Patrick Harbron/CBS
February 07, 2013 at 12:00 PM EST

In this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly (click here to buy the issue), we investigate the wardrobe of CBS’ hit Sherlock Holmes series, Elementary.

Costume designer Rebecca Hofherr says she knew that turning Dr. Watson (Lucy Liu) into a woman — a woman living in a man’s world, to be precise — was going to be a challenge. That’s exactly why she took the job.

“It is, for all intents and purposes, a crime show, and the usual thing is to have the characters on crime shows in uniforms and suits,” Hofherr says. “But Lucy’s character is not a detective, so I was really excited to know that every week I could put her in way more exciting clothing than you’d see on a standard detective show.”

And while Hofherr points out that the dynamic between Watson and Sherlock remains true to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s vision, she admits it’s fun to play dress-up with the good doctor.

“We have the opportunity to go completely the other way,” she says. “No woman is going to watch the British version of the show [Sherlock, starring Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson] and go, ‘Ooh, I really like that coat Watson is wearing!’”

Click through the gallery to find out where Hofherr shops for Watson’s chic separates, how Liu helps decide what her character should wear, and why Sherlock insists on buttoning his shirts all the way up to the top button. 

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