How to Dress Like Don Draper: The Ultimate Guide


Alright, fellas, if you’re fans of the hit TV series “Mad Men”, then you’ve surely admired the debonair Don Draper, the show’s protagonist. His character, played by Jon Hamm, isn’t just known for his captivating on-screen presence, but also for his killer sense of style. Yes, gentlemen, we’re talking about a man who knows his fashion.

Don Draper’s style is the epitome of 1960s sartorial elegance: classic, simple, yet oozing with confidence. His attire? Always a statement, never just clothing. It’s this timeless appeal that’s made his fashion sense resonate with men even today.

So, if you’ve found yourself wanting to inject some of that Draper-style sophistication into your wardrobe, you’re in the right place. This guide is going to detail exactly how to dress like Don Draper. And trust me, it’s not just about throwing on any old suit and tie. There’s a subtle art to nailing this look. So, let’s dive in and uncover the secrets behind one of TV’s most iconic styles.

Get ready, gents, this could be a game-changer for your wardrobe.

Understanding Don Draper’s Style

First things first, let’s break down what makes Don Draper’s style so iconic. You see, guys, it’s not about flashy labels or trendy fads. No, Don Draper’s fashion sense is rooted in traditional 1960s menswear – a time when men dressed to impress as a norm, not an exception.

At the core of his wardrobe? The suit, of course. But not just any suit. We’re talking about sharp, slim-fitting suits that look as though they were custom made for Jon Hamm himself. Think narrow lapels, crisp white shirts, slim ties – the whole shebang. It’s this attention to detail that makes Don’s style stand out.

His color palette? Timeless. Most often, we see Don in grays, blues, and blacks, but occasionally he surprises us with a muted plaid or a subtle stripe. The point is, he sticks to classic colors that have stood the test of time, just like the man himself.

Accessories? Kept to a minimum. A slick tie, a pocket square, and a stylish yet understated watch, that’s it. No flashy bling or unnecessary add-ons. It’s a lesson in sophistication and elegance, gentlemen.

So, in essence, Don Draper’s style is a nod to the bygone era of the 1960s. It’s about embodying a sense of class, of quiet confidence, and of course, understanding that less is more. In the following sections, we’ll dive deeper into how you can emulate this classic look in today’s time. Buckle up, gents, this is going to be one stylish ride.

Building Your Don Draper Wardrobe: Key Pieces

Alright gents, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and delve into the nitty-gritty. We’re going to break down the fundamental elements that you need to create your own Don Draper wardrobe. Let’s dive in.

Don Draper Suits

Draper’s sartorial prowess is defined by his selection of sharp, immaculately tailored suits. His suit game is always on point, with a preference for muted shades – think greys and blues. Want to match that Draper style? Look for well-cut, mid-century inspired suits. Think slim-fitting but not overly tight. Your suit should move with you, not constrain you. Remember, fellas, it’s all about that silhouette.

Don Draper Shirts

Draper keeps his shirts just as clean and classic as his suits. Predominantly, he opts for crisp, white dress shirts – a staple in every man’s wardrobe. They’re usually made from a high-quality cotton that gives that fresh, polished look. The fit? Impeccable, of course. Not too tight, not too loose – just the right balance for that sleek, masculine silhouette.

Don Draper Ties

Moving down to the tie – an essential component in the Draper style file. His ties are as distinctive as the man himself. He usually gravitates towards narrower ties with understated patterns, especially stripes. Material-wise, it’s typically smooth silk. As for the knot, it’s always a full Windsor – classy and symmetrical, mirroring the order and balance in his attire.

Don Draper Casual Wear

Even off-duty, Draper’s style remains iconic. His casual wardrobe is just as meticulously curated, featuring polo shirts, relaxed chinos, and even the occasional sweater. Key to replicating Draper’s casual look is sticking to classic cuts and high-quality fabrics. Keep the colors understated and the fit tailored. Comfort doesn’t have to compromise style, gents.

Accessorizing Like Don Draper

Now, gentlemen, what really adds the finishing touches to Draper’s outfits are his accessories. Let’s dive in and see how you can emulate that signature Draper charm with the right extras.

Don Draper Hats

From Don Draper’s perspective, a look isn’t complete without his signature headgear – the classic fedora. It’s always sharp, with a high crown and indented top, in traditional colors like grey or brown. When choosing a hat, make sure it fits snugly but comfortably, and don’t forget the slight tilt for that Draper-esque appeal. Also, remember: hats are a daytime accessory. As Don would do, take off your hat indoors or when the sun sets.

Don Draper Watches

When it comes to wristwatches, Draper keeps it classy and traditional. He typically wears an understated, round-faced timepiece with a leather strap. It’s clean, simple, and masculine, just like the man himself. Omega and Jaeger-LeCoultre are the brands Draper prefers. When hunting for a watch, prioritize function, quality, and a timeless style that won’t feel outdated as trends change.

Don Draper Cufflinks, Tie Clips, and Pocket Squares

In the world of Don Draper, details matter. He often accentuates his immaculate suits with cufflinks, tie clips, and pocket squares. For cufflinks, he leans toward simple, silver, oval designs. His tie clips are always silver and positioned straight across the middle of the tie. And his pocket squares? Always neatly folded with a clean, straight edge peeking out of his suit pocket. When adding these touches to your outfit, remember that less is more – go for refined pieces that enhance, not overpower your ensemble.

Capturing the Don Draper Look: Grooming and Attitude

Alright fellas, to really nail the Don Draper style, you’ve got to pay attention to more than just the threads. The man is a package deal – and that means considering grooming habits and attitude too.

  • Grooming: Draper’s grooming is as meticulous as his attire. He sports a slick, side-parted haircut, a throwback to the classic hairstyles of the 1960s. The key here is keeping it neat and well-maintained. For the shave, it’s clean, close, and smooth. Forget the hipster beard trend; Draper’s look is all about the clean-shaven charm.
  • Cologne: As for cologne, Draper would likely opt for something masculine and classic, like a woody oriental fragrance. Remember, the goal is to smell as good as you look – not overpowering, but enough to leave a lasting impression.
  • Attitude: And then, there’s the matter of attitude. See, Draper is cool and composed, confident without being cocky. He carries himself with an air of mystery and intrigue that’s undeniably appealing. He’s assertive and knows what he wants – and isn’t afraid to go after it.

While we’re not suggesting you adopt all aspects of his persona (after all, Draper is a complex and often flawed character), there are elements of his attitude that can complement the visual style. Confidence, assertiveness, and a touch of old-school gentlemanly charm can go a long way. So, when you slip into that sharp suit and stylish fedora, remember to wear it with a dash of Draper-like swagger.

After all, looking like Don Draper isn’t just about the clothes; it’s about embodying the entire package. And trust me, when you get it right, you won’t just be looking good – you’ll be feeling pretty damn good too.

Get the Look: Modern Adaptations of Don Draper’s Style

Alright, we’ve dived deep into the world of Draper, but let’s be honest, it’s not the ’60s anymore. As stylish as Draper’s look is, we need to adapt it to suit the present day. So, how do we take that suave, classic aesthetic and make it work in the 21st century? Let’s break it down.

  • Suits: Classic tailoring never goes out of style. Opt for slim-fit suits in neutral colors. While patterns were a big thing in the ’60s, keep it modern with a solid color suit, and if you want to add some punch, do it with your tie or pocket square.
  • Shirts: Keep it simple with solid colors. White is always a safe bet. For a modern twist, you can also experiment with darker shades like black or navy.
  • Ties: Skinny ties are a nod to the ’60s and work well with slim-fit suits. Don’t shy away from patterns here; a polka dot or striped tie can add a fun twist to your outfit.
  • Casual Wear: Swap the formal trousers for dark denim. Pair it with a crisp, white shirt or a polo for a casual yet sophisticated look.
  • Hats: Fedoras may not be commonplace today, but a stylish flat cap or newsboy cap can be a cool alternative.
  • Watches: Stick to timeless pieces with leather straps. They work well with both formal and casual outfits.
  • Cufflinks, Tie Clips, and Pocket Squares: These little details can make a big difference. Keep them classic and understated for a modern look.

Remember, fellas, the goal isn’t to look like you’ve stepped straight out of a ’60s period drama. It’s about taking inspiration from Draper’s style and making it work for you. That means playing around with these guidelines, seeing what feels right, and adding your own personal spin. It’s about balancing that classic Draper charm with a contemporary edge. So go on, give it a whirl, and see how Draper’s style can upgrade your own.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dressing Like Don Draper

What is Draper style?

The “Draper style” refers to the fashion aesthetic of Don Draper, a character from the TV show “Mad Men”. It’s characterized by classic 1960s professional wear, including well-tailored suits, crisp white shirts, slim ties, and polished shoes. It exemplifies sophistication, confidence, and traditional masculinity. Accessories like pocket squares and wristwatches complete the look.

How can I be like Don Draper?

To be like Don Draper, start by adopting his confident, charismatic demeanor. Carry yourself with self-assurance and maintain composure under pressure. Also, work on your persuasion skills as Draper is a master communicator. Embrace his classic style with well-tailored suits, crisp shirts, and polished shoes.

Who was Don Draper modeled after?

Don Draper, the character in “Mad Men”, is largely a creation of show creator Matthew Weiner, but his persona draws upon real-life figures in the advertising world of the 1960s. Draper’s character is said to have been inspired by Draper Daniels, a creative director at the advertising firm Leo Burnett in Chicago, known for creating the Marlboro Man campaign.

What suit did Don Draper wear?

Don Draper, the protagonist of “Mad Men”, is renowned for his dapper, sharp suits. His wardrobe predominantly featured tailored, slim-fit suits in dark shades of grey, navy, and occasionally black. They typically had two buttons, notched lapels, and a narrow tie, reflecting the classic, understated style of the 1960s. The suits were designed to project a sense of professionalism, authority, and the masculine ideal of the era.

A Final Word

Alright gents, that’s the lowdown on how to channel your inner Don Draper. From sharp suits to the right accessories, and even down to the all-important grooming habits, it’s clear that Draper’s style is about more than just the clothes on his back. It’s about an attitude, a persona. It’s about stepping into a room with confidence, knowing you look the business.

Don Draper’s style has had an undeniable impact on men’s fashion, and its influence is still felt today. It’s a nod to a time when every man took pride in his appearance, when the attention was in the details, and when dressing well was the norm, not the exception.

Now it’s over to you. Give it a shot, step into those polished brogues, straighten that tie, and walk out that door with the swagger of Madison Avenue’s finest. Who knows, you might just find that a bit of Don Draper is exactly what your style game needs.

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