Mad Men Style: Joan Harris
Va-va volumptuous Joan Harris has always been fiery, strong-willed, and a bit vulnerable on the show. When it comes to fashion, Joan’s always had a thing for rich hues, fun accessories, upswept hair, and bold lipstick — and she definitely knows how to make an entrance (and an exit). Her curve-hugging, cinched-waist dresses and pencil skirts show off her hourglass assets to absolute perfection.
Need some real life Joan inspiration? We’ve enlisted fashion bloggers Fleur of Diary of a Vintage Girl, Sue of Sewin’ Steady, Joanne of Stitch and Witter, Pauline of Dessine-moi un bouton, and Julie Bobbin of JuliaBobbin to show off their Joan-esque attire and answer a few questions:
Click through the pictures for more on each lady’s look.
What do you love about vintage style?
Sue: “My first memories of loving vintage fashion are from when I would watch old movie musicals, like The Sound of Music and Bye Bye, Birdie as a little girl with my mom. I loved seeing the twirly party dresses and cute everyday outfits that the female characters would wear. I’ve always wanted to own the frothy confection of a dress that Liesl wears while dancing in the rainy gazebo to ‘Sixteen Going on Seventeen.’ Since those early memories, I’ve sought out vintage and vintage-inspired pieces to incorporate into my wardrobe and daily life. I love that many styles from the past are sweetly feminine and flattering, while maintaining a fun and put-together look. You can slip on a vintage dress and feel confident as you step out the door, regardless of the occasion.”
Joanne: “What’s not to like? Vintage style allows you to not just assemble a totally unique look, but you also get to enjoy amazing tailoring and couture details that many high street clothes simply don’t feature anymore. The joy of vintage styling is that you can dial it up or down as you need to — a jaunty ’50s silk scarf with a breton top and boyfriend jeans can look timeless but modern, while a full-on wiggle dress turns vintage glamour up to the max. It’s the most fun you can have with your clothes on!”
Pauline: “I do not own a lot of vintage clothes, mostly bags and hats, but most of what I sew is vintage reproduction or with a retro inspiration. I am especially in love with the ’50s and ’60s fashion, which for me represent femininity, seduction, and it’s so full of colours and patterns. Dressing (and sewing my own clothes) in that style is a way for me to show my personality and originality. ”
Julie: “I love how vintage styles celebrate the feminine form and accentuate a woman’s shape. The style makes you feel beautiful, polished, sexy, and confident, but without showing too much flesh. It’s subtle but powerful and makes you feel like a woman.”
What is your favorite cocktail or beverage?
Sue: “Thankfully, my boyfriend has developed an interest in vintage cocktails and drink recipes from the past, and has introduced me to a few delicious drinks I wouldn’t otherwise have had the nerve to try! My favorite has to be a good old Sidecar — orange-flavored liqueur, brandy, and lemon juice shaken with ice and served in a chilled cocktail glass. Yum.”
Joanne: “It’s got to be a Long Island Iced Tea. Knock me up one of these Highballs, and make it a big one bartender!”
Pauline: “I am going to disappoint you, as my favourite beverage is tea and not a sophisticated cocktail. I have an entire cupboard full of tea boxes, teapots, and cups. My favourite one is Pu Erh, a red tea from China — quite strong. I drink tea at all time during the day, and there’s always a teapot full in the kitchen or in the living room.”
Julie: “A Long Island Iced Tea! It’s sweet, sour, refreshing, and from the home of Mad Men — New York!”
Find recipes for the Sidecar, Long Island Iced Tea, and more in our Mad Men Beverage Guide!
What do you think is our most Joan-worthy hat?
Sue: “I definitely watch Mad Men (almost religiously!), but I can’t say I specifically remember Joan wearing a hat in any of the episodes — maybe that’s because we usually see her in the office? She usually seems to be sporting a chic updo of some sort, but no hat. That said, I think she (and any vintage-loving lady) would look adorable in the Betmar Alexandrite Wool Cloche. It’s definitely got a retro vibe, and it is feminine and polished, without being stuffy.”
Joanne: “The Kangol Heritage Lite Felt Diva. It had to be a hat with diva in the title for Joan, plus this hat would go perfectly with her hot pink wiggle dress. The velvet trim adds a note of luxury.”
Pauline: “I think Joan would go for the Kangol Animal Print Cloche as the foxy lady she is. It’s sexy but in neutral colours — a good compromise for work.”
Julia: “Definitely the Heritage Felt Diva.”