Behind the scenes of the Showtime series' sartorial selections

By Nina Terrero
Updated January 25, 2016 at 10:17 PM EST
Credit: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

Ever wonder what it takes to outfit an entire cast of actors for a hit cable show? If an inside peek into the costume closet of The Affair is any indication, it requires racks on racks of clothing and accessories. (And tons of shoes, too).

In an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour through the truck that’s used to store clothing for The Affair cast, Golden Globe-winning star Maura Tierney walks fans through some of the costumes worn by her character Helen. “It matters to me a lot what I’m wearing,” she shares. “It informs me as an actor.”

Though the show’s inagural run holds a special place for costume designer Caroline Duncan, the Showtime series’ second season represented a new challenge as she used clothing to give never-seen-before perspective into Helen’s mindset and personal struggles.

“What’s fun about her character this season is that we finally get to portray her in her own storyline,” Duncan tells EW. “Last season we saw her through Noah and Alison’s point of view, which was pretty polarizing. … Because of what she’s going with the divorce, Helen’s life is swinging form one extreme to another, and that was fun to portray through her clothing.”

Toward that end, Helen’s clothes this season ranged from messy, stay-at-home-sweats to a pristine white blouse that she wears in an episode when her eldest son is rushed to the emergency room.

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“We were really making a choice there,” says Duncan. “What happens to her when she’s wearing this is that her life gets shredded. She goes to the hospital where her child has every possible kind of liquid spew out of him and he’s flailing in front of her, yet she stays pristine and clean in this white, sterile blouse in the sterile white environment.”

Though Duncan found the breezy Halston blouse while scouring stores, the Céline “Baby Marta” glasses that Tierney wears on the show are her own.

“She has a few different pairs that she wears on the show. She wears one pair for Noah’s point of view and another for her point of view. But she only ever wears those Céline glasses when we see her from Alison’s point of view,” shares Duncan of the frames that Tierney wore to accept her Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress—Drama. “I think she sees them as a great accessory and a piece of armor.”

Watch the video above to get more style scoop straight from The Affair set.

Episode Recaps

The Affair

Two marriages collide when a tragedy brings an affair to light; the Showtime original series stars Joshua Jackson and Maura Tierney.

  • TV Show
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  • TV-MA
  • Showtime