‘The Office’: Dwight’s Mustard Shirt Was a Good Luck Charm to Avoid Getting Canceled

Shows like The Office often have traditions behind the scenes to stop from getting canceled. Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) is remembered for wearing his mustard shirts. The wardrobe designer of the show explained how the color was actually used as a good luck charm 

Dwight Schrute often wore a yellow shirt on ‘The Office’

Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute sits in a clothing store full of suits on 'The Office'
Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute on ‘The Office’ | Dale Berman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

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Dwight is more of a geek focused on his work, farming, and shows like Battlestar Galactica. So it’s not surprising that he wouldn’t be very fashionable.

The paper salesman often wore a mustard shirt along with more muddy colors like brown and dark green. Dwight Halloween costumes often recreate this look because the shirt became so memorable. 

No one was really that fashionable at work. But people like Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) were less likely to stand out because he would wear simple blue shirts. But there is a reason Dwight wore that specific color.

Dwight’s mustard shirt was a good luck charm

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Carey Bennett was the wardrobe designer of seasons 1 to 4 of The Office. She talked about her work on the Office Ladies podcast with Jenna Fischer, who played Pam Beesly, and Angela Kinsey, who played Angela Martin. 

Bennett took her inspiration from a real paper company in Glendale, California. She took pictures of what the employees wore and what the office space and warehouse looked like.  “Literally, all of the characters were there in different iterations. Even Dwight was there,” Bennett said. The designer said a man wore a wolf t-shirt to the office, which fits the character.

Bennett worked on Scrubs before The Office. She revealed that she picked up a good luck tradition, and it worked for the show.

“That mustard shirt is kind of a good luck thing that I do on my projects. And that has a backstory. That was Scrubs, the wonderful director that pulled me onto that project, Adam Bernstein. He has a thing about mustard shirts, and he was like, ‘you just need a mustard shirt. It’s just important.’ And now, of course, that show took off. And so now I try to put on a mustard shirt. It’s just my thing.”

Bennett said she found all of Dwight’s more muddy colors at Mervyn’s and JCPenny. There you could buy a shirt, suit, belt and tie together for just $100, so she bought them. 

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There is one time where Jim wears a mustard shirt himself. “Product Recall” shows Jim walking into the office dressed as Dwight. This includes the mustard shirt, brown shirt and tie, and a middle part in his hair. 

Jim then starts talking about bears, beets, and Battlestar Galactica. Jim claims he got the idea when he found glasses that looked like Dwight’s for $4. He then claimed the rest of the outfit was just $7. 

That mustard shirt might be one of many reasons why The Office lasted nine seasons. It would also be harder to picture Dwight without it.