Valentine’s Day, Mad Men Style
Jon Hamm as Don Draper, Madison Avenue ad man
New York City, February 1962
Series: Mad Men
Episode: “For Those Who Think Young” (Episode 2.01)
Air Date: July 27, 2008
Director: Tim Hunter
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant
In “For Those Who Think Young”, the second season premiere of Mad Men, Don Draper teaches us that Valentine’s Day plans don’t have to be elaborate to be romantic. Of course, you kinda need to follow through.
What’d He Wear?
Don waits in the lobby of the Savoy Hotel in New York City in a very dark charcoal suit, so dark that it appears black in some lighting. As the antiquated concept of wearing black only for funerals, eveningwear, or morning dress has gone by the wayside, a black suit would not be out of place here.
The jacket of the suit is cut like his others: natural shoulders, single-breasted, 2-button front, narrow notch lapels, and a single rear vent. Additional details include 3-button cuffs, straight flapped hip pockets, and a neatly folded white pocket square in the breast pocket.
When he removes the jacket upon getting to the hotel room, it appears to have a dark brown lining. The traditional high rise pants are flat front with plain-hemmed bottoms and small belt loops, through which a thin black leather belt keeps Don’s pants up. The belt has a small silver-colored square buckle with rounded corners.
Don shows us his CRAZY side by wearing a pale blue shirt rather than his white. It is the same style, however, with a spread collar, French cuffs, and a breast pocket for his loyal Lucky Strikes. White buttons fasten through a front placket.
Don’s silk necktie is typical of the narrow ties of the early 1960s, with a solid light blue ground. The center features a triple-stripe pattern, with a very thin pale blue stripe at the top, a thicker gray stripe in the middle, and a very wide blue stripe at the bottom. The stripes are in the typical American right-down-to-left pattern.
Don wears a pair of silver rectangular cuff links on his shirt. The left wrist features his Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique wristwatch on a brown alligator strap. The watch also has a yellow gold case and a white face.
We definitely see Don’s black socks but don’t get a look at his shoes. Judging by what we’ve seen and what we know, they’re probably a pair of black leather laced dress shoes. His usual undershirt – a white crew-neck short-sleeve T-shirt – is worn underneath.
Don avoids the elementary school tradition of slipping red into his outfit. While a muted red tie would look nice, anything else would probably be going overboard for someone trying to emulate Draper’s coolness.
Go Big or Go Home
While the Savoy Hotel in New York probably isn’t a viable option for most, it does suggest similar ideas for a Valentine’s Day date for you. Of course, you should already have plans by now, but if you don’t, you can always follow Don’s example…
Make plans at a nice hotel
… preferably one with a restaurant or a bar. Get there first and wait downstairs, hopefully while a harpist/harper/harp player plucks out Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Song of India”. It’s probably smart to have some champagne waiting.
Once she arrives, ideally gracefully coming down a set of grand stairs as the music REALLY hits a strong note, get up and take off her coat. Sit down and place her coupe in front of her, filled with chilled champagne.
There’s a chance that she may run into an old roommate who is now prostituting herself with lonely old men on the Hallmark holiday. If this is the case, smile through the conversation and then politely tell your date that her old roommate is “a party girl”. The matter should rest there, but if your date presses on – how do you know this? – firmly respond, “How stupid do you think I am?”
She will laugh, not getting it, and you’ll have some more champagne. When it comes time to eat…
Order Room Service
Sure, Valentine’s Day may be a nice occasion for dinner, but room service is much more romantic and – if you end up not actually eating – can result in exercising, saving money, and adhering to your diet!
Plus, your date may have a few surprises of her own…
Now, this is the part that Don forgot…
Don’t just lie there. Chances are, the evening won’t last long, the TV will be flipped on, and you’ll end up actually having to order room service. (And you won’t even get what you want! You’ll want to order a BLT, but she’ll insist on shrimp cocktails.)
How to Get the Look
Want something you can wear to the office and still look good for a night out on the town? Don has the answer to that…
- Charcoal wool suit, consisting of:
- Single-breasted 2-button suitcoat with narrow notch lapels, welted breast pocket, flapped straight hip pockets, single rear vent, 3-button cuffs, dark brown lining
- Flat front high-rise trousers with belt loops, open side pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
- Pale blue button-down dress shirt with spread collars, French cuffs, breast pocket, and white buttons down front placket
- Blue silk narrow necktie with a centered blue/gray triple-stripe pattern
- Black thin leather belt with a small silver rounded square buckle
- Black leather balmorals/oxford shoes
- Black dress socks
- White short-sleeve crew neck undershirt
- Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classique wristwatch with yellow gold case and white dial on a brown alligator strap
- White pocketsquare, folded in suit coat breast pocket
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Buy the second season.
If the music ain’t so good…
Don’t worry, we’ll be out of here before the singer starts.