Masters of Sex: Costumes and Color

10 Oct

Two episodes into Masters of Sex and TV Ate My Wardrobe is already obsessed with the 1950s stylings that costume designer Ane Crabtree has created. Each main character already has a signature look and this helps to inform the audience about the background of each of the women that we will focus on today.

Masters of Sex green sweater

We briefly discussed Virginia’s outfits from the pilot last week and noted the use of dark colors with greens and reds featuring prominently and this was repeated once again in episode 2. While Virginia doesn’t have a lot of spare cash this doesn’t mean that her wardrobe has to reflect this in an overt manner and her outfits are well put together even when she is running for the bus. Virginia hasn’t always worked in an office and her experience working in a music club means that her clothes are slightly edgier in terms of these darker tones that other women in the secretary pool don’t seem to wear. Virginia wants to be taken seriously by Masters, but her look doesn’t alienate her from the women at the brothel who Masters is having a hard time associating with.

Masters of Sex Virginia red skirt

The black sweater/red checkered skirt is my favorite of Virginia’s ensembles so far and it’s belted at the waist to accentuate her tiny figure, but it also shows off her hips at the same time. This helps with the 1950s swagger that we have seen countless times on Mad Men with Joan. As with Mad Men the costuming is authentic right down to the underwear which means girdles and pointy bras.

Masters of Sex Jane

Jane is younger and less worldly than Virginia and so far she’s been dressed in bright blues and yellows to match her smiley demeanor. I particularly adore the “J” broach on the outfit above. Jane might be young but she’s also savvy, she knows how to handle horny doctors as she leaves them befuddled by reading them a passage from Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex. She doesn’t fall for Dr. Langham’s attempts to sleep with her outside the study.

Jane Masters of Sex yellow

It’s not only her costuming that brightens a scene and I hope Jane gets to remain this optimistic and as sunny as her yellow cardigan.

Masters of Sex leopard print

It’s a very different story for Betty, Masters inside ‘man’ at the brothel but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to strive for bigger things. Betty’s clothes feature a lot of bold patterns like leopard print and red is a dominant color throughout. It’s not surprising to see Betty in revealing attire when she is at home and her clothes aren’t as form fitting as the other women on this show. Both Betty and Virginia wear a lot red signifying that they are both aware of their sexuality. Virginia tends to wear darker tones that edge towards maroon whereas Betty’s red clothes look cheap by comparison – this isn’t surprising as they no doubt are.

Masters of Sex Betty the receptionist

When Betty comes to the hospital her clothes are still not as tailored as the other receptionists or secretaries and so she still looks somewhat out of place in this world and the dress that Betty is wearing in the shot above is probably the most like something I have hanging in my wardrobe. I’m really happy with how Betty is more than just your friendly neighborhood prostitute and that she poses a challenge to Masters as much as she helps him.

Libby Masters

At the other end of the spectrum is Libby Masters; a woman of means who doesn’t have to work and her costuming is the most feminine that we have seen so far. Floral patterns and a pastel color palette is all part Libby’s wardrobe and it’s in stark contrast to Virginia. This was evident at the big fancy party in the pilot and as I mentioned last week there is a clear difference in how each woman views their own sexuality and their clothing reflects this difference.

Costuming in early episodes helps to differentiate characters and I’m looking forward to seeing how each of these women evolves as the season progresses.

4 Responses to “Masters of Sex: Costumes and Color”


  1. Out of the Box: Look of the Week | TV Ate My Wardrobe - October 11, 2013

    […] Public appearances, magazine shoots and red carpet looks dominate “Out of the Box” this week. Remember to check out our Scandal costuming recap for all things Olivia Pope and our Masters of Sex color and costuming post here. […]

  2. Masters of Sex 1.09 “Involuntary” Costume Review: Drawing the Line | TV Ate My Wardrobe - November 25, 2013

    […] up with a hamper full of food at work. The “E” pin on her coat is very much like Jane’s “J” from earlier this season and the flashes of fur and matching red accessories show that Essie is a […]

  3. Fantasy Costuming Masters of Sex: Vintage Inspired | TV Ate My Wardrobe - July 7, 2014

    […] on with a couple of items that make me think of Jane. Jane’s dominant color matched her sunny disposition with a whole lot of yellow. Both the You Got the Upbeat blouse and […]

  4. Masters of Sex 3.03 “The Excitement of Release” Review: To Feel Wanted | TV Ate My Wardrobe - July 27, 2015

    […] is far from the optimistic and happy person we last saw back at the start of season 2; gone are the bold yellows and here is the miserable and tired look. She’s still rocking excellent […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Julie Hammerle

Nerds Need Love Too

Sofa and Remote

I love talking about TV as much as I love watching it

Ellie Writes Stuff

About this and that

Twitter Music Club

A rotation curation music club, based on Twitter, mainly for Kiwis


If you enjoy a challenge, like Claude Makélélé, read my blog. Its about sport.

lost somewhere in new york city

We rock a lot of polka dots


We rock a lot of polka dots

Just another site

Cultural Learnings

Television Reviews and Analysis

judgmental observer

film, tv, popular culture, higher ed, unicorns


We rock a lot of polka dots

The Frisky

We rock a lot of polka dots

Tell Us a Story

stories about true things

%d bloggers like this: