Dear Friend,

Joan Harris nee Holloway (Joanie) is my favourite character on Mad Men and she is my second character to be featured in my Mad Men Lingerie series. If you missed my posts on Betty Draper you can check them out here and here.

  Whilst many of the other female characters change their styling throughout the 1960’s Joan’s look changes very little.

She steers clear of the fashion trends like full skirts (like Betty wears) or the short hemlines (that we see Megan adopt as we move further into the 60’s). She chooses classic pieces that compliment her figure, hair colour and complexion. She favours jewel colours in one block colour-with wide necklines and nipped waists with an occassional ruffle, jabot or scarf detail thrown in. These dresses are generally fairly plain (as they were investment pieces that had to last many wears)and she had fun changing their look with less expensive costume jewellery and scarves.

This cut makes the most of her large bust and small waist and minimises the hip area.

green dress

pink dress madmen28f-1-web

We see her in pretty florals too, which show her softer, more feminine leanings;

three gals photo large_ep3-joan Joan'sBlueFloralDress

Very rarely do we see Joanie undressed, we mostly see her having her dress done up from behind and only get a quick glimpse of bra, stocking or suspender.


What we can see is that Joan is predominantly a black lingerie girl and that they are sensible, yet feminine in style.

joanie black slip

When I started researching this post I found these Joanie cut out dolls with their very own dresses and lingerie. It was nice to have some pictures to share with you of her in her smalls, because there weren’t any shots from the show.

joan holloway paper doll

joan dollJoan Holloway doll jpg

They show very safe and boring underwear options for her…I have been a little bit more adventurous with my choices as I think Joanie would have had fun with colour and pattern with her underpinnings and I will start with slips.

I think Joanie would have ventured a hint of colour in her undergarments and red seems like the obvious place to start;

Joanie Mad Men full slip

Joanie Mad Men slip black

Joanie Mad Men slip

I love this pretty rose pattern half slip;

black floral slip]

Because Joanie is such a shapely girl she would worn some heavy-duty shapewear. She would have required good, supportive bras with wide straps to encase her ample bosom and form-fitting girdles to create that killer silhouette.

As you can see in the picture below (she’s rubbing her bra strap marks) these would take their told by the end of the day.


Joanie probably would have worn a long line bra for day-to-day wear, like the ones below;

long lin bra

black joan bra

  These would have been teamed back with either a panty or open bottom girdle that incorporated stocking suspenders;

black high cut girlde

You can’t see them here but these panty girdles had hooks at mid-thigh height for short suspender straps to be attached.

clack panyty girdle

Long line corslettes were also popular at the time.

black open bottom girdle 2

These incorporated both a bra and girdle and they had suspender straps attached, making them the ultimate smoothing undergarment. These pieces relied on powermesh to firm, slim and smooth the figure (as they had no boning) and are the forerunners of the modern-day Nancy Ganz.

 black open bottom girdle

Unlike her daytime/office dresses Joanie favours low-cut, fitted evening dresses. Due to their skimpy nature these would have required quite careful bra and girdle selection to avoid seeing unsightly bra straps.



Under dresses like these she would have worn strapless or fine strap bras, that would have been made of nicer fabrics like satin and lace…perfect for an evening on the town and been far more attractive when getting undressed.

va va voom bra

black strapless braThese would have been teamed up with a high-waisted girdle like this one with pretty lace inset and side zipper;

joan girdle

 For nightwear Joan favours longer line Grecian style nighties, as we see in this lovely peignoir set;mad men black nightie and brunch coat

I found a few pretty ones on etsy…not too many in black though;

joan peignoir set

We also see her in a emerald green kimono (in that bitter-sweet scene with Don Draper after she has slept with the Jaguar dealer to secure her partnership at Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Price). A rise in the popularity of martial arts movies in the 60’s and 70’s saw kimonos become quite popular as dressing gowns. Women’s versions were slightly more feminine than men’s (which mostly sported dragons) by incorporating cherry blossoms and birds.

kimono joan mad men

I hope you liked my round-up of Joanie’s lingerie, the next installment of Mad Men lingerie will feature Trudy Campbell.


Princess Pin Curls