Mad Men Fashion Recap: The Swinging Sixties

Read on for the sartorial highlights from last night's episode. There were a lot of them.
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Read on for the sartorial highlights from last night's episode. There were a lot of them.
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After six seasons of philandering, drinking, drugs, and in-office vomiting, Mad Men has a hard time surprising us seasoned viewers. Harry Crane causing a huff: Expected. Joan raving with her Mary Kay saleslady BFF: Obvious. The awkward air between Megan and Don after a proposed night of swinging: Yeah, we get it.

Maybe I've become a bit jaded with the characters acting out on their inner desires; it's not like this is the first time Don's had a risky affair. But if there's one thing keeping us on our toes, it's the fashion. This episode did not disappoint, with Harry in full peacock mode, Scarlett doing Victorian mod, and Megan in enough peach to make you crave some cobbler.

Click through to see all the fashion madness from episode four!

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Megan Is it me, or is Megan acting more naïve than ever? With her prim bangs and maid's costume on To Have and To Hold, she looks like a little girl. Note how she avoids telling the head writer, Mel, and his wife, Arlene, that she met Don because she was his secretary. She's trying to be her own person, but failing to define herself while still remaining attached to Don. To inform Don of her love scene, she wears a coral sweater and red pants, and later at dinner with Arlene and Mel she wears an over-the-top coral dress with gold hoop earrings. Coral is the color of Megan and Don's extremes; to announce their engagement she wears that coral shift, but she also wears coral when Don abandons her at the Howard Johnson. Finally, as she leaves her apartment to film her love scene, she's in almost all pure white, a nod to the fact that her love-making is just acting, she'll still be pure for Don. For a long time I wanted Don to leave Megan, but honestly, I think it's up to her to leave him after how he treated her on set. She deserves way better.

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Don Contrary to last week's episode, Don's wardrobe is looking much more pulled together. He's wearing various suits in shades of black and grey, with diagonally striped ties, and his perfectly placed pocket square. For the presentation with Heinz, he wears all black, almost a sure sign he's not going to get the account. Plus he didn't even put the bottle in the ad. A lot is slipping through the cracks with Don--just look back to the ad for the hotel in Hawaii (in episode one) to see that he's focused more on what's missing than what's there.

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Joan 1968 is the year of the ruffle for Joan. She repeats the purple outfit she wore in the premiere, and then switches back into one of her more classic jewel-toned floral dresses to fire Scarlett, attend the partner meeting, and then get it on downtown with Kate. Joan is at her most powerful in one of her signature outfits. At the episode's end, she's in a black and white layered number, holding a yellow coat, leopard scarf, and black patent purse. She's on the prowl, people... watch out.

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Harry Is Harry starting to dress like Charles Nelson Reilly from Match Game, or am I crazy? (I'm not crazy; he is.) Truly embodying all that was the trendy for men in the late 1960s, Harry rocks his thick frame glasses and a series of oddly colored and printed suits. It's interesting to see a character who is jonesing for power dress so far from the corporate norm of masculinity and success. Clearly, Harry is influenced by the image-based world of Hollywood and aspires to more of a "leading male" version of success, than, say, Pete, who is trying to emulate Madison Avenue success by dressing like a mashed-up version of Don and Roger. Harry's flashy dressing doesn't seem to be working. For all his stomping around, he is unable to convince Roger and Bert to give him a partnership, though he does walk away with more than his yearly salary as a bonus for "Broadway Joe on Broadway."

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Scarlett Scarlett has a sort of mod-Victorian thing going on, with her white boots and Sgt. Pepper style minidresses. She schemes with Dawn in a sky blue dress with white accents and gold buttons, and then gets caught in orange. After seemingly winning the battle with Joan--though I expect Joan has more in store for Scarlett--she stomps through the halls in a navy minidress with green striped accents and black boots. It's the darkest palette she's worn all episode--but she's not trying to disappear in it, she's doing just the opposite, strutting through the office by Harry's side. Sidenote: Are they having an affair? It sure seemed like it when Harry made a huff about them being connected. Hmm...

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Dawn Dawn is so cute, but she dresses like a grandma. Her matronly outfits are similar to the plain-jane outfits Peggy wore in season one when she was Don's secretary. During her first meeting with her friend at the diner she's wearing a blue shirtdress with a navy cardigan, white gloves, and a white purse. Later in the episode she wears a too-big olive green dress with folded collar and gold buttons, and to apologize to Joan she's in a pink ruffle shirt, plaid skirt, and grey blazer. Dawn is trying to fly under the radar in her drab outfits, but she's doesn't seem satisfied by it or by her job at SCDP. We'll see how this develops through the season.

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Meredith Meredith is slowly becoming my favorite dresser on the show, mostly because I want everything she's wearing. As she's looking for Scarlett, she's wearing a sailor dress with a giant red bow and later in the partners' meeting, she has on the cutest navy and yellow dot top. Do you think I can get that at Madewell? Because I want it.

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Stan God only knows where Stan is getting his sartorial inspirations. To be covert while working on the Heinz account he wears a fringed suede jacket, black turtleneck, red button up shirt, and corduroy pants and is carrying a giant duffel bag. This is the opposite of what someone wears if he is trying to be stealth. Later at the Heinz meeting, Stan wears a mustard colored suit, perhaps not the best sign as they are meant to be selling ketchup. It seems like the men at SCDP just haven't figured out how to dress to please.

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Sylvia Sylvia is definitely one of the more eclectic dressers on Mad Men. She wears a black fur-trimmed ensemble complete with fur hat to go out at night sans Dr. Rosen, and later meets Don for a tryst in a beige twinset with red accents. Her nails are perfectly polished a light white and she has some amazingly tacky rings on. Let's not forget her ever-present cross necklace that freaks Don out. He's far from religious, but aspires to be the perfect man to the women he's sleeping with, and in this case, I think he's aware that he's too much of a sinner to be Sylvia's saint.

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Margie, Ginsberg, & Bob We haven't heard a lot from the new SCDP creative team so far. There's Margie in a pastel plaid suit, Ginsberg with his mustache and slouchy shirts, and Bob, who looks like he's either on his way to or just leaving the Yale Club. They're a motley crew who don't provide a cohesive vision as a unit. No wonder the ads this season are sub par.

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Kate Joan's BFF Kate is a perfect combo of Barbie and Heather Graham. She wears a pastel yellow suit to be all business shilling Mary Kay to Joan's mother, and then does a wardrobe one-eighty in a pink minidress and big hair for a night on the town with some younger men. We're hoping there's more Kate this season.

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Joan's Mother Living in New York has really had an effect on Joan's mother, who is glammed up in a frosty floral top and multi-strand necklace. Definitely an upgrade from her matronly looks last season.

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Mel & Arlene To woo Don and Megan into swinger-dom, Mel and Arlene wear their snazziest outfits. Mel is going nerd chic in tortoiseshell wayfarers and a grey suit while Arlene is working the soap star angle in a diamanté dress. Susan Lucci is kicking herself for not owning this dress.

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Bert Bert's dressing like it's 1949 and we're ok with that. Check out the pointed pocket square, suspenders, polka dot bow tie, and, oh yes, the argyle socks. Nick Wooster is clearly getting his fashion inspiration from Bert, right?