Learn How to Create the Don Draper Look With This Guide

Learn How to Create the Don Draper Look With This Guide

Are you in awe of the suave and sophisticated style of Mad Men’s Don Draper? We have a few tips on how you can easily recreate his look in this guide on how to dress like Don Draper.

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So the hit TV show Mad Men may be over but it unexpectedly created a fashion frenzy thanks to the sincere but suave Don Draper played by Jon Hamm. Although the final season took place in the 70’s, Draper’s style remained firmly in the 60’s and has inspired an entirely new generation of men to look back at this fashionable decade for style inspiration.

Before the radical changes in clothing in the late 60’s which involved everything from flared trousers to vibrant colours, the fashion was subtle but sophisticated. Both men and women had to be immaculately dressed and well presented, which pretty much represents Draper’s style. We’ve put together a few suggestions on how you can imitate the style of this legendary character.

don draper black suit white shirt black tie
How to Dress Like Don Draper - PHOTO CREDIT: Bandt

How to Dress Like Don Draper

Of course the first thing you notice about Don Draper is his suit. Interestingly, while he favours the classic American suit, the suits themselves don’t have any distinctive patterns or prints – nothing that makes them stand out in particular. This is good news as it makes it easier to recreate his style. They key is here is to make people see how good you look in a suit without being distracted by the suit itself. However, the devil is in the details and to make Draper’s look work for you, there are a few things you need to make a note of.

Different Shades of Thread

What’s interesting is that Draper’s suits are made up of different shades of thread which provides variety without losing the overall effect of the colour. Over the course of the show, we’ve seen Draper in a variety of neutral colours and styles. However his trademark is the dark grey suit. If you’re after the classic Draper look, then dark grey is the colour to choose.

The Blazer

Draper wears a single-breasted, slim-cut blazer which is well suited to the slim, powerful figure of Jon Hamm. The blazer is always accompanied with a crisp white shirt and skinny tie. This helps to accentuate his height, making him look more dominant and more imposing. Also, the traditional American suit has only two pockets, which again emphasises the simplicity of his style.

don drape grey suit outfit grid
SHOP: The Idle Man Suit Jacket in Slim Fit Grey, The Idle Man Smart Shirt, The Idle Man Suit Trousers in Slim Fit Grey

The Breast Pocket

Sometimes, usually at formal occasions, the front breast pocket houses a fashionable pocket square. These come in a huge range of colours and sizes and even come in a variety of folds. However, since Draper’s policy is to keep things simple and stylish, he chooses to have a flat pocket square. He has a crisp, clean, straight-edge white handkerchief which not only sets him apart from his colleagues but also gives the impression that he’s sincere and straight-forward.

However, you can always go for something that's a little different, something with a bit of colour and detail to make your look really stand out. To work well with your grey suit, why not try a blue number for added colour, or even a darker grey one to create a more tonal look.

don draper pocket square outfit grid
How to Dress Like Don Draper

A Simple Lapel

The American style suits often feature slim-line notched lapel which has a buttonhole on the left-hand side. Usually the buttonhole would hold a decorative accessory or even a flower. Something Draper wouldn’t even think about. So make sure you keep the lapel as it is.

the idle man suit blazer black
SHOP: The Idle Man Suit Blazer Black

Shirt and Cuffs

Another main feature about Draper’s suits is that he wears perfectly fitting shirts with French style cuffs that extend one centimetre past the blazer and fastened with simple cufflinks. It further emphasises his smart, powerful and professional approach to all things. So make sure you reveal a little bit of cuff and keep the links simple but stylish. Of course the shirt should be white. There were some occasions when the shirt appeared to be more of a cream colour, but the trademark is white.

don draper shirts outfit grid
SHOP: The Idle Man Smart Shirt WhiteThe Idle Man Smart Shirt PinkThe Idle Man Smart Shirt Blue

The Tie

Most of the time Draper’s ties are either a single colour with some kind of textured pattern, or feature diagonal stripes in colours which match his suit. You hardly see him in really bright colours or wearing anything with a particularly striking pattern. This makes him appear more naturally dressed compared to the others. As the series continue, he starts to add tie pins which adds a simple, but classic touch to his outfit.

don draper ties outfit grid
SHOP: The Idle Man Classic 6cm Tie Black

A Classy Coat

Of course, every top dog needs a suitable coat. Throughout the series, we see Draper in a few different coats, one that comes to mind is the high-collared tan trench coat. But whichever coat he wears, it’s always a different colour to his suit. Perhaps the different colours symbolise that he is not the kind of man who just simply blends in with the crowd. If you go for the dark grey suit, try a brown coloured trench coat or something similar. Of if you go for a brown coloured suit, team it up with a black trench coat.

don draper smart coat outfit grid
How to Dress Like Don Draper

Shiny Shoes

We rarely get the chance to see Draper’s shoes, but when we do, you guessed it – they’re nothing short of immaculate. They’re spotless and perfectly polished, especially around the toe. They also have a surprisingly thick heel. This accentuates his height further and makes him appear more dominant. If you don’t have any shiny leather shoes, do get some. If you have a pair, make sure they look spick and span before you leave the house. Give them a good clean and polish and ensure they look absolutely immaculate.

don draper smart shoes outfit grid
SHOP: Dr Marten's Made in England Classic Brogue Shoe Black | Dr Martens Wingtip Brogue Black

And On That Note

Remember, the key to Draper’s style is to keep it simple. No overstated patterns or vibrant colours. Keep it neutral, simple and sophisticated for effortless style that shows everyone you mean business.


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