“Mad Men” is considered by many to be one of the shows that ushered in a golden age of television – in no small part due to the impeccable production design and wardrobe. During its seven-season run, “Mad Men” was known for always putting characters in costumes that were period-appropriate but also timeless and fashionable even to modern viewers.
We’ve rounded up some of the best, most memorable outfits from the show’s history.
Rachel Menken makes an entrance with a feathered hat in 1.3.
Her bright pink look with a bold hat is stylish and put together, perfect for when she puts the Sterling Cooper boys in their place after not putting in the research for her account.
Helen Bishop, the new divorcee on the block, threatens the local housewives in her sharp weekend look in 1.3.
Her fiery red hair is complemented by the red in her button-down shirt and trousers – a modern look that stands apart from the neighbour mums’ floral dresses.
Roger Sterling’s look is consistent, but flawless.
The head man-child of Sterling Cooper (Draper Pryce, etc.) rarely deviates from his formula of a neat, dark-coloured three-piece suit, such as when he delivers his famous “why we drink” monologue in 1.4. And why would he?
Betty is a vision in white, even when stumbling home with Don after an award ceremony in 1.5.
The statuesque cut, the glittery bodice, and jewellery, the long white gloves – the look is flawless, not at all diminished by the slight end-of-the-night looseness to her hair.
We would be remiss not to celebrate Don’s classic work look.
The narrow tie, crisp white shirt, and suit in any number of neutrals – like this cool grey in 1.5 – it’s the famous Don Draper look for a reason.
You didn’t miss Joan, did you?
Thought not. Joan, always a stunner, is prone to wearing tighter dresses, often in bold colours like this red number in 1.6.
Trudy always looks the part of a Manhattan heiress.
She may be young, but she’s always dressed like old money – case in point, this delicate white polka dot set with a netted hat to hold her updo in 1.8.
Betty’s cold-weather looks are a layering dream.
This wide-collared blue coat with a neatly-laid scarf is accented by a cute but mature-looking black headband – an incredibly put-together look that contrasts wonderfully with the strange, emotionally frayed scene where she confides in neighbour kid Glen in 1.13.
When Betty and Don go out on the town, she keeps a surprise underneath.
She takes off her delicate champagne-coloured dress to reveal sexy black lingerie in 2.1. It’s a little risque for Betty, and she seems proud of herself for taking the risk.
Kurt Smith’s giant knit turtleneck sweater signals that he is far from another suit.
The German wunderkind of ad creative shows up at Sterling Cooper in 2.1 in this chunky knit number that couldn’t be farther from the Madison Avenue look – and gets the job. His Beat sensibility is actually his strength.
Pete’s blue suits are a character trademark.
His corporate style is generally very reserved, but the blue suits he wears, like in 2.2, are a subtle way of standing out.
Don’s off-duty outfit is a standout.
This sweater he wears at home in 2.3 is cosy and preppy, a strong counterpoint to Betty’s traditional equestrian getup.
Bobbie Barrett, wife of insult comedian Jimmy Barrett, makes a strong entrance in red.
The bold red coat with fur trim and a matching hat signify her confidence and power when we meet her in 2.3.
Betty’s tennis outfit is more fashion than it is function.
The white headband and pleated white dress – with that little tennis racket decal – is the perfect preppy look for her country club visit in 2.6.
Betty going-out look couldn’t be more perfect.
In 2.7, Betty wears a gorgeous, brightly saturated blue gown with long, sparkling earrings.
Peggy’s style starts to show gradually as the series progresses.
Her modest means and lack of fashion-savvy dictate Peggy’s frumpy style when she’s a wide-eyed newer employee at Sterling Cooper, but slowly, she introduces bold patterns and tailored pieces to her wardrobe – like this black and white checked dress with an interesting wide collar in 2.10.
Betty makes maternity fashionable.
As baby #3 nears full term, Betty looks fresh and put-together as ever in this embroidered pink dress with a fun collar in 3.2.
Jane Sterling shows off to her former coworkers in a flashy outfit.
Jane’s work outfits were always pretty and flattering, but when she shows up at Sterling Cooper in 3.3 with a gloating expression on her face, she drives the point home in a black-and-white diamond dress and big matching hat.
Betty looks downright angelic in white lace and pale pink accents.
At Roger’s Kentucky Derby party in 3.3, Betty forgoes the church hat and opts instead for this simple but very pretty lace number – still making pregnancy look glamorous.
Harry Crane’s seersucker suit is another southern-inspired standout.
At the same party that episode, Harry Crane shows up in a full seersucker suit, which he had probably just been dying for the chance to wear.
Lane’s expat style is buttoned-up, but with some visual interest.
Like Roger, Lane goes for three-piece suits virtually every time we see him at work. However, the fit tends to be a bit more relaxed, and he often plays with unexpected colour pairings – like this light grey vest and striped tie with a classic black jacket and pants in 3.5.
Joan’s cobalt suit dress is a classic.
Bold colour + exceptional fit = a surefire Joan Holloway stunner. This blue dress, worn in 3.6 with little white driving gloves and her staple accessory, a pencil necklace, is one of many such winners.
Peggy moves into the spotlight as she becomes more sure of herself at work.
By this point a fixture of the creative team – and at the beginning of a relationship with Duck – Peggy’s growing confidence shows as she works more colour into her workplace wardrobe, like this belted red sweater vest layered over this delicately printed silk blouse with a pleated skirt in 3.7.
Betty wears her famous European mod look for a night in Rome.
On top of finally getting to show off her Italian skills, she goes all out in 3.8 with a swingy, strappy black dress with big, dangly pearl earrings and a tall, playful updo.
Roger’s triple pocket square adds a fun touch.
The men of Madison Avenue only have so much room to play around within the corporate dress code, but this kind of detail makes a grey suit like Roger’s in 3.11 more interesting.
By the beginning of season four, Peggy’s practically a style icon.
Having now jumped ship and been part of the formation of SCDP, Peggy’s finally dressing like the career woman she is. In 4.1 she shows off some new, well-fitting pieces that feature more colour, like this blue jumper layered over a printed blouse with a big bow at the neck.
At the SCDP Christmas party, Joan is wrapped in red.
Showing off in a tailored dress as always, Joan celebrates the season in 4.2 with a red dress that features a little bow at the neckline and a big bow in the back – and a little sparkly barrette in her updo.
Pete’s seasonal garb is worth mentioning, too.
His burgundy jacket in this episode is a fun touch, fitting for a Christmas party.
Jane’s sparkly snowy dress is stunning.
The SCDP Christmas party was a big fashion moment. Jane, always a glamourpuss, sports a fitted white dress with a big, gorgeous sparkly collar and dangly pearl earrings.
Don tries some colour when he travels to California.
In 4.3, while visiting an old friend (and secret-keeper) Anna Draper, Don wears a pale yellow checkered jacket. The Golden State is good for his wardrobe, it seems.
Megan slowly emerges from the secretarial pit with bright colours.
She never exactly blended into the woodwork, but outfits like this breezy mint suit in 4.9 put Megan closer and closer to the forefront of our – and Don’s – attention.
Stan’s polos are aggressively casual, compared to the rest of SCDP.
It’s fitting, given that Stan works in creative, but he rarely dresses even almost as formally as the other men in the office – case in point, this colourful, candy-striped polo he wears in 4.11.
Peggy’s demure blue dress with a single strand of pearls means business.
This simple dress with red pleats and a pearl necklace speaks to her upward mobility and growing self-possession – she fends off Stan’s moves without hesitation in 4.11.
Megan wears a swingy mod number for her sexy performance of “Zou Bisou Bisou.”
Her song and dance scandalize Don and his coworkers in 5.1, in no small part due to the tiny black dress with wide chiffon sleeves.
Michael Ginsberg’s interview outfit is (perhaps tellingly) offbeat.
After Stan, Michael is the second creative hire to stay far away from grey suits. He shows up to interview with Peggy in 5.2 wearing a turquoise and pink plaid jacket, a clashing tie, a printed shirt, and jeans. Bold move, Ginsberg.
Peggy’s green sleeveless dress with a red bow is cute but grown-up.
The jewel tones here, in 5.2, look mature and fashionable, balancing out the bow and collar.
Joan welcomes Greg home in a rose-patterned black dress.
When her husband Greg returns from war in 5.3, Joan greets him in a black dress covered in roses, and her hair styled in loose curls.
Don wears a black, red, and white plaid jacket to an after-hours get-together.
A suit jacket, but make it for the weekend – Don hardly dresses down for casual Saturday events, he just adds some colour, like this jacket he wears in 5.4.
Jane exposes her midriff in a glamorous white dress.
Roger and Jane may have begun resenting each other already, but she’s clearly not resenting the money that comes with her lifestyle – in 5.5., as usual, she’s dressed to the nines in a daring, belly-exposing high-necked dress with dramatic earrings and pearls in her hair.
Megan dresses like a bowl of sherbet to visit pastel-paneled Howard Johnson’s upstate.
Unfortunately, the orange sherbet isn’t her thing and it launches the Drapers into a dramatic tiff in 5.5. Still, the coral-coloured ensemble with a chevron-patterned jacket and big sunglasses with printed frames just scream “weekend getaway.”
Joan shows us how to do monochromatic.
In 6.1 she wears a purple dress over a slightly lighter purple ruffled blouse, with a big gold brooch. Is there anything she can’t pull off?
Megan looks gorgeous as always in a sparkly champagne-coloured dress at dinner.
When her mother comes to visit in 6.5, Megan dresses up in head-to-toe glitter with this dramatic collared dress and statement earrings.
Peggy’s navy and white suit dress is daring and fun.
In 6.6, Peggy wears this double-breasted suit dress with a patterned skirt. The dress code seems to be getting more fun around the office, even for all-business Peggy.
Joan’s nautical outfit looks breezy and natural.
While all of the agency starts looking west, Joan’s outfit gives us distinctly east coast vibes with her anchor-embroidered sweater vest and patterned hair scarf.
Peggy’s pantsuit rocked viewers.
Her red and black checked pantsuit in 6.12 had viewers talking. For Peggy, until now a skirt devotee, the pants seemed to represent a final pull away from traditional femininity.
Megan grabs Hollywood by the horns in her airy blue look.
The powder blue chiffon dress, with matching winged eyeshadow and big gold earrings, are what Megan wears as she steps into the hot California air in 7.1, ready to take her dreams seriously.
Betty looks prim and proper, if irritated, in a pink suit set and black sunglasses.
When she comes along as a chaperone on Bobby’s field trip in 7.3, she looks uncomfortable, but as put together as always.
Peggy’s all mod in red and pink.
The progression of time is showing, as Peggy wears this fun colour pairing and a set of white hoop earrings to work in 7.6.
Peggy gets us again in Ray-Bans and a striped shirt.
Who would have known Peggy’s style would come so far? When she shows up to her first day at the big agency in 6.13, hungover and oozing confidence, she’s wearing bold stripes and managing her hangover with a pair of sunglasses.
The last we see of Don Draper is a loose, white cotton shirt blowing in the breeze.
In the show’s (not so) ambiguous ending, we see Don in a look that echoes his regular work button-downs, just in a slightly more casual fit and fabric. Don may not know who he is anymore, but all it takes is a look to know that some things never change.
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