Mabel’s Wardrobe Secretly Fuels Her Sass Toward Oliver and Charles in ‘Only Murders in the Building’

Mabel Mora is the sassiest of the podcasting trio in Only Murders in the Building and her wardrobe has a lot to do with that. Find out how Selena Gomez’s costume for the Hulu series impacts her portrayal of Mabel and the attitude she gives Charles-Haden Savage (Steve Martin) and Oliver Putnam (Martin Short). Plus, the powerful meaning behind Mabel’s often yellow wardrobe.

Mabel Mora (Selena Gomez) folds her arms with attitude, which is inspired by her wardrobe in 'Only Murders in the Building'
Selena Gomez as Mabel | Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu

Martin Short is 2 inches taller than Selena Gomez, but it doesn’t appear that way on screen

On the screen, the Mabel Mora actor appears taller than she is in real life. Selena Gomez stands at 5 feet 5 inches tall, per The Hollywood Reporter. On the other hand, the Oliver Putnam actor stands at 5 feet 7 inches tall. Short is 2 inches taller than his Only Murders in the Building co-star, but it doesn’t seem that way to viewers. That’s because Mabel’s wardrobe helps her appear taller.  

Selena Gomez’s ‘Only Murders in the Building’ wardrobe helps her ‘tower’ over Marty

Part of Only Murders in the Building‘s appeal is the witty banter between amateur detectives Mabel, Charles, and Oliver. As costume designer Dana Covarrubias explained to The Hollywood Reporter, Mabel’s lug-sole boots add 5 inches to Gomez’s 5 foot 5 inch frame. 

“She’s towering over Marty and able to sass him around and tell him the business and also see a little more eye-to-eye with Steve, and tell him the business,” Covarrubias told the outlet. Mabel’s added height also plays to the show’s “millennial-versus-boomers dynamic.” 

Mabel’s wardrobe color also holds meaning in ‘Only Murders in the Building’ 

There’s intention throughout the rest of Mabel’s wardrobe — it doesn’t stop at the boots. Many of Mabel’s looks feature marigold and orange. That was Covarrubias’ way of saluting Mabel and Gomez’s Mexican heritage in a way that “wasn’t too over the top.” 

“I had recently bought this book that was all about the symbolism of flowers, which I look through when I’m thinking about characters and which flower makes sense for each character,” Covarrubias told Shondaland. “The marigold really made sense for Mabel because it represents grief and loss but also resurrection [in season 1].” 

What’s more, marigold also represents Mabel’s creative side. “She’s an artist, she’s a painter, she’s a knitter, she’s a crafter,” the costume designer said. “It couldn’t have made more sense for her. And the color, that beautiful deep yellow, would just be stunning on her.” 

Mabel’s coats were inspired by the New York fashion scene 

As Covarrubias revealed to Shondaland, Mabel’s style was heavily influenced by the fashion worn by young people in New York. “What was the up-and-coming style of girls that I thought were similar to who Mabel is — these artistic, young girls who are a few years out of college and living on the Lower East Side or in Williamsburg,” she said. “There were a couple of girls that I saw wearing these vintage plaid pants and faux-fur jackets, and I loved the combination.” 

Now, Mabel’s coats — and the coats worn by the rest of the cast — have become synonymous with the Hulu series. There’s even a running joke about them on the Only Murders in the Building set. 

Mabel in a marigold coat in 'Only Murders in the Building' Season 2
Selena Gomez as Mabel Mora | Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu

“We have a joke in the costume department that this show is no longer about murder mysteries,” Covarrubias told W Magazine. “This is a show about coats,”. She even admitted Mabel’s coat style is a little “unrealistic.” 

“We almost never put her in the same coat,” Covarrubias added. “I think we’ve only repeated a coat twice. It is a little unrealistic.” Still, they came up with a good enough reason for her extensive amount of coats.

“We decided that since Mabel’s living in her fabulous aunt’s apartment, she’s borrowing clothes from her aunt’s closet, filled with some of these beautiful high, end pieces,” she explained.

Watch Only Murders in the Building on Hulu

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