Don Draper’s Brown Hershey Pitch Suit

Jon Hamm as Don Draper, presenting a pitch to Hershey executives in "In Care Of" (Episode 6.13) on Mad Men.

Jon Hamm as Don Draper, presenting a pitch to Hershey executives in “In Care Of” (Episode 6.13) on Mad Men.

Vitals

Jon Hamm as Don Draper, suddenly honest Madison Avenue ad man

New York City, Fall 1968

Series: Mad Men
Episodes: “Favors” (Episode 6.11) & “In Care Of” (Episode 6.13)
Air Date: June 9, 2013 (Episode 6.11) & June 23, 2013 (Episode 6.13)
Directors: Jennifer Getzinger (Episode 6.11) & Matthew Weiner (Episode 6.13) 
Creator: Matthew Weiner
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant

WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

Background

After Winter Storm Jonas had most of us on the East Coast huddling in whatever warmth we could find this weekend, it’s time to head back to work. In the spirit of Jon Hamm’s recent Golden Globe win for the final season of Mad Men, let’s head back to the office appropriately suited up.

In Mad Men‘s sixth season finale, SC&P receives an RFP from Hershey’s and hotshot creative director Don Draper is assigned the pitch. Little do Jim Cutler and the other partners know that Hershey’s chocolate bars played quite a role in Don’s formative years… and not one they’d want to advertise. In his usual fashion, Don wows the Hershey folks with his pitch but then realizes he can’t pass up the chance to make his personal connection. After telling the execs a story about growing up unwanted in a whorehouse with only Hershey bars giving him comfort and solace, he commits the unforgivable sin (in the advertising world, at least) of telling these potential clients that they have no need for a campaign:

If I had my way, you would never advertise. You shouldn’t have someone like me telling that boy what a Hershey bar is. He already knows.

It came as no surprise to anyone working in the ad game that Don was gently suspended indefinitely without pay shitcanned in the episode’s finale.

What’d He Wear?

Perhaps a subliminal choice to associate himself with Hershey’s brown chocolate or perhaps a reflection of his own rural, “homespun” upbringing that he crafts into his pitch, Don sports a warm medium brown suit for his meeting with the Hershey executives in “In Care Of” (Episode 6.13). The suit also shows up briefly at the end of “The Better Half” (Episode 6.09) and prominently in “Favors” (Episode 6.11) when Don returns home from work and joins Dr. Rosen for an Old Fashioned.

Although brown was traditionally reserved for country outings, it had become well-accepted in American offices by the 1960s as Don stylishly shows us.

Although brown was traditionally reserved for country outings, it had become well-accepted in American offices by the 1960s as Don stylishly shows us.

The suit jacket is single-breasted with slim notch lapels that roll over the top button to create a 3-roll-2 button effect. A slanted buttonhole is stitched through the left lapel. As usual, Don wears a neatly folded white pocket square in his welted breast pocket. The jacket also has straight flapped hip pockets, 2-button cuffs, and a single rear vent. The shoulders are padded with roped sleeveheads.

Don shows off his brown suit with enthusiasm (left, in "Favors") and with more somber disdain (right, in "In Care Of").

Don shows off his brown suit with enthusiasm (left, in “Favors”) and with more somber disdain (right, in “In Care Of”).

Don’s trousers are also similarly styled to his other suits with a plain front and plain-hemmed bottoms. They have side pockets and jetted back pockets. He wears a slim black leather belt with a small square silver buckle.

A rare moment of Draper panic is quickly mollified when paired with his cool, post-work libation habit.

A rare moment of Draper panic is quickly mollified when paired with his cool, post-work libation habit.

Although Don had a clear preference for white dress shirts through most of the series’ early run, he wears a light ecru shirt with this suit, softening the harsh contrast between brown and white. When he opens his collar in “Favors” (Episode 6.11), the white crew neck undershirt poking out beneath provides additional contrast to prove the true color of Don’s dress shirt.

Don in prime Don mode: drink in hand, cigarettes in pocket.

Don in prime Don mode: drink in hand, cigarettes in pocket.

The shirt has all of Don’s usual features: a narrow point collar, front placket, double cuffs, and – of course – a breast pocket for his cigarettes. (In this case, they’re Old Gold; he stopped smoking Lucky Strikes sometime after losing their account at the end of the fourth season.) He fastens the French cuffs with a set of black rectangular links with silver edge trim.

Each tie worn with this outfit is striped, with the stripes crossing from the right shoulder down to the left hip. For the suit’s brief appearance at the end of “The Better Half” (Episode 6.09), the tie’s cream, orange, and dark brown stripes are all equal width as they alternate down the length of the tie.

Throughout “Favors” (Episode 6.11), Don wears a slim black tie with double sets of thin yellow stripes.

"Favors" (Episode 6.11)

“Favors” (Episode 6.11)

For the fateful client pitch in “In Care Of” (Episode 6.13), Don’s slim tie has a blue ground with sets of five light gray stripes of varying widths. The gray stripes are spaced apart by black stripes.

"In Care Of" (Episode 6.13)

“In Care Of” (Episode 6.13)

Don appears to be wearing black leather bluchers with dark brown dress socks, although his feet aren’t clearly seen in any of these episodes.

Dawn watches as Don marches off to an uncertain fate.

Dawn watches as Don marches off to an uncertain fate.

Don’s iconic Omega Seamaster Deville returns from the previous season. The stainless Omega has a black dial with a date indicator window at the 3:00 position and is worn on a black textured crocodile strap. According to the Christie’s auction from December 2015: “The watches were leased to the show by vintage watch specialist Derek Dier, who has supplied watches to the movie industry, noted musicians, actors, writers, artists, international dignitaries and Fortune 500 CEOs. Mad Men Property Master Ellen Freund worked with Dier to select the watches.”

The actual Omega worn by Jon Hamm both as Don Draper and on the April 2013 cover of Entertainment Weekly.

The actual Omega worn by Jon Hamm both as Don Draper and on the April 2013 cover of Entertainment Weekly.

The Christie’s page further describes the watch as: “Signed Omega, Automatic, Seamaster, De Ville, Ref. 166.020, Movement No. 23’943’081, Circa 1960.” The watch eventually sold for a whopping $11,875.

How to Get the Look

Don Draper could teach modern ad men a thing or two about dressing to evoke a prospective client’s product… although I would leave out the bits about growing up in a whorehouse and pilfering from the johns’ pockets.

MMHershey-crop

  • Brown wool suit, consisting of:
    • Single-breasted 3-roll-2-buttoning suit coat with slim notch lapels, welted breast pocket, straight flapped hip pockets, 2-button cuffs, and single rear vent
    • Flat front trousers with belt loops, side pockets, jetted rear pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
  • Light ecru dress shirt with slim point collar, front placket, breast pocket, and double/French cuffs
  • Dark tie with thin light R-down-L stripe sets
  • Black rectangular cuff links with silver trim
  • Black slim leather belt with small square silver buckle
  • Black leather bluchers
  • Dark brown dress socks
  • White cotton short-sleeve crew neck undershirt
  • Omega Seamaster Deville wristwatch with stainless 34 mm case, textured black crocodile strap, and black dial with date indicator

Do Yourself a Favor and…

We now live in a wonderful world where the entire series of Mad Men can be purchased in one transaction. However, if you’re only looking for these episodes in particular, check out the series’ sixth season.

The Quote

I was an orphan. I grew up in Pennsylvania in a whorehouse. I read about Milton Hershey and his school in Coronet magazine or some other crap the girls left by the toilet, and I read that some orphans had a different life there. I could picture it. I dreamt of it… of being wanted. Because the woman who was forced to raise me would look at me every day like she hoped I would disappear. Closest I got to feeling wanted was from a girl who made me go through her johns’ pockets while they screwed. If I collected more than a dollar, she’d buy me a Hershey bar. And I would eat it alone in my room with great ceremony… feeling like a normal kid. It said “sweet” on the package. It was the only sweet thing in my life.

Footnote

Last weekend, Jon Hamm brought home his second Golden Globe for portraying Don Draper. Despite being nominated six times (and already bringing home one win in 2008), the GGs fudged it up a bit and apparently printed the name John Hamm on the actual award.

4 comments

  1. Ryan Hall

    Great to see another Don Draper post and hopefully many more to come. Can someone tell me why ecru, cream and Ivory shirts went out of fashion ?. They go with anything and there better on most people’s complexions then stark white.

    Like

  2. Preston Fassel

    My guess? Undershirts. A lot of men of younger generations (myself included) aren’t big fans of undershirts for a variety of reasons. (In my case it’s because I live in a climate where the temperature regularly reaches into the triple digits). Lighter colored shirts tend to be more transparent, and, if worn without a jacket, permit others to see the wearer’s nipples and body hair. Colored shirts tend to be dense enough that they don’t require the use of an undershirt. I myself am a fan of blue shirts– I think blue flatters a wider variety of complexions than white and ecru, while still looking good with virtually anything.

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  3. Ryan Hall

    Does anyone know if this suit has front darts? I think ad least some of Don’s suit jackets are more a traditional ‘sack’ look especially in the earlier seasons. His suits in season seven are more shaped and fitted and the shoulders have more structure.

    Like

  4. Ryan Hall

    The colour is almost taupe, it is a grey-brown which is better for Jon Hamm’s cool complexion then a true medium brown would be. it bridges the gap nicely between a grey suit and a brown and it is more formal then a brown suit would be. Don wore a dark brown suit in the last season, it looked like brown mixed with a bit of black, this also this looks better on Hamm then a straight dark brown would. I have a similar colouring to Hamm with dark hair and a cool complexion we both look good in muted colours rather then warm colours.

    Like

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