From secretary to executive, the Peggy Olson fashion evolution on Mad Men might be the most profound of them all! x
Quite frankly, when it comes to the iconic and uber stylish show Mad Men — the Peggy Olson fashion moments aren’t front of mind.
But in reality, Peggy’s style evolution on the show is the most profound as is her story arc. Over the course of seven highly-eventful seasons, we watched her character rise from an entry-level secretary where she barely knew how to work a typewriter all the way up to an executive level. This is career trajectory would be remarkable in any era but especially in the the 1960s when women were overlooked for leadership positions.
Peggy Olson Fashion Moments
While Mad Men established the likes of Joan Holloway and Betty Draper as undeniably stylish women, they put the Peggy Olson fashion moments on the back-burner with her character focusing primarily on landing ad campaigns and navigating the shenanigans that came with the corporate world of the time.
Office attire wasn’t a top priority for Miss Peggy Olson and you can imagine she breezed through Bloomingdale’s after work grabbing the first cardigans and shift dresses she laid eyes on before either jetting back to the office or home. And yet, her style is perhaps the most indicative of the times as she latched onto trends as well as where she was in her career. Our girl also wasn’t afraid to take risks!
In the pilot episode, we meet a young and wide-eyed Peggy Olson on her first day at the office where she was assigned as Don Draper’s secretary.
From there we see Peggy as an accomplished and confident career executive who moves from sweaters to more trendy pieces:
Quite the Transformation
Over the course of her career, Peggy drop-kicked boring cardigans to the curb in favor of plaid bell bottoms and polyester? Imagine that!
Interestingly enough, though. the Peggy Olson fashion evolution did not fall like that of your typical young woman in the 1960s. She was not flipping the pages of Vogue magazine to seek out the latest fashions. No, instead she was flipping through issues to review ad space and to best understand the female audience so she was equipped with a better understanding of how to market to them for her clients.
Any style tips she picked up from the glossy pages? Merely an afterthought.
It is her ambivalence to womenswear that makes the Peggy Olson style evolution an interesting one to observe as Mad Men progressed. We watch her emerge as a rather stylish woman in the workforce but we know there was a lot of passive motivation behind her style choices. This secondary approach made it fun to see what the show’s stylists would put Elisabeth Moss in and I wager they had a lot of fun watching Peggy make a few stumbles along the way.
But in the end, she left us as a confident and stylish woman who knew her worth.
Also, in case you missed it, here are style reviews of Betty Draper and Joan Holloway.
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