A Mad Men Wedding

Continuing our Week of Weddings, we have a two-parter today from “The Grown Ups”, the twelfth and penultimate episode of the third season of Mad Men.

Jon Hamm as Don Draper (left) and John Slattery as Roger Sterling (right) in

Jon Hamm as Don Draper (left) and John Slattery as Roger Sterling (right) in the third season Mad Men episode “The Grown Ups”.

I hope no one minds – nor do I care if anyone does – but we’re gonna switch up the format here and feature TWO people in one post. While you’re busy scraping your jaws up off the floor, let’s proceed to…

Pt. 1 – The Wedding Guest

Vitals

Jon Hamm as Don Draper, Manhattan ad man and Ossining family man

New York City, November 1963

Series: Mad Men
Episode: “The Grown-Ups” (Episode 3.12)
Air Date: November 1, 2009
Director: Barbet Schroeder
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant

Background

Don Draper should be on top of the world. He’s a high paid executive with the top ad firm in Manhattan with the big house in the suburbs with 2.5 kids and a gorgeous trophy wife. However, that trophy wife just found out he’s a war deserter who’s been lying to her for years, his firm is facing yet another poor business move from its British owners, and the president of the United States has just been assassinated.

What’d He Wear?

Given the circumstances, a national tragedy and all, Don ignores the usual sentiment of not wearing black to a wedding and shows up in a sharp black two-piece. If you like the look but want to stick with conventions, find something in midnight blue or a very dark charcoal.

The jacket is single-breasted with narrow notch lapels, as de rigueur for Draper. The lapels have slightly swollen edges. It fastens in the front with two black buttons as well as two ornamental buttons on each cuff. There are narrow straight flapped hip pockets and an open breast pocket for his neatly folded white pocketsquare. A vertical seam splits the rear in the center. The rear of the jacket is not clearly seen otherwise, but it may have double vents.

Man, Betty is really not feeling his vibe.

Man, Betty is really not feeling his vibe.

The pants have a high rise and narrow belt loops for Don’s thin black leather belt, which fastens with a small squared gold-colored buckle. The trousers are flat front and plain-hemmed at the bottoms.

Don’s dress shirt is one of his standard whites – moderate spread collar, French cuffs, and a patch breast pocket for his Luckies. The white buttons are fastened to a front placket. His cuff links are gold squares.

The tie is narrow with stripes in varying thickness and shades of blue and gray over a dark blue ground. The stripes follow the American pattern of starting at the right shoulder and crossing down to the left hip.

don

Draper.

His shoes are black leather laced dress shoes with black dress socks. On his wrist is his usual Season 2-3 watch, a gold Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique with a yellow gold case and a brown leather alligator strap.

Other than the dark topcoat he sports towards the end of the season, we don’t see any of the rest of Don’s outerwear, such as a hat. The coat, which is knee-length and more like a car coat, is charcoal with a black overcheck, a 3-button single-breasted front, narrow notch lapels, and long rear double vents. In certain light, it appears to take on a brown shade and may have some brown thread in its construction.

Go suck eggs, Henry Francis. Don wins this round.

Go suck eggs, Henry Francis. Don wins this round.

How to Get the Look

As I said, if black at a wedding isn’t your thing, this would look just as good with a midnight blue or deep charcoal suit.

  • Black wool suit, consisting of:
    • Single-breasted 2-button suit jacket with narrow notch lapels, welted breast pocket, straight slim-flapped hip pockets, 2-button cuffs, and double back vents
    • Flat front trousers with belt loops, side pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
  • White poplin dress shirt with a moderate spread collar, breast pocket, front placket, and double/French cuffs
  • Blue/gray/tan multi-striped slim necktie
  • Gold square cuff links
  • Thin black leather belt with a small squared gold-colored buckle
  • Black leather laced dress shoes
  • Black dress socks
  • White short-sleeve crew neck undershirt
  • White pocket square in jacket breast pocket
  • Charcoal black-overcheck wool single-breasted 3-button topcoat with notch lapels and long rear double vents
  • Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique wristwatch with a rectangular yellow gold case and brown alligator leather strap

Naturally, a pack of Luckies should be in your shirt pocket.

Pt. 2 – Father of the Bride

Vitals

John Slattery as Roger Sterling, twice-married “silver fox” of the Madison Avenue advertising world

New York City, November 1963

Background

Roger, although not facing the same personal strife as Don, has a lot on his plate. His only daughter’s wedding day and it had to be the day after the president was violently killed. Add a lazy second wife whose barely older than his daughter and an annoyed ex-wife and it makes sense why Roger isn’t seen far from a bottle of vodka.

However, despite the somber occasion, he saves the day with his usual dose of “Sterling’s Gold” (just wait for Season 4 if you think I made that phrase up) and makes it a special day for his whole family.

What’d He Wear?

The men of the wedding party, groom Brooks and father-of-the-bride Roger included, chose traditional morning dress for the big day and Roger, who often feels at ease in a sharp three piece suit, pulls it off very well, especially for an American during the era which saw the decline of morning dress.

Roger doing what he was born to do: drink and crack jokes.

Roger doing what he does best: drinking and cracking jokes.

The black cutaway tailcoat correctly closes with a single button in the front and has peak lapels sweeping up the chest to the neck. The rear has two ornamental buttons over the tails. In the breast pocket, a white pocket square pokes out. As appropriate for the rakish Roger, it’s not neatly folded like Don’s but tossed in, probably due to much brow-wiping and tear-wiping during the stressful day. Two-button cuffs round out the coat details.

The flat front trousers are gray with black hickory stripes, as typically worn with morning dress. Checked trousers are also an option, but the stripes are more traditional and – in my opinion – a better look. The bottoms are plain-hemmed. The sides are unseen, but he is definitely not wearing a belt, so the pants are likely held up by side tab adjusters.

Roger’s waistcoat is gray with a low V-shaped opening over the 6-button double-breasted closure. The lapels are glimpsed when Roger bends down to take his wife’s drink and appear to be peak lapels. Other colors and pastels, such as a light yellow “buff”, are also options for morning dress waistcoats but can you really see Roger Sterling in a yellow vest for his daughter’s wedding? Or for anything? It works for some, but not the silver fox.

Yeah, yellow would NOT have worked here.

Yeah, yellow would NOT have worked here.

Roger’s shirt is white with an attached white turndown collar. Very traditional morning dress often dictates a detachable turndown collar, but by the 1960s – especially in the United States – attached collars were the norm. The cuffs are buttoned barrel cuffs, unlike Roger’s (and Don’s) usual preference for French cuffs.

His necktie is light gray, tied in a four-in-hand knot. Additional wedding accoutrements include the pocketsquare and a boutonniere fastened to his left coat lapel.

Roger also wears his usual accessories, a left pinky ring and a gold watch on his right wrist. The look is completed by a pair of black leather shoes.

Late night soul searching with Roger Sterling.

Late night soul searching with Roger Sterling.

How to Get the Look

Roger actually wears a pretty perfect example of morning dress. If it’s before six and you want to look sharp for an extra formal occasion, follow this example.

Roger and Brooks bring morning dress back.

Roger and Brooks bring morning dress back.

  • Black 1-button cutaway tailcoat with peak lapels, welted breast pocket, 2 rear ornamental buttons, and 2-button cuffs
  • Gray double-breasted 6-button peak lapel waistcoat with a low V-shaped opening and jetted pockets
  • Gray flat front trousers with black hickory stripes, plain-hemmed bottoms, and side tab adjusters
  • White dress shirt with turndown collar and buttoned barrel cuffs
  • Light gray four-in-hand necktie
  • Black leather laced dress shoes
  • Black dress socks
  • Gold round-cased wristwatch with a white dial and black leather strap
  • Silver pinky ring on left pinky
  • White boutonniere in left lapel of suit coat
  • White pocket square in breast pocket

Go Big or Go Home – Wedding Edition

The Venue

The wedding itself was at the historic St. Bartholomew’s Church in Manhattan, celebrating its 110th year in existence in 2013 (and, thus, its 60th year in 1963 when the episode took place). However, the reception itself was at an unnamed reception hall somewhere in New York City.

The Refreshments

Naturally, the food and drink were all off the hook due to a grand host like Roger Sterling. Unfortunately for him, the wedding’s guest list was cut in half due to the previous day’s presidential assassination and subsequent mourning. Fortunately for the guests, they got to have both prime rib and filet of sole! Evidently, there were also salads served but no cake, much to Roger’s chagrin.

Don drinks his usual Old Fashioned during dinner as his wife Betty works on a glass of red wine.

Don's favorite magic trick is making a cocktail disappear in 1.4 seconds.

Don’s favorite magic trick is making a cocktail disappear in 1.4 seconds.

Roger takes his ex-wife’s drink when the stress mounts, evidently a Gimlet on the rocks. Both Sterlings seem to have a fondness for the clear liquors.

All in attendance partake in coupe-served champagne, which appears to be Moët & Chandon.

Roger shows us the difference between stress drinking and celebration drinking.

Roger shows us the difference between stress drinking and celebration drinking.

Notable Guests

Despite the mentioned lack of guests who were off mourning the president, the Sterling Cooper office made a good showing, likely out of job security rather than fondness for “the spoiled brat”. All primary Sterling Coopers were in attendance, except for Pete (whom no one missed) and Peggy (whom the Sterlings likely forgot about).

And – hey! – the governor’s office was even represented with the late arrival of Henry Francis.

And Betty leaves WITHOUT you, Henry. Ha. Ha.

And Betty leaves WITHOUT you, Henry.
Ha. Ha.

The Music

Before the days of DJs, live bands were pretty much the only choice at weddings. For the new Mr. and Mrs. Hargrove, the “Percy Collins Orchestra” was the band of choice. Light music plays throughout, but the band plays a very nice version of “Moonglow” for the father-daughter dance, which soon devolves into the everyone-who-is-present dance.

2013-02-05 12.08.39 am back

The arrangement used by the fictional Collins-led band is very similar to the one used by the Benny Goodman Quartet in the 1930s (as heard in the films The Fabulous Baker Boys and The Aviator).

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the third season.

A classy guy like Roger knows the right time and place for wit.

A classy guy like Roger knows the right time and place for wit.

The Quote

Roger, unflappable but respectable, uses his toast to flatter his ex-wife, the mother of the bride, and inject some wit and light-hearted humor into the somber mood of the wedding.

You’re a lioness. And thank you for resisting the urge to eat your cub.

Footnotes

Curious about morning dress? This great link will break down the Royal Wedding code for morning dress.

2 comments

  1. Pingback: James Bond’s Wedding « BAMF Style

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