We’re only going to say this once (in the following paragraph): Megan Draper (played by Canadian actress Jessica Paré) is the best-dressed character on "Mad Men," especially after Season 6.
The woman’s evolved from secretary-turned-babysitter-turned housewife to a bona fide television star, and with those changes came huge improvements to her wardrobe, including but not limited to more gold, higher hemlines, and that t-shirt.
So let’s see how far Megan Draper’s come, or more specifically: let’s talk about how badly we want all of her clothes in preparation for "Mad Men" Season 7.
Story continues below slideshow:
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear (we're not angry, you guys, just determined): even when she was “just a secretary” in Season 4, Megan Draper knew how to dress. She may not have taken the risks she ends up taking three years later, but as proven by this perfectly mid-‘60s office number, she identifies the trends and makes them work for her. She’s also not exactly blending into the background with her colour choices, which explains how seemingly out of the blue, Don noticed her. (RIP Faye.)
And this is where it all happened. Megan steps out of her Sterling Copper Draper Pryce office wear, and into a) something a little more comfortable (a sundress, you guys, come on), b) something a little more age-appropriate, and c) a bathing suit and sunhat combination we wish we could pull off. Here, while Don already saw her as a person he wanted to hook up with (it is Don Draper, after all) he saw her as the anti-Betty: young, fun, and way better with his children. That’s why he proposes to her and how we all went into shock for several months.
Season 5 And Feeling Alive
Who we meet in the Season 5 premiere is a far cry from the secretary we met before. Now, Megan Draper is hosting birthday parties. She’s singing in a little black dress in front of all of Don’s friends. Those traits he fell in love with her for? They’re wearing on him – because unlike the other women who’ve entered and left Don’s life, Megan’s got her own agenda. She’s not just a Mrs., and even Roger Sterling noticed. (Then again, of course Roger Sterling noticed. It’s Roger Sterling.)
And with great marriage, come great responsibility and/or a promotion. So in place of Season 4’s Peggy-esque style choices (oh, hi Peggy!), Megan’s taking a little more risks and is dressing a little more adult: she’s wearing a blouse (that she lets Don look down in his office, even though it is probably one of the least sexy moments in "Mad Men" history) and skirt; her dresses are more form-fitting, and then she quits in a PVC raincoat proving she truly is too cool for this world. (Which we already knew when she showed up to work wearing chunky jewelry with a printed dress.)
Unsurprisingly, Megan’s career change sees a huge difference in wardrobe. First, we see her audition dress – a nude albeit slightly sparkly number that doesn’t exactly scream “personality” (even though we know she wants it to). Now, unlike her place at SCDP, she’s unsure – so unsure that girlfriend is wearing neutrals, which no one watching "Mad Men" before had ever seen and may never recover from.
She’s also in pants! (You must yell “pants!”) Pants and sweaters, pants and Laurel Canyon-wear, pants and more sweaters, pants and RIP Lane Pryce, and pants and a head scarf. Ultimately, Megan is now arguably dressing her age – but it signifies something different: these are the clothing choices of a struggling actor. She looks like she should be taking an improv class. She doesn’t look particularly confident, she’s not wearing the pieces she seemed to have the most fun in, and she’s unhappy. (Which we realize when she starts crying in the bathroom and, of course, when she tells her mother how unhappy she is.) Megan Draper isn’t pants. We are pants. And do you know who is not us? Megan Draper.
How Megan Got Her Groove Back
And so Season 6 begins with Megan being a straight-up soap opera star, and that’s why she’s back to her old, stylish, “look at these prints!” ways. In the first episode alone, we see her in bright colours and then some more bright colours, and then even as the season progresses, her pants are now a pantsuit and hardly just something she threw on. (Look at that hair! She’s sparkly, everyone!)
But do you know when we see her Season 5 look come back? When she’s feeling doubtful about Don. She’s wearing that same green sweater, she’s far less dressed up, and she’s confiding in someone for the first time about how (not to mince words) awful her marriage is. Beware Megan in pants forever, they are a sign.
Started From The Bottom
She’s paying homage to that audition dress with a much fancier version of said audition dress (because she’s here). Don’t think we’ve forgotten, Megan. Don’t think we wouldn’t do the same thing. Drake’s song is your anthem now: make us remember where you came from and how far you’ve come. Even though you end the season wearing . . . pants. Right before your husband tells you that L.A. is off (and we all know you’re going anyway, and there’s no way this marriage can or will survive).
The t-shirt that launched a thousand conspiracies. Obviously, this has less to do with Megan’s style evolution than it does with our own obsessions (which is why we're including it last), but if we didn’t include it, we might as well all petition to cancel "Mad Men" right now. What did it mean? (Probably that she was a stylish person wearing a t-shirt. But never assume. And never trust Matthew Weiner. He knows us too well.)
Here’s to Megan borrowing Peggy’s pantsuits in season 7, or at least citing Mary Tyler Moore as her fashion icon. Like Mary, Megan, you can turn the world on with your smile.