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Mad Men Style - Shirts & Suits

By Mark Ferguson

It’s quite clear that the fashion world has fallen for AMC’s hit television show Mad Men. The program, now in its fourth season, is a drama with a backdrop of two Madison Avenue ad agencies in the early to mid 1960s. The show tracks one central character, Dom Draper, as he rises from creative director at Sterling Cooper to a founding partner at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce.  Although the Draper character is very much the emphases of the show, the program uses his interaction with an ensemble cast to illustrate the changing social mores, culture, and style of the 60s.

Of course, for our purposes, the fashion aspect of the show is what interests us most. As the program has gained popularity, it has gone from merely giving us a glimpse of style during a time in the past to actually influencing current trends. The show has influence the comeback the double breasted jacket, bow ties, thin lapels and lower jacket first buttons. We’ll save you some time and give you a overview for dressing like a Mad Man.

Mad Men Basics
In general, the style in which the male characters on Mad Men dress, once again reminds us that the basics never go out of style. A viewing of almost any episode will no doubt show the guys in dark coloured suits. Dress shirts are always light coloured. Essentially, the cast’s wardrobe is a landscape of navy, charcoal, and brown jackets with white shirts. Chances are each will have a tie with a very simple pattern. However, one very noticeable difference is the tie is somewhat slimmer than those typically warn today. 

The Madness is in the Details
One thing that this show does very well is to set each character apart with some very small details. Each styling cue gives us some insight into the personality of the character. Take for instance the character of Roger Sterling. His suits tend to be of the three piece variety. Being a partner, the extra piece (the vest) adds to the suit and distinguishes him from his subordinates who opt for the two piece variety. It’s also interesting to note that Sterling further exerts his alpha male status by accentuating his neckline. This is done through the use of the rounded club collar and a collar pin. Dom Draper on the other hand uses cuff links and a folded handkerchief to set himself apart.

In short, it’s fair to say that Mad Men has actually served more as a reminder of classic styles as opposed to being a game changing influence. We’re just a skinny tie and a few accessories away from being a Mad Man. As such, this is once again proof that as time goes by some style details change but a well made, traditional suit is a good investment in any era. 

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