Monday, 13 October 2014

Unlikely Style Icons | Peggy Olson

Starting a new series here on the blog, of the unlikely style icons that appear as if out of nowhere, quietly carving out a style niche that many overlook in favour of their more classically stylish counterparts. So the Joan Harris' and Olivia Popes', the Cher Horowitz's and Holly Golightlys' and the Rihannas' and the Blake Livelys', step aside. We salute you, but there's something fascinating and inspiring about the offbeat and the obscure - from TV characters to news anchors and everything in between.

Peggy Olson - Mad Men

Nothing says style evolution like the transformation of Peggy Olson (played by Elisabeth Moss). A-line midis, pleated gingham, sensible shoes and those bangs were Peggy's nonfashion fashion of the first few seasons. As she grew in strength and capability, so did her wardrobe - bold colour, shifts, chiffons and layered textures/prints, Peggy nails the professional woman of the sixties vibe.  
Music brought to you by The Animals - sixties perfection. Press play and time travel.

Early Peggy

We meet Peggy as a 50s relic - good girl gingham, sweaters and plenty of A-line action. Void of accessories and embellishments, Peggy was projecting a serious "I'm-sweet-and-innocent-so-no-need-to-notice-me" vibe.

Transition Peggy

Okay, so we've still got the trademark Peggy bangs, but she's literally and figuratively letting her hair down. She's streamlined the frumpy frocks by rocking the waist belt to perfection, and opts for bolder colour and grown up gingham. That's the beauty of Peggy - there's no uncharacteristic 360. She maintains the same motif but evolves - we're still seeing A-Line shapes and high necklines.

New Peggy

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DECADE MAKES. Here Peggy's style is fully realised. The colour palette - characteristic mustards, and terracottas of the mid-late sixties, but punctuated with plums, aubergines and deep navys, and print and colour accents that don't overpower. Slightly shorter hemlines and A SIDE FRINGE(!) mark Peggy's new found confidence and power. Note Peggy's style staples - A-line shapes, the necktie and pussybow, simply accessories, high necklines - are still present.

Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant (who is an absolute genius in my opinion) gives us a real woman rather than a 2D character, and she wonderfully demonstrate the evolution from girlhood to womanhood in a rapidly changing 60s landscape. 

What are your thoughts on Peggy's style? And who are your unlikely fashion icons?


  1. This is really cool! It's nice to see the change in fashion with the change in time! I don't have one style icon - but bloggers are generally inspiring! <3
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  2. I just love Peggy- no words to describe her- and her fashion is just perfect, vintage and I will always love it!
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  3. It's funny that you mentioned Joan, because I've just started Mad Men on Netflix (in season 6 now) and every time the woman comes on screen I am enamored by her figure and the way her dresses hit the right spots. But I like that in spite of that, you gravitated towards Peggy for this series who throughout out has really come into her own. From her hair choices to her fashion - Peggy has become a sophisticated woman owning her identity. I love her sometimes quirky choices and the way that she's never been afraid of patterns