“A League of Their Own” costume designer Trayce Field wanted to give each character her own costume arc and palette to help tell a visual story about women, many of whom had been housewives, leaving home for the first time to live their dreams.
Based on Penny Marshall’s 1992 movie, the series, coming to Prime Video on Aug. 12, is a fictional story based on the real women’s baseball league that started during World War II.
Abbi Jacobson’s Carson and Chanté Adams’ Max are both homemakers at the start of the series. Carson is prim and proper, while Max, a Black woman, feels trapped. They mirror one another when it comes to personal growth, Field explains.
For Carson, “we went with hints of pinks, soft green and a little bit of brown. She wasn’t overpowering in her color. She was in a role that she thought she filled. As the show progresses, she becomes more carefree.” To reflect the character becoming comfortable in her skin, Field slowly incorporates more color into her wardrobe. Max, meanwhile, “wears dresses that start to have more detail, and by the end, she’s starting to feel herself.” Again, strong colors help her outfits pop.
When it came to designing the Rockford Peaches uniforms, multiple dye cycles were needed to apply the correct color to fabric authentic to the 1940s, when stretchy synthetics were not yet available. “The rose tone needed to be the exact color for the Peaches, so we did many samples to get that just right,” Field says. “It was also about finding the right fabrics. It needed to be cotton, so that was a treasure hunt.”
Field’s assistant, Rochelle Carino, happened to be walking around downtown L.A., and a serendipitous encounter with a shop owner led to acquiring exactly the kind of stretch cotton fabric the show required.
Another hunt, this time for cleats, which were metal in the ’40s, led Field to the other side of the world. “No one makes those cleats anymore, so we found someone in Thailand where we had them manufactured and made.”
Jacobson, a queer creator, was sure to include LGBTQ actors and characters within the show, set in an era when women who played baseball were expected to conform to the times. “They had to wear skirts and dresses,” Field says. But, when they were off the field and going out dancing, the designer could put them in suits and pants.
“Those were moments,” Field explains, “when they didn’t have to necessarily conform to what America 1943 was ‘supposed to be.’”