This is one of the saddest pieces I’ve ever written: after seven glorious seasons on television, "Mad Men" is coming to a close.
That’s right, friends. Sunday, April 5 (at 10 p.m. ET on AMC) marks the fast march to the series finale, in which we’ll have just seven episodes left to over-think, analyze, and feel every emotion to ever exist.
So we’re going to use this milestone as an excuse to revisit the best looks to come from each character of The Greatest Show Ever™. Or, more specifically, some of the looks. (Because I’m sorry, Ken wears the same suit every day.)
(Story continues after slideshow.)
1. Peggy Olson
Episode: Season 6, episode 13
Piece: The pantsuit
The student becomes the master. After Don is put on leave for his alcoholism, Peggy steps up and into his corner office, giving us not just a recreation of the series’ iconic silhouette, but a glimpse into a power era. By breaking from her traditional uniform, she sets in motion the idea that she is, has been, and will continue to run the show. Pants!
2. Joan Harris
Episode: Season 4, episode 2
Piece: The Christmas party dress
Everything Joan wears is glorious. (We know this as fans of the show and as human beings with eyes and a brain.) But her red dress -- the one Roger tells her to wear to impress Lee Garner Jr. at the Christmas party -- arguably epitomizes her style. Her flair for bold colours puts her in a position of power (which she demonstrates in this episode), especially since she’s already grabbed the attention of everyone with the piece’s bright tone. Joan may have been told to wear that dress, but when wearing red, she’s the one in total control.
3. Betty Draper
Episode: Season 3, episode 8
Piece: That Rome dress, tho
We’ve only seen Betty Draper in black a handful of times, and one of those was on the worst Valentine’s Day night in the world. (Lest we forget.) So to see her go so dramatic in season three was huge. For the first time, she broke from her standard aesthetic (see: '60s housewife chic) and took a risk, piling her hair atop her hair and stripping herself completely of colour. Finally, we saw an exciting side of Betty Draper (minus when she shot the neighbour’s birds) -- the woman who showed up to a modelling audition in a '50s evening gown was gone.
4. Don Draper
Episode: Season 4, episode 7
Piece: His stained shirt
“Disheveled” Don Draper wasn’t the character’s chicest look (obviously), but it was by far the most important. After making Peggy miss her birthday dinner to stay at work (kind of), Don hits bottom for the first time after spending the evening with Peggy and getting just drunk enough to deal with losing Anna, the only woman who really knew him. It was a heartbreaking moment, but it was also a huge break from the man we met in season one, who was so together he kept spare shirts in his drawer. It also marked the moment we started to realize Don was a long, long way from being fine.
5. Roger Sterling
Piece: His three-piece grey suit
Sure, we’re seeing Roger Sterling move into the '70s with his pale blue suits and lack of clothing whatsoever, but the ad man’s grey three-piece era was obviously his time to shine. Still riding the wave of 1950s-era success and classicism, the character’s traditional business attire represented the old school; it represented an era in which rich, white men got a free pass. (More than they do now.) And it represented Roger at his best self. (Or: Roger, at his most entertaining, as opposed to now, where he’s just getting progressively sadder.)
6. Pete Campbell
Episode: Season 7, episode 1
Piece: Whatever Pete considers to be “California chic”
This is Pete’s world, and for the first episode of the season, we were just living in it. Greeting Don Draper with a hug (a hug!) and plaid shorts, a polo, and sweater tied around his shoulders, Pete finally revealed the man he’d been hiding for so many seasons: a simple guy who just wants to chill out in the California sun. (Until he throws a tantrum later on in the season, and we realize he’s also just a spoiled baby-man.)
7. Sally Draper
Episode: Season 5, episode 7
Piece: The greatest go-go boots ever
In which Sally Draper is seconds away from bursting into, “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman.” (Which we better get by the end of this series, seriously.) All dressed up to see her dad win an award, Sally steps (literally -- sorry) into the grown-up scene with go-go boots and sequins, marking her arrival into the “adult” world, at least aesthetically. However, where Sally was keen to play dress-up, she got a lot more than she bargained for when she caught Roger Sterling hooking up with Megan’s (married) mom. Adults ruin everything.
8. Megan Draper
Episode: Season 5, episode 1
Piece: The Zou Bisou Bisou dress
Megan’s wardrobe may be the most interesting of the cast, but no piece in the history of television will ever compare with her Zou Bisou Bisou piece -- a.k.a. the dress she wore to sing to Don in front of his friends, effectively humiliating him (because he’s got no sense of humour at all). But aside from the piece standing out from the series’ looks up until that point, Megan’s dress also stands out because like Betty, she used the colour black to get Don’s attention. (And Peggy does the same in season 6 when she uses a black dress to get Ted’s attention, too.)
9. Trudy Campbell
Episode: Season 6, episode 3
Piece: The “I Will Destroy You” dress
Honestly, Trudy could’ve been wearing a paper bag, and it still would’ve been an excellent choice as her armour worn while powering up and divorcing Pete Campbell’s lying, cheating self. Arguably, the striped and floral polyester dress Trudy wears when she finally confronts Pete is pretty simple -- but that’s what makes it so great. In this moment, Trudy (a woman whose wardrobe is just as stacked as Megan’s) didn’t rely on anything but herself, opting for a piece that meant business, since her words were going to resonate a lot more than anything she could put on. Fancy nighties be damned.
10. Bert Cooper
Episode: Season 7, episode 7
Piece: The last goodbye socks
Bert was a stylish man (clearly), but may we just use this last point to draw attention to the argyle socks he wore while singing his swan song to Don in the agency’s hallway. A true original (and a man with a mustache for days), Bert’s socks represented not just his disdain for shoes, but the fact that even though somebody’s eccentricities may be hidden, they’re still there.