It’s not a girl crush. It’s a one woman obsession, revolving mainly around her wardrobe. Season 6 of Mad Men gave us lots of fabulous Joanie moments and a few worrying ones too. Here’s an outfit by outfit account on what Joan wore in 1968.
Her photo shoot look
The series premiere features Joan in a waistcoat suit and frilly shirt. I am not amused. In fact I’m terrified. Double breastedness inflates breasts that are already huge, the blouse looks like seventies fancy dress and it’s not even a pencil skirt, it’s an A-line. From a storytelling perspective, I get what costume sorceress Janie Bryant is doing. The outfit is about Joan’s new position as a partner. It’s more authoritative and menswear-inspired than her usual sheath dresses and the symbolically secretarial gold pen necklace has gone for good. From a fan’s perspective though, this is the first outfit I’ve ever seen Joan in that I have no desire to wear.
Her air hostess look
And this is the second. When odious Herb visits her office, Joan is wearing a navy tabard and a fussy orange blouse. This is a much looser silhouette than we’re used to on Joan and, dare I say it, she looks a tad frumpy. She’s even wearing her glasses on a chain round her neck like a middle-aged school marm. Janie, what the heck have you done to Joanie??
Her career woman dress
This is more like it. Joan’s navy boiled wool dress and matching coat look expensive and chic. To her friend, Kate, she appears awe-inspiringly successful, even if her coworkers still treat her like a secretary/whore.
Her day-to-night dress
This watercolour silk chiffon dress is a much softer look. The frock is flouncily old-fashioned but she still looks beautiful. I have to include a picture of her perfectly coordinating coat, which we get a glimpse of in the taxi.
Her serious suit
This is what Joan wears when she knows she has a challenging meeting that day. I love the leopard print scarf she’s tied to her handbag. Even when she’s being sombre, she still finds a way to showcase her Joanie flair.
Her awards ceremony gown
“This is a Greek goddess vintage gown, and I always think of Joan as being a goddess,” explains Janie. This outfit really reminds me of the old school Hollywood glamour of Elizabeth Taylor. I love the chandelier earrings, the lavish beading and the gorgeous jewel colour. She looks sensational.
Her sympathetic vestdress
I’m not at all convinced by Joan’s new tabard fetish, but at least this one’s not double breasted.
Her weekend office wear
This is what she wears for a Saturday meeting. The brown pencil skirt and printed silk blouse are a more relaxed version of her usual office attire. Her hair reminds me of Farrah Fawcett’s 70s flicks – for once, Joan is ahead of the trends!
Her girly dress
A repeat from last season, this dress is extra feminine with its adorable acorn print and the cute little red bows on the trim.
Her outraged dress
In one of her most emotional scenes ever, Joan wears this teal shirtdress. The colour and shape are strong and almost workmanlike but it also has a secretarial feel to it, reflecting her vulnerability. It’s a fashion callback to the dress she wore when she was made partner, reminding us of what she’s been through to get to this point.
Her getting things sorted suit
This royal blue crepe suit is appropriately assertive for a scene where she’s organising everyone in the office. The paisley blouse and butterfly brooch are on trend for the 1968 hippy look. Although the hippies probably wouldn’t have teamed their boho accessories with a business suit.
Her queasy look
Her coat is an appropriately sickly shade of green. Note how the electric blue shoes are the exact same shade as her suit. Joan is always perfectly coordinated, even in A&E.
Her ill at home look
We’ve seen this kimono before. It’s her emergency dressing gown whether she’s nursing her kid or herself.
Her tough decisions suit
A vest suit and a fussy blouse. This look encapsulates all my least favourite aspects of Joan’s style this season.
Her summer office outfit
Her beach look
Love love love Joan’s casual seaside look. It’s very nautically themed, right down to the anchor print drawstring bag and the patriotic scarf in her hair. “This is so what Joan would wear to the beach,” says Janie. “It’s knitwear and shapely and sexy. Then, I designed and built her capri pants. She wore espadrilles. You can’t see it, but she had a very sexy one-piece bathing suit underneath.” I just wish we’d got to see Joan rocking her swimsuit.
Her “I went to the beach yesterday” look
Her lunch date dress
This is an unusual office look for Joan because she thinks she’s going on a date. The pale floral chiffon and that great big ruffle at her shoulder make her look extra romantic and feminine.
Her favourite PJs
We’ve seen Joan in these stripey pyjamas loads of times when she’s home alone. I really enjoy the way they repeat outfits for the characters on Mad Men because it makes them seem so much more realistic.
Her Avon suit
This is classic Joan remixed for an important meeting. It’s got her hallmarks of a solid colour and an hourglass silhouette, but it’s a suit so it looks more professional. She even has a slimline briefcase which matches her handbag exactly. Love this look.
This block colour dress is a callback to her days as a secretary, making it a great choice for the scene where Pete tells her off. She wouldn’t have looked anywhere near as vulnerable in a power suit.
Her standout suit dress
Janie redesigned this vintage suit and altered its fit and detailing. She added the neck scarf, which has been a Joan trademark since the beginning. “Men love scarves” is one of her fundamental rules of dressing.
Her purple power suit
We only get to see this suit for a moment but I really like it – the colour, the fit, the femininity. As the season goes on Joan seems to get the hang of dressing the part of the successful business woman without losing her unique style and personality.
Her autumnal office wear
Another themed outfit. It’s Thanksgiving so she’s in a vintage pumpkin blouse and a burnt orange pencil skirt. No detail is overlooked here – the bow on the gift from Bob even matches her green and gold charm bracelet.
Her femme fatale look
One of my all-time favourite Joanie moments. I’m pining for this pussybow leopard print blouse. This outfit reminds me of the episode in Season 1 when she’s getting ready for a night on the town with her roommate and she’s feeling too Doris Day. “What I want to be is Kim Novak in just about anything.”
Her Thanksgiving dress
This gorgeous forest green dress continues the autumnal colour scheme of the final episode. It’s a much more relaxed silhouette for Joan, whose clothes usually hug her tightly, and her hair is loose. She still looks strong and feminine but more natural – an earthy goddess rather than a constructed one. Always a fan of a themed look, Joan’s finished off her Thanksgiving look with a giant box of cranberry sauce. On that note, I would like to give thanks for Joanie’s amazing wardrobe.
What was your favourite Joan look this season?