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Mad Men’s Season-Premiere Lessons: Still in That Suit

July 26, 2010

Don’t get me wrong: it is possibly the most beautiful-looking television show of this lifetime — and certainly one of the best out there right now — but AMC’s Mad Men is distinctly of another lifetime, and three years’ worth of spilled ink over it has left me a little burnt out. A hundred articles on The Pocket Square and The Skinny Tie (and the subsequent demise of both), a hundred and one unlikable things about Don Draper (and still he gets to you), ten-thousand people on the “natural” figure of Christina Hendricks (and still I’m not sure why I even like Joan) — sometimes it’s not like watching a period drama so much as standing in a natural-history museum, staring at the Neanderthals and asking, “Is this really where we come from?”

And yet… there is something sexy going on here that manages to eclipse the horrifying behavior. It comes down to style, which in the end is the biggest (if not only) thing you men will want to take away from the boys of Sterling/Cooper/Draper/Pryce. Which is why we’ll attempt to glean a modern lesson here on The Style Blog directly after each episode of Season Four.

In Sunday night’s premiere, “change” was not an infrequent word. You noticed things happening, and not just in Don’s tone of voice — you saw them. (Warning: mild yet extremely fashionable spoilers ahead…)

The Sixties are in full swing — late fall of 1964, to be exact; wool overcoats, to be sure…

Don is wearing colors — a casual red for a casual Thanksgiving fling (if you can call having a prostitute slap you on Thanksgiving “casual”), a blue V-neck for swinging by to see the ex in the morning…

The hair is getting fluffier (see Harry Crane), we’re seeing more plaid and pattern (thank you, hammy new freelance copywriter man!), and, yes, the ties are getting (slightly) wider…

I’m dreading the Nehru jackets and fat ties that are bound to appear as the season wears on. And you should, as Don recommended in its first episode, “try and stay away from these kinds of shenanigans.” But for the moment it is still strictly business. Which is to say: men in suits.

via Mad Men Season 4 Premiere Recap – Don Draper Style in Mad Men Premiere – Esquire.

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