Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mad Men: Pretty Peggy-O*

Peggy Olson

Peggy was told by Joan during her first week of work, "You're the new girl and you're not much, so you might as well enjoy it** while it lasts." More harsh words from our Joan!

Joan also told her to undress in front of a mirror with a paper bag over her head and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of her body. What is telling about Peggy, is that you don't get the impression that she ever followed that advice. Since she wasn't there to snag a husband, like seemingly every other girl at Sterling Cooper, she let those words of wisdom pass on by. That's what I like about our Peg.

This does not mean that I don't want to see her dress more fashionably. I like that she avoids becoming a cookie cutter version of anyone else. Truthfully, the only thing I really have a problem with are her bangs. In the six episodes I have seen, they are either very stiff and short or strangely parted down the middle because they are too long.

Scary bangs in episode 1

The difference in style between Joan and Peggy is obvious. Peggy prefers the full-skirted style of the early and mid 1950s and will take a while to embrace the slim-skirted look of the 1950-60s that Joan gravitates to and wears so well. Peggy is also a big advocate for collars, scarves, and pearls; details that bring the eye up to her face instead of lingering on her figure. I doubt she has ever in her life wanted the same kind of attention that Joan enjoys.

The empire waists on these two dresses direct attention up and away from the waistline while the collars and scarf draw the eye straight past the decolletage and further upward to the face.

Here, a simple blouse, buttoned to the top, and a somewhat slim skirt still fit the established "good girl" image. However, the yellow pumps were a pretty surprising (and sexy) choice for her to make.

F.Y.I. This is my favorite outfit. I love the nubby fabric and the big buttons on the tabs and on the skirt.

Most of the patterns that looked like Peggy's style were listed as Girl or Junior styles on the vintage pattern sites. You can seek out the "Junior" Mad Woman in you by using the search term rockabilly:

Simplicity 4808, Butterick 7905, Simplicity 4766, Advance

"Pretty Peggy-O" title courtesy of Bob Dylan
** the office males' attention

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Confession: I really like her super-short bangs. It's a look few women can pull off (I'm not one of them), but I think she does it well. The too-long ones, though - ugh.

She's my favorite character on the show right now.