Luke’s wardrobe is a collection of different versions of a few staple items which he gains and sheds like skin cells, a complete cycle taking approximately 10 years. He no longer has to shop for his trademark plaid shirts, jeans, t-shirts and baseball caps. His days of standing in the checkout line at a department store wondering why they have to corral you like cattle being led to the slaughter are over. Rory keeps his baseball cap rotation full by sending interesting hats she find on her journalistic travels. His sister Liz supplies flannel shirts and T-shirts for birthdays and holidays. Lorelai buys his jeans to ensure they make his butt look its best and insists he model each pair while she blasts Right Said Fred’s I’m Too Sexy from her phone. She also tries to slip trendy items into his wardrobe like infinity scarves, skinny jeans, and whimsical socks to varying degrees of success. I remember an episode where Luke was wearing fingerless gloves — definitely a Loreli purchase.
Luke: Where are the rest of these gloves?
Lorelai: That’s the whole glove. They’re fingerless. All the fun of gloves without the nuisance of having the tips obstructed by fabric!
Luke: The tips are the part that get cold; it’s the problem that necessitated the invention of gloves. The hand part is just the anchor for the finger covers.
Lorelai: But cutting off the tips solves the problem of regular gloves not looking cool and sexy enough!
Luke: Name one person who looked cool and sexy wearing fingerless gloves.
Lorelai: Bender from The Breakfast Club, Mad Max, Johnny Depp in the movie version of Sweeny Todd.
Luke: Well, if I feel like welding giant spikes to my truck or grinding up Taylor and serving him to the town in my burgers I’ll wear the gloves.
Lorelai may have been responsible for introducing Luke to the world of accessorizing, but she was just the warm-up. The real heavyweight champion of convincing Luke to leave the house in items way outside of his comfort zone is his daughter, April. As she tests out different looks during her teenage years, so does Luke in an effort to understand her. Over the years since the show aired, there was a week he wore blue nail polish with sparkly galaxies painted on the thumbs because April simultaneously discovered nail art and glam-androgyny. When she was experimenting with witchcraft he wore a pentagram pendant on a leather band under his shirts. Luke could not be persuaded to actually wear a flower crown at the music festival they went to, but he did agree to pose for a photo with the flower crown Snapchat filter. Lorelai has a print out of that photo on their refrigerator.
What’s next for Luke’s iconic fashion sense?
I see him getting really into formal hats as he ages. Remember how weird we all thought Luke’s embellished head looked any time he wore a suit on the show? Formal hats. Richard Gilmore certainly had a collection of classic head-wear that could inspire an appreciation for the craftsmanship of millinery in Luke. I also suspect Luke is secretly into the whimsical socks, as long as they don’t have pictures of food on them.
Luke: These socks have french fries on them.
Lorelai: Yes! You work in a diner. It’s the perfect motif.
Luke: You work at an inn, do you have pictures of neatly made beds on your socks? Why would I want to imply that my feet smell like hot oil and salt?
Lorelai: They’re not scratch ‘n’ sniff, they don’t make those for some reason. I checked. And how is that any worse than someone thinking your feet smell like feet?
Luke: Nobody wants to see the person serving their food wearing a picture of that same food on their feet. It’s unappetizing.
Never change Luke.