If anyone knows the art of dude beauty and men's grooming, it's Don Draper. Though many things have changed throughout Mad Men's seven-season run, Don's always-dapper appearance remains a constant in the midst of the often-unpredicatable plotlines. In honor of the last season premiering tonight (Sunday, April 5), InStyle.com Photo Editor Alex Reside rounded up the best retro-inspired men's grooming products and put together a comprehensive guide on how to channel your inner Don.
During a brief stint of unemployment in 2010 I developed a strange routine. I’d wake up, run a weak 2-3 laps around my park, shower, apply for jobs and watch about five hours of Mad Men per day. I caught up on four seasons of Mad Men in under a month. Luckily, I eventually got a job and ran out of episodes. However, my month of viewing left me wanting to be Don Draper. Now, before you point out how terrible of a person he is, I totally agree, but being Don Draper isn’t just symbolic of the alcoholism and infidelity. More than anything, Don Draper is about confidence and swagger. While we all may not look quite as good in a suit as Jon Hamm does, that doesn’t mean that we can’t put your best faces forward and learn some Mad Men-style grooming tricks that worked in the '60s and '70s and still work today.
Let’s put you into Don’s shoes. You have a shady past and are a self-made man that is one of the biggest names in advertising. However, you still wake up from a night of mid-week casual drinking like the rest of us: feeling rough. So, you hit the showers and look in the mirror to shave your signature chiseled jaw. Here is what you need:
Shaving cream is surprisingly important in a good shave. It lubricates the cutting process, making for a much smoother and closer shave. The Ocean Kelp scent is breezy and beach-y, kind of like Don in California. This particular shaving cream is meant to be applied with a brush, which brings me to our next important tool...
If you are just squirting foams or gels out of a can and rubbing it on your face with your hand, you really should do yourself a favor and try applying it with a brush. The brush does a much better job at lathering and prepping your skin and hair for a shave. Since badger hair is naturally stiff and durable, it actually lifts the stubble and exfoliates as you apply your cream. Plus, it is Don’s preferred method of application, and that man can talk me into buying anything.
Now, I’m not going to lie to you and try to compare this razor to something like the Gillette Flex-Ball, which is super easy to shave with. This is a bit of a challenge, but the reward is a lot of control and a very close shave. There is a steep learning curve to this razor, but once you get the hang of it, you'll save so much money on razor blades, that you might be able to afford that 1966 Jaguar E-Type you've always wanted. A typical pack of 100 double edge blades is only about $20.
Now that your face is clean and sleek enough to pass as an advertising executive, lets clean up that bed-head of yours. The Don Draper haircut is maybe the most defining feature of Hamm's character, short on the sides, slightly longer on top. When he enters the room, prepped and ready for a pitch meeting, his hair is slick and perfect. The one and only option is pomade.
The haircut is important, sure, but the pomade is what makes it iconic. Grant's pomade comes in three different levels of hold and shine. The Original Pomade is most like the Don Draper slick-back, but the Medium Blend and Matte Dressing are also good options depending on the level of hold you want in your hair. For the Don Draper effect, dip your finger in and place a small ball of the pomade into your hand about as wide as a nickel and rub your hands together. Then work it throughout the hair focusing on the bangs and where your hair parts. After it's properly applied throughout your hair, it's all about the comb technique. Slick back the hair on the sides above your ears, and then follow your part across the top of your head (a few strokes to get everything in line), and then bring your bangs back and to the side opposite of your part. Voila, you are on your way to pitching an emotional take on cereal advertising!
Izola Brass Comb ($30)
A brass comb is pretty fancy for me, but for Don, he only expects the best. It's extremely durable and still quite lightweight. It's slightly less forgiving than a plastic comb, but it's built to last.
In the early years of Mad Men, you would assume that Don Draper mostly smelled like cigarettes, sex, cologne, and booze, but as Don has undergone several humbling changes in his life, today Don might only smell slightly like the dangerous cocktail that he did before.
Specifically, Don has never been one to turn down a whiskey at work, but it's 2015, and a casual business-drunk is no longer acceptable. What makes Commodity so unique are not the scents alone like whiskey, paper, wool, book, and mimosa, but that they will mail you a sample kit that has 10 fragrances to chose from. Then you can choose a larger bottle out of the bunch or a trio of favorites so that you can mix and match. The Whiskey scent doesn't smell like you just drank a bottle of Jack Daniels, rather it touches on what you smell and taste in whiskey. They are things like oak, honey, lemon and cinnamon. The Whiskey, of course, feels very Don Draper, but there is a Gin scent as well for those Roger Sterling fans in the house.
As part of Penhaligon's of London's line of Bayolea signature scented items, this deodorant offering is styled to look extremely old time, even pre-dating Mad Men. The scent however is timeless and deep. With base notes of cedar and sandalwood and top notes of citrus, it's both fresh and musky at the same time.
Named after a mystical tree from the forests of Ecuador and Peru, this candle is a floral and woody. The Palo Santo is Spanish for "Holy Wood" and was thought to cleanse the spirit and protect individuals who used the scent. With the number of enemies Don has made and horrible things Don has done over the years, he could use a little spirit cleansing and protection in the last seven episodes.