Monday, May 23, 2011

Don Draper As Runner Up Not At All “Justified.”

In a showdown between Madison Avenue and the Wild West, it’s clear who should end up on top.

The leading men of Justified and Mad Men went head to head for the top spot on GQ’s 25 Most Stylish Men on TV. Photos: &

Recently GQ, the men’s fashion magazine, released its list of the 25 Most Stylish Men on TV. I was happy to see that many of my favorite dapper gentlemen made the list. However, what I was not happy with was who took the top spot and who got pushed to the position of runner up as a result.

According to GQ, Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) of FX’s Justified beat out Don Draper (Jon Hamm) of AMC’s Mad Men for the title of Most Stylish Man on TV. GQ's justification for this decision is as follows, which can be read in its original form here:

"Where Don Draper and Tom Haverford work hard—in their suiting, their grooming, their boozing—Raylan Givens just sort of is. Take him as he comes, all swaggering I-just-shot-someone-yesterday machismo: that tan ten gallon hat accented by a leather band is a phallic indicator of what's coming through the door, with two six-shooters on the hip and terminating scum on the mind. And as casually as he'll put a hot slug in you, he'll smartly sport a crispy chambray shirt and woven belt. Not everything is hard. Sometimes you've just got own it.—S.F."

I completely disagree with this decision and its reasoning. I am not sure exactly what criteria GQ used to arrive at this, but in response I have developed my own set of criteria to show that there CLEARLY needs to be a recount.

First of all, I believe that style is composed of the following 3 elements:

  • Individuality/Personality
  • Versatility
  • Attention to Detail

If an individual is able to incorporate all 3 of these elements effortlessly into their wardrobe choices (as well as everything else about their daily life) they will earn the right to be called stylish.

Analysis of Style: Don Draper
Hard to see just how stylish he is? Click image for a larger version. Photos:

There is no denying that when it comes to dressing for the modern man, Don Draper has set a pretty high bar. He has mastered a look that he has made his own, while at the same time making it iconic. The slicked back hair, the square jaw firmly clenching a smoldering cigarette, the perfectly tailored suit all contribute to Don Draper’s individual and personalized head to toe style.

No question about it: Don Draper looks amazing no matter what he is wearing. From formal to business to casual, he is always put together with a debonair confidence about him. 

Attention To Detail (Strongest Element)
Don Draper is definitely a man who knows the power of details. With every outfit he displays his masterful knowledge regarding the perfect knot, choice in pocket-square, and the necessity for all accessories to compliment one another. 

Don Draper is definitely a man who knows the power of details. Gold-rimmed sunglasses combined with gold cufflinks and a gold lighter perfectly compliment one another as well as the suit he is wearing. Photo:

Analysis of Style: Raylan Givens

Hard to see just how stylish he is? Click image for a larger version. Photos:

It is more than obvious that Raylan Givens displays much less versatility in his attire than Don Draper. His overall look tends to stay the same with slight alterations from ensemble to ensemble. His go to look consists of his signature cowboy hat; button up shirt (either with or with out a tie,) and a blazer; alternating in colors.

Attention To Detail
Once again Don Draper outshines Raylan Givens when it comes to this element. Although it is not up to the same level as Draper, his attention to detail is still very much present. All of his blazers and jeans are the perfect fit and show off his physique nicely. When he chooses to wear a tie, it is a compliment to the shirt he is wearing.

Individuality/Personality (Strongest Element)
Raylan Givens has created THE look for the modern day cowboy and he OWNS it. His western influenced sense of style shows through in many different aspects of his ensemble, from his tie to his belt to once again his signature cowboy hat.

Raylan Givens has created THE look for the modern day cowboy and he OWNS it. Photo:

There is no doubt that when these two men stand alone they have amazing style they have made their own. On the other hand, placed against one another it is obvious that Don Draper is the clear winner when it comes to who has the best style.
Based on this analysis (which is based entirely on my own point of view) GQ should let Don Draper reclaim his rightful place at #1, a position that should never have been questioned, and be awarded the title of GQ’s Most Stylish Man on TV.

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