‘Better Call Saul’: Kim Wexler Final Look Gave Costume Designer 2 Challenges

Better Call Saul showed Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn)’s life in Florida. It was perhaps more shocking than if she had died. Transforming Kim was a feat costume designer Jennifer Bryan tackled. She said there were two major challenges. 

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Better Call Saul episode “Waterworks.”]

'Better Call Saul': Kim Wexler stands in her Florida Kitchen with Glenn
Rhea Seehorn and Alvin Cowan | Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Bryan was a guest on the Better Call Saul Insider podcast on Aug. 9, the day after “Waterworks” aired. She explained where she found Kim’s Florida wardrobe and why it was challenging to convey. The Better Call Saul finale airs Aug. 15 on AMC.

Black and White ‘Better Call Saul’ made Kim Wexler Florida look an extra challenge

Since the post-Breaking Bad sections on Better Call Saul are in black and white, Bryan had to design costumes that would convey what she needed to without color. That ruled out certain colors. 

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“You get surprises, things you think work in color you think will equally work in black and white and they don’t,” Bryan said on Better Call Saul Insider. “What we did, I got the black and white color tonal scale from [cinematographer] Marshall [Adams][. Then on my iPad, which is how I usually take my fitting photos, I tried to calibrate that as close as I could on my iPad so I knew I would come close to how it would look once we started shooting. That’s kind of the palette, that was ground zero where I started from. 

Vintage clothing was the second challenge

It’s late 2010 when Kim is in Florida. Bryan bought vintage clothing for Seehorn and Alvin Cowan. That meant they only had one of each outfit. 

“I found the tiger shirt at a second-hand store in Albuquerque,” Bryan said. “I was just like oh yeah.  A lot of those pieces, a lot of them were only one becuase a lot of them truly were vintage. Truly I scoured vintage shops and had one scare. Did Kim spill something on a shirt or something? You’re really not supposed to do that but sometimes it’s so unique, that’s why it’s unique because it’s only one and we go with it and hope nobody drinks coffee.”

How ‘Better Call Saul’ tells Kim Wexler’s future with clothing 

The wardrobe goes hand in hand with Kim’s state of mind in the aftermath of Better Call Saul. Bryan wanted the clothes to reflect where she was six years after leaving Jimmy. 

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“The clothing has to look drained itself,” Bryan said. “Because her character as Kim Wexler who we know as this amazing bright intuitive attorney was anything but that, and stylish. All of that just had to go away and I had to start literally from the drawing board but a completely different drawing board, a new environment. America’s playground, happy place but that was the last thing she was doing there.”

Bryan weathered the clothes to better reflect the draining of Kim’s mentality. 

“I scaled down the prints, I dyed them, I tried to make them look sun-bleached,” Bryan said. “Because I always not just think about clothes, I think about the environment, I had to do the opposite of what Florida is about, the sun, the sky, the beach, the happiness. I just had to drain it all the way down. Basically, I would dye things. I would bleach things, all kinds of techniques. I had a bag of tools and put them to use.”

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