yes, sir

How Jonathan Bailey’s underwear & buff bod affected the dom/sub scenes in ‘Fellow Travelers’

Fellow Travelers
credit: Showtime

Fashion plays a key role on every gay’s new favorite series Fellow Travelers.

And while Matt Bomer and Jonathan Bailey’s bedroom antics are getting most of the attention, what each of their characters wears–or is told to remove, as the case may be–has been meticulously curated to set a tone or convey details of their personality.

Costume designer Joseph La Corte was tasked with making sure Bomer’s war vet-turned-State Department hotshot Hawk and Bailey’s D.C. newbie Tim looked the part whether navigating the Lavender Scare of the 1950s on Capitol Hill or in the safe confines of a dark motel room.

To set the power narrative, La Corte custom built all of Bomer’s crisp tailored three-piece suits of the era, but hit thrift stores and rental shops for Bailey’s uniform of humble, brown-hued suits, jackets and knits.

It’s as if the outfits are the third character in the story.

When it came time for the duo’s intimate scenes, the fact that top daddy Hawk dons boxers and bottom boy Tim is clad in tighty-whities was a specific choice.

“We looked at all the different styles,” La Corte told The Daily Beast. “We wanted to set Tim apart from Hawk, and the cheaper brand of underwear at the time would have been a brief.”

But no actual old-school briefs were used due to the intensity of Bailey and Bomer’s on-screen dom/sub romps.

“[Vintage briefs] would never endure that kind of sex [scene], struggling and pulling on and off continually. So we reconstructed them all,” La Corte added. “All of Hawk’s and Tim’s undergarments were built using replica fabrics of the period.” 

Even the type of undershirt each character wore had to be negotiated with Tim being outfitted in a “boyish” T-shirt to contrast Hawk’s rugged tank top. Although Bailey’s very manly ripped physique did get in the way of dynamic at one point.

“A little secret: We had to cheat the t-shirt sleeves for Tim down an extra inch to cover up his bulging biceps, so that [his muscles] weren’t the first thing you noticed when he took off his shirt,” La Corte shared.

Nice effort, but no matter how you try to mask Bailey’s muscles there’s no way people are not going to notice them!

Fellow Travelers director Daniel Minahan previously discussed how clothes were used to express the roles in the BDSM relationship when Hawk makes Tim remove Hawk’s pants, fold them, and set them neatly on the bed during their first rendezvous.

“He was asserting his dominance over Tim. He’s setting up this dom-sub relationship right off the bat,” Minahan told Men’s Health. “Having someone kneeling in front of you, having them take off your shoes, having them take off your socks, having them take off your pants and fold them. It’s pretty clear what he’s doing.”

While the show’s first episode was highlighted by Bomer putting his foot in Bailey’s mouth, episode three featured what is yet to be the Showtime series’ roughest and hottest scene.

With five more episodes left in its run, consider us fully strapped in and seated for what’s to come!

New episodes of Fellow Travelers drop every Friday on Paramount+, and then air on Showtime on Sundays.

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