Mad Men: Stan Rizzo’s Mustard Plaid Sport Jackets
Jay R. Ferguson as Stan Rizzo, maverick advertising agency art director
New York City, Summer 1965 through Spring 1968
Series: Mad Men
– “Chinese Wall” (Episode 4.11), dir. Phil Abraham, aired 10/3/2010
– “A Little Kiss, Part 1” (Episode 5.01), dir. Jennifer Getzinger, aired 3/25/2012
– “Mystery Date” (Episode 5.04), dir. Matt Shakman, aired 4/8/2012
– “Far Away Places” (Episode 5.06), dir. Scott Hornbacher, aired 4/22/2012
– “Lady Lazarus” (Episode 5.08), dir. Phil Abraham, aired 5/6/2012
– “The Phantom” (Episode 5.13), dir. Matthew Weiner, aired 6/10/2012
– “To Have and to Hold” (Episode 6.04), dir. Michael Uppendahl, aired 4/21/2013
Creator: Matthew Weiner
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Anyone who has been a regular BAMF Style reader or Instagram follower knows that I have a fascination with these random observances—particularly those food-related ones—that dot the calendar, typically of unconfirmed origins but celebrating everything from root beer floats (August 6) to ranch dressing (March 10, as I once commemorated with Gene Hackman’s ranch suit in Prime Cut.)
Thus, you’ve probably already deduced—with an audible groan, no doubt—that today is National Mustard Day, commemorated the first Saturday in August. During my latest Mad Men rewatch, I was increasingly impressed with the character of Stan Rizzo, who brought a swaggering yin to the debonair yang of the sadly dismissed Sal Romano (Bryan Batt), Sterling Cooper’s previous art director and a sophisticated dresser who will receive his own much-deserved BAMF Style coverage soon.
When Stan was first hired by Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce midway through the show’s fourth season, I recall being initially annoyed by the character’s boastful, frat-tastic energy, particularly as I was still mourning Sal’s departure. Over the series, we watch Stan evolve into a more self-assured artist and professional, who abandons much of his early posturing to embrace his own leonine brand balancing unapologetic confidence with nonchalance and sincerity, aided by Jay R. Ferguson’s charismatic performance that layers more warmth onto the character as time goes on.
What’d He Wear?
Stan’s preference for yellow plaid sport jackets is established during his debut season, first seen in “Chinese Wall” (Episode 4.11) when he makes a clumsy pass at Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) during what he believes to be the agency’s “last days of Rome.” It’s a good color for Stan, appropriately evocative of hot dog condiments given his celebrated work on the Heinz account while also signifying his more forward-thinking approach; while the debonair Sal Romano was rooted in the dapper style of the 1950s, Stan dresses more in anticipation of the colors and casual attitudes of the following decade, comfortably decked out in the autumnal shades and open collars of the ’70s.
While more of a lemon yellow than a rich mustard, this first sports coat has a tan shadow plaid that could argue a resemblance to brown mustard, further accented with a teal windowpane overcheck that coordinates with his fondness for bright blue knitwear. This jacket has narrow notch lapels with sporty welted “swelled edges”, rolling to a two-button front, as well as a welted breast pocket, gently slanted flapped pockets on the hips, spaced two-button cuffs, double vents, and roped sleeveheads.
The jacket is prominently introduced in “Chinese Wall” when he puts it on over his go-to azure blue knitted short-sleeved polo shirt with the long, four-button placket and thin sky blue horizontal stripes.
Stan also wears his favorite khaki slacks from the fourth season, a pair of flat front trousers styled with the usual on-seam side pockets and jetted back pockets with plain-hemmed bottoms. His shoes are black leather moc-toe loafers with a side-buckle strap, worn with black socks.
We see Stan’s yellow plaid jacket again at the start of the fifth season in “A Little Kiss, Part 1” (Episode 5.01) when he and Peggy present their famous “bean ballet” to the Heinz executives, worn again with the azure striped short-sleeved polo though with perhaps dressier charcoal flannel flat front trousers. (It’s also in this episode that we get a look at the tag of Stan’s shirt, though it’s hard to discern any more than what appears to be an “M.S.” at the start of the tag.)
“Mystery Date” (Episode 5.04) presents us with Stan at his dressiest, clad not only in a sport jacket and trousers but with a light-colored dress shirt and Draper-esque striped tie to boot! At first glance, you may think he’s called back into service his old reliable yellow plaid jacket but a closer look reveals a richer-toned sports coat, grounded in a more golden-hued mustard yellow than the previous jacket and patterned with a rakishly slubbed varieted self-check that contrasts just enough against the napped cloth. (For all intents and purposes, we’ll call this jacket #2!)
In addition to the different color and pattern, “jacket #2” also varies in its cut and style from its predecessor with narrow “half-clover” notch lapels sans edge swelling, single-button front and single-button cuffs all in a golden amber plastic, and jetted slanted hip pockets that lack flaps. Like the other jacket, this mustard sports coat has a welted breast pocket and double vents.
It was this jacket and tie shaking up Stan’s thus-established casual aesthetic that put GQ contributor Andrew Richdale in touch with Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant to discuss what she called “a totally new side of him,” the result of a discussion with Matthew Weiner to reflect a somewhat matured Stan recognizing the importance of their meeting with Butler Footwear. “Matt actually had the great idea of having him take the sports coat off during the meeting,” Bryant explained. “He put it on the back of the chair and then put it back on as he was walking out. I loved that. It highlighted his casual sensibility.”
While he’s willing to adhere to the mandated coat and tie for his meeting, sporting striped neckwear in—what else—mustard, Stan’s casual sensibility prevents him from tying one on (a tie that is) around the office, clad in his shirt sleeves and open neck when consulting with fellow newcomer Michael Ginsberg (Ben Feldstein) for a pre-pitch conference in Draper’s office. With a wrinkle that suggests it isn’t as well-cared for as his colorful array of knitwear, Stan’s button-up dress shirt is a pale mint green with spread collar, plain front, button cuffs, and breast pocket for his Chesterfields.
We also see more of Stan’s high-rise trousers, a pair of then-fashionable chocolate brown slacks with a beltless band fitted around his waist with only a single button external closure and “frogmouth”-style front pockets, another burgeoning menswear detail that would become increasingly popular throughout the ’60s and into the ’70s.
In “Far Away Places” (Episode 5.06), Stan arrives at the office wearing a tan gabardine windbreaker over his solid royal blue knit polo, though he swaps it out for the previously seen yellow plaid sport jacket (“jacket #1”, if you will) when he and Peggy unsuccessfully rehearse their new Heinz Baked Beans presentation for Don. By this point, we see that Stan tends to keep this jacket slung over the back of his chair in the office, always at the ready should the need to be dressier arise.
The blue shirt has a large collar that extends almost the full length of the short three-button placket. A set-in breast pocket closes with a single button through the welted top, and the short set-in sleeves are banded above the elbows. Stan again wears charcoal trousers, and his brown leather ankle-high motorcycle boots are prominent seen as a disappointed Peggy breaks down their presentation materials.
“Lady Lazarus” (Episode 5.08) provides a swan song for jacket #1, which looks considerably greener against the beige knitwear sported under it; indeed, Janie Bryant had described this garment to GQ as “a bright acid green and yellow plaid sports coat” and those tones have considerably more room to pop agains this neutral ground.
This retro shirt, which would be briefly worn again in the following episode “Dark Shadows” (Episode 5.09), has a tonal grid-textured body and a double olive-striped piping that follows the edges of the wide collar, the long four-button placket, the top of the set-in breast pocket, and the bands around the cuffs and hem.
When teaming up with Ginzo for the Topaz presentation in “The Phantom” (Episode 5.13), Stan is down to just one yellow plaid sports coat… jacket #2 was our winner! He wears it here again with chocolate brown trousers and one of his favorite shirts, a burgundy quarter-zip long-sleeved pullover seen frequently across the back half of the fifth season.
Not seen under the jacket, this shirt has a large, white-piped collar and a button-adorned breast pocket also detailed with white stitching. (If it is the same shirt, the long black rectangular-framed zip pull seen in other episodes has evidently been removed.) As with most of his polo shirts across the fourth and fifth seasons, Stan makes the somewhat regrettable decision of wearing a white cotton undershirt with a high crew-neck that tends to be visible above the open necks of his polo shirts.
By the sixth season, we’re seeing more mustard in other men’s wardrobes (and even many of the women), particularly among the more forward-thinking characters like Ted Chaough (Kevin Rahm) and Harry Crane (Rich Sommer), though Don continues to incorporate the color into his ties. The trail-blazing Stan, however, seems to have already moved on, having adopted a more earthy, sage-green tone to accompany the beard he spent most of 1967 cultivating before he ultimately settles into the hippie-artist aesthetic of beads, bush jackets, corduroy, denim, snaps shirts, and scarves for the series’ final season set across 1969 and 1970.
Stan oversees this handoff of his signature color in “To Have and To Hold” (Episode 6.04), which began with Don and Pete’s covert meeting to get their agency’s foot in the door to take over the prized Heinz ketchup account. Given Stan’s experience with their beans division, he’s enlisted to secretly develop the art for SCDP’s pitch. On the day of the presentation, Stan joins his suited colleagues by taking one of his mustard plaid sport jackets—jacket #2—for one last spin, worn with a tonally coordinated yellow shirt, brown trousers, and striped tie, the burgundy “uphill” stripes alongside the yellow and green perhaps to evoke Heinz’s prized mustard that is tragically under-represented in the ads themselves.
Stan is proud of his artwork’s minimalist approach—even if he isn’t given the space to utter more than half a sentence during the meeting—until the group greets Peggy and Ted from CGC just outside the door. “It’s a bake-off?” he realizes. “Since when?”
After Peggy and Ted steal the grand prize, a double victory for SCDP’s rival as their infuriated client from the beans division pulls his account, Stan’s mustard jacket gets one final moment to shine as he heads to the can to conduct one more bean ballet.
Throughout the many shades of mustard and increasing pilosity from the fourth through sixth seasons, Stan maintains the same timekeeping device, a steel watch with an oceanic blue gradient dial on a steel bracelet, until this would be replaced by the seventh season. A Reddit user suggested Rado or Seiko as possible manufacturers, though I’ve never seen any confirmed or positive identification of Stan’s wristwatch.
If you dig Stan’s style and want to read more about it comprehensively, check out this great guide by the blogger of 24 Pinfold Street. You can also read Janie Bryant’s full interview with Andrew Richdale at GQ about Stan’s preference for mustard here.
Of Special Mention…
Never worn with either of his mustard plaid sport jackets, Stan illustrates his loyalty to the color with a few golden-hued knit shirts as well.
The first appears in “The Beautiful Girls” (Episode 4.09) when Peggy’s new pal Joyce Ramsey (Zosia Memet) visits the office to invite her out for drinks that night at P.J. Clarke’s. Misreading the situation, Stan amuses himself by riffing on Petula Clark’s “Downtown” to hint at Joyce’s unveiled sexuality. The short-sleeved polo has a three-button placket and a trio of gradient block stripes on each side, running up from the banded hem to the seam of each raglan sleeve. The collar is fastened through a single button in the back.
A season later in “Christmas Waltz” (Episode 5.10), Stan ignores seasonal shades in favor of his then-favorite color with an all-mustard knit long-sleeved polo shirt, detailed with a closely spaced French placket of four cloth-covered buttons and patterned with two tonal-textured horizontal stripes: one across the upper chest and arms and one across the abdomen over the banded hem.
How to Get the Look
Do Stan Rizzo’s plaid sport jackets cut the mustard? (Sorry, I had to say it.)
- Mustard yellow plaid single-breasted 1- or 2-button sport jacket with narrow notch lapels, welted breast pocket, slanted hip pockets, 1- or 2-button cuffs, and double vents
- Knit polo shirt
- Charcoal or chocolate brown flat front beltless trousers with frogmouth front pockets and plain-hemmed bottoms
- Brown leather ankle-high motorcycle boots
- Black socks
- Steel watch with aqua blue gradient dial on steel bracelet
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the series. If you prefer streaming, Mad Men is no longer available on Netflix in the U.S. as of June, though it joined the Amazon Prime catalog (albeit with ads) the following month.
I’ve got tickets to the bean ballet, and the curtain’s about to go up.
The mustard slaps