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Mad Men: the awkward years

April 16, 2012

L-A: Mad Men is into it’s third or fourth episode and everyone’s mostly a-twitter about it. Mad Men style. Mad Men drinks. Mad Men theme parties. (I’m guilty of two of three). The questions like: You work in an ad agency, are you like Don Draper? (answer: not even remotely. I’m possibly a junior Ken Cosgrove, if you replace science fiction stories with a blog).

I’ve been thinking about the show’s style a little harder than I have in the past because over at You Know You Love Fashion, we’ve started recapping what they wore on the show. And then there’s the usual emails in my inbox about the Banana Republic collection.

But here’s the thing: while I still enjoy the story (aside from Don Draper being a d-bag), I’m not really enjoying the fashions. Remember this?

I was all over that shizz. (Sidenote: what the hell is going on with Peggy’s hair in that photo? And whatever happened to Sal Romano?) Everything seemed so classy and tailored and early 60s glamorous. Now?

Is Peggy in denial about being knocked up again?


Not pregnant, I guess. Just lousy taste in clothes.

Even dressed up Joan is kind of ennnh compared to what she used to be.

joan season 5 mad men

I know she has a kid, but does she need to look so matronly?

And how can we forget, Fat Betty?

Mad Men Season 5 fat betty

even more profoundly sad thanks to Bugles and ice cream

What. is. that. top? It’s like a bouquet threw up on her.

None of that is an inspiration. Joan is matronly, Betty has abandoned being chic and sad for just plain sad, and Peggy…well…Peggy never did really get it, did she?

And with all of that going on in the season, it leaves me wondering what the inspiration was for the new Banana Republic collection.

Where are they even getting this inspiration from? The colours? The dress that they’ve got for Betty really isn’t what Betty is wearing these days. And the Draper dresses? Well, if they’re looking to the new Mrs. Draper for inspiration, they’ve missed the mark on that one. Because check Megan out.

Mad Men season 5 Megan

Way to represent, you little French Canadian minx.


Mad Men season 5 Megan

I really hope she wore white gogo boots with that.


That is not a girl who is pretty, Sunday school lace dresses.

So who is Janie Bryant channeling in that collection? (Frankly, it looks like normal Banana Republic to me, not a special collection). My guess?

Mad Men Season 5 Fat Betty

Fat Betty: Style Icon?


Think I’m crazy? Well, it’s the tie up blouse and florals that make me think that:

Fat Betty style for skinny ladies.

The cute dresses we saw earlier? Not so much inspired by Betty, but by Don’s ex-lover:

Except...she's at least going for a nice bright colour.

Too bad she got smoked during Don’s fever dream. I don’t think we’ll be seeing her and her cute dresses for awhile.


I think the problem here is that we’ve hit the awkward years. It’s not the early 1960s we all dug in the past four seasons. It’s the latter half of 1966 and we’re on the slippery slope to the 1970s. And for all of us who blog about fashion, I really hope the series wrap up before then. Because as much as I enjoy the stories, I don’t need Peggy working the bell bottoms or Don Draper in a leisure suit (last night’s plaid dinner jackets were bad enough).

p.s. regardless of whether you agree with me, you should check out the Mad Men recaps on YKYLF. They’re written by  Jill, Ann, our L.A. friend Amanda, and me (plus others. But I mention these names because you already know them and Amanda also has a fashion blog). So you kind of have an idea of what to expect (answer: more awesome).

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Rhia permalink
    April 16, 2012 10:54 am

    Agree on all counts except Peggy’s green shoes, which I covet.

    • la permalink*
      April 16, 2012 11:03 am

      I actually do not like those shoes at all. Perhaps they are just not my style.

  2. Vanessa permalink
    April 16, 2012 8:15 pm

    Can I just say my thoughts exactly regarding the mid 60’s clothing! I love Mad Men as much as ever, but I still make a sad face every time I see the more modern clothing coming into fashion. I’ve always felt that my era was the 50’s and 60’s so I’m sad to see the tailored, glamorous look fading away.

    As a side note, I do love the BR Mad Men collection, the pieces are totally what I would wear, and well am wearing actually (I’m currently a pink cardigan from the collection that my mom picked me up when she was in Vegas last month)

    • la permalink*
      April 16, 2012 11:20 pm

      I’m not looking forward to the days when they embrace brown, orange and purple as a palette to be displayed on polyester.

      I don’t actually hate the collection from BR, in fact, I really like some of it. I just don’t get the Mad Men connection. From what I see, it’s just a nice collection of cute tops and cardigans.

  3. April 17, 2012 12:22 pm

    Totally agree regarding the Banana Republic Mad Men collection. It looks much like the rest of Banana’s clothes.

  4. April 17, 2012 12:22 pm

    I just caught up on Sunday’s episode last night…oy. The plaid jackets were awful. I also want to know if Megan could maybe put on a bit more white eyeshadow. I don’t think she’s wearing quite enough.

  5. April 18, 2012 1:35 am

    Jesus, I hadn’t seen this fug new Banana Republic collection. The last one? I wanted everything, and thank goodness Stoon doesn’t have a BR or I’d be broke (and fabulous!) right now. This new stuff is supermeh.

    HOWEVER, I luuurve Megan Draper’s style. If she ushers us into the 70s with her bright colours and 10 lbs of eyeliner, I’ll be totes fine.

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