When HBO aired the third episode of The Last of Us on January 29, people fixated on two things: the romance between characters Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett) and Frank’s plaid flannel shirt. Those people included clients of Jessica Cadmus, stylist and founder of Rogue Paq Accessories, who kept asking her to find the exact shirt for them.
“I work with both women and men, and honestly, it’s usually women who ask me to find stuff,” she says. “So it really interested me that these guys — who are not always so specific about their wants in clothing — all had the same desire.” Cadmus’s clients were part of a bigger cohort. She came across dozens of sub-Reddits trying to track down the shirt too.
In the show, you first see the flannel on Frank during the flashback in episode three. Then you realize that protagonist, Joel (Pedro Pascal), is wearing the same shirt later — it’s a bit of an Easter egg. “I understood that in the TV show, the shirt passes from Frank to Joel,” says Cadmus, “but then I found out from another article that it’s actually one of the shirts that Joel wears in the game.”
Still, Cadmus’s initial search online didn’t lead anywhere. “Someone would chime in on the sub-Reddit, like, ‘It looks similar to this one’,” she says. “I’d launch the link and think, That does not look anything like Joel’s shirt! It was super-frustrating.” After Googling a bunch of descriptions and phrases, she found a Fjällräven shirt that looked similar to Joel’s. “When I clicked on it, it had several colorways. The colorway that I’d picked wasn’t the one, but I clicked on the right colorway, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! I think I’ve got it!’”
It was Fjällräven’s Fjällglim shirt in laurel green. Made from polyester flannel, the lightweight trekking shirt has two pockets — one concealed by a zip and one visible on the breast. The only difference on The Last of Us is that Joel’s shirt has two breast pockets.
[Editor’s note: The shirt is sold out in laurel green at all stores except Fjällräven below, but it’s in stock in other colorways at REI and Moosejaw.]
We reached out to the show’s costume designer, Cynthia Summers, to verify the find, and in fact, this was the one. The shirt worn onscreen by both Bartlett and Pascal had been altered to make it a closer match to the one worn by Joel in the game. “Like most costume pieces in the game, when we purchased items, we did a lot of customizing to make them either closer to the game, suit our characters’ needs better, or simply to make them unique,” she says.
“For this particular shirt, we needed it in multiples of 30 for Joel, Joel’s stunt double, Joel’s photo double, and Frank. We took the fronts off the shirts, removing the zip pocket and creating our breast pockets to mimic the game shirt.” They then carefully matched the plaid at the seams on all 30 shirts and dyed them for the faded look you’d expect from a piece of clothing that has survived a 20-year apocalypse.
These slight alterations haven’t disappointed Cadmus’s clients. They’ve each gone on to order the flannel for themselves. If, in a show featuring fungus-riddled zombies, a high-budget dystopian wasteland, and Pedro Pascal, a shirt is what manages to catch your attention, it’s probably worth investing in.
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