The Truth About The Strict Wardrobe Rules The Gilmore Girls Cast Had To Follow

As one of the most beloved sitcoms of the 2000s, "Gilmore Girls" continues its popularity among fans well into the 2020s despite its 2007 cancelation, and there are even hopeful talks of a second revival series of 2016's "Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life." Even the show's former set costumer Valerie Campbell has kept up the "Gilmore Girls" appreciation, as she guides viewers through her experience on the show via TikTok videos.


In addition to "Gilmore Girls," Campbell also worked on other hit shows — her TikTok even gives fans a peek into her experiences on sets like "Pretty Little Liars" and "Ugly Betty." But stories from her time on "Gilmore Girls" takes up the vast majority of her videos, ranging from on-set hijinx to continuity errors as she answers fans nagging questions about the series from an insider's perspective. Campbell even let her TikTok followers in on some of the secrets behind the show's signature aesthetic, sharing just how tricky it could be to realize series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino's vision.  

Certain characters had a set dress code

To see some of "Gilmore Girls" best looks, you can scope out the show's active Instagram, or go back and binge the entire series on Netflix. The former set costumer on "Gilmore Girls" Valerie Campbell has also used TikTok to share her insider knowledge on the rules the wardrobe department followed for each character's unique look. One of the more obvious examples is Luke's clothing since he's arguably the most consistent character style-wise. Campbell told her followers that his look usually boiled down to a backwards baseball cap, flannel shirt with rolled-up sleeves, and his signature army jacket.


Other characters also had specific rules for what they wore nearly every episode. In the case of Richard Gilmore, Campbell told viewers, "Once we discovered that we needed a rule like 'he always wore a pocket square' there was always a pocket square."

Campbell shared that two characters' clothing choices stood out since it meant she would have to change other costuming choices. "Luke and Lorelei were always wearing jeans, so they kind of used up the quota." She joked that if more players were dressed in jeans it might become "the jeans show." Because of this, background actors were dressed to add variety; "They wore khakis, cords, whatever, anything else but jeans."

There was a no skin rule on set

Some of the secret rules for "Gilmore Girls" costume choices may seem nit-picky, but Valerie Campbell was dedicated to Amy Sherman-Palladino's preferences for the characters' looks. There was a "no skin" rule on set, according to Campbell, which meant that the main actresses, Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham, couldn't bare any midriff in front of the camera. But this was no small accomplishment considering popular clothing styles in the 2000s. "The waistlines were dropping drastically . . . crop tops were a thing," the costumer shared. However, Campbell found a loophole in these fashion trends. "They're in a state that was freezing, so it made no sense for them to be wearing crop tops [in Connecticut]." 


The costumer also told viewers that Sherman-Palladino "really didn't like when we saw a little sliver of skin when the girls would bend down and then they would come up." The solution? The actresses would adjust their clothing after moving in a way that made their shirts ride up. This rule was so vital that the costumers kept careful watch on set and even interrupted takes to make wardrobe fixes. "My set partner and I would stand by the monitors looking for every rehearsal to see exactly when the shirt would rise," Campbell shared. "We would tell the director, 'Hey, um, we're seeing skin and we cannot see skin, you need to cut.'"

However, this behavior wasn't typical of costumers on a TV set; Campbell dished, "I've never worked on a show where you tell the director, 'this take is not usable, cut.'"