Outfits belonging to stern matriarch May Bailey had to look more costly and refined than the clothes belonging to the other townsfolk, while the costume team had fun with Grace Bailey’s more glamorous style. The appearance of homeless people, miners, storeowners, everyday workers and the sheer volumes of extras, had to look authentic and varied.

Many of the costumes were custom-made by the wardrobe department, which always had to observe the social norms of the period. For example, men wore suits everyday and both genders always wore hats outdoors. The fast pace in scheduling (an episode was shot every eight days) meant that the costume team did not have much time to create specialty costumes for specific episodes and have them fitted by the time cameras rolled.

Episodes such as 1.8: Train to Nowhere in which Max writes a play that the townsfolk perform, or the episode 3.11: Marathon where the characters take part in a dance marathon, required special costumes meant for the characters to wear as costumes or dress-up clothes. Luckily, Ruth’s experience shone through in all these challenges.

This was not her first collaboration with Kevin Sullivan. Ruth leant her expertise to a number of his productions, includingRoad to Avonlea, Butterbox Babies, Promise the Moon, Under the Piano and Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story.

In 2011, Sullivan Entertainment launched an online store where a majority of original and authentic costumes used in the show are now available for sale.