Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Elisabeth Moss redesigned a key element of her Handmaid’s Tale costume

handmaids tale outfits.jpg

Spoiler alert: the below article contains references to scenes in episode eight of The Handmaid’s Tale

If you’ve landed here you’re probably extremely interested in TV adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, whether you’re still enjoying the quaint novelty of watching a beloved programme doled out once a week on Channel 4 or you’ve already seen the whole series on Hulu.

In which case, it’s likely you’ll be as pleased as we were to discover that the cast and crew have been sharing behind-the-scenes pictures of the set, along with a scattering of insider info.

Moss, who plays central character Offred, has recently been posting on the programme’s official Instagram account, and as well as revealing she loves ‘marking the shot’ (in layman’s terms, snapping the clapperboard thingy), she dropped in the fact she had design input in one of the show’s key outfits.

As fans of Margaret Atwood’s book will know, Offred is taken by her commander (played by Joseph Fiennes in the TV series) to an illicit club, Jezebel’s, where she wears an outfit the polar opposite of her Handmaid’s garb.

In the show, the outfit is a beaded, flapper-style minidress with a plunging back. Moss explains in the caption to the picture that she asked for the dress to be altered.

“Costume fitting for my Jezebels dress after we altered it,” she writes. “It originally had a high back and I requested that it be very very low. I wanted it to be an Art Deco dress because I thought that's what the commander would want, from that era, and I thought the low back would make it feel even more vulnerable.”

The show’s costume designer, Ane Crabtree, has previously explained that there are several design elements of significance throughout, including an inverted ‘vagina’ pin on the Aunts’ clothing as something of an up yours to the elite classes.

Read more: The importance of music in The Handmaid’s Tale

She also revealed that Offred and her fellow handmaids wear bloomers and petticoats with “triplicate folding”, and that their nightgowns purposefully have three ‘windows’ on the chests.

“There’s something that happens to me in times of great concentrated creativity, where I wake up at 3:33 a.m,” she said. “I started reading into, What does 3:33 mean?

“Being from the South, being raised Christian, I called up people in Kentucky and they were like, ‘Oh, that’s the father, son, and holy ghost, that’s the trinity.’”

Read more: Finally, someone made a men’s version of The Handmaid’s Tale

In the near-future dystopia of Gilead, Offred is a Handmaid assigned to an officer and his wife who have been unable to have children. In a world where women’s rights have basically been abolished, she is designated a Handmaid because she’s fertile and her marriage is not recognised by the oppressive, ultra-conservative state because by virtue of it being a second marriage, she’s deemed an adulterer.

The official Instagram account has been posting pictures and notes from cast members for a few weeks.

That Wiley one - loved our working days together. #HandmaidsTale - O-T @otfagbenle

A post shared by The Handmaid's Tale (@handmaidsonhulu) on

Crabtree has also posted sneaky peeks on her own account

Images: Channel 4 / Rex Features


handmaids tale men.PNG

Praise be! The men’s version of The Handmaid’s Tale is finally here

abortion protest.PNG

Real-life handmaids protest anti-abortion bill in Ohio

handmaids tale.jpg

Elisabeth Moss' flawless response to director shocked by her A+ acting


All the best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From a star-studded dinner party to Serena Williams’ sweet mother-daughter snap

by Nicola Colyer
22 Sep 2017

Justin Trudeau reveals his surprising feminist inspiration

Bromance brewing?

by Susan Devaney
21 Sep 2017

Some people only just realised that Rihanna’s real name isn’t Rihanna

Erm, did we not all know this already?

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Sep 2017

This is how Salma Hayek is helping Mexico’s earthquake victims

And how you can too

by Moya Crockett
21 Sep 2017

Emma Stone's childhood drawing of her anxiety is so relatable

“I’m bigger than my anxiety”

by Susan Devaney
21 Sep 2017

Twitter was not impressed by Melania Trump’s anti-bullying UN speech

“If Melania Trump really wants to fight cyberbullying, she should just change Donald's WiFi password.”

by Moya Crockett
21 Sep 2017

8-year-old bug enthusiast defies bullies to co-author scientific paper

Sophia Spencer was mocked for her love of bugs – but she’s now a published expert

by Moya Crockett
20 Sep 2017

Shania Twain is touring the UK: here’s everything you need to know

2018 is shaping up nicely

by Amy Swales
20 Sep 2017

Why Avril Lavigne is the ‘most dangerous’ celebrity to search online

Think twice before clicking on that link.

by Moya Crockett
20 Sep 2017

Serena Williams writes an emotional open letter to her mother

“You are one of the strongest women I know”

by Susan Devaney
20 Sep 2017