Mad Men 3.2: Love Among the Ruins

23 Aug

Mad Men Fashion and Recap

At Sterling Cooper, Ken Cosgrove’s ad team is discussing Pepsi’s new diet soda, originally called Patio Cola, aimed at helping women “reduce.” To the delight of the men, the client has asked for a frame-by-frame knock-off of Bye Bye Birdie’s opening scene starring Ann-Margret. Peggy wonders about Ann-Margret’s appeal as she mocks “her ability to be 25 and act 14.”

Peggy is struggling with Ann-Margret’s role in the ad but Don sets her straight when he tells her: “Men want her and women want to be her.” Don’s instincts prove to be right when we later see Peggy singing the Bye Bye Birdie tune as she imitates Ann-Margret in front of a mirror using her hair bush as a microphone. 

After leaving the office, Peggy feels bold and heads into a student bar for a Sex and the City girl’s night out. She meets a Brooklyn College engineering student at the bar and goes home with him. She leaves his place before dawn, and lets him know that “it was fun.”

The merger after shocks continue as Lane Pryce informs Don and company that they’ve lost the UK Campbell Soup account. They later have to pull the plug on their involvement in the contentious Madison Square Gardens project, which makes Don wonder aloud why the British firm purchased Sterling Cooper in the first place. “I don’t know,” Lane replies.

Betty and Don must contend with Betty’s father decline as his girlfriend leaves him and his dementia continues to set in. Betty’s brother talks to her about committing their father to a nursing home, but Betty struggles with this decision. Despite his recent tryst with a TWA stewardess, Don shows that he cares about Betty by taking command of the situation. He tells Betty’s brother that they will be taking care of Betty’s father and asks him and his family to leave. Betty and Don may have bargained for more than they realized. When Betty’s father hears a police siren, he wakes them up as he pours their alcohol down the kitchen sink thinking it’s Prohibition days.

Mad Men Fashion Highlights

Betty Draper wears classic maternity wear for the 1960s throughout this episode with oversized frocks, blouses, and a car coat all intended to camouflage a baby rather than celebrate it. The only concessions for earlier versions of maternity clothes were the bight fabrics and prints, which Betty shows off in a pink and gold floral sheath when she accompanies Don for dinner with his new boss and his wife.

Not your mother’s bow tie blouse: When we see Peggy in the bar, she’s wearing a blue secretary blouse with a black bow. The bow tie blouse became the standard for women who wanted to project competency in the workplace at that time.

This style continued right into the 1980s, when women stampeded into the workforce wearing blouses with ruffled bows under their yuppie power suits. After disappearing for over a decade, the bow front blouse has slowly made its way back with sharper lines in a variety of fabrics and styles.

[Image: courtesy of AMC]

Get Peggy’s Look:

Weekend MaxMara Dotted Bow Blouse

Previous Mad Men Posts

Mad Men: Season 3 Premiere

Mad Men, Well- Dressed Women

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