If you’ve been following BAMF Style for a few years, you know I like to take a break from the enviable style of Grant, McQueen, Poitier, and their ilk to tackle a problem many of us have faced: how to dress for the office Christmas party. Given that corporate America’s closets tend to have more in common with Michael Scott than with Steve McQueen, the American version of The Office rose to the occasion to address the phenomenon of ill-fitting sweaters and ill-advised ties that seems to plague my fellow cubicle-dwellers as they don their gay apparel for the holiday season.
2020 being the year that it’s been, many staff parties have been relegated to holiday happy hours via Zoom or Teams where there will likely be a better chance of catching glimpse of a co-worker’s sweatpants than Christmas ties. For this year’s ranking of Dunder Mifflin duds, it thus feels more appropriate to settle in for Michael Scott’s vision of a more intimate holiday gathering… which also hosts its fair share of snowball scenes that would no doubt result in severe HR violations.
“Classy Christmas” aired ten years ago, the second of three episodes to be directed by Rainn Wilson. It also marked Michael Scott’s final Christmas celebration at Dunder Mifflin Scranton before Steve Carell left the series at the end of the seventh season.
BAMF Style readers are well aware of my fandom for Mad Men and—in particular—the series’ magnificent 1960s style by costume designer Janie Bryant (who, if I’m not mistaken, is celebrating her birthday today!)
While I’ll still plan on covering individual outfits from the show’s central characters, I thought a helpful resource for readers and fans of the series could be a comprehensive portfolio detailing all the suits, sport jackets, and casual attire worn by Don Draper (Jon Hamm), the enigmatic ad man at the show’s center. (Yes, GQ already did something like this… however, I wanted to take my own approach!)
One goal of the project: to discern just how many different suits Mr. Draper cycled through during the series’ run. My current documentation suggests around 90 suits, but time—and the completion of this project—will tell!
To keep this project particularly useful, I’ve chosen to forego including Draper’s pajamas and I’m not considering adding a raincoat, removing a tie, or any other outfit modifications to be a separate look. If you’re curious about what else Don wore with the outfit, feel free to comment, reach out, or look for a separate BAMF Style post exploring the outfit in more detail!
So far, the page is complete through the end of the first season as I want to make sure the chosen format is agreeable to BAMF Style users. Depending on the feedback I receive, I may retool a bit (to the best of my rather limited abilities!) before continuing on, but the goal is to have all seven seasons of Don’s Mad menswear chronicled by the end of 2020.
Happy reading, and please let me know what you think—I’m open to any feedback!
Introducing… The Don Draper Lookbook
Release Date: September 19, 1990
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Designer: Richard Bruno
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Today marks the 30th anniversary since my favorite movie, Goodfellas, was released, ten days after it premiered to rave reviews at the 47th International Venice Film Festival. Based on the true story told in Nicholas Pileggi’s book Wiseguy, this Martin Scorsese-directed mob epic details a life in organized crime as recalled by Lucchese Mafia family associate-turned-informant Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), from his teenage years in the 1950s through adulthood until his arrest on May 11, 1980.
The ensemble cast includes Robert de Niro, Joe Pesci, Paul Sorvino, and Frank Sivero as Henry’s criminal colleagues and Lorraine Bracco as his wife and eventual accomplice.
Goodfellas fans likely recall that 40 years ago today was full of manic mayhem for mob associate Henry Hill. Check out this throwback Car Week post for a look at Henry’s oversized striped knit shirt, pounds of gold jewelry, and his saddle-colored Cadillac from this famous sequence!
As this week is arguably seeing a number of Christmas parties ramping up at offices around the world, let’s dust off last year’s concept of exploring the famous workplace celebrations at the Scranton branch of the fictional—and highly inept—paper company Dunder Mifflin on NBC’s The Office.
“The holidays have been kind to The Office,” wrote Nathan Rabin for The AV Club in his contemporary review of this episode—which he bestowed with an impressive A- grade—in December 2009. “Some of my favorite episodes take place on Halloween and Christmas, holidays that afford the show an opportunity to break up the visual monotony of business attire and workaday drudgery and indulge in killer sight gags involving Dwight dressed as a malevolent, mean-eyed elf, Michael as a half-assed God figure and geese running amok in unlikely places.”
One of The Office‘s better of its seven Christmas-themed episodes was “Secret Santa”, midway through the show’s sixth season. Perpetual prankster Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) has been promoted to co-regional manager alongside Michael Scott (Steve Carell) and also finds himself co-leading the party planning committee with Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson). Jim and Dwight seemingly put aside their differences to take on the Sisyphean task of motivating their uninspired office for the company’s time-honored holiday party tradition…
Jim: It is office camaraderie.
Dwight: It is warm feelings.
Ho ho ho and happy holidays!
On the 00-7th of November with six months until the release of No Time to Die, I’m briefly diverting from my usual content and hope that you’ll forgive a brief, somewhat personal essay reflecting on the relevance of James Bond’s style
The first James Bond movie I had ever seen was The Man with the Golden Gun. I was at my friend Nate’s tenth birthday party, a month shy of turning 10 myself, and the entire group of about a half-dozen adolescents were transfixed for two hours by the increasingly grainy VHS from Blockbuster that took us to an escapist world of wit, style, thrills, and Britt Ekland in a bikini. I had certainly been familiar with Bond before that, as the agent had been part of pop culture for nearly four decades before I first saw Roger Moore’s sophomore adventure in late June of 1999.
The next three years, my budding interest in menswear would continue to develop I was exposed to Edith Head’s Depression-influenced designs in The Sting (1973), the lavish resort-wear in the John Braborne/Richard B. Goodwin-produced adaptations of Agatha Christie’s mystery novels, the roaring twenties brought to life by Theoni V. Aldredge and Ralph Lauren in The Great Gatsby (1974), and the mobbed-up fashions of Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995), but I like to think that Bond started it all.
Today is July 21, which means…
While today is, indeed, my 30th birthday, I’m greeting the day with considerably more enthusiasm than The Great Gatsby‘s despondent narrator Nick Carraway, who rings in “the portentous menacing road of a new decade” during a contentious confrontation between romantic millionaire Jay Gatsby and brutish Tom Buchanan over the affections of Daisy, Tom’s wife and Gatsby’s former flame. (For a more in-depth look at the style of my favorite book and its multiple cinematic adaptations, check out this post from last month!)
Fellow July 21 birthday celebrators include:
- Sam Bass (born 1851), an outlaw who died on his 27th birthday following a gunfight with police in Texas
- Sara Carter (1898-1979), lead singer of the Carter Family
- Hart Crane (1899-1932), American writer and poet who died by suicide
- Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), American writer and adventurer who also died by suicide
- Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), the media theorist I know best from his famous cameo in Annie Hall
- Kay Starr (1922-2016), described by Billie Holiday as “the only white woman who could sing the blues”
- Norman Jewison (born 1926), director of stylish flicks including The Cincinnati Kid (1965), In the Heat of the Night (1967), and The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), among many others
- Sonny Clark (1931-1963), jazz pianist who recorded prolifically for Blue Note in the late 1950s
- Janet Reno (1938-2016), first woman to serve as United States Attorney General
- Edward Herrmann (1943-2014), actor who famously portrayed FDR (and also appeared in 1974’s The Great Gatsby)
- Robin Williams (1951-2014), Academy Award-winning actor and comedian considered among the funniest people of all time
- Jon Lovitz (born 1957), comedian and former Saturday Night Live cast member
- Brandi Chastain (born 1968), American soccer champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist
- Godfrey (born 1969), comedian, actor, and 7 Up spokesperson
- Josh Hartnett (born 1979), actor who starred in Pearl Harbor, Sin City, and 30 Days of Night
- Paloma Faith (born 1981), eccentric singer-songwriter
Dressing for the holiday office party can be a mixed bag. Do you embrace the festive aspects of the holiday with a snowman-themed tie, Santa Claus socks, and a nutcracker pin… do you treat it like any other day of work and not worry about your grays and blues discouraging Christmas revelry… or do you meet somewhere in the middle, maybe wearing a tie with some holiday color but not looking much different than you would any other Monday?
As a satirical look at American work life, NBC’s The Office fully leaned into some of the most absurd aspects of corporate culture from ridiculous jargon and petty office politics to the time-honored tradition of the office holiday party. Over its nine seasons, The Office dedicated seven episodes to corporate Christmas celebrations (seasons one and four were the exception), all showcasing the unadvisable drinking, flirtations, and holiday outfits that cogs of the real-life corporate machine can identify with all too well.
This week is probably kicking off a bulk of your workplace holiday parties, so—in the spirit of Christmas—enjoy this ranking of the male characters’ outfits during the third season’s “A Benihana Christmas”, one of my favorite Christmas episodes and something that gets just as much airplay for me during the holiday season as classic films like Christmas Vacation, Elf, and White Christmas do.
For my birthday today (July 21, same as Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams), I hope you’ll excuse an indulgent post as I explore the suits that grabbed my attention from a young age and stirred my early interest in men’s style. Though, given the dapper white jacket that Sean Connery wore on the cover of GQ the month I was born, I should have known what direction my life would eventually take!
While not necessarily the greatest suits to every appear in the movies, these five each contributed to my interest in menswear that led to the eventual creation of BAMF Style a decade later. Interestingly, all of the featured outfits are from period films, highlighting fashion of an earlier era (the 1930s, in more cases than not) and accentuated by a musical soundtrack designed to emphasize the character and the moment.
Mad Men premiered ten years ago today on AMC, revolutionizing television and introducing the world to mysterious ad man Don Draper (Jon Hamm), the womanizing Korean War veteran whose endless consumption of Old Fashioneds and Lucky Strikes seem to serve only to make him better at his job.
The quintessential American businessman, Draper sports a classic gray flannel suit throughout the pilot episode. Check out this slightly updated version of one of my first BAMF Style posts on the tenth anniversary of “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” (episode 1.01).
(Please forgive any dated references – this post first went live in October 2012!)