What’s Your Mad Men Style?


I’ve finally got into the Mad Men rage, it’s not big here in Australia but as Deja Pseu and others have all talked about it being a great show, I decided to get it on DVD and watch – I’m now up to Series 3 and loving it!

Recently I was emailed by a reader wanting to know which Mad Men character they could base their wardrobe on, so I’ve put together some pointers so you can choose the clothes of the character who will suit you best.
8 Shape – Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks)
Joan Mad Men 8 Shape
As we’re all aware, Joan has a large bust, she tends to look better in the lower neckline clothes rather than the really high ones which can make her look more matronly.  
joan Mad Men 8 shape short waist
She has a shortish waist and an 8 shape, so suits the straight shapes that cinch in her waist.
Joan Mad Men 8 body shape
She generally looks best when the belting or tucking is in the same colour rather than an alternative, as this emphasises her short waist.
X Shape – Betty Draper (January Jones) this could also apply to some A shapes
Betty Mad Men X Shape
With a divine X shape figure, Betty Draper can wear all sorts of styles.   She looks great in the big skirts of the era, but also as glam in the straighter shapes.Betty Draper X Shape Body
Betty can easily tuck into a flared or pleated skirt as she has a longer waist.
Betty Draper X Shape body
But she does need waist emphasis, and pulls it off .
As she has a small to medium size bust, she can wear both the high and lower necklines of the time.
I, V, H Shape – Peggy Olsen (Elisabeth Moss)
Peggy has a straighter shape, and her clothes would suit more the I, H or V shapes.
Peggy Olsen Mad Men Body Shape H
She tends to wear pleated skirts that are stitched to the hip (rather than the pleats that fall from the waist of Betty’s character).  
Peggy Mad Men body shape
She looks best in tops and that bypass her waist without emphasis.  Or alternatively have a cinching effect just under the bust. 


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  • I too have not seen the series and due to the comments I see on various blogs have hired series one, today I am at home on the sick list and intend to watch the DVD. I have the same shape as Joan and have struggled for years trying to dress it! I am in my mid 50's and have recently gone back to wearing the sheath (as I did in the early 70's)I have not worn dresses in the intervening years due to not understanding my body shape and how the fashion of the moment suited my shape. So I have spent the intervening years in trousers, jeans, tee shirst and skirts – I have just tried to cover up and probably tried to minimise the shape.

  • I just got absorbed by this show too (and I live in NA)! Better late than never.

    I LOVE Joan. Her shape is arresting. It doesn't hurt that she's got that Irish pallor thing happening and jewel toned hair. And that her neck is outrageously long. She doesn't have an easy shape, but she shows how a challenging shape can be glorious.

    PS: I don't say she doesn't have an easy shape because she isn't slim – I say it because she's rather uniquely proportioned. The short waist is probably v. hard to work with (I have one, I know). Esp. with the breasts. And she's got super long limbs.

  • I guess I am a Betty, although I admire Joan and want the gumption of a Peggy. I have a few shirtwaist dresses (with very full skirts) that folks compliment me on, but I probably tend to dress like Peggy on a day to day basis.

  • I guess I am a Betty, although I admire Joan and want the gumption of a Peggy. I have a few shirtwaist dresses (with very full skirts) that folks compliment me on, but I probably tend to dress like Peggy on a day to day basis.

  • I'm glad you used the characters names, as it's the characters who have the shape, not necessarily the actresses. They use period style undergarments, designed to create extreme shapes.

    For example, a photographer friend did a shoot with January Jones, and said she had a beautiful, but very straight body.

  • Ah, I remember it well. In the early 60" the bras were losing the points and hemlines were rising. The girdles were mostly to prevent unintended provocative jiggles. That's in reference to young and slim, who frequently held up their hose with garter belts, before panty hose. Matronly full girdles had an armored look. The waist cinchers were usually for very dressy occasions. Jackie Kennedy made undefined waists and a-line skirts popular. Then there was the whole "girl he'd take home to meet Mother" thing. A very narrow line between prim and proper.

  • I'm still trying to figure out if I am an 8 or X. After seeing this post I am now leaning toward 8 because I identify with Joan's shape. It is a struggle for me because I don't know how to "see" my shape and work with it. Someday I'll have to watch this show to see why it is all the rage, the fashions sure are great!

  • Tiffany – Look at the shapes, not the patterns!

    Verily – I don't think the women of today are going to wear that extreme corseting to get those shapes. We like comfort too much.

    Anon – unfortunately O shapes were not catered for in this period! We are lucky that today there are more options. You would have been completely reshaped with boning, girdles corsets etc.

    Leora – have a look at my real life body shapes posts, take a photo of yourself like the ones in the posts and see if that helps you figure out your shape.

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