Nerd Chic

Dana Scully’s Most Iconique Outfits from Season One

In ye olde 2017 I wrote an article titled “The Signs as Dana Scully’s Season One Outfits.” I spent about two weeks deep in a research hole, familiarizing myself with the various and (sometimes) messy traits of all 12 zodiac signs. Now, I just want to discuss each outfit in excruciating detail. Because, let’s face it, season one of the X-Files was prime fashion season for Special Agent Dana Scully. 

Scully from season 1 episode 1

First Day of School (ep. 1, “Pilot”)

I’d like to start with this straight up charmer from the Pilot; a gray plaid skirt suit and long, red hair. This is our first introduction to Dana K. Scully and I couldn’t be more enchanted by this outfit. A muted color palette, but still a strong choice. Dare I say, the embodiment of the first day at a new school. This is a look that says, “I can tell the rest of my life is going to suck real bad.”

Additionally, the Pilot is the only time until probably season nine that we see Scully with long hair; let’s take a moment to bask in all its ginger glory.

Scully and Mulder from season 1 episode 1Debate Club President (ep. 1, “Pilot”)

Another gem from the Pilot, the casual debate club president and her treasurer. Ponytail!Scully is a blessing I feel we’re not worthy of. An angel in denim and a polyester windbreaker. Frizzy from a rainy trek in the woods. This is starting to sound like a love poem. I just Love This Outfit. She’s dressed down but she’s ready for business. She’s got jeans on and her hair’s a mess but you better believe she can kick your ass.

It’s best not to spend too much time looking at Khakis McGee; it’s a lot to process. At least there are no sharp, ironed creases down the shins, I guess.

Scully in season 1 episode 8Arctic Camouflage (ep. 8, “Ice”)

Have you ever seen anything so cute yet functional? This girl is Prepared. And yet, she’s careful to stick with a solid color palette and not mix prints. (Although, I firmly stand by mixing prints as long as they’re all within the same shade). Grays, whites, and a hint of brown round out this look. Form and function; it’s a winner.

Underneath that jacket is a great example of Thrift Store Chic; oversized men’s button-down, half-up hair, black thermal, and a can-do attitude. The perfect look if you ever find yourself doubting your friends and checking each other for ancient worms in an arctic climate with no hope of rescue for at least a week.

Scully in season 1 episode 20

Bought This Jacket in the Kid’s Section at Wal-Mart (ep. 20, “Darkness Falls”)

This is what I’m talking about when I say season one was Scully’s prime fashion year. Like, what the hell is this? You will never see anything else like this for the entire rest of the show. Bright neon ski jacket, leggings, the precursor to UGG boots, a high and tight Jansport backpack? This outfit is a fever dream and I can’t get enough. (While you’re here, peep our New England boy in his Timbs with the jeans tucked in, looking like a street-wise nerd).

These look like reluctant vacation photos; Mulder and Scully’s Olympic National Forest Disaster: featuring bright hiking wear and inappropriate shoes. They showed these at the Annual FBI Christmas party and everyone made fun of Scully’s jacket and that’s why she only wears black now.

Also, you have to know she’s wearing a denim shirt and a puffer vest under this.

Scully and Mulder in season 1 episode 3

Sexy Spinster Hair (ep. 3, “Squeeze”)

Hair up! Sharp collar! A long necklace! Good ol’ episode three, when Scully experimented with an updo and promptly never did it again (except once on a date—we’ll get to that). She wore a long necklace only for the sake of plot, but it gave us a little moment of Mulder tugging on it to get her attention (and to draw our attention to it, as it becomes important later in the episode). Though, it’s possible having her necklace stolen by Eugene Tooms and then being targeted as his next victim put her off accessorizing for the next twenty-five years.

Scully in season 1 episode 10

Conduct Hearing Chic (ep. 10, “Fallen Angel”)

Piggybacking off the black and white ensemble of episode three, this look is softer around the edges. Perfect for attending a conduct hearing and vouching for your partner’s questionable competence while also trying to appear as guiltless and innocent as possible. I mean, look at that face, does she look like she’s ever done anything wrong in her life? (We can argue that she has indeed done nothing wrong ever in her life but that’s a lie and we all know it [ahem terrible infected ouroboros tattoo ahem]).

Scully in season 1 episode 5

Hey I Know I’m on a Date With You but My Partner Just Called and He’s Chasing the Jersey Devil Gotta Go (ep. 5, “Jersey Devil”)

Before I start, this is such a Leo look it’s not even funny. Anyway, here’s our second and last attempt at an updo. This one is far wispier and artfully disheveled than the first, in the hopes of attracting the hot dad who turns out to be super boring and not even that cute. But then there’s this mesh lace bodysuit looking top, paired with black high waisted pants (which you can’t see in the photo but when she stands to answer the phone there’s a little snippet of trousers). This is, dare I say it, a straight up Look. This outfit is wasted on a boring-ass man who works in estate planning and wants to set up a beach day with his kid and your friend’s kid. This top is see-through, dude, she is not here to talk about your kid. 

Scully in season 1 episode 4

Scully’s Pisces Look (ep. 4, “Conduit”)

This is an outfit that speaks to me on a spiritual level; so many elements, so many textures coming together into this complete, cohesive piece. And loafers! An iconic outfit for an iconic episode. This is one of the first, early times we get a glimpse at how deep Mulder’s obsession really goes. He tells Samantha’s story in the pilot. Then gets briefly kidnapped and mind-wiped in episode 2, “Deep Throat.” And now “Conduit,” featuring an abduction eerily similar to Samantha’s. These three episodes are the foundation for the X-Files mythos.

Here is a smart look; this look went to graduate school and got a liberal arts degree but actually knows what to do with it. This is an outfit that studied metallurgy and knows how to refurbish a completely rusted bearded axe head within five hours. The loafers say, “I’ve dabbled in smoking a pipe.” The black velvet lapels say, “Sometimes I like to get freaky.” The gentle brown plaid says, “I’m not afraid to be sensitive.”

Scully in season 1 episode 7

Your Mom’s Hot Coworker at the VA’s Office (ep. 7, “Ghost in the Machine”)

Here we see Dr. Scully, again, sticking to a solid gray color palette and pulling it off marvelously. I look at this and I see sexy social worker. This is a look that stays in on Friday night with a bottle of red wine and paperwork. That gray shirt went to Harvard Law but the shoulder pads went to Stanford for a semester before transferring to community college and majoring in Business.

Triple Th(red)

Three red looks? Dr. Scully coming in clutch yet again.

Scully and Mulder in season 1 episode 5

Red Plaid (ep. 5, “Jersey Devil”)

This red plaid suit slays me to my core. Someone’s flannel picnic blanket grew up into a stylish long jacket with a perfectly paired black button down. The only way to make this better would be to make it buffalo check.

 

Scully and Mulder in season 1 episode 7Red and Black (ep. 7, “Ghost in the Machine”)

This, to me, is the ideal Scorpio look. Anything red and black is a complete and utter power move, and you do not want to cross whoever makes that move. When she comes to you in this outfit and says, “I will not let you shut down the X-Files,” you better not even think about shutting down the X-Files.

 

Scully and Mulder in season 1 episode 4

Gold Buttons (ep. 4, “Conduit”)

Not as demanding as the red and black, the red and beige is more of a strong suggestion. The gold accents are the expectant uptick of an eyebrow and crossed arms that turn a strong suggestion into a forceful suggestion.

 

 

Scully and Mulder in season 1 episode 3Mustard Brown? Sure, Why Not (ep. 3, “Squeeze”)

A look so iconic it’s featured in the opening sequence; this is Nancy Drew all grown up and working for the FBI. Another outfit from the Eugene Tooms episode, which, if you recall, featured updo/long necklace/sharp collar. To be quite honest, I think this is the same shirt from that outfit. 

Scully in season 1 episode 3

Paris Hilton told us to never wear the same outfit twice, but there’s nothing wrong with recycling pieces into new looks. (In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with wearing the same outfit twice, either. I say, go for it.)

Even more iconic? This look without the jacket; can you say high waisted pleated slacks? This is the look of my dreams, crisp and sharp but still fun, like those pocketknives disguised as combs. Cute, but still definitely means business.

 

 

Dana Scully in season 1BONUS: Nothing More Empowering than a Woman in an Athletic Watch

A simple outfit that’s often overlooked, this is more about attitude than attire. If you say one more thing to her about aliens she’s going to kick your ass all the way to the Reticulum galaxy.

 

Honorable Mentions:

Canadian Tuxedo

More Mustard

And a Gold Star for You

Victorian Button Sleeves

A Pink Shirt???

Crunchy Granola Suede Vest

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About the author

Lauren Boisvert

lauren a. boisvert is a poet from Florida with work published in spy kids review, The Broken Plate, Coffin Corner, and elsewhere. She lives for fandom tattoos, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and still can't believe The Mummy came out in 1999.

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