Mad Men – Betty Draper

I already wrote about the Mad Men from a Menswear perspective. But of course the womenswear was sensational too, and impossible to do justice to in a short blog post, so I am going to give the three leading ladies (here IRL) a post each.

Mad Men actresses
The actresses

My favourite is Betty Draper, played by January Jones. I find her incredibly beautiful in the series, much more so than in her contemporary outfits. To me she has “the Look” I associate with the 1960s, especially with dressed, set hair, make up and accessories. Although her hair is obviously bleached she has such gorgeous light colouring she glows in pastels and lighter shades, whereas (to my mind) she looks somewhat ordinary in the navy evening blouse and trousers above.

Betty - 1960s hair and make up
Betty – 1960s hair and make up

Here is a selection of some of the nicest outfits Betty wore in the series.

In all these images Betty has been dressed in lighter tones, and with her haughty, rather dissatisfied look she epitomises the Cool Blonde made famous in Alfred Hitchcock films. The first picture, of a lovely full-skirted 1950s dress, shows off Jones’ fabulous figure. Her hair, set on jumbo rollers and her deeper lipstick shows how at the start of the 1960s the older trends were still current.

In the series Betty wears some lovely coats – very inspirational for tailors. Isn’t this one super with its flared cuffs, large buttons and typical 1960s flat collar? The outfit with the dark green trousers, neat silk scarf and light tan leather gloves is so beautiful (and entirely unsuitable for riding a horse, IMO). The pearl earings lighten up her face and the round shapes emphasise her full lips and curved face.

In the third image Betty wears a tailored dress with capped sleeves and contrasting polka dot detail. The form-fitting shape looks wonderful and this sort of very simple outfit is lifted by the silk ties around her waist. A tall slim woman in a simple sheath dress is always a great look – but some detail and personalisation makes it stand out from the crowd. Wearing gloves for anything other than warmth was still common in formal wear during the 1960s – a hangover from earlier times when ladies would not want to touch things unguarded. This white glove trend is completely dead now – but gloves can give an outfit a subtle vintage look. Consider wearing a short coloured leather glove in a colour that complements your coat or jacket.

And finally Betty in a shirt-waister – my absolute favourite. I love this look – a soft cotton, long-sleeved dress with collar and cuffs and a nice belt. On Betty in pink, light green or yellow it always looks fresh, summery, pulled together but not too formal. It makes me want to make one.

I will really miss seeing Betty in so many great outfits.


3 Responses

  1. Caroline

    I love Betty’s character, and agree she had some amazing outwear – there is one Dolman sleeved jacket she wore (with a kind of light plaid pattern) that I love…. And when she and Don go to Rome! Gorgeous.

  2. Gail

    Never really got into Mad Men after series one. But I did like Peggy – a woman who fought against the odds to be taken seriously.

  3. April

    I was so disappointed when Mad Men left terrestial tv. I didn’t always get the story line, but the fashions more than made up for it.

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