspiration for how to infuse some style into my staid lawyerwear this fall.

    I love Mad Style because I immediately have new images to add to my style inspiration files. You guys are the best.

    • Rose_H_Tyler

      I agree, Dawn looks great! She also looks like she’s wearing makeup which I don’t recall her doing last season. Here’s hoping she has a bit of an actual storyline this year!

  • I’m not sure why you think Betty’s rape talk was so straightforward. There are plenty of possible interpretations.

    On one hand, she could just be telling a joke, and it’s disturbingly dark because that’s just her sense of humor. Or it could be hostility toward Henry, because of his request to “spice things up.” (As in, “That’s what you wanted, right, you sick pervert?”)

    Matt Weiner shared his interpretation of it in the Daily Beast interview ( ) and his take on it was different than yours.

    According to him, Betty wasn’t dredging up something sick just to shock him, as a way of rebelling against his bland restrictiveness. She just thought it was funny, and she felt so comfortable with him that she decided to share it, even though some would consider it horrifying.

  • baxterbaby

    You fellas are a combined thing of beauty and joy forever. Brilliant.

    What I love is the way costuming, production and art design, and set decor work together so brilliantly. This is the first time that I’ve actually made a note of the names of the creative team behind this flawless snapshot of the period.

    And speaking of snapshots, I love having the opportunity to pour over the screencaps TLO provides and focus on little details and drive the BF mad with my obsessive running commentary.


    Stan reminds me of every ex-jock that I knew who got heavily into weed. Clothes still too tight, pants still too short, but with a shaggy head and the generally rumpled look of the proto-stoner.

    Ginsburg may be embracing the counter-culture, but he still buys his shirts at the same Lower East side emporium. Unless, of course, they’re not new.

    Janie is so spot-on with Peggy and Megan that it takes my breath away. It’s as if the research team has gone through piles of old Mademoiselle and Glamour magazines.

    The researchers for this show should get their own award.

    Vests! On women, matching your skirt. Often a knit. Zip fronts and big decorative buttons. Those color combos (especially blue/green).

    I’m especially interested in Joan’s costuming. It wasn’t easy to dress a Belle Epoque body in the Sixties and Joan is nothing if not defiantly herself. I could not see the character deludedly dressing too on trend, as many women did (I’m thinking of that famous picture of Liz Taylor in a white, crocheted I believe, hot pants ensemble with tall white boots. That was 1971, but, yikes.) The purple outfit was perfect, and at this point I think she wears purple because it looks stunning on her and it was a very popular color of the times. Psychedelic, man; especially when combined with hot pink paisley swirls. (see Megan’s balcony scene)

    Speaking of which, I appreciate that when Megan got out of bed, she did not have a face full of makeup.

    Christmas decorations. They were perfect. The toilet paper roll angels, and there was a jigging Santa in the background in creative rooms at SCDP. We had mini’s of that on our tree (called mad Santa and bad Santa because of the sloppily painted expressions on their tiny faces. My brothers and I still have them).

    The costuming on this show has always added so much to the discussion, but there was more subtlety in distinctions in the earlier years. There still is a great deal of subtlety in how JB connects and defines characters with color and style, but the times give her a much more blatant “us/them” dynamic to work with. Arlo Guthrie said something to the effect that there was a time in the Sixties when you could tell just walking down the street, who had a roach in his pocket.

    Oh Caroline. You hang on to those sweaters and don’t ever change.

  • bluefish

    Thank you! Wonderful!

  • oldbobbydraper

    is don really all that inflexible and having a hard time adjusting to this new world, though? i suggest that he isn’t. the show has gone to great lengths to say exactly the opposite about him; i would even say that’s the entire thesis of the show, that dick whitman is a master chameleon, able to adjust himself to his surroundings and blend in. as we see in the first episode, he is even quite progressive, though still mature, for his times in that he is already acquainted with the underground beat scene that is only now in 67 starting to make it’s way above ground. he is an adult, and he acts like one, as he SHOULD, and he has his comfort in his style and manner, which is that of an introvert – but that doesn’t make him a futty dutty, unable and unwilling to adjust to anything new. it makes him human… and an adult. don’s problem is entirely his own internal world (of horrors that happened long before he ever got to new york city); it’s not really the external one.

    • Agreed. A lot of the moments he’s been pegged for being stuck in a bygone era and incapable of moving forward, I’ve actually thought something else was going on. I’m thinking of Lady Lazarus and how a lot of people thought Don couldn’t possibly get Tomorrow Never Knows. The song, though, pulls heavily from the Leary adaptation of the Tibetan Book of the Dead and is all about escaping a false sense of self. Who could get that more than Don Draper?

      Don’s past definitely haunts him, but I’m 100% on the train that Don is a chameleon and could adapt easily if he wanted to. He doesn’t want to, mostly because he’s afraid of what will happen if the Don Draper facade slips.

      • oldbobbydraper

        yes, thank you! i gave you a like for that! and i agree with your last sentence. although, his life (and certainly his kids’, if no one else’s) does depend on shouldering the heavy weight of the don draper facade; when he is on the west coast and doesn’t have to keep the don draper mask on, and can be dick again, he fits in just fine – and contentedly – with the laid-back, humble, even youthful world available to him out there. anna herself was extremely youthful for her age and they were best friends. dick and anna, both, have really been way ahead of the 67-68 youngsters on the bohemian curve.

        i also would like to add to my submission that 65-73 were extraordinarily difficult and/or bewildering for everyone living through them. it would be weird if don/dick DIDN’T look around himself from time to time and think, ‘wtf?’ but again, i don’t see where that equals losing one’s “edge” or being inflexible.

    • Actually, Matthew Weiner has repeatedly stated that one of the themes of the show is that most of the main cast were unprepared for the changes to come in this decade. The show has also gone out of its way to depict Don’s (to be fair, totally typical for his age) confusion about some of what’s going with the younger generation; putting down the Beatniks for being posers and losers, dancing with Anna’s niece in California, talking to the girl backstage at the Stones like a concerned father, and turning off “Tomorrow Never Knows” after just a few seconds.

      But even so, it’s not necessarily our point that Don can’t handle the ’60s per se; it’s that Don has been in a steady decline throughout the decade and that’s reflected in his clothing. He is the only character – aside from Bert Cooper – who dresses exactly the same as he did eight years ago.

      • oldbobbydraper

        matt weiner contradicts himself, then. he (or hamm) depicts his protagonist very differently. although, like i said, i do agree that everyone in this time period is feeling some degree of growing pains – probably in different ways and amounts, depending on their ages. and the beatniks WERE (still are) posers and losers. that’s exactly what i had in mind when i said that he was still an adult. he isn’t naive like a college kid who has never been out in the real world. that only means he is wise and mature; it does not mean he is washed up and out of touch. just the opposite, in fact.

        but i still don’t agree that dressing the same way for a decade, particularly in his line of work, means one is “declining”, whatever that is to mean. it’s vague. he’s not going to dress like the underlings in creative because he is an adult, he is the boss, and he deals with clients in new york city. he’s not going to dress like roger because he and roger are just very different personalities with very different backgrounds (mostly pertaining to their introvert/extrovert yin yang dynamic). don doesn’t even like roger that much, although he is obviously amused by him occasionally. but who isn’t.

        • “but i still don’t agree that dressing the same way for a decade, particularly in his line of work, means one is “declining”

          You misunderstand. Don isn’t in decline because he dresses the same way. Don is in decline and the costume designer chose to depict that by never changing his style, while everyone around him changed theirs, often radically. There’s the story, and then there’s how the costume designer chose to interpret that through clothing. That’s what we’re talking about here.

          • oldbobbydraper

            it’s not what i’m talking about here. i’m talking about how i do not see from what has been established in episodes 1-65 (and i see nothing to change that in 66 and 67) that he is “in decline” or immovable in the face of progress or change. i see that he has the same existential crisis/depression that he has had since he was a child, before the counterculture movement was even a gleam in its parents’ eyes. that was my original comment.

          • “it’s not what i’m talking about here.”

            Yes it was. You were talking about his clothes. I responded on the topic.

            As for the rest it, I simply don’t agree. Don’s psychological outlook has gotten steadily worse since the first episode of the show. He’s always been fucked up, but now he’s fucked up and death-obsessed.

          • Eric Stott

            Pete is talking down to him in front of the staff and getting away with it. To me that says it all.

          • oldbobbydraper

            my original comment was not about his clothing. you or someone else came along and brought it up and i replied, but it wasn’t the original topic.

            he’s feeling his mortality more because he’s 41. that’s completely natural. and actually, come to think of it, it’s probably one of the more normal (in terms of life stages/adjustment) emotional tracks that he’s experienced in his life. but many people work their way through it.

          • oldbobbydraper

            no, i was not talking about his clothing in my original comment. you or someone else brought that up later and i replied, but i was talking about his personality and emotional health.

            he’s obsessed with his mortality because he’s 41, and that’s what 40-somethings begin to seriously consider. that’s totally natural, and in fact is probably the one of the most normal (in terms of life stage/adjustment) emotional responses that he’s ever had. most people get through this phase just fine.

          • I didn’t know you hung out on here, Don, lol.

    • Cheryl

      Roger is supposed to be quite a bit older, yet his style has evolved. He still looks modern in his modern-art office, although at this point I think his only function now is to look pretty. Don looks like he would blend in with the stodgy clients who pay the ad agencies to tell them what they want to hear. Even his hair is still slicked back; hasn’t Megan introduced him yet to a hair stylist who will introduce a slightly longer look? With less shellac.

      • oldbobbydraper

        roger is an extrovert with a joie de vivre, superficial attitude about life that comes at least partially from being the son of a rich man whose business he inherited and hasn’t had to actively maintain in decades. in more ways than one, he has always been able to afford to be frivolous. his shallow, jollying his way through life-outlook is beginning to catch up to him, but in many ways, he is the opposite of everything don is. i don’t think it holds that don would be following his lead on much other than lighting another smoke and pouring another drink.

  • filmcricket

    Yay, they’re back! Thank you so much for the work you put into these, guys. I know you’d probably do it anyway just for the fun of it, but they really are appreciated. They add so much to the watching of the show.

    The question of authorial intent is an interesting one, isn’t it? It’s been a big part of two other fandoms I’ve participated in: Glee and The West Wing. I haven’t paid huge amounts of attention to what Matt Weiner says in the press – and he doesn’t have the habit that both Sorkin and Murphy have of putting themselves in their work (AFAIK) – but judging by the few things I have read it’s probably best to ignore it in Weiner’s case since he doesn’t always seem to grasp how the things he puts on screen are going to appear to others.

  • Anyone else notice (or associate) Megan’s orange creamsicle flashback outfit from this episode with the orange creamsicle outfit from “Far Away Places” when Don left her at HoJos? Orange is Megan’s danger color, and it’s the opposite of purple, which, as T + L mentioned, is her “in her element” color.

  • flamingoNW

    I think I have a picture of my Dad somewhere in Harry’s exact outfit, hairstyle, sideburns, glasses and all.

    I LOVE the dress that Megan is wearing when she gets out of bed and goes to the window in Hawaii. STUNNING. Bummed she doesn’t wear it longer over a swimsuit.

    • Spicytomato1

      Yes, that was my favorite piece of Megan’s, too. And I liked how undone her makeup was, too.

  • RMJ

    Great recap.

    One commonality I noticed. Betty and Megan wore fur hats in different colors in two scenes that were close together. I wonder what comparison they are trying to draw?

  • CatherineRhodes

    Bless you, TLo, for bringing so much joy into the world with these posts. IMHO, you’re the best thing in the blogosphere.

  • YourBaloneyDontGotNoSecondName

    Did y’all know that if a lady’s beehive is swirled clockwise (looking from above), then she is Church of Christ. And if her beehive is swirled counter clockwise, she’s Pentecostal? It’s true. And if it’s a bouffant, she’s Southern Baptist (and vicey-versa).

    • zenobar


  • notterriblybitter

    My first thought when I saw Megan in a bikini was “Hey, Don wouldn’t let Betty wear a bikini!”

    • Joan Dahlgren

      OMG, you’re right. Except in Megan’s case it isn’t a question of “let”–she’s not going to let Don make those kind of decisions for her.

    • gracedarling

      There was also a shot of Megan in white underwear that pretty closely mirrored Betty’s risque Italian underwear. (I think it was the first time we’d seen her without a girdle.) What’s transgressive for Betty is par for the course for Megan – that’s part of what makes Betty’s trajectory so sad.

  • Rebecca Baker

    I’m pretty sure that the girl in the orange and go-go boots works for the photographer not in the SCDP office. I loved her outfit!

    • vandeventer

      TLo didn’t say she worked for SCDP. Just that she was working and was all over the office (as the photog’s assistant).

    • bellafigura1

      Sally tried to go to Don’s award night in a toned-down version, dropped waist, white patent leather boots, but her dad made her change …

  • MilaXX

    Nice breakdown I may rewatch the ep. after the 2nd style post.

  • MRC210

    I made those toilet-paper roll angels too! My mom hated those plastic housecoats. Tom and Lorenzo, you’re not being self-serving when you say that your analysis of the Mad Men style has brought vistors here. I’ve come across positive mentions and links to this site on many other blogs. it’s become a go-to site for fans of MM.

  • Aly

    Does anyone think Ginsberg’s cardigan call back to Peggy’s all-nighter work outfit?

    It seems like the earthy/mustard yellow color scheme is the power color for SCDP’s hardworking chief copywriters.

  • Leah Cronen

    It was because of that first batch of Mad Style posts you two did while waiting for season 4 to premiere that I decided to watch Mad Men in the first place. It sounds sentimental, but I really can’t thank you guys enough for introducing me to what is now my Tippy Top #1 Best Ever TV Show (well, next to RPDR of course, and you guys got me into that one, too!). Also, I came here to say ABE’S ZAPPA MUSTAAAACHE.

  • I love that I keep scrolling up and noticing new things. The decor in Peggy & Abe’s place: Really sad Christmas decorations. And a framed picture of President Kennedy.

    • decormaven

      That framed JFK print always cracks me up because we had the framed print of JFK and Jackie.

  • kat89

    Every time I see Betty’s living room, I feel like the Bumpus’ dogs should be running through at any minute with Ralphie’s Dad running behind them!

  • Sandra Vahtel

    I first came to TLo because of the Mad Style recaps and now I read your site everyday. I’m as happy to have them back as I am the show—can’t wait to read the rest of the season!

  • B Lee

    So glad that you’re back is my absolute favorite postmortem for Mad Men and really adds to the whole experience of watching the show.

    These are not fashion things per se, but since this blog is based on close observation I thought I’d throw it out there.

    the design of Don’s Hawaiian hotel room accurate? It all seemed
    awfully “80’s” to me but then again I have no actual experience of
    luxury hotels in the late 60’s.

    Did it strike anyone else that
    the young soldier at the hotel could have been typecast as a young John
    Slattery? The resemblance was so striking I initially thought maybe the
    sequence would turn out to be Don’s dream of an encounter with a younger
    Roger Sterling.

    • Donna Tabor

      Having spent a lot of time traveling for business in the early 70’s, I felt the hotel room was a pretty good fit for the period. It might have been a tad lightened up since it was Hawaii, but overall it looked pretty good to me.

  • Missy Covington

    Yay! LOVE MadStyle! 🙂

    The one thing I noticed was that while Peggy and Abe seem to be moving farther apart style-wise, they’re still very color-matched (her beret and his shirt). I like it because it’s kind of how I think of their relationship; they’re a bit mismatched, but somehow they work together. He’s the kind of liberal dude who can be okay (at that point in history) with having a strong, breadwinning female partner. She’s the kind of power-exec who walks into the room and says, “I’m Peggy Olsen and I want to smoke marijuana.”

    They’re just enough “other” for each other, and I think the colors tying them together signals that.

  • reebism

    Dear TLo: you have changed the way I look at costuming, both for TV/film and theater. Thank you for this! It’s opened up this geeky bookworm’s eyes to a whole new language. 🙂

  • Oh, yes, here are the colors, prints and as you mentioned, synthetics! As an avid vintage collector of 25 yrs (now sadly vintage myself), the defining fashion point of this year is that the DELUGE of polyester begins. We can look at it now of course and hate it for its cheap scratchyness, but back then it was THE thing to wear. And the hippy psychedelic colors, patterns, fringe, etc. are really about to explode. I predict Sally is going to go down that road.

  • LuluinLaLa

    I first discovered your blog when it was Project Rungay, and feel like I’ve evolved right along with it. Thank you for these brilliant posts.

  • Spicytomato1

    The other stylistic element I just loved from this half of the show was the overall saturated look of the Hawaii scenes. I felt instantly transported back to the era of the cheesy Elvis movies I loved watching back in the day, like Fun in Acapulco.

  • Maybe someone has pointed this out already, but the scene with Don and young guy Bob recalled an earlier similar scene with Don and Roger, when Don was young and trying to get his foot in the door. So much of what happened harkens back to Season One. The ghost of Dick Whitman is haunting Season Six.

    • trixietru

      Young Bob got Ken pretty worked up. That gauntlet was thrown.

  • Flora O

    Seeing Dawn’s style evolution points out what we’ve missed in her storyline. We’ve seen her go from sensible, inexpensive cotton shirtwaist dresses to the polished blouse and blazer of this episode. What else in her life has changed over the same period? Certainly if she can afford those clothes, she could afford to move to a safer neighborhood, maybe help her brother with school? How does her job impact her relationship with friends and family? Does it give her status, or expose her to criticism? We’ve missed out on so much with her so we could watch more Don and Roger benders. It’s a shame.

    • Dawn just arrived last season amid SCDP’s call for affirmative action. I still don’t think, as I have stated earlier. that a woman of her particular shade would be working front and center at such a high level ad agency on Madison Ave in 1968. Unfortunately, the preference was for a much lighter person to represent the AA quota. Not to discredit the character of Dawn or real life women of any shade or ethnicity who were the pioneers professionally. The “paper bag test” was a reality for a lot of establishments and oddly for a lot of snobby AA social clubs of the 50’s and 60’s.

      I think Dawn’s story line will definitely pick up with the racially charged events of 1968.

      • sarahjane1912

        Yes, I read the entry you contributed earlier re skin colour etc. Thanks for your input here. Being Australian, It helps me especially as the machinations of American working life in the ’60s is a topic with which I’m fairly unfamiliar [apart from what I learn on Mad Men or via TLo and the MM comments section! Oh, and a bit of sporadic research too, but MM has definitely fired my interest in this area]. Cheers.

  • halleygee

    Fantastic style recap, as always! I was born in 1968 and it’s like looking through my baby book – my mom was stylish-Megan and my dad was a little Don Draper-ish (style-wise), but even he eventually grew bushy sideburns. And of course my grandma’s hair was teased to the heavens!

  • amyfromnj

    I love how you notice the little things like the toilet roll angels. I would never have noticed that. Thank you!

  • Paula Pertile

    Thanks, as always.

    I love those Christmas images on the glass in the last frame (especially the reindeer!), and wish I could zoom in on the stuff pinned to the walls in the art room.

    Having lots of 60’s flashbacks. Those old phones you had to lug around! The ‘to go’ coffee with no lids. The first go-go boots. {{ the quilted bathrobes }} Way too much pink synthetic nightwear. Lots of guys (like my dad) never got “with it” with the longer hair, sideburns and all, but remained very like Don. So much wood veneer and panelling. I can almost smell the stale cigarettes in the ashtrays from here.

    • Ahhh yes, the white patent go-go boots that I had to beg to be able to wear as a kid and the pink quilted robe. Every little girl that knew had one in a pastel shade, the others being mint green, powder blue and lavender. Betty’s was so exaggerated with the big pleat on each side, it took up the whole space of the kitchen. The look was mad queen/matron ugly and not flattering to her shape at all. Ooo, I miss Betty Draper.

  • Joan Arkham

    My favorite (costuming) part was Bobby Draper’s reaction to the “Dark Betty” hair. My little brother reacted exactly the same way when our mom came home with a perm in 1977.

  • trixietru

    Megan’s prints = fearless optimism. Peggy’s fitted bodices and high necklines = repressed emotions. Anger maybe? Seems like composure is a chore for Peggy; busting at the seams. Don is the Impeccable Mess. Grooming is the core of his survival; like a bird. Roger’s jacket evoked a little middle aged Sgt. Pepper to me. This show is eye candy.

  • Words cannot express how happy I am to have Mad Style back in my life. Thank you, TLo.

    Not necessarily suggesting this means much, but funny how Henry and Don are wearing almost exactly the same light blue (with navy piping and white buttons) pajamas in this episode.

  • MichaelStrangeways

    Love your analysis of Betty’s horrifying “rape joke” while in bed with Henry and I think it’s dead on. Betty LIKES to get freaky and she craves excitement on all levels…including sexual. She’s practically begging Henry for some rough sex…and, is this foreshadowing for the future? Is Betty going to get all “Looking for Mr. Goodbar” on us? It’s unlikely that Henry is going to go down the Freaky Sex road…or, maybe, to save the marriage, Henry will go along with Betty to some Key Parties and try some “swinging”.

    I think Betty is going to be traveling some dark roads for Season 6 (and 7, if she lasts that long.)

    • golden_valley

      I thought Betty’s rape discussion was more a reflection of her jealousy over how Mr F looked at Sandy as she played violin. I think she wanted to make him squirm.

  • First, we refer you this paragraph at the top of the post:

    “But the point to this kind of reading of the show is to deepen the
    understanding of it; to open up the conversation and demonstrate that
    there’s more to a filmed text than just the text or the acting. It’s not
    to crack open a code and find a hidden meaning inside like a prize in a
    Cracker Jack box. There are multiple layers and multiple meanings in
    any text of any depth. The best anyone can do when analyzing it is to
    understand that and accept that they’re bringing their own
    interpretation to it. There are times when we can fairly definitively
    say what the intent of the costume designer, Janie Bryant was, but it’s
    more important in this kind of analysis to sometimes separate the
    intentions of the artist from the work itself and see what the work is
    saying independent of them.”

    Which states outright that this is our interpretation and that it stands separate at times from whatever the creators have to say about it.

    Second, I don’t think anything Matthew Weiner said in that response actually contradicts anything we said. We’re both coming from the same place, which is that Betty likes to push buttons by being bad.

  • H2olovngrl

    I totally covet Don’s office

  • Lilyana_F

    Both the recaps and the Mad Style posts are giving me Life! They are probably the most enjoyable part of my Mad Men experience. Thank you for the hard work, boys. It’s truly appreciated.

  • J.Klein

    As always, T&L comes through with the best insights of any blog I’ve read. So many of the others seem to be grasping at straws.

    Your juxtaposing of the shots of Betty and Pauline in the car made me think of that optical trick picture of two women, one old and one young, appearing at the same time. In the classic version, both appear to be wearing a fur coat and a hat.

  • If this has already been mentioned, I apologize. This is the first time Betty’s ever worn a hat. The look really ages her – she’s clearly trying to give off the “settled” look. Peggy did wear knee socks before, back in season 4.

  • popculturepie

    Amazing as always! I thought that Megan’s dress she wore after waking up in Hawaii reminded me of Betty’s dress she wore when they returned from Rome and she was talking to her neighbor in her kitchen. Both relationships used the trips as a way to escape from the current state of their relationships. It also definitely showed how those bright prints had worked their way into the culture.

  • shocked that you guys didn’t discuss the intensity of don’s silence through the first ~5ish minutes of the show! although i guess that was more appropriate for the recap rather than the style post. i thought it was really well done as an indication of how unnoticeable don has become over the years (at least compared with how powerful a figure he was in the beginning of the show).

    • P M

      You didn’t read the other article, did you? This is Mad Style, not TLo’s review.

      • i did — that’s why i said it was more appropriate for the recap rather than this review. i was just saying how it’s strange they didn’t mention it there either (although, yeah, i don’t know why i didn’t post it there… i think i assumed they’d talk about it here if they didn’t mention it there. who knows!)

  • Purple is the color of royalty (power) and also the color of Lent (self-denial)

    • gracedarling

      Interesting! I didn’t know the latter, although I loved Peggy’s hilarious Lent comment about vegetarian food…

  • Do you think that the film style, as well as the clothing style, shows Don to be behind the times? In the opening scenes in Hawaii, Megan is clearly in her element (she’s even a celebrity) while Don is silent and disengaged. Meanwhile, the editing during the luau scene manically breaks the 180-degree line, mimicking the jump-cuts that Hollywood films like BONNIE AND CLYDE had begun to import from the French New Wave. And there’s a shot in the Drapers’ hotel room where Megan is dressed only in a bra, while framed again a green wall; the effect is a two-dimensionality that mirrors the way Jean-Luc Godard placed actresses (Chantal Goya, Juliet Berto) in close-ups against shallow spaces in movies like MASCULINE FEMININE and LA CHINOISE. We know Weiner is an art-film fan–recall Don’s fondness for LA NOTTE in season two–so maybe…?

    • Cheryl

      Yes, Don definitely looks like a dinosaur now. It’s understandable in some of the other men — the clients of the ad agencies, for example — because we haven’t seen them looking so fabulous as the Don Draper of 1960. But he looks much more like a middle-aged dad — although as I think was pointed out in the recap, he didn’t mention his children in any scene in the whole two hours. He’s got the middle-aged paunch (character, not actor!) that Henry Francis, who is the real middle-aged dad in the family, doesn’t have.

  • Claire

    I can’t help but think this piece is incredibly repetitive and a touch disappointing as opposed to previous Mad Style. as I generally check a few times a day to see if the post it up. There’s more to the style than simply 1968 and pointing out the obvious and “mad prints”. It simply really worthy of a 2 day (and now 3) wait for a post on a weekly show, with other blogs having them up on Monday. Some further analysis or discussion to get different points of view could help. Poor Effort!
    The beginning paragraph emphasizes the delusion it appears.

    • formerlyAnon

      I’d say you’re still getting a bargain considering what you paid for the entertainment.

    • Your sense of entitlement is astounding. You have absolutely no idea the effort it takes to put this together. But hey, here’s an idea: why don’t you take dozens and dozens of screencaps of every scene in the episode, make collages out of those screencaps, and crop and enlarge some of the pictures to zoom in on some of the details. Then go upload all of those pictures to a server and write over a thousand words on them. Go ahead. We’ll wait. You seem to think it’s something that can be done overnight.

      To be clear: I don’t really care if you think the analysis here wasn’t worthy of your time, but you’ve got some hell of a nerve bitching that this post took too long to put together for your tastes. Fuck off.

      • 3hares

        Not to mention, you already did a recap on Monday!

        • sarahjane1912

          AND all the other celebrity/fashion/TV updates to boot! *Applauds*

    • Also:

      “There’s more to the style than simply 1968 and pointing out the obvious and “mad prints”

    • EveEve

      You should demand a full refund, or at least credit toward next week’s post!

  • Julie Benner

    I was looking through old Season 5 posts the other night and noted how often T&L pointed out that Meghan’s outfits around the house were intentionally skewed toward the juvenile and casual at the end of the season, with the sweaters and trousers. In this episode, we see her in a somewhat more professional look — pretty good contrast to how she looked around the house before she had paying work.

  • Cheryl

    Season 6 now has me at the point where I not only remember what I was doing back then, but can remember almost to the exact hour! I spent December 31, 1967 with the man who would eventually become my ex-husband on our third date. There really was a bad snowstorm that night. I wore the same style clothes as the photographer’s assistant; I even remember wearing that shade of orange in one of my favorite dresses. I was wondering how they were going to show Peggy’s shorter ‘do, since we’ve seen her over the past several months with very short hair. I’m not sure if the sort of “bubble” hairstyle was so popular at the time; it looks a little dated already. And would a well-dressed business woman go to work in knee socks? I wore them as a college girl but can’t imagine my mom going to work in anything but stockings and pumps.

    • 3hares

      I think it’s probably a choice to have Peggy look dated. She’s never been that fashion forward, and she’s really on the other end of the old/young spectrum for her own age. She and Megan are practically the same age but everything from their clothing to their personalities makes Megan seem much younger than Peggy.

      I don’t think she wore knee socks to work. I think she was wearing those out to dinner with Abe. I don’t remember her ever wearing them in the office.

      • Cheryl

        Thanks, that makes sense. How old is Peggy now? I haven’t kept track.

        • She’s 28; born in 39.

        • 3hares

          I think she’s about a year older than Megan. She turned 26 in The Suitcase and that was 5/25/65. So she’ll be turning 29 this year and is 28 now.

  • gracedarling

    On a totally superficial note – that shot of Jessica Pare looking out to sea is stunning. I think it’s the most barefaced we’ve ever seen any woman on this show, even bohemian Midge and early-morning Betty. And it suits her perfectly.

    Also, Henry is a fox and a half, but he’s not very good at playing along.

    I also like how Pete and Roger call to each other, not just with the vest but with the colours of their suits – Roger in a vivid blue jacket and grey tie, Pete in a grey suit and vivid blue tie. Pete may have started off aspiring to Don Draper but the entitled, old-money Roger is clearly his more natural role model.

    • 3hares

      Well, in a way Don’s no longer giving him something to model since he’s so very 50s and not changing and Pete’s clearly aware the world is changing. VK said something about how last season was somewhat about Pete accepting that he wasn’t the youngest guy in the room anymore, and in this ep he seemed to be embracing the whole accounts guy behind the guy role. But he has always been more tied to Roger in terms of background–Roger’s the guy he wanted to define himself against; Don’s the guy he wanted to be. But he really can’t be either of them, personality-wise.

  • rikyrah

    I’m so glad someone tipped me to your Mad Men review

  • gracedarling

    Also, in terms of Betty’s rape joke, I think it’s another instance of Betty lacking the language to articulate her own desires. Megan perfectly pitched a BDSM fantasy to Don when she cleaned the house in her knickers and refused to let him look at her; Betty, used to a genuinely punitive relationship with Don, never needed that fantasy at all. Now that she’s with lovely Henry, in a marriage that seems to lack the kind of nastiness she has come to associate with a real sexual frisson, she goes full throttle on needling her husband in order to get a response. Poor, poor Betty.

  • Hello, long time dedicated reader and big fan. Thanks you!

    I see Don’s man crush differently. For me he is the epitome of the ’empty suit’. The man with all the outward displays of the alpha male but in fact just an empty shell and less of a man than just about everyone around him.

    For me, this is a major theme in this episode as Don hit middle age, when all men feel empty. Beginning with the Inferno (one man’s mid life crisis to journey through hell on the path to find his soulmate), to Roger’s emptiness to the pitch with the empty suit and even the soldier that identifies Don as a fellow comrade, but he was never a real soldier. Just a uniform, which is why he rejects his lighter as it gave him away as something he pretended to be in the past but isn’t.

    For me, the last sequence is this in action. As the doctor, a real man, heads off to do his duty, Don sneaks into his bed…a man trying to fill his emptiness by taking on someone else’s role.

    My two cents.

  • DesertDweller79

    This was fantastic, as always. Thanks, T Lo. Was sad to get to the end and realize part 2 is not up yet. Alas.

  • pattie capet

    i always thought betty had a lot of crazy inside her; she’s done some things thru the seasons that were shocking and savage. with the rape joke, i think she’s just showing her vicious side, because she didn’t like the way her husband was looking at sandy playing the violin. so she went there, to crazyland. it’s not conscious, and she can’t help herself. pretending it’s all a big joke, but making her point.

  • pattie capet

    and something else about betty’s darkness: it seemed like a reflection of don’s mood and made them seem closer in a way. he was all dark in hawaii, getting pacific theater wartime vibes (like roger and that young soldier) instead of soaking up the sun like his sunny wife. betty is so screwed up, but unlike megan, at least she’s complex. (sorry, megan.) maybe betty and don were a good fit after all. don is looking for complex and dark, maybe that’s why he’s drawn to sylvia, whose name, by the way, means “dark wood,” as in the first line of dante’s poem…

  • The scene in the car where Betty and the elder Mrs. Francis represent photo negative images of each other is a striking callbakc to the Jackie/Marilyn campaign. Are you a Jackie or a Marilyn is no longer such a relvant question in this season.

  • I love Mad Style and love T’Lo’s commentary, and also want to say that I love the comments on this site, especially on all things Mad Men. Love reading about people’s knee socks and Barbie clothes and hairstyles, and all the extras and call-backs that commenters add. This is an informative, layered, hilarious, and generous bunch, and I love that.

    Did y’all see that Burt Peterson had his belt unbuckled and his pants undone, underwear showing, in that first scene on the phone with Peggy? Pants too tight! What a great detail.

    • I fondly remember knee socks and that some of them had a tendency consistently not stay up!

  • Shannon Long

    My view on the pot smoking: with that many people smoking cigarettes inside, only the people immediately surrounding you would know what was going on. Cigarette smoke smell overpowers pot smoke smell very quickly.

  • God this was awesome. I wish I had known about it before. Great job guys!

  • Adelaidey

    I think Not Quite Peggy is a glimpse into what Peggy would have eventually become had she not left SCDP- as Don’s second, there was nowhere for her to advance. With her mentor relationship staying static, she would have just sunk more deeply into her rut as others evolved around her, until she was a frumpy, stalwart copy chief who everybody depended on and nobody respected.

  • After season seven will you be producing a book?

  • 1) T&L, you’ve not only ruined how I see Mad Men, but also how I see the real world. Do my choice in patterns reveal my OCD? Do my bf and I match and look like a good couple? Glad you’re back, though:)
    2) No matter what, I aspire my closet to be a mix between Joan’s, Peggy’s, Sally’s and Megan’s wardrove. 3) There’s a Tumblr that recollects every moment in which Betty looks pissed. One of the latest points out that her new look makes her resemble Pauline way too much.

  • musicandmochi

    “her beehive is getting ever larger and closer to Jesus”
    STOP! Giggle time.

  • azil O

    I’m with hearbot on that purple and to T&LO I found this site searching for commentary on Mad Men and keep coming back for the fashion – Well done

  • Logo Girl

    Imagine Megan shorter and more curvy, with the same clothes, but hand sewn from patterns: that was my mom. They would be just about the same age. I had mini-me versions of the same dresses. I know from Janie Bryant’s video that the dress in the wedding scene is actual vintage, and that truly looks like something my mom would have worn, from the hat to the sunglasses.

    • Several people on here have said that their mom had that hat and sunglasses, mine included. I won a Walgreen’s photo contest wearing them and her high heels when I was five. Imagine that, lol.

  • After my second viewing, I have to say, is it just me or is the actor that plays Ginsburg looking and sounding a tad bit like a young Christopher Walken?

  • marji80

    It is lovely to have Mad Style back. My absolute favorite tv-crit reading.

  • Vermona

    Looking at Peggy’s knee socks in that scene, all I could think was: bare knees in December? In New York? Seriously? Did grown women really do that?

  • wayout46

    May be worth noting that the girl in the orange and go-go boots seems to be the photographer’s assistant/stylist, and not necessarily an SCDP employee. So the contrast with Don et al could not only be generational, but socio-professional.

  • Charlee

    Recently became a fan – great commentary! But now that we’ve got hindsight behind us, maybe Megan’s purples foreshadow a potential heartbreak as well?

  • Katie Ryan

    I love the subtleties of the clothing colours, would never have spotted them myself. I particularly like the recurring catholic school girl look about Peggy when she’s not in control (when she was trying to hold of Ted) and the rich blues and greens when she is, it’s a nice touch.
    Roger’s reaction to his mother dying was haunting, that in contrast to hearing the news his shoe-shiner died really tells us something great about Roger.