Features

A Guide to Fox Mulder’s Casual Wear

Mulder

 

Fox Mulder isn’t particularly known for his boundary-breaking fashion sense. Department store suits tailor-made for a young adult at his first office job and every tie you ever got your dad for Christmas when you were a kid, that’s the extent of Fox Mulder’s everyday style. But his casual wear reveals a hidden grace. He’s a savant when it comes to lounging, a veritable fashionista of days off. I have always known this, being a connoisseur of yoga-pants-as-everyday-pants myself. But I’ve never taken the time to compile a list of Mulder’s casual wear, never seen my favorite outfits laid end to end, until now. (Stay tuned until the very end for the Shirt Tucked Into Jeans Counter.)

The List

An Entire Outfit My Dad Probably Wore in the ’80s (S1E1 “Pilot”)

This whole outfit is a substitute teacher during the school year who works summers at the history museum archiving 14th-century trade route maps. When you consider this outfit in context, it’s baffling. Homeboy wore his shirt tucked into his khakis to search for evidence in the woods. He looks more prepared to give a keynote lecture on the evolution of tobacco farming in the Americas than he is to hunt for aliens in the forest. We’ll get more into this later, but Mulder wears this outfit for probably two whole days. Take from that what you will. 

This One is Just Called “BRO”  (S1E1 “Pilot”)

A lotta good lounging content in the pilot. Here’s a little hint at the kind of guy Mulder is. I have literally described this character as “a total bro and a complete freak” (it’s important to note that I went on to describe Mulder like he was legitimately some guy I knew in real life, but it’s whatever). But that’s him! This is Mulder in his purest form: going for a run at (probably) midnight, backwards cap and sweatshirt inside-out. He’s a total mess, and his casual wear is a physical manifestation of his hot-garbage life. If you were constantly checking over your shoulder just waiting for the government to kidnap you and steal your memories, you’d probably put your sweatshirt on inside-out too.

I Got Kidnapped and the Government Stole My Memories (S1E2 “Deep Throat”)

This look calls for a two-parter. He starts out only a little bit wrinkled—what I like to call Sloppy Golf Shirt—and then devolves completely into that guy your friend knows but you don’t, like, really know that well, who slept on your floor after the party and may have just thrown up in your houseplant.

He looks devastated and slightly concussed, but Mulder probably just had his closest encounter since his sister’s abduction. He’d be excited if he could remember any of it.

LITERALLY, THE WORST THING I’VE EVER SEEN (S1E2 “Deep Throat”)

If you thought the inside-out sweatshirt was bad, feast your eyes on this sweaty nightmare. Mulder’s showing his DIY or Die side with this cut-off sweatshirt. I expect there was a hole or a questionable stain on one sleeve, so he just cut off both. I’ll put money firmly on ‘stain.’ But if you take a good hard look at that top, it’s full of holes. I wouldn’t be surprised if he put it on one day and his arm ripped right through it and he had to cut the sleeves.

The horror only gets worse the more you look. I think he’s wearing boxer shorts to take a run around the track. This feels like something David Duchovny wore to work that day and the costume department just said “Okay!” and let him wear it on the show.

Sweaty But Ready in season two, episode one “Little Green Men”

Fox Mulder Has One Denim Shirt and He Wears it Everywhere

Buttoned or unbuttoned, sleeves rolled or cuff fastened so tight you can’t get a watch under there, Mulder loves him a good denim shirt. Scully is much more conscious about outfit repeating, but our little fashion risk jumps right in.

Indigo Boy (S2E9 “Firewalker”)

Mulder has perfected looking like a soft little blueberry while everyone around him dies from mysterious plants busting from their necks like Alien. Picture it: your partner just got back on the job after an unexpected sabbatical (i.e. a coma), there’s a guy running around in a volcano, off his meds, has possibly killed someone, and now there’s a contagious, airborne spore you have to worry about. How do you dress for that? You take advice from Buffy Sainte-Marie and dress in head-to-toe soulful shades of blue, obviously.

Unexpectedly Spilling Your Feelings in the Dark in season one, episode one “Pilot”

Sweaty But Ready (S2E1 “Little Green Men”)

This here is a Cool Dude fresh off the truck in Argentina and ready to do some trespassing. Got his Dollar Store sunglasses on, wearing his Timberlands like a good New York-adjacent boy. He’s a little sweaty, but, y’know, we’ll give him a pass for that, he’s in Argentina.

By now we know he’s an outfit repeater, at least in pieces. But, lo and behold, if you take a look below, Fox W. Mulder wore this whole outfit a year before.

Unexpectedly Spilling Your Feelings in the Dark (S1E1 “Pilot”)

Mulder wears this exact outfit all through the sequence of events leading to An Entire Outfit My Dad Probably Wore in the ’80s. The culmination of this denim-grey-shirt-khaki-pants look. He takes this look from day to night to all the way into the next year. (Okay, he’s actually wearing jeans in “Little Green Men” but whatever, the point remains.)

Kinda Looking Like Christopher Robin (S1E8 “Ice”)

I get vibes from this look that I just can’t pinpoint. Not exactly Christopher Robin, but more like when you look at it from a distance he resembles a little Finnish boy on his way to school. There’s a character from a wholesome children’s film in this look somewhere.

The cotton ribbed thermal and white shirt underneath resembles another look we’ll see later on. This outfit has featured in every ’80s movie that has a younger brother with a bowl cut who goes on some sort of suburban adventure. This is a Goonies look, or a Hocus Pocus look. Also, could possibly be a Boy Meets World look. This outfit has “I’ll read my older sister’s diary without permission, but I’ll also cover for her when she sneaks out of the house to meet her girlfriends for a night of drinking and Ouija” written all over it.

Action Tank Top (S2E25 “Anasazi”)

Thirsty? Drink a glass of water in your gross tank top because you’re unaware that someone is tampering with your soft water until Scully finds that out later!

An old lady in your apartment killed her husband? Race down the hall in your gross tank top with your gun out and hope your neighbors remember you’re an FBI agent and not just a Weird Guy!

Arrive on the scene and faced with someone’s distraught grandmother because she killed her husband of 40 years and she doesn’t know why? Do your best to look soft and comforting and sympathetic even though you have a gun in your waistband and you’re wearing a gross tank top.

The “Alex Krycek Killed My Dad” Shirt (S2E25 “Anasazi”)

A lot of questionable clothing choices in this episode apparently. But this shirt is the epitome of 1994 in my own opinion. Mustardy brown, plaid, probably flannel, and way too long? That’s what the 90s looked like. But this is a rare one for Mulder; it’s neither denim nor inside out, nor a condemned sweatshirt. It simply is. It’s just a shirt.

And yet, he couldn’t have chosen an uglier shirt to witness his dad’s death in if he tried. This is the last outfit your dad’s going to see you in, and you choose this. Alex Krycek saw you wearing this shirt when he killed your dad and that was worse than committing government-sanctioned murder. On the other hand, this is Grunge in “I’m trying to rebel against The Man but also I am The Man” flavor.

That White Turtleneck Outfit We All Wore in Our First Grade Christmas Pageant (S1E20 “Darkness Falls”)

In the Christopher Robin-but-not look from earlier, when I said we’d see something resembling that later on, I was talking about this. So you’re reading the title and I know what you’re thinking: hey, what the hell does that mean? Let’s just say navy blue long-sleeved shirts over white turtlenecks give me very specific emotional responses that are kind of hard to explain. 

This look evokes something soft and innocent, an angelic countenance perfectly executed in the second angle shot aptly titled “Timothee Chalamet Lookin’ Ass,” so called mostly because of Mulder’s melodramatic pout. Honestly, all his turtleneck looks should be in one category called “Fox Mulder: A Nation’s Little Brother.”

School Picture Day; also, I Literally Own That Exact Jacket (S2E8 “One Breath”)

I will bet real American money that’s a Columbia jacket. I can confidently make this bet because I bought this exact jacket at a Salvation Army in Kalispell, Montana this past June. Forest green windbreaker, blue collar, no hood (unfortunately), sporty but also dweeby; I have that. A staple piece, without a doubt. This look says either “I miscalculated how cold it would be in Glacier National Park” or “I’m running for class president and also I’m from Minnesota.”

Additionally, please take note of Melissa Scully absolutely killing it in that floral maxi dress and choker combo. A ’90s Wiccan icon if there ever was one.

Someone’s Dead Grandpa’s Button-down (S1E2 “Squeeze)

This is a weird one, just hear me out. This outfit haunts me. There’s no explanation for it. Did he wear it to work? (Unlikely.) Does he have a date? (Even more unlikely.) Did he dress up just to come bother Scully on a stakeout? (Actually pretty likely.) He looks sharp, no argument, but why does he look so sharp? For once I’m not even mad he tucked his shirt in his jeans. I just want to know where he was going looking so handsome. Like, please, his little sport coat is so cute.

Anyway, I’ll be haunted by this look for the rest of my life. When I die, leave photocopies of this look on my grave so I may continue to suffer this complete enigma of an outfit.

Bring Your Russian Spy to Work Day (S1E10 “Fallen Angel”)

Solid black: perfect uniform for breaking into a government-quarantined crash site and spying on a downed alien craft. Look at him go, he’s a Cool Guy. He brought a backpack, he remembered to bring a camera this time. He also had to get bailed out of dumb baby army jail by an exhausted Dr. Scully and dragged back to Washington by the ear for (yet another) conduct hearing. But, at least he looks Cool. His pictures were destroyed, but at least he looks Cool.

UM OKAY (S2E5 “Duane Barry”)

33-year-old David Duchovny was hot and damn did Chris Carter capitalize on it. But, for some reason, this is how he wanted to do it; having Mulder launch himself out of a pool and engage in conversation with Alex Krycek while dripping wet and scantily clad. This look haunts me as well, but for very different reasons. Just as an aside, Krycek’s face here is a damn mood.

Besides this, I don’t think there’s any other time we see Mulder even close to nude. Which is a shame, but at the same time, there’s just too much skin here. There’s too much. I’m sorry. There’s too much.

Salmon Boy and Nikes with NO SOCKS (S2E4 “Sleepless”)

Okay, so, this is already a weird color to see on Mulder. This is the four-leaf clover of Fox Mulder’s t-shirts (still tucked into his jeans, I can’t take it). Never again will he wear anything this bright. Mulder is an earth-tone type of guy. He doesn’t usually go around in salmon. I have absolutely nothing good to say about this look, except maybe that shirt looks comfortable. Other than that? Nothing. I’m appalled. Also, when he bends down to pick up the paper, we get a cool shot of his hip Nike’s. There’s a chance this look could be saved, you’re thinking. Except he’s not wearing socks. Sneakers and NO SOCKS. I guess that was cool as a 30-something in the 90s, but there’s no situation where I ever want to see a guy’s bare ankles. I don’t want it, don’t show that to me. 

 

The Runners-Up

ZOOM (S2E20 “Humbug”)

Along with the sheer joy we get from seeing Scully fake-eat a cricket (fun fact: Gillian Anderson actually ate it) in this episode, we get Mulder in what I’d like to label as Tracksuit Lite™. A few steps down from a full-on tracksuit, but still up there. And thank god he’s wearing freaking socks.

Waffle Knit? I Guess (S2E9 “Dod Kalm”)

This episode is already bizarre and I’ve never really been into it, so it makes sense that I’d have a problem with Mulder’s outfit. The bottom line: it’s ugly and I hate it. That’s all.

He’s Wearing a Turtleneck and He’s Pissed (S2E8 “One Breath”)

Not much to say about this one (shirt tucked in the jeans, ugh) except it’s a great way to show off the forearms while you gesticulate wildly about proper hospital care for your comatose partner.

Welcome to the Gun Show (S2E1 “Little Green Men”)

One word: hideous.

Shirt Tucked Into Jeans Counter: 8 infractions

 


Social Media logo PatreonFollow Word of the Nerd on

Social Media logo FacebookSocial Media logo TwitterSocial Media logo TumblrSocial Media logo InstagramSocial Media logo YouTubeSocial Media logo PinterestSocial Media logo Google Plus

Social Media logo Twitch

Get your nerd on!

About the author

Lauren Boisvert

Lauren Boisvert is a writer and pisces from Florida. She has had poems published with Memoir Mixtapes, spy kids review, The Mochila Review, and others. She loves Mystery Science Theater 3000, classic horror, and making everyone in the car listen to the Beastie Boys.

Advertisement

Check out our YouTube Channel

%d bloggers like this: