Michael Gladis as Paul Kinsey, blowhard advertising copywriter
New York City, Spring 1963
Series: Mad Men
Episode: “My Old Kentucky Home” (Episode 3.03)
Air Date: August 30, 2009
Director: Jennifer Getzinger
Creator: Matthew Weiner
Costume Designer: Janie Bryant
Though Mad Men is typically associated with alcohol, especially in the early seasons set early in the 1960s, the series still included a handful of memorable 420 moments, from Don Draper’s flashback-inducing toke at a Bohemian shindig to when Pete Campbell finally chills out with a much-needed spliff to the tune of Janis Joplin toward the end of the sixth season. But before we get to that point, we have a trio of Sterling Cooper creatives spending their Saturday afternoon trying to smoke their way to success on the Bacardi account in the third-season episode “My Old Kentucky Home”, set sixty years ago in the spring of 1963.
While the senior staff are invited to “work disguised as a party” hosted by Roger Sterling and his new wife Jane, copywriter Paul Kinsey (Michael Gladis) is among the Sterling Cooper skeleton crew of Smitty Smith (Patrick Cavanaugh) and Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) stranded in the office on this sunny spring weekend.
Little of Kinsey’s interests beyond an enthusiasm for science fiction remain consistent throughout the series, as he continually grasps at shifting identities out of desperation for acceptance. When we met him in the spring of 1960, he was nearly identical to his clean-shaven, suit-and-tie colleagues who spent their workdays drinking and harassing secretaries. Two years later, Kinsey has embraced a more Bohemian image and lifestyle in keeping with his wish to be perceived as creative and socially aware, having grown out a beard and given to Orson Welles-inspired pontification. (If you think this doesn’t suit him, just wait a few years until he’s joined the Hare Krishna movement… while still writing Star Trek spec scripts.)
Kinsey typically takes pompous puffs from his pipe, but the lack of oversight in the office—and perhaps the desire to look interesting in front of younger colleagues whom he likely perceives as threats to his professional relevance—inspires him to call in an old pal from Princeton to hook him up with weed, leading to one of the most memed moments from the series:
What’d He Wear?
With his patterned sports coats, tab-collar dress shirts, and monk shoes, Paul Kinsey developed his style to become one of the more interesting dressers among the men of Sterling Cooper by the second season—and I’m sure he’d only be too delighted to hear it. Of course, when Kinsey’s hookup insists they limit their exposure by using Kinsey’s cardigan to keep their smoke from escaping out into the rest of the office, where Peggy’s judgmental secretary Olive (Judy Kane) sits, Kinsey instantly reveals his lack of cool when he protests:
The six-button mohair sweater in question is color-blocked in three shades of brown: tan across the shoulders, cognac across the chest, and a darker walnut shade around the bottom, this being the same color that trims the edges. The sleeves are set-in at the shoulder and reflect the same color-blocking scheme down each arm.
Kinsey’s coordinated shirt is beige cotton with a faint tonal stripe. The spread collar is shaped with a roll similar to a button-down collar, and the shirt has a breast pocket with mitred bottom corners. The 7-button front placket is stitched close to the edges, and the barrel cuffs also have button closures.
Like his boss Draper, Kinsey wears a plain white cotton short-sleeved undershirt, though wearing his shirt open at the neck shows the top of the undershirt’s crew-neck.
Kinsey maintains the color continuity of his outfit through the brown wool flat-front trousers, held up by a narrow dark brown leather belt that closes through an etched gold box-style buckle. The trousers have quarter-top side pockets, button-through back pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms.
Likely appreciating them as an offbeat but professional alternative to his colleagues’ lace-ups, Kinsey wears brown calf leather monk shoes. As the name implies, this footwear originated among monks in 15th century Europe, characterized by one or two straps that buckle closed over the vamp. Kinsey’s plain-toe monk shoes are of the single-strap variety, closed through a brass-finished single-prong buckle. His chocolate brown cotton lisle socks more closely match his shoe leather than his trouser fabric.
Despite his desire to establish himself as a creative individualist, his watch is far more commonplace than the Rolex or Jaeger-LeCoultre models worn by his boss Draper or the gold triangular-cased Hamilton that accounts man Ken Cosgrove (Aaron Staton) would show off two episodes later as a gift from a client.
Kinsey’s gold-toned dress watch has a round champagne-colored dial and is worn on a dark brown leather strap.
Kinsey’s friend Jeffrey Graves (Miles Fisher) wears a plaid cotton sports coat that would have fit in at the Sterling Cooper garden party, while also strikingly resembling the plaid jackets issued as part of Banana Republic’s Mad Men collection several years later.
How to Get the Look
Paul Kinsey’s mohair cardigan may not be iconic stoner-wear on the level of The Dude’s Pendleton zip-up sweater in The Big Lebowski, but it’s still a unique piece to elevate his weekend office-wear. I can’t really blame him for wanting to protect it after he’s asked to stuff it under the door, but he may have been wise to find a cooler way to protest.
- Brown tri-tone mohair 6-button cardigan sweater
- Ecru tonal-striped cotton shirt with shaped spread collar, front placket, breast pocket, and button cuffs
- Brown wool flat-front trousers with belt loops, quarter-top side pockets, button-through back pockets, and plain-hemmed bottoms
- Dark brown leather belt with engraved gold-toned rectangular box-style buckle
- Brown calf leather plain-toe single-monk shoes
- Dark-brown socks
- White cotton crew-neck short-sleeved undershirt
- Gold dress watch with round gold dial on dark brown leather strap
Do Yourself a Favor and…
Check out the whole series.
This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends….