Dressing well in law enforcement isn’t
Once cops are out of uniform, most departments require men to wear a new
sort of uniform – a jacket and tie. The trick for a character is to dress
professionally without looking shabby or too fashionable.
“If you dressed characters on TV the way
real people dressed it would be not really interesting,” says Shelly Levine,
costume designer for CBS’ Thursday hit The Mentalist. “Sometimes you have to
take liberties. TV is an amazing creature; so much of it is visual. If you are
looking at boring people wearing boring clothes then everything becomes boring.
You don’t want it to become a costume. You don’t want it to take away from the
With that in mind, Levine creates the
wardrobe for Wayne Rigsby (Owain Yeoman). At nearly 6 feet 4 inches, Yeoman
towers over his co-stars, and Levine is careful to dress him accordingly.
“When you are tall and thin, and you wear
pants almost pegged at bottom, it’s not a good look,” Levine says. “People may
like it in private, but the look is a little too contemporary. Actors want to
dress like themselves in real life, and unfortunately they’re not playing
themselves in real life.”
Levine makes sure jackets are long enough
and that sleeves don’t flash too much cuff. “I am just trying to make him look
as law enforcement as possible,” Levine says.
“Wayne was conceived as the jock cop,”
according to Yeoman.
“He is a guy. I have 100 friends I could
liken him to, all of whom are called Chuck,” Yeoman says. “And everything that
comes with it. His look has always been as far as you can go on TV; everyone
always looks like a slightly better version of self. We always wanted it to
look like maybe he was piecing together the best of what he could.”
Levine selects a lot of Hugo Boss for Rigsby.
“They have a nice contemporary look,” he
says. “The lapels are not too narrow, and the pant leg is not too narrow. There
are very few manufacturers that do two-button, single-breasted, with a single
For shoes, Levine picks Ecco.
“It’s a very comfortable shoe, an ankle
boot,” he says. “It gives him a little more support because he is running
Moving into the second season, Rigsby’s
wardrobe will change a bit.
“He’s going to look a
little bit more refined,” Yeoman says.