Nurses wear scrubs, bakers wear white, cops wear uniforms, but what to wear when your career takes you to unimaginable places as you safeguard a warehouse of strange artifacts?
Myka Bering, the by-the-book ex-Secret Service agent in Syfy’s Warehouse 13, airing Tuesdays, tends toward suits with narrow silhouettes.
“She doesn’t dress for beauty,” says Joanne Kelly, the actress who plays Myka. “She dresses for practicality. She is a tough girl. She is very active. It’s a real job.”
Myka (pronounced Mike-ah) has a style opposite Kelly’s own.
“I became an actress so I didn’t have to wear suits, and I wear them on the show,” Kelly says. “I don’t own a suit.”
“I wear jeans and T-shirts,” she says. “I’m pretty laid back. I wear flip-flops. I never have shoes on. I am back in Toronto now, but when I lived in L.A., I got into the whole clothing thing. One day, I walked by a shoe store, and a penny dropped. I come from a working-class family. I have working-class guilt. I can’t imagine buying a pair of $5,000 shoes. It’s like looking at an exquisite piece of art; I love it, but I would probably break it. Every now and then, I will go a little crazy (and) treat myself to something.”
Kelly’s favorite piece from Myka’s wardrobe are Frye boots. Myka’s shoes range from Fryes to Louboutins, worn for a special fashion episode, says costume designer Joanne Hansen.
“I think of her as where she’s come from informs her and what she does currently as evolving.” Hansen says. “Myka comes from – she is smart. She always worked hard, is a driven personality, gotten herself into the Secret Service and takes that very seriously.
“Her back story tells us she is very particular and by the book, and all of that hard work has brought her to this job, which in a way that’s contrary to hard work and about mystery and artifacts,” Hansen continues. “So she has that part of her that a suit might represent that uniform of the straight and narrow and the things that are logical, and now she’s living in a world that isn’t logical anymore.”
Her suits are Theory, Teenflo and a few pieces from Tahari. Dressy blouses are from Hugo Boss. She has a few trench coats from Burberry and Club Monaco.
When not in suits, she wears T-shirts from James Perse. Jeans are Paige Denim, True Religion and J Brand.
The series is shot in Canada, so Hansen shops in Canadian stores such as Holt Renfrew.
Kelly, about to go on hiatus, knew what she would pack to backpack in Thailand.
“One pair of a shorts and a T-shirt,” she says. “It’s important to get away from the material.”