Style Icon: Joan Holloway Harris

During one episode of Mad Men, the advertising execs are thinking up a concept for Playtex. One decides that every woman can be sorted into one of two categories: A Marilyn (Monroe) or a Jackie (Kennedy). One asks if Joan Holloway, the office manager, is a Marilyn. The reply? “Well, Marilyn is really a Joan.”

To me, that’s how iconic this style icon really is. Let me be clear, I am talking about Joan, not Christina Hendricks, the actress who plays Joan. I love Christina Hendricks, I really do. But you can’t mix them up, stylistically. Christina is all about the boobage, whereas Joan has been known to tell a secretary that her “décolletage is distracting.”

So, here are the style take-aways from the beautiful Joan Holloway Harris.

1. The accessory can make the outfit.

Joan often wears bright solid colors. She prefers a boatneck sheath for work. Without the accessories, these choices might be plain. But she has her signature accessory, the pen on a chain, and a gorgeous brooch. How many people wear brooches these days? (Aside from me, that is!) Joan is always impeccably accessorized. If you’re the person who wears the same accessories every day (like my darling friend who wears a Portland Blazers necklace every day), maybe you should think about mixing it up and finding the perfect piece with that perfect outfit. (By the by, you can get a beautiful replica of Joan’s pen necklace here.)

2. Enhance your (ahem) ASSets.

Check out that ass! Everyone else is. Because Joan enhances her best features–her hourglass figure. She’s not lumpy or bumpy, because she wears a girdle (duh), but also because her clothes are tailored impeccably. Her clothes fit her body, but are neither too tight nor too loose. I would love to be tailored impeccably. Unfortunately, I spend a lot of time tugging on clothes or swimming in them.

3. Move with the times…in a flattering way.

I love this outfit. Joan is moving into the sixties and choosing a rather bold, op-art pattern. However, as you can see, the basic shape of the dress is not that far off from the clothing she usually wears. Can you imagine her in a Twiggy-style boxy shift dress? I shudder to think.

4. Be Yourself.

Joan plays THE ACCORDION. If that is not the ultimate in self-confidence and personal style, I don’t know what is.

5. Be Memorable.

Otherwise, how are you going to get your own paper dolls and Barbie doll?

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