Big White Stetson

JESS: What if Dean had sucker-punched me and I had to defend myself? You’re not even considering the possibility that that’s what happened?
RORY: Dean wouldn’t do that.
JESS: Oh, no, he might get his big white Stetson dirty.

Stetson, a brand of hat symbolic of the pioneering West, made by the John B. Stetson Company, which was founded in Philadelphia in 1865. They quickly became associated with legends of the old West who wore Stetsons, such as Buffalo Bill, Calamity Jane, Will Rogers, and Annie Oakley.

Later, cowboys in Western movies were invariably shown wearing Stetson hats – in film symbology, the “good guys” are often thought of as wearing white Stetsons, and the “bad guys” black ones. In actual fact, it isn’t as clear cut as people seem to remember this trope, but film and TV cowboys such as Tom Mix and the Lone Ranger must have helped cement the idea of the good guy wearing a white hat.

Glory of Easter

RORY: I got the flags and . . . he changed his mind again.
LANE: He’s worse than my mother at the Glory of Easter T-shirt stand.

Glory of Easter, an annual evangelical drama which begun in 1984 and went on until 2012. It took place at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California [pictured, now a Catholic church], suggesting that the Kim family went to it at least once, where Mrs Kim could not decide between all the tee-shirts available for sale.

I think this is the first time we’ve seen Lane working at the Independence Inn to help prepare for a function. Perhaps Mrs Kim is allowing her more freedom, or perhaps now she’s eighteen she can be employed at the inn without any worry about labour laws. In either case, this is another possible income stream for Lane.

Luke Asks Nicole on a Date

LUKE: No, no, no, uh, what I meant was – ah, what the hell? Would you like to have dinner with me sometime?

It’s pretty obvious that, besides being flattered by Nicole’s attention, Luke asks her on a date primarily because he knows Lorelai is dating Alex. Jess has already criticised Luke for waiting around for Lorelai like a faithful dog, and has nagged him to ask Nicole out. Finding out that Lorelai is out on a date with a coffee shop owner who’s outdoorsy and likes fishing (sounding suspiciously similar to Luke) is the final straw that pushes him towards Nicole.

In this scene we learn that a cup of coffee at Luke’s cost seventy-five cents. That sounds like a bargain for what every character seems to believe is the best coffee in the world.

Notice that in the background to this scene, someone walks behind Luke and Nicole wearing what appears to be a maroon and gold Gryffindor scarf from Harry Potter.


RORY: Oh yeah, we’ve seen those boot thingies outside drying off.
LUKE: Those would be called waders.

Waders, waterproof boots or overalls extending from the foot to the thigh, the chest or the neck. They are traditionally made from vulcanised rubber, but available in more modern PVC, neoprene and Gore-Tex variants. The first waders were made in 1838 by a company called Hodgman, in Framingham, Massachusetts.


EMILY: Of course I said it. Well, I can’t imagine who would take jackbooted as a compliment.

Jackboot, military and combat boot associated popularly with totalitarianism, as they were worn by German military and paramilitary forces during World War II. However, they have been used officially by other nations as well, including the UK, and had some civilian uses as well.

J. Crew Catalog

RORY: Yeah, the place is packed.

LUKE: Sure, it’s been taken over by the J. Crew catalog.

[Several families with little kids are seated at the tables]

J. Crew Group Inc is a clothing retailer founded in 1947 by Mitchell Cinader and Saul Charles as Popular Merchandise Inc. They did business as Popular Club Plan, selling low-cost women’s clothing through in-home demonstrations. In 1983, the name was changed to J. Crew, and during the 1980s and 1990s, sales soared through their mail order catalogues, focusing on preppy leisurewear for the Ralph Lauren market, but at a much cheaper price. The catalogues didn’t just sell clothes, but an entire East Coast lifestyle that was affluent, yet fun and unpretentious.

Jimmy Buffet

LORELAI: Oh my God … You like Jimmy Buffett? He’s so mellow.

LUKE: I’ve just been to a few shows, that’s all.

LORELAI: A few shows? Oh my God, you’re a Buffett Head.

James “Jimmy” Buffett (1946), singer-songwriter, musician, author, actor, and businessman. He began his musical career as a country singer in Nashville in the late 1960s, bringing out his first album, Down to Earth, in 1970.

After busking for tourists in New Orleans, Louisiana, he went on a busking expedition to Key West, Florida, in 1971, he moved there permanently, and began establishing the easy-going beach-bum persona for which he is known. His style of music is called “tropical rock”.

During the 1980s, Buffett made far more money from his extensive touring than from albums, and became known as a popular concert draw. He is one of the world’s richest musicians, with a net worth of over $900 million. Jimmy Buffett and his Coral Reefer Band gave concerts at the Meadows Music Theater in Hartford almost every year in the late 1990s, giving Luke ample opportunities to see him live.

Jimmy Buffett fans are actually called “Parrot Heads”, not “Buffett Heads” – it’s after the parrot hats all his fans seem to wear. Lorelai appears to recall that the the word head is in there, but not the details. She may have misheard or misremembered the term.

At this point, the viewer, like Luke, thinks that Lorelai says, “Oh my God” because of the Jimmy Buffett shirt. In fact, we later learn she says it because she’s seen Jess’ girlfriend Shane in the closet, and quickly covers for it by immediately gabbling about Jimmy Buffett as a distraction. She certainly gives Jess some hard looks, though, as he continues to confirm, or appear to confirm, all her worst fears about him.


RORY: She made you apply to every one [of the colleges]?

LANE: And measured my head for a wimple.

Wimple, a medieval form of female headcovering, formed of a large piece of cloth worn draped around the neck and chin, covering the top of the head. Its use developed in early medieval Europe; in medieval Christianity it was unseemly for a married woman to show her hair. Today a plain wimple is worn by the nuns of certain orders who retain a traditional habit.

Once again, the show (or Lane?) somehow conflates Mrs Kim’s Seventh Day Adventism with Catholicism, something that seems to happen a lot.


CAROL: If you were to tell either of my siblings that there was another life choice outside of the Ivy League, I think their khakis would wrinkle.

Khakis, another name for chinos, trousers made from a cotton twill (see Cotton Dockers). Developed in the mid-19th century for British and French military uniforms, it has since migrated into civilian wear. Trousers of such a fabric gained popularity in the US when Spanish–American War veterans returned from the Philippines with their twill military trousers. The fabric was originally made in khaki, and this is still the most popular colour.

OshKosh Cords

LORELAI: You had these little OshKosh cords and they were way too big and once at the mall, they fell right down to your knees and I said, “Whoa, there, Droopy Drawers!”.

OshKosh B’gosh, children clothing company founded in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It began in 1895 as the Grove Manufacturing Company by Frank E. Grove, J. Howard Jenkins, and James Clark. Grove was soon bought out and it was renamed Oshkosh Clothing and Manufacturing Company the next year. The B’gosh began being used in 1911, after the manager heard the tagline “Oshkosh b’gosh” in a vaudeville show; it formally became OshKosh B’gosh in 1937.

OshKosh are particularly known for their children’s bibbed overalls, sold since the early twentieth century as a way for parents to dress children like their fathers. They became popular in the 1960s, and since 1984, most of the company’s clothing line is for children. OshKosh have over 300 stores in the US, and are headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s now owned by Carter’s.

Baby Rory would have been wearing corduroy bibbed overalls from OshKosh [pictured].