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The Don Draper Effect

Costume Designer Janie Bryant looks back on the Don Draper effect.

Since 2007, Mad Men's Don Draper has been getting guys everywhere to think twice about getting dressed in the morning. Like many of you, he hasn't been doing this alone. He has a pretty powerful lady behind him. I don't mean Megan, I don’t mean Peggy, and I don't mean Betty. I mean Janie Bryant, Mad Men’s Emmy-winning costume designer. If you haven't heard of her yet (it’s a simple Google search away), you will during the final, swingin’ season season of the show.

From the start, Bryant created all the iconic looks for every moment you (and your girlfriend; we won’t judge) have talked about. Bryant introduced us to the sharp dressed, chain smoking, sexually promiscuous booze hound, Don Draper. Never to look disheveled or unkept after a night of infidelity, Draper (played by Men's Fitness May ’14 cover man Jon Hamm) has shifted what it means to get dressed; not only for work, but also for play. When Draper arrived on the scene in 2007, guys didn't really have the weekly style guide that women before them had with shows like Sex and the City. There wasn't a ubiquitous style leader out there we all unanimously agreed on.

Enter the union of Draper and Bryant. Over the course of the last six seasons, we've seen everywhere how Mad Men has breathed life back into men’s fashion trends. There's rough (yet easy) masculinity to a tailored suit, a crisp white shirt, a clean edged pocket square, and a freshly polished pair of shoes. This is a look that illustrates a lifestyle. And Don Draper embodies that lifestyle. 

Men’s Fitness style and grooming editor, Barret Wertz, got a chance to discuss Mad Men, men’s style, and what to watch out for next with Bryant herself. Meanwhile, as we say farewell to Don Draper and the rest of the Mad Men (not to mention the faithful ladies that supported them through the years), we take a look back through the style pages of Men's Fitness to see how easy it is for you to take Don Draper’s influence and keep on applying it long after the show says its final goodbyes.

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