Peggy's 'Mad Men' pantsuit: The inside story
Is Peggy Olson the new Don Draper?
In Sunday night’s Mad Men finale, Peggy found herself in Don Draper’s office, following his leave of absence. Perhaps even truer to Don Draper style, Peggy ended an affair while shifting focus back to work, so it’s safe to wonder if the copywriter has learned more than a thing or two from her former mentor.
And while she may have found herself in the creative director’s shoes, it’s Peggy’s pantsuit that has viewers talking. We went to the AMC show’s costume designer Janie Bryant to get the scoop.
“When we see her in the office, it really is that moment of ‘I am empowered. I will survive.’ I wanted to see Peggy in pants to illustrate that she had come so far. It was such strong expression of empowerment,” Bryant tells EW.com.
While other female characters like Joyce (Zosia Mamet) and Megan (Jessica Pare) have been spotted on the series in pants, it marks a certain coming-of-age for Peggy, who’s better known for her “forever schoolgirl” look. “Peggy really is a modern woman and for her to make that choice to wear pants shows how far women have come. Most women wouldn’t wear pants to the office, and that’s why I wanted Peggy to be in pants for that scene.”
Prior to shooting, the costume designer fit actress Elisabeth Moss in three to four different options before selecting the vintage vest-and-pant combo, which she found at Palace Costume & Prop Company, a West Hollywood production rental company.
“When I fit her in that [look], I said, ‘That’s it. That’s what you’re wearing.’ I loved it not only for what it says about Peggy, but also for the colors.” She notes that the black, orange, and white outfit references the imagery of Mad Men’s logo, which is black, white, and red — and features a silhouette of Draper’s back, similar to the final image we see of Peggy during season 6. “I was like, ‘It’s close enough!’ I thought it speaks volumes about everything the show is about.”
So will there be more pantsuits in Peggy’s future?
“That’s a good question for [creator] Matt [Weiner],” she laughs. “I cannot comment on the future.”