The Show of Shows
It’s time to say good-bye to a fascinating show. We have been watching the evolution of style on Mad Men for seven seasons. With the year off for the writers’ strike and the split final season, that is close to ten years of sociopolitical history under the guise of entertainment. We are sad to see it go. We’ve seen Pendleton on Mad Men’s men in robes, sportcoats and Topsters. But plaid was never the thing for Don Draper, though he sampled plaid in many forms as the years went on.
Don dabbled in plaid, but never seemed comfortable in it. In so many ways, Don was a libertine, but his taste in clothing remained as conservative as Pete’s politics.
The early seasons captured an iconically Pendleton look. At times, each main character seemed to be stepping right out of a Ted Rand illustration. Betty’s suburban chic was unmatched.
We were really only part of Megan’s look in her earlier years.
As she evolved into an actress, her dramatic eye makeup, extravagant hair and miniskirts were so much edgier than anything Pendleton was up to in the late sixties.
Pendleton had a breakout role when Peggy disguised her pregnancy under the waistband of an ever-higher Pendleton reversible skirt–or Turnabout as it was called back then. It has been nearly impossible to find a good still featuring this skirt, so this one will have to do.
‘We enjoyed watching the style evolution of Peggy Olson. She began as proper and plaid, and retained her taste for buttons, bows, high necklines and cropped jackets.
Yes, Peggy started in plaids, and she ended in plaids. Her later outfits were almost always polyester doubleknit. That happened quite a bit in the seventies. We can forgive Peggy her transition from wool, because this is the finest visual of the last season, right here:
So now it’s over. But a glimpse of the future is found in Sally Draper’s wardrobe. She wore plaid from her earliest years on the show.
She tried the go-go boots and the ponchos, but always returned to the plaid-centric style that was so popular in the late sixties and early 70s.
We had a line called “Young Pendleton” just for the Sally Drapers of the age. Two of the ads below feature a young Cheryl Tiegs. She’s walking a lamb in her Pendleton jacket, as one did.
Love it or hate it, the finale has happened. We will miss the style, the intrigue, the disregard and comeuppance of this particular cast of characters.
Thanks for the memories, Mad Men.
Photos courtesy AMC
Vintage ads from the Pendleton archives