How to Dress Like Don Draper

October 20th, 2009


What makes Mad Men’s Don Draper always look so sharp?  The key to Draper’s style is a well cut suit (then again, his dashing good looks don’t hurt either).  But while we can’t all look like Draper, you can dress like him. 

Brooks Brothers and Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant collaborated on a limited edition suit that sold out in a snap, but you can just look for the following details when you’re shopping for (or custom tailoring) your next suit:

Slim Cut Silhouette: Just say no to shapeless suits.  The trim silhouette makes you look slimmer and taller, no matter what your personal architecture.
Medium Gray Sharkskin: If you have only one suit in your wardrobe, make it a gray one.  A gray suit goes everywhere, and it works even when a black suit is too somber.  That extra sheen is from the sharkskin fabric, a popular material in the 1960s and 1980s.
Diagonal Pockets: The slight diagonal of the pockets adds to the slimming effect of the suit.  
Narrow Lapels: Notice the trimmer than usual notched lapels on this jacket.    
Side Vents: Instead of a single vent at the center back, this jacket features two side vents–all the better for the fitted silhouette of the suit.
Sleeve Length: The perfect sleeve length for a jacket shows about a half inch of shirt sleeve.

Entry Filed under: Men,Shopping Guide

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mxyzptlk  |  October 21st, 2009 at 7:49 am

    I think Mad Men has had a great influence on menswear in the past couple of years, but I’d like to think that its success is largely due to the trends in menswear that came before it, namely Thom Browne. I think Mad Men just opened the general public’s eyes to what a different-shaped suit is, and how much better they look than your typical sack suit.

    That said, Thom Browne has been doing the Brooks Brothers Black Fleece line for a few years now, well ahead of this Mad Men craze, and he also has his own line, which is crazy expensive. All very reminiscent of the 60s slimmer, trim suits. For those who don’t want to drop $1500+ on a suit, J Crew does a great version (the Ludlow jacket and classic-fit pants) and Club Monaco now does a real good impression of the Thom Browne fit. Both places, you can get suits for about $600.

    I’m all for bringing back suits with shapes.

  • 2. JenX  |  October 21st, 2009 at 8:10 am

    I’ll be sure to pass this advice onto my guy friends.

  • 3. Alex  |  October 21st, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Oh hell yes, now I can be that scandalous, badass, powerful creative exec I’ve always dreamed of being!

  • 4. Jim  |  October 21st, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    I actually prefer Pete Campbell’s suits in those great shades of blue. They’re always a little too big for him but I think that’s part of his character.

  • 5. Everett  |  October 21st, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    I still haven’t mastered getting the pocket square to actually stay crisp like that.

  • 6. Mimi  |  October 21st, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    ANYTHING is better than the slouchy jeans and oversized shirts. If men only knew how GTREAT they look when they make and effort!

    PS — Everett… here’s How To Properly Rock A Pocket Square

  • 7. Alex  |  October 22nd, 2009 at 10:13 am

    I was inspired by this to buy a gray suit yesterday.

  • 8. Everett  |  October 22nd, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Thanks Mimi.

  • 9. John  |  October 26th, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    I’ve heard of some men actually having their tailor sew the pocket square to jacket pocket itself.

    It obviously limits your choice of color (and so I would suggest doing it only if you have several suits and can afford a certain look), but more than that I’m curious as to how the pocket squares are cleaned if they need to be

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