Wear it like Don Draper
The ever charming, Mr Jon Hamm, and the secret to his on-screen fashionable success
Words by Billy George
Photography by Mr Tomo Brejc for Mr Porter
There is no doubt in my mind, that Mad Men was a cultural hit. Having worked in the advertising industry for many years, having it replayed in my mind every time I watch an episode his pretty hard hitting.
But there is one thing that has always stayed with me, and no doubt the rest of the world; Don Draper and his charming style. Mad Men lasted 7 years, with Mr Jon Hamm winning an Emmy for his performance in the final season. He's one of Hollywood's favourites, gaining career breaks for being nice and respectful; something that is often overlooked these days. He's a quality actor if you ask me. Yet life post season conclusion wasn't the easiest for Jon Hamm, splitting with his partner of 18 years and checking into rehab for alcoholism.
Think of any episode. When you visualise at Don Draper, everything is seamless and correct; trimmed to perfection. Not a sew out of line, a crease uncrossed.
The one major point mentioned by Mr Hamm in a recent interview with Richard Godwin for Mr Porter. Buying and wearing clothes that fit you.
Draper is impeccably dressed, but not for the brands or the suits. You begin to realise that point - for the fact everything just fits.
It's a sprinkle of southern modesty mixed with the modern classics. But it's also a certain kind of romanticism in it all. The perfectly curated hair and carefully pieced clothing.
It's not generally the kind of gent you see walking the streets. He's not seen in a million layers of different things. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Jon Hamm is a man raised on his own. His parents divorced when he was just out of diapers, soon followed by the death of his mum at the young age of ten. Mr Weiner, creator of the cult TV show, described Hamm as a "a man who wasn’t raised by his parents". Pretty close to true. Boy oh boy, he taught himself to dress well.
But he didn't quite learn it all for himself. Playing Don Draper taught him to furthered his vocabulary in style. A classic man who learnt to dress himself from a young age.
But how can you attain this elegant sense of style? It's not a difficult task. It's just a bit of courage and want. Oh, and expense, but don't confuse that with expensive. Before you read any further, there is one thing I should raise now. It's important to dress your age. It's all too easy to copy the style of someone much younger than you; that won't do you any good.
The next most important step to consider: tailoring.
Think of the clothing on the rack as a blank canvas. You have an idea of what the finished piece will look like but it's the final splash of paint you need to finish off the masterpiece. Have you ever wondered why your favourite celebrity always looks so good in what they wear? Yeah. You guessed it. It's mostly because what they wear is moulded to their shape. You don't have to be a chiseled Greek god, lord knows I'm not. But having the generic cut of trousers made to fit my very own art canvas, is the absolute key.
My younger self was drawn to wear baggy shirts, but I outgrew that quite quickly. And it's something that Don Draper shows us. Fitted works best for a classic look. Too big and you look decrepit, too small and you look like a rag doll.
Balance, my friends. Get the right size. You'll thank me later.