Before Matthew Weiner's "Mad Men" disappeared for an upsettingly long hiatus, Jessica Paré's character Megan was merely Don Draper's appealingly gap-tooth receptionist - until the last minutes in the final season 4 episode, where she became Don's fiancee. Now, in season 5, the new Mrs. Draper is central to the show. Megan Draper appears in several of the premiere episode's most memorable scenes, including Don's surprise 40th birthday party in which she performs a rendition of "Zou Bisou Bisou," which is now available as a single on iTunes.
Notable for more than just her on-screen singing talents, Paré's character also reflects the "Mad Men" stylistic shift to the later 1960's. "The color block dress [that I wear] at the very end of the episode is a lot more mod than we're used to seeing on the show," Paré explained over the phone. Achieving a 'Mad Men'-appropriate look isn't easy, however. "It takes anywhere from a half an hour to an hour and a half in the hair and makeup trailer," she explained, "Costumes are involved in every part of the process. You come in in the morning wearing jeans and a t-shirt, and then you walk onto set in full period hair and makeup. It has a very deep effect on the character."
The extremely glamourous costumes not only have an impact on Paré's acting, but have also influenced her personal wardrobe. "Working with Janie Bryant has definitely nudged me to try a little harder," Paré admitted, "I was pretty comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt before, but I try to dress a little more like a lady now and in bolder colors too."
While Paré has not quite embraced all of Megan Draper's on-camera style, "I wear a lot of coral, which is a bright color that I wouldn't normally wear in my life," she confessed her favorite dress from the first episode of the season was also from her shining scene: "Of course, the 'Zou Bisou Bisou' dress is one of my all-time favorites."
How has her off-screen style changed? Take a peek in our gallery below and flip through our many other Style Evolutions.