Rachel Boston, as Detective Abigail Chaffee, is the perfect balance to Mary McCormack's acerbic Mary Shannon on USA Network's Sunday drama "In Plain Sight."
The softness and sweetness Boston brings to the character are reflected in her approach to cases and her wardrobe. She's decidedly unfussy yet feminine.
Boston sees her look as a uniform, which she's comfortable in, because as a student she had to wear one.
"I just had a fitting on my show," she says from Albuquerque, N.M., where the show shoots. "We're creating a new uniform, and it's making so much sense to me to have one. I never knew about fashion."
Costume designer Ileane Meltzer says she wants a "Texas SMU sorority look," as the character is a fourth-generation alumna.
Meltzer puts her in Dolce & Gabbana and Theory pantsuits, which she pairs with Equipment and Armani blouses.
"What we try to do is give her a feminine blouse to wear under those structured suits, to give her the femininity," Meltzer says. "We stay in pinks and lavenders, pastels and corals, and they are soft, not structured blouses."
She also buys dresses for when Chaffee goes on dates. The dresses are less expensive, and she buys these at JC Penney, Marshalls and Burlington Coat Factory.
"If I am out and see something sweet and flowery and with the pastel colors, it reminds me of Abigail's character, and I buy it," Meltzer says.
Left to her own devices, Boston says she feels as if she is always in a uniform, but mainly because she has winnowed her wardrobe to the bare essentials to live out of a suitcase.
"I've been on location since Thanksgiving," she says. "I have one red suitcase."
In it she keeps two pairs of jeans, and she had to look to check the brand - Paige Denim. She also has two Joie tops and a Forever 21 sweater.
"I mix it up," Boston says, explaining how she gets by on a limited wardrobe.
When Boston was in Albuquerque before shooting "In Plain Sight," her car was broken into. The detective, who nabbed the robbers, later introduced Boston to police officers.
"I was hanging out downtown in the police department," Boston says, observing female detectives. "They care about their appearance when they are in the office."
She notes that they wore heels in the office but flats in the field.
It's a pretty easy look to adopt.
"You can achieve Abigail's look by just putting on pearls and pearl earrings," Meltzer says, stressing the feminine touches against a no-frills pantsuit. "I love her look. It's how she carries it; her hair, she is beautiful. She is 5 feet 9, long legs, long hair, and she has a fresh face."