Say what you will about the final episode of "Mad Men" — if Twitter is any indication, rates of satisfaction vary widely — but the show certainly didn't hold back when it came to costumes. The final looks, which were numerous, were charming, era-appropriate and enhanced each character's personality. They were also wide-ranging, thanks to Don Draper's continuing cross-country adventure, which introduced a mishmash of '70s styles.
Let's start with Don's Canadian tuxedo (seen above). There is something so disarming about seeing him in denim on denim, after so many seasons of perfectly fitted suits and short sleeve plaid shirts in his occasional off-time. What is this, "Grease?" Clearly, he's going through something major.
Back in New York, it's time to say goodbye to two of my all-time favorite "Mad Men" secretaries (RIP Miss Blankenship) — Caroline and Meredith. Meredith, ever upbeat with bangs on #fleek, doesn't even care she's being let go because her yellow turtleneck matches her daisy skirt so perfectly.
Meanwhile in Florida, the creators of "Mad Men" give us what we've always wanted: Joan Holloway in a low-cut floral bathing suit. The woman is a goddess, even as she giggles through a cocaine high. As she says later in the episode, "Oh, I've been to the beach." Yes she has.
Next up, it's Pete Campbell's time to go. Does he acknowledge that he impregnated Peggy Olson? No, no he does not. But they share a sweet moment. Harry Crane's velvet lapels are the real scene-stealer, however. What a perfectly arrogant coat for a perfectly arrogant man.
Later in the episode, we see Pete fly away into the sunset — I mean, Kansas — with his family. Trudy is wearing so many luxurious, wintry layers, including a hat and gloves, but no pants. She's fun and sexy like that.
The final episode is a triumphant one for Peggy for many reasons, not least of which because she has finally found her sense of style. She's still embracing poly-blends, sure, but she's also developed a signature in the form of graphic stripes that are bright without being childishly colorful. This is the uniform of a woman who knows what she wants — even if she doesn't realize it's been hiding under her nose the whole time (Stan + Peggy Forever).
Back home, Joan continues to look impossibly gorgeous at every turn. Even her around-the-house dress, a wrap style covered in red flowers, is flattering in cut and in color. If only being a beautiful woman was all she wanted. She is a new kind of businesswoman, and none of her suitors were ever able to understand that.
Sally Draper grows up radically in the finale, coming home to find her brothers fending for themselves in the kitchen. In her turtleneck and chunky cardigan, she looks much more like a young mom than a young girl. She finally grows out of her selfish teenage self in order to try to help her brothers — and her mother — try to maintain some semblance of family.
And finally, we turn to Don's spiritual retreat camp, where every guest looks like one of the singers in the iconic Coke ad he supposedly conceives while meditating on a cliff. There's tons of embroidered ponchos, bell-bottom jeans, floral layers and suede jackets. Even the world's most average corporate dad — a proxy for all of Don's hangups — is represented by a straight-laced man in the commercial.
The receptionist is ripped straight from the commercial. Don may be having a meltdown, but he will not forget her ribbon braids and peasant top.
In the final scene, we see Don in a white collared shirt, a slightly more corporate version of the clothing he's been wearing throughout his cross-country meltdown. Perhaps it foreshadows his eventual return to McCann and New York, as implied by the Coke commercial at the end of the episode. After seasons and seasons of him looking haggard and ghost-like in his dissatisfaction with his life, we finally see him smile.
Goodbye, Don Draper, it feels like we hardly knew you. Or rather, you hardly knew yourself.