''Transparent'' costume designer Marie Schley explains how she created a signature style for Maura

By Carolyn Todd
October 10, 2014 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Inspirations
”We talked a lot about her clothes being comfortable for her age, and appropriate, but also influenced by what Maura would’ve thought was glamorous when she was coming of age in the ’60s and ’70s,” Schley says. Icons like Stevie Nicks and the Mamas & the Papas served as touchstones for the character’s colorful, flowy look.

A Vintage Touch
Show consultant Zackary Drucker explained to Schley that while closeted, Maura would have likely perused vintage stores so as not to be found out by friends and family. ”So there was a lot of vintage clothes on Jeffrey,” Schley says. ”It wasn’t supposed to look perfect.”

The Key Piece
For a pivotal scene in the pilot — the first time we see Maura fully as herself — Schley chose the outfit carefully. ”At that moment we realized the caftan was such a great look for Maura. It’s sort of a transitioning kind of piece of clothing, too, because it’s got an androgyny about it.”

Clothes Matter
”I think it really helped [Tambor] to do the inner work that he did to become Maura,” Schley says about the wardrobe. By the end of filming, ”he really enjoyed wearing Maura’s clothes. I mean, a caftan’s got to be more comfortable than a pair of jeans.”