At this point, we think we all care more about the return of "Mad Men" than we do about the return of spring. And who can blame us? Unlike spring, "Mad Men" promises to come back, and gives us photos and posters to give us hope. (Spring, on the other hand, gives us one day of sun, and then no less than three months of polar vortex.)
So, with just days to go before the "Mad Men" season 7 premiere, we’ve taken a look back and listed 10 of what we felt were the most important outfits. Unsurprisingly, the majority of them hail from seasons 5 and 6, but let’s never forget the Betty Draper of early on.
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1. What: Peggy Olson’s Black Mini Dress
Why it matters: Peggy Olson has been a consistently conservative dresser throughout the series. And while her office looks of seasons 5 and 6 are the stuff of our current vintage shop dreams, compared to the micro-minis and go-go boots of the era, in the mid-to-late ‘60s she was still playing it safe. That’s why, when she walked into the boardroom in a plunging neckline, we knew this was a game-changer: girlfriend was serious about her feelings for Ted, and she was prepared to remind him of what he was missing. This wasn’t just another circumstance of Peggy pining after Pete. But like with Pete, Ted wasn’t even close to being worthy.
2. What: Peggy Olson’s Pantsuit
Why it matters: In one of the last scenes of the season, we see Peggy Olson step up to fill the shoes of the now-suspended Don Draper, whose downward spiral finally ended when he over-shared in a Hershey’s meeting. Now, we not only see her in his office (creating the same silhouette), she’s scrapped the dresses for a loud “take no prisoners” pantsuit, thus not-so-subtly implying she is over any personal and professional nonsense. She belongs in the corner office, and that suit reminds us of such.
3. What: Megan Draper’s Sharon Tate T-Shirt
Why it matters: Nobody thought it did until the theories arose. Slain actress Sharon Tate wore the same t-shirt in a photo shoot, and the similarities between the two didn’t stop there. Both Tate and Draper were actresses, both were (are?) married to older men, the season kept alluding to death . . . and it got real. So far, Megan Draper is still alive, but why put her in that t-shirt if there wasn’t going to be a tragic callback?
4. What: Bob Benson’s Short-Shorts
Why they matter: To put it plainly, these are just magnificent shorts. Not even Pete’s tennis shorts from season 2 can compare to these shorts. There are fish on these shorts. And only Bob Benson could get away with them.
5. What: Joan’s Green House Coat
Why it’s important: Lest we forget Don Draper’s too-late visit to Joan’s apartment, telling her not to sleep with Herb from Jaguar after she had already slept with Herb from Jaguar. Lest we forget the green robe that covered the dress she was still wearing. Lest we also forget – thanks to Tom & Lorenzo, who are the authorities on "Mad Men" fashion insight – that this robe also sets the scene for Joan in green two more times: when her partnership is announced because she slept with Herb, and when she confronts Don about firing Herb, officially making what she did pointless. Look closely, and you can actually see the moment our hearts rip in half.
6. What: Stan’s Fringe Jacket
Why it’s important: The times they are a-changing! And while we could probably replace Stan’s jacket with Ginsberg’s moustache or Abe’s . . . whatever it is that was happening there, it was Stan’s total break from his less-than rebellious look of seasons past that reminded us of exactly what year it was. Would it have had the same effect without the beard? Absolutely: this is Sterling Cooper. Once upon a time, it was rebellious to see Peggy’s pal Joyce in a blazer.
7. What: Betty Draper’s Italy Ensemble
Why it’s important: Season three was the end of the road for Betty and Don, but while their marriage was chugging along to its end, there was still one last hurrah: their brief trip to Italy, and Betty’s appropriate level of glam. Big and elaborate hair, a black dress (a call-back to her black fancy Valentine’s Day underwear, perhaps), and pretending not to know Don made us think there might be hope for the “perfect” (not even close) couple.
8. What: Betty Draper’s Polka Dot Dress Of Sorrow
Why it’s important: The only person who wanted Betty Draper to find evidence of Don’s infidelity more than any of us was Betty Draper herself. And after realizing Don had been sleeping with his client’s wife, Bobbie Barrett, Betty pulled an all-nighter (and then some) to ransack the house looking for clues. She found nothing. But we saw evidence of a woman totally broken down. The Don Draper effect: using women until he gets tired, and leaving them shells of the people they once were.
9. What: Sally Draper’s Go-Go Boots
Why they’re important: Sally Draper was growing up. And on the night she debuted her go-go boots (a gift from her stepmom, Megan) at the advertising awards, she saw far too much of the adult world when she walked in on a hook-up between Roger Sterling and Megan’s mom. Those boots were tarnished with the adult world forever: which is fitting that she wore them again on her date with Glen later that season, when she, as Betty said to her, “became a woman.” (Sally, you will get through all of this, we promise.)
10. What: Joan’s Red Dress
Season(s): One through six
Why they’re important: Joan in red commands respect. Not only is red her callback to the relationship she had/still has with Roger; it’s also a sign of her authority and a way of returning to her former self. She wore a red dress to the season 4 Christmas party to keep it moving swiftly (and yes, because Roger suggested she wear it), she wore red while testing lipstick in season 1 because she was the Queen Bee of that office, and she wore red at the close of season 5 when it was announced Sterling Cooper (of which she was now a partner) would buy a second floor. Red commands respect. And as it should: Joan is the greatest.