How to dress like Mad Men's Ms Joan

Steal the style of Joan Holloway, the popular femme fatale from 'Mad Men'
By Salma Awwad
Mon 13 May 2013 11:42 AM

From office manager, to director of operations and all the way up to junior partner, Joan Holloway captivated our attention as she climbed the career ladder in a male dominated office.

Her allure and strength, in both the way she dresses and behaves, capture the essence of glamour in the early 60’s, a look which was originally pioneered by the elegance of iconic former US First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy.

Mad Men’s proto-feminist heroine, effortlessly portrayed by rising star and fashion favourite Christina Hendricks, is bold, sassy and unpredictable.

Her sense of style is clearly defined by the show’s costume designer Janie Bryant: “(Joan) always presents herself as very commanding... she loves the hourglass silhouette, and she’ll maintain that style.”

Now, vintage inspired fashion has made a strong comeback in both designer and high street labels. This trend provides the perfect solution to portraying a unique sense of style while maintaining a professional demeanour.

Here we outline the key points to getting Joan’s look that transfers beautifully from an office environment to a sophisticated night out.

1. 60s Revamped

Joan’s look was inspired by Marilyn Monroe, with a touch of Jackie O and Sophia Loren. These leading ladies all represent strength mixed with delicate feminine appeal. Knowing how to subtly accentuate the beauty of your feminine figure in an understated and demure manner is essential. A simple way to achieve this is by sticking to timeless silhouettes, classic colours and perfect tailoring.

Top Tip: Prada’s spring-summer 2013 collection has a vast selection of fitted knee length garments that come in black, grey, navy and off white. They’re timeless, elegant and simply chic

2. Jewel Toned Colour Palette

Joan opts for jewel tones that bring a glow to her complexion and add an element of luxury to her overall guise. A fiery red or sapphire blue commands attention and exudes confidence. She mainly chooses to colour block her outfits and occasionally incorporates a classic pattern to her look, such as houndstooth.

Top Tip: Louis Vuitton’s fun summer collection redefines the classic window pane pattern and carries a slew of low waist, slim fitted pencil skirts.

3. Back to Basics

Separates, like skirts and blouses, are staples in every career woman’s wardrobe and are easy to mix and match. Skirts should be knee length or below, yet never touch the ankles. A basic blouse can be made interesting by adding a unique vintage broche. Raw silk wraps seem to be Joan’s preferred choice.

Top Tip: Add on a cashmere cardigan that can be easily tucked away in your purse. If you want to change it up while maintaining comfort and ease, use a little white shrug that can be effortlessly thrown over your shoulders instead. Ayesha Depala, a Dubai based designer, features a white tailored dress with a built in shrug in her latest collection.

4. The Minimalist Approach

Joan’s look is not accessory driven. Little pearl studs are enough to accentuate the look, while golden drop earrings can be regal yet feminine. Always keep the jewellery minimal and let the dress do the talking.

Top Tip: Cartier’s Three Gold Sweet Trinity earring is understated and divinely exquisite.

5. Cinch it at the waist

Whether you choose to go for a skirt and blouse combination or a finely tailored dress, make sure that your look is cinched at the waist in order to achieve the ever-so-flattering hourglass silhouette.

Top Tip: Alexander McQueen’s 2013 collection puts a great emphasis on accentuating the waistline, while adding a modern twist on classic geometric patterns by introducing a black and gold honeycomb print.

6. In Her Shoes

Heels are an essential element of a power woman’s attire. In the 60’s, pointed-toe heels were all the rage. Choose a comfortable height that can be easily worn through a long day’s work.

Top Tip: The king of heels, Christian louboutin’s Pigalle heel is a classic that comes in intense fiery red.

Above all, the most captivating element about Joan is definitely her ambitious and driven attitude. She carries herself with confidence and poise and never fails to speak her mind.

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Last Updated: Thu 26 Jan 2017 01:27 PM GST

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