Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mad Men Via Etsy - Peggy Olson

Now that the fourth season of Mad Men is over, I am going through a little bit of withdraw.  Therefore, I am going to continue my obsession by styling each female character from items found on Etsy.

Spoiler alert - I will make references to the 4th season, so if you haven't watched, don't read my commentary.

First up, our career girl, Peggy Olson.  Peggy has had a double life this season - we see her rising in her career as she breaks new ground and finds a new personal friendship with Don.  We also see her expanding her horizons - hanging out with the Warhol crowd, dating activist Abe, and paling around with lesbian Joyce.  These different activities have required different clothes - of course!  So, let's get started.

Work Dress - Peggy
Peggy has been wearing a lot of bold vertical stripes this season.  Some would say that she has been choosing from military inspired pieces as a way to "armor" herself against the unpredictable and somewhat hostile work environment she finds herself in. She is has been veering away from her signature Peter Pan collars and choosing more sophisticated styles.  She is still fairly young, so she does not choose styles that are overly conservative for the office, but appropriate nonetheless.

Casual Dress Peggy

Peggy has been hanging with a fun crowd this season.  Her newfound friendship with Joyce has opened her up to a different scene socially which includes artists, activists, and musicians.  They are also single and her own age, which is new for her.  In the past we have seen her hanging around the married men she works with or other men who were moving towards a very domestic life.  Polyester, nylon, and other synthetic materials were new in 1965 and considered very youthful - she would have taken advantage of these new wash-and-wear options, which any frugal working girl would do at that time.

Swing Coat Peggy
We saw a few different coats for Peggy this season.  All of them were swing coats and most likely left over from her 1950's wardrobe as they would accommodate the full skirt of a crinoline.  Coats were a big ticket item in the 60's and most working girls would probably not update them every year.  It makes sense that she would have older ones in circulation.  She usually wore neutral colored coats, like this camel one, and would wear a more youthful style like a toggle, rather than a double breast.

Structured Hats - Peggy

We saw Peggy wear a lot of structured hats this season.  Although the 60's youth culture was bringing new more casual styles to bear, women still wore hats and gloves in 1965 as they did in the 50's.  Peggy's hats always tended to be structured pill box style hats with grosgrain ribbon or bows.  They also tended to be in browns and yellows or other neutrals.

Structured Purse Peggy

Women did not use purses in 1965 as we do today.  Back then, the most they carried around was their compact, lipstick, cigarettes and lighter, small wallet, one or two keys, and their gloves.  Smaller structured purses in new manmade materials were common and worked nicely to keep their smokes from getting crushed.  These days, the only thing missing from our purses is the kitchen sink!

Peggy Office Shoes

It was still required of women to wear heels in the office.  In the 60's, we see shoe styles for the working woman become more practical with an emphasis on enhanced comfort.  We see heels widening and toe boxes becoming more square.  A girl like Peggy would have taken advantage of the youthful turn toward multi colors in shoes in interesting materials like patent leather, but would have to remain conservative enough for the work environment.  Open toes, sandals, or boots would not be appropriate - the closed toe pump was the only shoe for the office.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful commentary on Peggy and her wardrobe this season! I'm so sad this season was over; it was such a good one. You're spot-on with your comments. Thanks so much for including my dress!


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