You’ve overanalyzed the stylish Mad Men season six promo photos and envied Joan’s dress and Peggy’s mod makeover. Tomorrow you’ll finally get to see what everyone’s wearing when the series returns to AMC. The new season takes place in the late 1960s (estimated to be 1968), and we’ve made a few fashion predictions based on the trailers and photos that have been teased up until now. See how the hemlines and hairstyles will look this season by flipping through our Mad Men fashion preview guide.
As bohemian fashions took over, animal prints became a popular choice for women. Stars like Brigitte Bardot wore them best.
Jackie Kennedy made the bouffant famous, and by the late ’60s, women largely wore it for glamorous occasions. Promo photos of Jessica Paré as Megan Draper show the actress donning a big, Priscilla Presley-style bouffant.
Culottes have always been considered a practical clothing item that allowed women to perform everyday tasks with modesty. By 1968, they became a fashionable hybrid between the popular pants suits of the time and the skirts that were dramatically changing length.
The men of Mad Men are dressed in their finest for the season six promo photos, sporting dinner jackets. Notch lapels gained popularity during this time. Casual elegance was paramount.
The fitted bodice and loose skirt (as seen here on Jessica Paré’s Megan Draper) saw a revival in the late ’60s as strictly corseted feminine fashions relaxed into the 1970s. This style evolved into a more youthful “fit and flare” silhouette, which was seen in dresses (Kiernan Shipka’s Sally Draper), coats, and suits.
Today, people wear flip-flops to business meetings, but they would have been worn exclusively to the beach or pool in 1968. We’ll probably spot a few when Don and Megan relax on the sand this season.
Styles were drastically changing, but gloves (long and short) were still a must-have for formal occasions.
The women’s lib movement made it clear that ladies were fully capable of doing everything men could do. This fed fashion, too. Women’s suits mirrored men’s styles more distinctly with Houndstooth patterns, which saw a resurgence in the late 1960s.
Iridescent Lips and Eyes
This Revlon ad from 1968 for an “un-lipstick” promoted bare, shiny lips. Nude, iridescent colors gave mouths and eyelids a dewy, youthful look.
Jester Blouses and Collars
There’s a sad, poetic irony in placing one of the series’ most miserable characters, Betty Francis (January Jones), in a jester collar, named after a “royal” figure that habitually acts like a fool.
Boots were already a popular footwear choice (for men and women) by 1968, and style icons like Jane Fonda made them a most-wanted item. She wore thigh-high boots in Barbarella that year. Sally Draper got a leg up on the fashion craze last season of Mad Men, and we expect to see the younger cast members wearing more round-toed boots (with chunky heels) in season six.
Long and Lean
Long, skinny, lean silhouettes were the go-to for men and women. Men’s suit jackets hit the hips — like the Nehru, which was a 1960’s minimalist staple that signified a growing interest in exotic cultures. The Beatles often wore them — and visited India that year.
Maxiskirts and Miniskirts
Maxiskirts arrived on scene in 1967, but the trend was never as popular as the miniskirt, which grew shorter and shorter. Colored tights and bare legs were the perfect accompaniment for the new hemline that was a symbol of liberation.
Outrageously bright colors welcomed the Space Age and psychedelic 1960s. If it wasn’t neon, metallic, or a wearable optical illusion, it wasn’t worth stepping into.
Ornament and Opulence
Joan’s curve-hugging dress with ornamental, embroidered touches conjures 1968 Elizabeth Taylor — attending the opening of Doctor Faustus — and the actress’ Cleopatra gowns from 1963. Taylor’s love of big, bold fashion dripping with diamonds makes her a fitting style icon for the empowered Joan (Christina Hendricks).
Peggy’s (Elisabeth Moss) hair isn’t a drastic pixie or pageboy cut, but the close-cropped style is reminiscent of women’s shorter hair lengths during the late ’60s that models like Twiggy and stars like Audrey Hepburn and Mia Farrow made famous.
We’ve already seen Betty at her frumpiest, and these quilted robes remind us of the kind of housewife wardrobe she’d wear for long afternoons of sulking.
Feminine styles from the 1930s returned during the late 1960s and ruffles decorated blouses, dresses, and jumpers for added softness.
We’ve seen Megan Draper rock a skinny scarf as a hair accessory before, but by 1968, women were wearing them as fashionable turbans and gypsy-style accessories — especially favored by hippies.
We expect to see fewer Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce employees buttoned up with ties this season.
Brigitte Bardot’s 1968 attire isn’t appropriate for the office, but transparent fabrics were a stylish wardrobe addition and matched the increasingly free-spirited time period.
Another piece of menswear that influenced female fashion was the vest. Younger women wore them long and flowing.
Wide-leg trousers were yet another look inspired by menswear. They also mimicked the fit and flare fashion of women’s dresses and were usually paired with wide belts for a tiny waist.
Drippy, gorgeous chandelier earrings required.
Everyone was cardigan crazed and wild about knitwear.
Zippered jumpsuits are never sexy, but the late ’60s didn’t discriminate when it came to garments you zipped.