Where Did Hey Arnold’s Classic Outfit Come From?

Arnold was a trendsetter even at nine-years old and series creator Craig Bartlett reveals his outfit’s origin.

Fans of the classic Nickelodeon series Hey Arnold! have often wondered what exactly the titular Arnold was always wearing. No it wasn’t a skirt or kilt, it was just a shirt.

When the creator of the series, Craig Bartlett, designed Arnold with his shirttails out he didn’t realize how fashion-forward that was going to be. “I thought it was a very timeless look,” he told us.

Bartlett explains that growing up in the home of the grunge style, Seattle, some of Arnold’s look came from Neil Young. “Neil wore flannels and layers forever, and I don’t know why,” he says. “Neil Young comes from, Alberta, Canada but somehow it translated to the Seattle scene perfectly. Everybody looked like a Neil Young Junior when the grunge movement was happening. That was the look. We wore layers and flannels, because it was cold and wet in Seattle. It was based on the way I dressed.”

Bartlett is very happy for Arnold, calling him, “quite a trendsetter. Way more than I was. Somehow on Hey Arnold! all those characters are way cooler than we were. I’ll defer to Arnold. He’s the man.”

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Hey Arnold! returns in Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie which premieres Friday, Novemeber 24 at 7:00PM on Nickelodeon. He’s even got a new look, although he’s still rocking that flannel. The dream of the ’90s is still alive in Hey Arnold!

Shamus Kelley longs to be as fashion forward and hip as Arnold is. In fact, everyone should try to be more like Arnold in general. Follow him on Twitter!