Skipping Breakfast at Tiffany’s: ‘Mad Men’ style: Joan Holloway is a fashion icon

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I was late to jump on the “Mad Men” bandwagon. In fact, I blatantly resisted. My roommate laid down the law, however: We would binge watch either “Mad Men” or “Twin Peaks.” “Mad Men” it was, and my fate was sealed.

From the first moment Joan Holloway walked — no, sashayed — into Don Draper’s office, I knew I wanted to be her. She is bold and witty and never has a hair out of place. Her clothes are an extension of her personality.

Her look is iconic: curve-hugging pencil skirts, jewel-toned dresses, cinched waists, sparkling gold brooches and her fabulous pen necklace. She struts through the halls of Sterling Cooper taking no prisoners. Her fierce and feminine clothing is her personal armor.

Joan’s style evolution is subtle throughout the seasons. She’s a sophisticated woman, and her clothing changes with the events of her life. She marries, has a baby, divorces and even becomes a partner at Sterling Cooper. She tries pants — gasp! — and ladylike business suits. 

She embraces the fashion of the ‘50s until the ‘60s are nearly at an end, but her style never feels outdated. Her figure begs for the hourglass silhouette fashion of the time.

Joan encourages the return of sumptuous curves, but this coveted hourglass figure has a little help: shapewear. Ms. Holloway understood the power of good foundation undergarments. Yes, I’m sorry, but looking that gorgeous doesn’t come without pain or a very strong longline bra.

While Joan’s voluptuous figure deserves attention, what I truly love about her is the elegant confidence from which her wardrobe extends.

She is feminine and can be demure and coy, but she is so much more. She is a woman who gets what she wants. She overcomes obstacles, all the while looking like a goddess.

In the second season, Joan doles out a choice piece of advice to Peggy, a driven coworker: “You want to be taken seriously? Stop dressing like a little girl.” Since “Mad Men” I ask myself, “What would Joan wear?”