What’s in a T-Shirt? The Mad Men Megan Conspiracy Theory

30 May

Coming this Sunday I will be joined by Kerensa Cadenas to follow up our last Mad Men chat (“Falling Out of Love with Don Draper“) and one thing that we will definitely be talking about is the Megan Draper as Sharon Tate conspiracy theory that set Twitter alight yesterday. I just want to address it prior to this longer discussion as it seems to be part of the big Mad Men chatter that follows on from last season’s ‘Pete Campbell is going to kill himself’ clues. This ended with Lane hanging himself instead; is this another misdirect?

Megan balconyLet’s start with the t-shirt, which on a first watch I thought nothing more than “it’s a cute shirt” and it must be a warm night for Megan to be standing out on the balcony in so little. While I’m assuming that it is what Megan will be wearing to bed it’s very different to the formal nightwear that the female characters tend to wear on this show and Megan’s clothes in this episode were the most modern that we have seen so far. This isn’t in an ‘out there’ fashion forward way as with some of the other pieces we have seen this season, but as casual clothes that wouldn’t look out of place on the high street today.

While none of these things point towards the idea that Megan is in danger some eagle eyed viewers over at Reddit noticed that this t-shirt is one that was modelled by murdered actress Sharon Tate (who was killed a year later in 1969 by the Manson Family). Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant then confirmed on Twitter that it was “no coincidence” and this set in motion a chain of theorizing. Aspects that might point to a violent end for Megan include; the loud sirens in two of Megan’s scenes, both of Abe’s stabbing incidents, the mention of shootings in Central Park, the intruder in the previous episode, Megan is an actress as was Sharon Tate and Megan’s Sharon Tate like appearance in the promo photos for this season (Tom and Lorenzo are as usual producing some exceptional costume analysis on their weekly “Mad Style” feature and were the ones to originally mention this).

Other signs that point to a potentially grizzly end for Megan include the key art for this season, featuring a heavy police presence in the background. This could just be a reflection of the unrest that is being felt across the country and as I mentioned in my review I thought the sirens could be a sign that all of New York is experiencing a rise in crime; with the foreshadowing pointing to her co-star Arlene’s future and not Megan. I also thought it was interesting that neither Megan and Don mentioned the sirens, mostly likely because they have become used to them. Megan has become increasingly isolated as the season has progressed and if a suicide hadn’t happened last season then this might be part of the discussion instead of murder.

Megan tshirtAt The Daily Beast Jace Lacob has spoken to Janie Bryant about this choice of shirt for Megan and instead of pointing to Tate’s fate she explains that “It’s the Vietnam star. We saw a little bit of how Megan was so upset after Bobby Kennedy was shot, it really is so much a part of the turmoil happening during that period.” This might be Bryant attempting to deflect attention away from what could potentially be a huge spoiler (and we all know how creator Matthew Weiner feels about those) but it does also tie in with the amount of crime that is happening in the city and the political unrest nationwide.

So is this one conspiracy theory too many? Sunday’s discussion will also feature the enigma that is Bob Benson and plenty of theories have been popping up about this character as well. This is part of the fun surrounding Mad Men discourse; the subtext could be pointing to something completely different and thanks to the lack of spoilers (I know Weiner is a bit over the top with this but I also think it works for this show) it means that conversation like this can develop. It’s reminds me of watching Lost when we were all trying to understand the smoke monster and the numbers; it’s these aspects that can bring an audience together as we try to collectively figure out what these clues mean.

Is this t-shirt a sign of Megan’s doom or just a sign of a turbulent time? Should Megan’s co-star Arlene be worried about her future? What are the most outlandish Mad Men conspiracy theories that you have heard?

7 Responses to “What’s in a T-Shirt? The Mad Men Megan Conspiracy Theory”


  1. Out of the Box: Look of the Week | TV Ate My Wardrobe - May 31, 2013

    […] week has been a big one for Mad Men conspiracy theories (for more on Megan’s t-shirt head here) and Bob is at the center of these as his intentions are still unclear; is he a good guy trying to […]

  2. How Betty Got Her Groove Back and other Mad Men Musings | TV Ate My Wardrobe - June 2, 2013

    […] his short shorts) and now the links between Megan and Sharon Tate are in the mix after Megan wore this T-shirt. Is Megan […]

  3. Out of the Box: Look of the Week | TV Ate My Wardrobe - June 7, 2013

    […] the Megan Draper theories have gone from slightly crazy to Don Draper hallucinating crazy the costuming for Megan this season has shown why Janie Bryant […]

  4. Mad Men 6.11 “Favors” Review: What Do You Expect in Return? | TV Ate My Wardrobe - June 10, 2013

    […] as she sees a rat. The rat makes a return later in the form of a blood trail across the floor (conspiracy theory doom alert) and when she calls Stan he doesn’t take up her offer to come over, he’s not her […]

  5. Mad Men 6.13 “In Care Of” Review: California Dreamin’ | TV Ate My Wardrobe - June 24, 2013

    […] If Megan does leave Don and goes to LA without him this might fuel the Sharon Tate theories even further, especially as next season will most likely start in 1969 (there’s only a month […]

  6. Out of the Box: Look of the Week | TV Ate My Wardrobe - June 28, 2013

    […] as we saw when Megan wore a t-shirt that had also been worn by Sharon Tate and the floodgates of conspiracy theories were […]

  7. Best of TV Costuming 2013: Mad Men and the Megan T-Shirt Conspiracy | TV Ate My Wardrobe - December 5, 2013

    […] Sharon Tate this started speculation that Megan would meet a tragic end. I have to admit that I got caught up in this theorizing as season 6 was particularly dark and violent, reflecting the tumultuous period in US history that […]

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