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T-shirts in movie: Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction’s costume designer reminisces about the movie’s most iconic looks

“White people who know the difference between good shit and bad shit, this is the house they come to.” -Lance

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Heimann didn’t plan for the bathrobe theme, but it just worked out that way. She had a very distinct vision for heroin dealer Lance’s (played by Eric Stoltz) look. “I thought, ‘This is a guy that never leaves his house. He doesn’t really need to get dressed,’” Heimann says. “Back then everybody wasn’t running around in their exercise gear like we do in LA now. To me, he was wearing shorts and a graphic t-shirt and an old funky robe.” The “Speed Racer” shirt is from Tarantino’s own extensive collection, and Heimann dyed the thrifted robe “that horrible green color” in her washing machine.

Jimmie, played by Tarantino, he was another character that Heimann felt didn’t really need actual clothes. “He’s a guy whose wife works nights, and he was waiting for her to come home,” Heimann says. “Maybe they were just going to get back into bed!”

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“Dorks. They look like a couple of dorks.” -Jimmie “They’re your clothes, motherfucker.” -Jules

One of the best sight gags in the movie happens when Jules and Vincent have to remove their brain-splattered signature suits in favor of Jimmie’s T-shirts. The Santa Cruz Slugs t-shirt Vincent wears has some meaning. “I went to Santa Cruz briefly, and I forget what Quentin’s connection was, but we both had a connection to Santa Cruz,” Heimann says. “We had to get permission if we wanted to emblazon Santa Cruz on the screen. I got on the phone — this is what I used to do — I’d get on the phone and fast talk these people into giving me permission.I don’t know what I said, because once I get on a roll I really don’t know what I’m saying! But I talked them into giving us permission and sending us the T-shirt.”

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Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) wearing a blue Krazy Kat t-shirt in the bar scene when he and Vincent meet up with Marsellus Wallace along with a few others scenes (such as the last). Krazy Kat is an old newspaper comic strip from the early 1900’s from cartoonist George Herriman.

Vincent Vega (John Travolta) wears a UC Santa Cruz shirt. The t-shirt features the university’s colors and their mascot, the banana slug. The fact that the banana slug is actually a school’s mascot is cool enough in itself, but add in the fact the shirt was worn in an amazing film like Pulp Fiction just makes all that much cooler.

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