Madison Avenue was a stressful place in 1960s New York, yet Donald Draper and his Ad Men always looked the part, despite the pressure.
The AMC series graced our screens from July 2007, and any fashion conscious gentleman should watch it for inspiration as well as entertainment. Mad Men then aired a new season each year, until its finale in 2014.
Putting aside Draper’s womanising, alcoholism, unstable childhood, and the complete fabrication of his former life, he is somehow still a gentleman to aspire to be.
Being at the top of New York must have certainly been special, and the money he earned was portrayed as ludicrous.
Okay, so let’s talk about Draper’s fashion.
Most commonly besuited in gray super slim, Draper has made this a cool style nearly sixty years after it’s time. Costume designer Janie Bryant generally dressed actor Jon Hamm in suits made by Ralph Lauren or Brooks Brothers, which were tapered at the waist to create a V shaped fit.
To make Draper stand out from the rest of the cast- who also wear suits- Bryant expressed his creativity by having him wear woven, or patterned suits, as opposed to the block colour suits of the other ad men.
My personal favourite suit of Draper’s is the charcoal pinstripe depicted below, which, with the cigarette and wood decor of his office, show him to be the gentleman of Madison Avenue.
Mad Men and Don Draper first entered my life in passing referred during an episode of USA Network’s Suits, where Harvey Spector aspires to be like the ‘mad man’. From this I thought to myself, if Harvey Spector, the coolest dude in New York likes Mad Men, then I’ve got to give it a try.
It was one of my best decisions.