Even avid fans of The Big Bang Theory can’t track the episodes by Sheldon’s t-shirts. Although the theoretical physicist and comic book aficionado is almost invariably in a graphic tee, it’s often the same one. Costume Designer Mary T. Quigley explained in a 2012 Entertainment Weekly video that she does not seek out an entirely new outfit for every episode.
“I do not do that, because I don’t believe that he has a closet the size of a mansion. Even though he has a collection of t-shirts and specific things that he will wear and what he won’t wear, I like to repeat them. On occasion he’ll find something new.
“I try to get into Sheldon’s mind a little bit and he’s such a linear thinker and really is about function and form, and that’s why I underdress him always with a three-quarter t-shirt because that protects him. You know, he stays very together and linear just like his mind.”
Quigley also gave a behind-the-scenes tidbit about Sheldon’s shoes, which are rarely seen on the show. Jim Parsons showed off those shoes earlier this week on Instagram.
“He wears the same shoes, which he probably has three or four pairs of, because those are the best balance for him.”
Quigley’s analysis of the psychology of Sheldon’s character seems consistent with what producers have in mind when they write his dialogue. In the past, media and viewers have proposed Sheldon might be on the autism spectrum. Showrunners instead preferred to call his unique aspects “Sheldon-y.”
Although Quigley might be the mastermind behind Sheldon’s fashion, shoes and all, Parsons had some thoughts of his own when he spoke with Men’s Health in 2012.
“I don’t believe the people who made the shoes he wears, who made the pants he wears, who made the shirt he wears ever thought they would see [those pieces] on the same body at the same time.
“[The fashion is about] making a fashion choice because I really love it, whether or not this is what you think looks good or is normal-looking or what should be.”
Fans are so accustomed to seeing the entire cast of The Big Bang Theory in “geek chic,” that the actors make waves when they dress up in classic formal wear for awards shows. Jim Parsons, as it turns out, looks good in a tux.
New episodes of The Big Bang Theory air Thursdays on CBS.