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Don Draper: The Return of 60's Suave


Don Draper: Return of the 60's Suave

Describing a fictional character as a “Man of His Time” may seem an unusual choice, unless you look at how iconic Don Draper’s style is. If you haven’t seen the show, just take a good long look at the picture. Every Ad Man can wear a suit; but none of them can wear it quite like Don. And in a series as fashion-conscious as Mad Men, that’s saying something. Don Draper is a perfect example of the classic American suit popularized by Brooks Brothers.

The formula is simple: Clean cuts. Constant white shirt. Perfectly accentuated tie. And that pocket square! In fact, it’s the very simplicity of his style that accounts for its timelessness. It is ingrained in the cultural consciousness in a way that, from the very first time we meet him, we know immediately that Draper is The Man.

Minimalism doesn’t preclude detail, though. The quintessential 1960’s flows right down to the fedora hats that he wore in the early seasons of the show—which were smartly filtered out as they fell out of style through the 60’s.

In a lot of ways, this character helped to bring Men’s Fashion back to the front of people’s minds. It made suits cool for everyday wear again. That’s a testament to the simplicity of his style: Draper made looking good accessible again, to the common man.

One of the most fascinating pieces about Draper’s chic is that he only ever wears solid, white shirts with his suit. (He even keeps a stack of never-worn white shirts in a drawer in his desk.) That crisp, white shirt is the frame of his suits, and serves to standardize his look no matter what color, design, or material is placed upon it. And frankly, you can never go wrong with classic white, even now.


Don Draper’s style screams power. He’s the man in charge, owning any room he stands in. His suit projects his personality into the area around him in such a way that it’s impossible to ignore him. Anyone can buy a nice suit, but the way you wear it can’t be purchased. Don Draper knows how to wear a suit.

Sherri Meuris

posted on 7/28/2015
It's said that "the clothes make the man", but I think it's equally true that, as the article suggests, "the man makes the clothes". It's interesting - storylines took us into Don Draper's casual life quite frequently, but no one remembers the casual clothes he wore. Why not? Because Don Draper *is* a power suit, that's why. I should know. I can't take my eyes off of him. Great article.

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