Hot! Mad Men Season 5 Fashions

If you’re not caught up with Mad Men (up to season four), BEWARE!, this post has spoilers!

As soon as I learned that Mad Men was coming back to our television screens on March 25th, the tie-in theme was added to The Sew Weekly editorial calendar (March 19th is the week, to be precise). By far, this had been one of the most requested challenges — especially from my four lovely 2011 contributors.

So far, the show has spanned five years — 1960-1965, with each new season taking place one or two years after the previous one. Assuming this pace, I would guess that the show will pick up in Spring of 1967. If you’re participating in this challenge you can, of course, choose any fashion trend from Mad Men. However, if you want to be a little fashion-forward, here’s my take on what the women of Mad Men will be wearing next season.

Betty Francis

Oh, Betty. For years, she has been immaculately dressed and presented as the facade of the perfect 1950s/1960s wife. With her cinched waists and billowing skirts, she’s held onto late 1950s and early 1960s fashion the longest. In season four, she’s married to the anti-Don, the boring Henry Francis and is getting a little too familiar with the bottle. When you’re married to Henry Francis, you just don’t care any more. That should be embroidered on a pillow.

I can imagine that her clothing will become even more conservative and politician’s wifey with a lot of knits/suits in her future. As she ages (and possibly has a fourth child), it’s very possible that she’s not going to be presented as the beauty of the show and her outfit choices will reflect that.


Peggy Olson

Other than Sally, Peggy seems to represent the closest bridge to a modern woman. Of all the women on the show, her character has had the least flattering and fashionable outfits. Oh, the first season! Based on her bohemian interests and her advancement at work, I think Peggy will actually be more on-trend for the late 1960s. Her clothes may still be kind of ugly with far more polyester than we want to see, but she’ll be closer to the 1970s than 1960s. And she’ll be wearing pants to work.

Joan Harris

When we last saw Joan, she was informing her creep doctor husband that yes, her breasts were indeed bigger. I find it highly unlikely that Joan will still be pregnant when the series starts up again. She’ll probably already have her little silver-haired baby in tow and will be dressing like the casual 1960s mom that she always wanted to be.

This last season we were treated to a number of shots of Joan hanging out in her apartment, dressed in pants and casual tops (even pajamas and glasses!). I predict more sweaters, more capris and far less wiggle dresses.

But yeah, her breasts will still be huge.

Megan Draper

Oh sad little Megan. She’s going to be the star of the show, sartorially speaking. Sure, her marriage will be a complete train wreck but she’ll now have the means to dress even better than she did as a secretary (and she dressed well, then!). She’s got to make a look for herself that’s so Not-Betty. Picture more sophisticated, sexier and more expensive styles. But she’s still far younger than Don, so despite her desire to be someone’s wife, she’s going to rebel. But look pretty good doing it.





Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


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  1. Love this post. Will the world hate me if I say I love Megan? I just hope she doesn’t go the route Jane did into ridiculous and over the top and sad.

    • Oh my, I forgot about Jane already! She was mean to Joan so I never liked her. But yeah, Megan’s life is destined to be tragic. The only hope I have is that she’s the woman who will be there for Sally.

      • I never liked Jane either. I guess I can see Megan and Sally rebelling together — going to the village and buying embroidered peasant blouses, with Megan taking Sally to get espresso and buy records. I think I see Megan made of stronger stuff — I think she may be the one who makes Don feel old. She is so much like that school teacher Don loved for a minute, but a little less deep. Too much depth on Mad Men is danger danger danger!

        By the way, thanks so much for doing this post. I’m sending it to all my MM-starved friends today!

  2. Awesome post. Are we having Mad Men inspired theme one of these weeks?

  3. Mena, I think you are spot on with your style predictions! What a great post. Can’t wait for March!

  4. Where did you get these images Mena? (BTW, I’ve always loved the late ’60s twisting pose that the younger models did, as in dresses 7 and 8 in the last photo. It looks like they were caught dancing. Or running away!)

  5. Great analysis! I love how each season the clothes evolve with the characters. But I have to say that I miss the elegant hats and gloves and poufy dresses that made Season 1 (1961) so memorable! I’m not sure what I’ll do if the show moves into the ’70s and Don Draper starts sporting pork chop side burns and plaid bell-bottomed pants.

    • Yeah, when I was writing this post, I checked out galleries from all the seasons. Season one fashion was so beautiful. I could imagine Don being a hold-out for more traditional mens fashions. But, the pork chop side burns seem pretty accurate!

  6. I have to confess I don’t actually watch Mad Men (it’s in the Netflix cue) but I do love the ladies’ style! I believe it was Banana Republic that recently did a line based on MM. This challenge is the perfect time to make our own (more affordable) versions!

  7. I’ve never watched Mad Men either….do people think I need to start at the beginning or could I pick up what’s going on gradually with the latest series? Or can I just stare at the clothes and not bother with the plots…..which is what I seem to be doing with Downton Abbey which totally passed me by originally too? As a child of the Summer of Love I’m quite looking forward to researching my choice for week up to 18th March.

    • I vote for the beginning. I actually caught an episode somewhere in the second season whithout having seen anything prior to that, and I had no clue what was going on. I think there are a lot of character traits and relationships that are silently referenced in looks and bodylanguage and few words, which was lost on me not having seen it from the start.

      Now I have, and this post made me more curious than ever to see what the clothes will be like! I do love how everyones personalities are so reflected in what they wear, while being totally true to the period and varied at the same time. Deep bows and kudos to the costume designer!

  8. Great predictions for the show Mena! I’m looking forward to it being back on the air. I need to start pouring through my vintage pattern collection to see what I can find for that challenge.

  9. Oh, man, Mena, I just can’t wait for Mad Men, I’m counting the days and preparing the cocktails now. But what about Trudy? I honestly think she’s always the most modern dresser. And how about her HATS? And yes, Megan is going to have a rough go of it. I miss Dr. Faye….now SHE could dress.

  10. SUCH a good post!

    I found some fabric a while back that screamed “JOAN!” I am excited to make something from it. Maybe I will wear my new outfit while I am drinking Old Fashioneds and watching the show :)

  11. Just peaked at the photos as I’m in the middle of watching Season 4 on Netflix. The show is a beast. I love everything about it — especially the fashion. I’m having a blast planning what to make. Thanks for sharing some additional inspiration, Mena.

  12. Yay, so excited this if finally coming up – I have had mine in the planning for ages! Everyone has to start watching series one now (if you havent already seen any). The drama, the clothes, the decor, the appalling chauvanistic behaiviour, the complete mystery that women were to men – it’s fascinating.

  13. This season is so going to rock! I love how the fashions have evolved over time and you can see how the characters’ personalities change through their wardrobe :D

  14. Love this post! I pretty much agree with all of your insights about each character’s wardrobes.

  15. Your post inspired me to search for Trudy! Here’s a really fun to watch fashion shoot for Balmain 1967. I totally see Trudy in these outfits and she’d have the cash to wear them. Also in the vein of secondary characters; to this day I see smart vintage career wear and think that is so Faye…

  16. I love this post! Thanks so much! :)

  17. I totally agree with all of these though I have to say that Betty would never ever wear anything from a Sears catalog, lol. She is, after all, a lady who lunches. I think Jane Bryant will dress her in Norman Norell and Pauline Tregere styles

  18. Thank-you for a great post. I love MM and can’t wait for the next series to start. When that will be in Australia, I don’t know, but this post has whetted my appetite and I can’t wait to see the fashions and to follow the story line.

  19. Can’t wait to see how your predictions pan out!

  20. I’ve never seen this show…..I KNOW and no I don’t live under a rock :-) but thank you for this post, I see lots of creations around the net attributed to the show but now i have a better idea

  21. Great post! :) Thank you! agree with you on so many things. Even though I loved Betty, I have to agree that Megan is absolutely gorgeous and will probably look impeccably stunning. She is so beautiful, it is a pleasure to dress her – as anything will look good. I agree about Peggy, too, she will probably dress to stand out at work, individualist of her own – early winds of the power dressing. ;)

    What about Sally though (Don’s daughter)? The young rebelious lady?

    Cheers, O

    P.s. did you mean Betty not Sally in this sentence? “Other than Sally, Peggy seems to represent the closest bridge to a modern woman…”

  22. This is such a spot on post! I can’t wait for the new season to start. If you haven’t been watching, start at the beginning-it’s truly addictive!

  23. I think this is great… and the prices are fabulous. But then again, these items were pricey then.

  24. I love Mad Men, and I thibnk Peggy’s style will only be rivaled by Megan, who I hope sticks around for a long time…she’s beautiful, and it must be a pleasure to dress her for the costumers…
    What about men’s dress? I think the Orson Wells wannabe (forget his name!) will try, and fail, at fashion trends…