10 Outfits Encapsulating the Appeal of Don Draper Style

TV characters have long served as style inspiration for their audiences, and in recent years there has been no character quite so influential as Don Draper from ‘Mad Men’.

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Image Source: AMC / Photography: Jaimie Trueblood

Since the pilot episode of Mad Men in 2007, Don Draper, played by Jon Hamm, has had a huge effect on how men dress at work. The character has helped to influence the resurrection of classic stylings from the 1960s for the modern era. A die-hard fan will know exactly what you’re talking about if you use the term Don Draper Style. But even casual observers will agree that these 10 examples of Don Draper style from the show have made a huge impact beyond the television screen.

TV characters have long served as style inspiration for their audiences, and in recent years, with the exception of Harvey Specter from legal drama ‘Suits’, there has been no character quite so influential as Don Draper from ‘Mad Men’.

 

 

1. The Grey Suit

don draper style - Don Draper 1 Grey Suit

Image Source: AMC

The grey suit that Don wears in the pilot episode of Mad Men follows him throughout all seven seasons of the show, making it a staple of Don Draper style. The suit features a subtle crosshatch pattern and is cut in typical late-1950s American style, with narrow lapels and a slim fit. In the early seasons of the show, Don accessorizes the suit with a subtle tie and white pocket-square peeking out, although he abandons this as the show moves into the late 1960s.

Try this Clavin Klein two-button suit, a slim-fitting two-piece of 100% wool, with side vents, flat-front pants and charcoal grid pattern.

 

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2. The Tuxedo

don draper style - Don Draper 2 Tuxedo

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It makes sense that a character as smooth as Don Draper would look impeccable in a tuxedo. In the season five episode, ‘At The Codfish Ball’, Draper is dressed in his best formalwear as he’s honoured by the American Cancer Society. While the night may not go as planned for the character, the Don Draper style sense remains immaculate. He keeps his tux classic with a black bow tie, a pocket-square and black silk-covered buttons on his dress shirt.

Try something like this slim fit tuxedo from Calvin Klein. It’s a single breasted jacket with matching flat-front pants, and a good example of the slimline elegance of Don Draper at his most suave.

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3. The Turtleneck

don draper style - Don Draper 3 Turtle Neck

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Although the turtleneck may have been the subject of some ridicule in recent years, it’s a classic alternative to a shirt that can be worn during the winter to social occasions. It’s also another aspect of Don Draper style that underscores his belief in keeping things simple. In the season six episode, ‘The Quality of Mercy’, with a black cashmere turtleneck that complements his dark green plaid sports coat perfectly.

This men’s dri-fit turtleneck from Point Zero is made from patented Dry Edition Technology, an athletic performance material that delivers ultra-light feel for performance and comfort.

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4. The Casual Weekend Office Wear

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Image Source: AMC

In the second season episode, ‘Three Sundays’, Don is called into the office unexpectedly on a Sunday, so we see his more casual office wear, rather than the smart suits he wears for pitching. Although this look is informal, the time period is the early 1960s, so there’s no jeans or T-shirts in sight—instead, we have another classic Don Draper style look, as the character opts for tan chinos, a navy V-neck sweater and a crisp white shirt.

This slim-fit v-neck sweater will get you on the road to Don Draper casual cool in no time when paired with a crisp white shirt.

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5. The Plaid Sports Coat

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Of all Don’s outfits on Mad Men, this one probably received the most attention. In ‘Signal 30’, a fifth season episode, Don makes the mistake of letting his much younger girlfriend dress him, and he ends up wearing a ridiculously loud plaid sportscoat to a dinner party. Of course, we’re now edging into the psychedelia influenced late Sixties and towards the heady, gaudy highs of Seventies tailoring.

This Ethan Plaid Sportcoat from Tommy Hilfiger is a modern variant of Don’s late 1960s downtime party jacket.

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6. The Pale Blue Blazer

don draper style - Don Draper 6 Blue Jacket

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When Don makes a business trip to Los Angeles, he shows he’s capable of looking dapper in any climate. The pale blue linen blazer, which he sports with a white shirt and simple navy tie, is the perfect colour for him: it makes him look smart, but not stuffy in the California sunshine. We see the blazer a few more times before the show finale, including on Don and Betty’s trip to Italy.

This men’s US Polo Assn Men’s Chambray Sportcoat, a single-breasted two-button jacket with notch lapel, angle pockets, side vents, and elbow patches, will help you to stay cool when the heat is on.

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7. The Blue Striped Pyjamas

don draper style - Don Draper 7 Pajamas

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Despite his somewhat hedonistic lifestyle and irregular hours, Don Draper often puts as much thought into his nightwear as he does his daywear, and we see him in numerous different button-up flannel pyjama sets throughout the series. Although these sets may not be as popular today for men as they were in the Sixties, this attention to detail provides an important insight into the levels of propriety still prevalent in society.

If you’re looking for something similar, why not try something like these ultra comfy but still incredibly smart 100% cotton urban striped pyjama set from Hugo Boss.

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8. The Brown Suit

don draper style - Don Draper 8 Brown Suit

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Don’s brown suit isn’t seen quite so often as the grey one, but makes regular appearances. One such occasion is in the season six episode, ‘In Care Of’, when Don pitches to Hershey’s and is perhaps trying to emulate their chocolate with his outfit. The yellow stripes on his tie create a classic Sixties colour combination not often seen today in business attire.

Here is something in a similar vein—a two-button slim-fit suit from Perry Ellis, with notch lapel, natural stretch fabric and side vents.

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9. The White Dinner Jacket

don draper style - Don Draper 9 White Dinner Jacket

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We’ve already established that Don Draper sports a tuxedo like no other, but his white tie attire is every bit as dapper. Swapping a tuxedo jacket for pristine white in ‘The Gold Violin’ from the second season, Don combines it with a thin black bow tie and a shirt with gold buttons for a look that’s incredibly suave.

You’ll be able to get into a similar style zone when you slip into this white formal dinner jacket from First Nighter.

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10. The Hawaiian Vacation Outfit

don draper style - Don Draper 10 Hawaii

Image Source: AMC

While on honeymoon with Megan in Hawaii in the sixth season, we catch a glimpse of off-duty Don, a rare occurrence. One of the best Draper looks from this trip is his dinner wear, which combines a subtle blue and white Hawaiian shirt and grid-patterned yellow sports coat. This look shows how men can pay tribute to their surroundings with their clothing without discarding their style sensibilities.

This stylish peaked lapel blazer jacket from Flatseven could be worn with the type of ensemble that Don sported on vacation, and it will certainly add a dash of cool style to your own downtime ensemble.

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